Matthew Morrison

For his self-titled album, see Matthew Morrison (album).
Matthew Morrison

Morrison at the 2010 Peabody Awards
Born Matthew James Morrison
(1978-10-30) October 30, 1978
Fort Ord, California, U.S.
Other names Matt Morrison
Occupation Actor, dancer, singer-songwriter
Years active 1999–present
Height 5' 11 (1.80 m)
Spouse(s) Renee Puente (m. 2014)

Musical career

Genres Pop, Jazz soul, pop standards
Instruments Vocals
Labels Mercury
222 Records
Associated acts Glee
Gwyneth Paltrow·

Matthew James "Matt" Morrison (born October 30, 1978)[1] is an American actor, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Morrison is known for starring in multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including his portrayal of Link Larkin in Hairspray on Broadway, and for his role as Will Schuester on the Fox television show Glee (2009–2015). Morrison is signed with Adam Levine's 222 Records. Morrison received a Tony Award nomination for his featured role as Fabrizio Nacarelli in the musical The Light in the Piazza. From March 2015 to January 2016, Morrison starred in the lead role of J.M. Barrie in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland.

Early life

Morrison was born in Fort Ord, California, the son of Mary and Tom Morrison.[2] Morrison was raised in Orange County, and is of Scottish heritage.[3] He was part of the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) and the Orange County High School of the Arts, while at the Los Alamitos High School campus. While in high school, Morrison did a musical with actress Jodie Sweetin. He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for two years before dropping out and joining the Broadway adaptation of Footloose.[4]

By freshman year of college Morrison already was a regular performer on Broadway. He states in Details "There were all these beautiful, beautiful dancers. As a straight guy I had some room. There were the shared interests in singing and dancing, and I always find dancing with someone very erotic and sexual. I definitely hooked up with a lot of girls when I was a young guy on Broadway. It was fun, I guess. Very joyous and free."[5]


Morrison's career began when he made his musical theatre debut on Broadway in the musical version of Footloose, followed by a revival of The Rocky Horror Show in 2002. Morrison's big break came, however, when Morrison landed the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway production of John Waters', Hairspray. After performing in the role for some time, Morrison started working in television, guest-starring on shows such as Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, CSI: Miami and Hack. Morrison also had small roles in films such as Marci X, Primary Colors, Music and Lyrics, and Simply Funk. Morrison followed up these performances by performing the role of Sir Harry in the ABC-TV production of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Tracey Ullman, Zooey Deschanel and Carol Burnett.

Morrison with Glee co-star Jane Lynch

In 2001, Morrison was recruited to complete the quartet for the band LMNT. Morrison was replaced instead by Jonas Persch by the time its first album was released. Morrison commented in an interview about his experience in the boy band by remarking, "It was the worst year of my life. You know when you're a performer and you're out there on stage and you're embarrassed that you're doing something wrong. It was pretty bad." Matthew Morrison also was a member of Buena Park Youth theater, located at Buena Park[6]

Morrison starred in the Original Cast of the musical Hairspray as Link Larkin from its opening in 2002 through January 2004.[7] In 2005 Morrison changed gears, playing the role of Fabrizio Nacarelli in Adam Guettel's The Light in the Piazza.[7]Morrison was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.[8] He left the show August 28, 2005.[8]

Morrison joined the cast of the CBS soap opera, As the World Turns, as Adam Munson on October 24, 2006,[9] but left abruptly soon after due to a "scheduling conflict," last airing on the soap on November 27. Morrison appeared in a benefit performance celebrating Andrew Lippa, and the 25th Anniversary of the performing troupe 'The Kids in the Hall' at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California in December 2006. The performance benefited The California Conservatory of the Arts, a non-profit arts education organization focusing on pre-professional training for young students, grades six through twelve, in Orange County, California.

He earned a Drama Desk Nomination for his role in the Off Broadway show 10 Million Miles which ran at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2007. That same year he appeared in two films: Dan in Real Life, followed by Music and Lyrics as Cora Corman's manager. In 2008, he played Lieutenant Cable in a Lincoln Center production of the musical South Pacific. He left the production at the end of 2008 and in early 2009 returned to California to shoot the first season of Glee.[10]

Morrison played Will Schuester in the Fox Broadcasting television series Glee, which had its television preview on May 19, 2009. He resumed his role in the show as the series premiered on September 9, 2009. He plays a high school Spanish teacher who takes on the task of restoring the school's glee club to its former glory. Morrison also appeared in the show's second season. He returned for the third season, which premiered on September 20, 2011.[11] He made his directorial debut in the third season's ninth episode.

In addition on January 14, 2010, it was announced that Morrison signed a solo record deal with Mercury Records. His first studio album was released on May 10, 2011. Morrison duets with Elton John on "a medley of 'Mona Lisas and Madhatters' going into 'Rocket Man'".[12] His first single, "Summer Rain", premiered on Ryan Seacrest's website on February 28, 2011.[13] Additionally, a duet of "Over the Rainbow" with Gwyneth Paltrow appears on the self-titled album.[14] On June 16, 2010, Morrison joined Leona Lewis — appearing at London's O2 Arena as part of her world tour — for a one-off performance to sing "Over the Rainbow". Morrison was on the cover of the June 2011 issue of MetroSource.

Morrison (center) with LGBT activist couple Kevin and Don Norte at a PFLAG fundraiser in 2010

In March 2012, Morrison was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Paul Katami.[15] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[16][17]

A Morrison concert at Connecticut's Bushnell Center was recorded by PBS and scheduled to air in spring 2013.[18] On April 28, 2013, Morrison made his first major appearance in the UK as a guest performer at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. On June 4, 2013, 222 Records released Morrison's second studio album, Where It All Began. July 7, 2016, Matthew appeared alongside Megan Hilty in a summer evening of Broadway and other songs with The New York Pops at the Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, Queens. [19]

Morrison returned to Broadway as J.M. Barrie in the new musical, Finding Neverland, which opened in April 2015.[20]

Personal life

While working on a Broadway production together, Morrison briefly dated future Glee co-star Lea Michele.[21] Morrison became engaged to actress Chrishell Stause on December 9, 2006.[22] Their relationship later ended. In 2011, Morrison began dating Renee Puente.[23] On June 27, 2013, Elton John helped Morrison announce that Morrison and Puente were engaged.[24] Morrison and Puente were married on October 18, 2014 at a private home on the island of Maui.[25]

Awards and nominations

Year Award ceremony Category Project Result
2003 Outer Critics Circle Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hairspray Nominated
2005 Best Featured Actor in a Musical The Light in the Piazza Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical 10 Million Miles Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series (Shared with "Glee" cast) Glee Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Won
2010 Teen Choice Award Choice Male Scene Stealer Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Nominated
TV Land Award Future Classic Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack Written for Visual Media Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical (Shared with "Glee" cast) Nominated
2011 Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack Written for Visual Media Nominated
2015 Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Finding Neverland Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Laura Michelle Kelly) Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated


Matthew Morrison visiting Barnes & Noble for CD release party, 2013

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart
Matthew Morrison 24 61 63
Where It All Began
  • Release date: June 4, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
95 163
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Title Details Peak chart
A Classic Christmas
  • Release date: November 19, 2013
  • Label: 222 Records
  • Formats: music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart
2011 "Summer Rain" 16 Matthew Morrison
"Still Got Tonight" [upper-alpha 1] 182
2013 "It Don't Mean a Thing" Where It All Began
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  1. "Still Got Tonight" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number twenty-four on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[31]

Theatre credits

Year Production Role Type Notes
1998 Footloose Ensemble; Chuck Cranston u/s Broadway Replacement
2000 The Rocky Horror Show Phantom Broadway Replacement
2002 Hairspray Link Larkin Broadway
2003–04 Tarzan Tarzan NY Workshop
2005 The Light in the Piazza Fabrizio Naccarelli Broadway
2005 Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale, Jr. NY Reading
2005 A Naked Girl on the Appian Way Thad Lapin Broadway
2007 10 Million Miles Duane Off-Broadway
2008 South Pacific Lt. Joseph Cable, U.S.M.C. Broadway
2015 Finding Neverland J.M. Barrie Broadway


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Bob Rizzo's Simply Funk with Suzanne Himself As Matthew J. Morrison
2001 Bollywood Calling Mr. Abraham/Pat's Agent
2003 Marci X Boyz R Us As Matthew J. Morrison
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Sir Harry
2006 Blinders Scott
2007 Music and Lyrics Ray
Dan in Real Life Policeman
I Think I Love My Wife Salesman #2
2011 The Muppets Mahna Mahna Host
2012 What to Expect When You're Expecting Evan
2015 Playing It Cool Himself
Underdogs Jake Voice
2017 Tulip Fever Mattheus
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Sex and the City Young Busboy 1 episode
2003 Hack Sam Wagner 1 episode
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Chance Slaughter 1 episode
As the World Turns Adam Munson (#4) October 24 – November 27, 2006
2007 Ghost Whisperer Matt Sembrook "Bad Blood" – 1 episode
CSI: Miami Jesse Stark "Bloodline" – 1 episode
2008 Numb3rs Officer Blaine Cleary "Power" – 1 episode
2009 Taking Chance Robert Rouse Television film
2009–2015 Glee Will Schuester Series regular; 109 episodes
Directed season 3, episode 9, "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"
2011 The Cleveland Show Will Schuester Season 2, Episode 11, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"
2012 Live with Kelly Himself Kelly Ripa's co-host on February 21, 2012
2013 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "Don't Kill My Buzz-er"
2014 Space Station 76 Daniel
2016 The Good Wife AUSA Connor Fox Recurring role, Season 7 episodes
Younger Sebastian Episode: "The Good Shepherd"


  1. "Matthew Morrison". Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  3. Dirmann, Tina (December 2009). "Matthew Morrison Revealed". Orange Coast. Newport Beach, California: Orange Coast Kommunications: 86. ISSN 0279-0483.
  4. "Matthew Morrison – Music". Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  5. "Hot for Teacher: Matthew Morrison". Details Magazine. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  6. BWW, News Desk. "Matthew Morrison Talks GLEE, Upcoming Album, and his 'Worst Year Ever'." Broadwayworld 12 Jan 2010. Web. 1 Feb 2010.
  7. 1 2 Simonson, Robert (January 26, 2005). "Hairspray's Matthew Morrison Joins Cast of Piazza". Playbill. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  8. 1 2 Simonson, Robert (July 25, 2005). "Matthew Morrison Will Leave Light in the Piazza Aug. 28". Playbill. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  9. Kroll, Dan J. "Adam Returning Home After 4 Year Absence." Soap Central 1 Oct 2006: Web. 1 Feb 2010.
  10. "Cable's Exit Interview Dec 23, 2008". Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  11. "Glee club is back in session on the season premiere of Glee" (Press release). Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  12. "Elton John Reveals Details on Matthew Morrison's Debut Album". January 21, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  13. Lipshutz, Jason (February 25, 2011). "Listen: 'Glee' Original Songs, 'Loser Like Me' and 'Get It Right,' Debut". Billboard. New York: Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  14. Stack, Tim (March 22, 2011). "Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow to duet on his upcoming album – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  15. "Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison to Join George Clooney in Dustin Lance Black Play '8'". The Wrap Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  16. ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  17. "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  18. "Matthew Morrison's November Bushnell Center Concert to Be Recorded for PBS Broadcasts". 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  20. Official: Matthew Morrison Will Return to Broadway in FINDING NEVERLAND! Broadway World, Retrieved November 29, 2014
  21. "Lea Michele Admits Matthew Morrison Relationship". MTV UK. May 21, 2014.
  22. "Curtain Cutie: Matthew Morrison", Paper, 14 June 2007
  23. "Huffington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2013". June 6, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  24. Nessif, Bruna (27 June 2013). "Glee's Matthew Morrison Is Engaged to Renee Puente". E! News.
  25. Garcia, Jennifer (October 19, 2014). "Matthew Morrison Marries Renee Puente". People. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  26. "Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  27. "Chartifacts – Week Commencing: 16 May 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. 16 May 2011. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  28. "OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS TOP 100 – 11th June 2011". The Official Charts Company. 11 June 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
  29. "Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History – Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  30. "CHART: CLUK Update 25.06.2011 (wk24)". Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  31. "Matthew Morrison Album & Song Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
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