"Just follow your joy. Always. I think that if you do that, life will take you on the course that it's meant to take you."
Jonathan Drew Groff (born March 26, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter, stage, television and film actor who originated the lead role of Melchior Gabor in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, in which he earned a Tony Award nomination in 2007. He also portrayed Claude in the 2008 Off-Broadway revival of Hair. He also received critical acclaim for his role in the West End revival of Deathtrap in 2010. He appears on the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee.
Groff was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1985 to a Methodist mother and a Mennonite father. He has one older brother, named David. He graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003 and was going to attend a university, but he booked his first professional job in a Broadway musical called, In My Life. Of his growing up years, he said, "...they [his parents] never pushed my brother and me to be anything we didn’t want to be." He also said that he was raised with strong Methodist values, but that his parents also taught his brother and him to be happy with what they were doing.
Groff has worked in several areas of fine arts, including theatre, films, CDs, and audiobooks. He has also been nominated for numerous awards, and won in several of them.
Groff's first acting role was a swing/dance captain in the musical In My Life by Joseph Brooks. He understudied the lead part, but he never performed the role.
He originated the role of Melchior Gabor in the 2006-2008 Broadway production of Spring Awakening, where he met his now close friend Lea Michele. Groff also played the same role in the Off Broadway production in the early summer of 2006. In 2007, Groff was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical, and a Drama Desk Award for his role and performance there.
In October 2009, Groff said that he was "gay and proud". The next year, he was seen repeatedly with Zachary Quinto. Two years later, in 2012, Quinto confirmed that he was in a relationship with Groff. However, in July 2013, it was reported that they broke up.
He is close friends with Lea Michele since his audition for a musical in 2005.
Groff is also a first cousin with the fifth-season of The Voice semifinalist, James Wolpert.
- Jonathan Groff says he relates to Kristoff physically because of their stocky builds and as a person because of shared senses of fun and humor.
- He thinks that Josh Gad's performance as Olaf is comparable to Robin Williams' portrayal of Genie in Disney's 1992 animated feature, Aladdin.