A prolific actor on stage, television, and screen, Jonathan Groff is a recipient of a Grammy Award and a nomination for two Tony Awards. He rose to prominence in 2006 for his leading role in the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
He is also known for his television appearances as Ian Todd in the political drama Boss, as Patrick Murray in the comedy-drama series Looking, and the recurring role of Jesse St. James in the musical comedy series Glee. He also voiced the role of Kristoff and Sven in Disney’s Frozen and Frozen II.
Jonathan Drew Groff (March 26, 1985) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to parents Julie and Jim Groff, a physical education teacher and a harness horse trainer. Groff was raised in Ronks, Pennsylvania, and he is the first cousin of singer James Wolpert, a semi-finalist on the fifth season of The Voice. At an early age, Groff fell in love with Julie Andrews’ performance as Mary Poppins.
Groff graduated from Conestoga Valley High School and was planning to attend Carnegie Mellon University, but deferred his admission when he was cast as Rolf in a tour of The Sound of Music. After touring, he decided to move to New York City instead of attending college.
Theatre, Film, and Television Career
Groff performed at the Fulton Opera House while still living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in different stage productions. From 2002 to 2004, he performed at The Ephrata Performing Arts Center in Honk! and Bat Boy: The Musical.
Groff earned his card in the Actors’ Equity Association in 2005, after starring in the musical Fame at the North Shore Music Theatre. That same year, he also made his Broadway debut as an understudy for the lead role in In My Life. He pioneered the role of Melchior Gabor in the Broadway production of the rock musical Spring Awakening (2006). He left the production in 2008, along with his best friend and co-star Lea Michele. The production opened first off-Broadway and transferred to Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. Groff received his first nomination for a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his performance.
In 2007, he played the role of Henry Mackler in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. That same year, he played the role of Claude in Hair at the Delacorte Theater. He also starred in the off-Broadway production of Prayer for My Enemy in 2008. The next year, he appeared in The Public Theater’s production of The Singing Forest, and the Broadway production of The Bacchae.
In 2010, Groff became part of the Fox musical comedy-drama Glee as Jesse St. James. He continued to play his recurring role in subsequent seasons until its ending in 2015. He also made his West End debut in Deathtrap and performed from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, Groff starred as Ian Todd in the Starz series Boss. He also portrayed the role of Ken in the production of the play Red, co-starring with Alfred Molina.
Groff went on to voice one of the lead roles in Disney’s animated hit Frozen. He played the role of Kristoff, and the film premiered in 2013. Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film of all time. He reprised the role in the sequels Frozen Fever (2013) and Frozen II (2019).
Groff had another lead role as Patrick Murray, a gay video game developer in HBO’s comedy-drama series Looking (2014-2015), and in its television film in 2016. He also played in another HBO production in the film adaptation of The Normal Heart (2014).
In 2015, Groff starred in a production of A New Brain as part of the Encores! Off-Center staged concert series. He received his second Tony Award nomination as he joined the cast of the musical Hamilton at The Public Theater when he replaced Brian d’Arcy James in the role of King George III in 2015. Groff reprised the role in the Broadway production that same year.
Groff is currently starring in the Netflix series Mindhunter, portraying an FBI agent named Holden Ford. His latest theatre credits include Sondheim on Sondheim (2017), The Bobby Darin Story (2018), and the Little Shop of Horrors (2019-2020).
Jonathan Groff was nominated twice for a Tony Award for his performance in Spring Awakening and Hamilton.
- Outstanding Debut Performance, Theatre World Award (2007) – Spring Awakening
- Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2007) – Spring Awakening
- Favorite Male Breakthrough Performance, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2007) – Spring Awakening
- Favorite Onstage Pair, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2007) – Spring Awakening
- Favorite Ensemble Cast, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2007) – Spring Awakening
- Outstanding Performance, Obie Award (2009) – Prayer for My Enemy
- Outstanding Performance, Obie Award (2009) – The Singing Forest
- London Newcomer of the Year, WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award (2011) – Deathtrap
- Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2016) – Hamilton
- Favorite Funny Performance, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2016) – Hamilton
- Favorite Diva Performance, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award (2016) – Hamilton
- Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award (2020) – Little Shop of Horrors