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About Darren Criss
Actor/musician Darren Criss joined the cast of Glee in November 2010. Originally hired as a guest star, he became a series regular several weeks after his first episode, when the Glee version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" -- featuring Criss on lead vocals, with backup harmonies from collegiate a cappella group the Beelzebubs -- became the show's first single to top the digital charts.
Born in 1987, Criss spent his childhood working as a professional stage actor in San Francisco and playing music with his brother, Chuck Criss, who later joined Freelance Whales. Darren enrolled at the University of Michigan in 2004, where he studied acting and helped found a student-run theater troupe named Team StarKid. A Very Potter Musical, a musical comedy that spoofed the Harry Potter franchise and starred Criss in the titular role, became Team StarKid's most popular show, racking up more than 25 million views on YouTube and catapulting Criss (who'd also written most of the music) into the spotlight. After graduating in 2009, he starred in five episodes of ABC's Eastwick, made a guest appearance on Cold Case, and reprised his role as Harry in the YouTube sequel A Very Potter Sequel, which also featured music and lyrics by Criss. He also released a self-produced EP, Human, several months before his Glee debut. It reached number 17 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart after his November 2010 premiere on the show.
Criss ended up staying on at Glee through the series finale in March 2015. In the meantime, he did guest spots on shows such as Archer, The Cleveland Show, and the Showtime comedy Web Therapy. His film roles during that period included 2012's Girl Most Likely with Kristen Wiig, 2013's A Very Potter Senior Year (the final installment of the YouTube trilogy), and the 2014 animated TV movie Stan Lee's Mighty 7. He made his Broadway debut in January 2012 when he replaced Daniel Radcliffe as lead actor in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a three-week stint.
After Glee ended its run in March 2015, Criss returned to Broadway for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, playing Hedwig for a span of four months. He reprised the role in 2016 for California stops along the national tour. Meanwhile, amidst frequent TV voice work, he could be seen in episodes of American Horror Story, Supergirl, and The Flash. In December 2017, Criss the singer/songwriter released his second EP, Homework, an introspective set written and recorded mostly at his home. ~ Andrew Leahey & Marcy Donelson
- San Francisco, CA
- 5 Feb 1987
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