Darren Criss

Last updated

Darren Criss
Darren criss at scream queens premiere 2015 (cropped).jpg
Criss in 2015
Born
Darren Everett Criss

(1987-02-05) February 5, 1987 (age 34)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Education University of Michigan (BFA)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1997–present
Spouse(s)
Mia Swier
(m. 2019)
Musical career
Genres
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar, drums, violin, mandolin, harmonica
Years active2005–present
Labels
Associated acts Glee , StarKid Productions, Charlene Kaye, Computer Games

Darren Everett Criss (born February 5, 1987) [1] is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He rose to fame starring on the television series Glee (2010–2015) and received Emmy and Golden Globe acting awards for his leading role as spree killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018). He has also appeared on Broadway and in film and has released several recordings as a soloist and in a band.

Contents

A founding member and co-owner of StarKid Productions, a musical theater company based in Chicago, Criss first garnered attention playing the lead role of Harry Potter in, and writing most of the music and lyrics for, StarKid's musical production of A Very Potter Musical . The theater troupe made Billboard history when their original album, Me and My Dick , became the first charting student-produced musical recording, debuting at number eleven on the Top Cast Albums chart in 2010. [2] Criss has also starred on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and the Angry Inch . In 2015, Criss co-founded Elsie Fest which is touted as "New York City's first outdoor music festival celebrating tunes from the stage and screen". [3]

Criss is best known for his portrayal of Blaine Anderson on the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee from 2010 until 2015. Initially appearing as the lead vocalist of Glee's Dalton Academy Warblers, Criss' first number, a cover version of "Teenage Dream", became the fastest-selling Glee single, reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in the US. The Warblers have sold over 1.3 million tracks, and the soundtrack album, Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers (2011), peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2015 for writing the song "This Time" for the Glee finale.

In March 2017, Criss debuted his indie pop band Computer Games along with his brother Chuck Criss. Their first album, Lost Boys Life EP features four songs written by the duo. [4] The lead single "Every Single Night" debuted at number two on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart. [5] In December 2017, Criss released a five-track solo EP titled Homework. [6] The EP debuted atop the Billboard Heatseekers Chart [7] and at number seven on Billboard's Independent Albums chart. [8]

In addition to his music endeavors, Criss starred in the second installment of Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story . Subtitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018), [9] Criss's portrayal of spree killer Andrew Cunanan received acclaim from critics, and earned him an Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries, or Television Film. Criss became the first Asian American actor to win an Emmy for acting. [10]

Early life and education

Criss was born in San Francisco, California, the youngest child of Cerina and Charles William Criss, an investment banker and a patron of the arts. [1] [11] [12] [13] He has an older brother, Charles "Chuck" Criss, who is a member of the band Freelance Whales. [11] Criss is Eurasian  – his mother, a native of Cebu, Philippines, is of Chinese, Filipino and Spanish descent while his father, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was of English, German, and Irish descent. [14] Criss was raised primarily in San Francisco, apart from 1988 to 1992, when the family resided in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his father, Charles started EastWest Bank, serving as chairman and CEO. [13]

Criss attended Roman Catholic schools. He completed his elementary education at Stuart Hall for Boys, and later graduated from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory in 2005. [15] In 2009, Criss obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, majoring in Theater Performance and minoring in Musicology and Italian. [15] [16]

Musical and theatrical training

Darren Criss at Northalsted Market Days in Chicago Darren Criss at Northalsted Market Days.jpg
Darren Criss at Northalsted Market Days in Chicago

Criss' interest in music started in early childhood; at age five, he began taking violin lessons and was classically trained for the next fifteen years. [15] [17] Criss taught himself how to play other instruments, including guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica, and drums. [18] [19] In high school, Criss immersed himself in music – he held the position of concertmaster in the school orchestra, he fronted his own band, and was voted "most likely to win a Grammy" by his peers. [20] [21] When he was fifteen, Criss began learning music composition and wrote his first song, which he later used as the title track of his first EP Human , released in 2009. [22]

Criss also showed an interest for the performing arts. At age ten, he was accepted into the American Conservatory Theater (Young Conservatory program) where he studied theater performance throughout his formative years. [23] At St Ignatius, he was a member of the performing arts program and acted in work, including, The Music Man , The Diary of Anne Frank , [24] and Fiddler on the Roof . [25] He was active as both an actor and director in the University of Michigan's student-run theater organization Basement Arts. [26] In 2008, he spent a semester abroad studying Italian theater at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy. [27]

Career

Theatre

Criss during Hedwig and the Angry Inch Darren criss on Hedwig and the angry inch.PNG
Criss during Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Debut

Criss made his professional stage debut at the age of ten as Cesario in 42nd Street Moon's production of Fanny (1997), then played Mauro in the Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim musical Do I Hear a Waltz? (1998), and Beauregard Calhoun in Babes in Arms (1999). [28] [29] [30]

Throughout his adolescence, Criss appeared in a number of the American Conservatory Theater's plays, notably A Christmas Carol , A Midsummer Night's Dream , and The Voysey Inheritance . [31] At the University of Michigan, he performed in stage productions such as Pride and Prejudice , A Few Good Men , and The Cripple of Inishmaan . [15]

StarKid Productions

Upon receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009, Criss, along with some friends and classmates from the University of Michigan, co-founded StarKid Productions, a musical theater company. His most prominent acting role with StarKid has been that of Harry Potter in the musical comedies A Very Potter Musical , A Very Potter Sequel , and A Very Potter Senior Year (based on the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K. Rowling). [32] [33] He also co-wrote the music and lyrics for A Very Potter Musical with A.J. Holmes and Me and My Dick with A.J Holmes and Carlos Valdes. He solely wrote the music and lyrics for A Very Potter Sequel and Starship. [34] [35] [36] [37]

Broadway

In January 2012, Criss made his Broadway debut, replacing Daniel Radcliffe in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a three-week engagement at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. [38] His stint there proved to be a success: apart from Daniel Radcliffe's final week, the musical had the three most lucrative weeks of its 11-month run with Criss in the lead role, grossing more than four million dollars. [39]

Criss took on the role of Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch from April 29, 2015, to July 19, 2015, at the Belasco Theater. [40] He headlined the national tour in San Francisco and Los Angeles, from October 2 to November 27, 2016. [41]

Television

Criss as Blaine Anderson with The Dalton Academy Warblers Dalton Academy Warblers.png
Criss as Blaine Anderson with The Dalton Academy Warblers

Debut

Criss started his television career with a five-episode arc playing the character of Josh Burton on Eastwick in 2009. The following year, he appeared in an episode of the series Cold Case . [42]

Glee (2010–2015)

Criss portrayed Blaine Anderson, on the Fox television series Glee . [43] He made his first appearance in season two in the episode "Never Been Kissed", which aired on November 9, 2010. [44]

Blaine attended Dalton Academy and was lead singer of its glee club, The Dalton Academy Warblers. Blaine initially served as a friend and mentor for Kurt, the bullied gay member of the Warblers' rival glee club, New Directions. Chemistry between the two characters, combined with fan support for the potential couple, led series co-creator Ryan Murphy to pair them romantically onscreen. At the beginning of the third season, Blaine transfers to McKinley High and joins New Directions; concurrently, Criss was promoted from recurring guest star to the show's main cast. [45]

In the subsequent seasons, Blaine goes off to college and later returns to Dalton to become the vocal director of the Warblers. In the final season, he marries his long-time love, Kurt. Discussing public response to his character, Criss stated that he particularly enjoyed comments from "people from parts of the world who are maybe not as exposed to certain ideologies", but had reconsidered their stance on relationships and human rights as a result of the Blaine and Kurt storyline. He called this response "phenomenal" and said, "I was a straight kid growing up in a very gay community and it's something that I've had to watch so many friends have to struggle with and have no place to go to identify in kind of a grander media culture. To be a small piece of that machine is incredibly wonderful." [46]

He was nominated for an Emmy Award for writing the song "This Time", [47] one in a handful of the show's original songs over its six-season run, for the Glee finale, "Dreams Come True".

Career post-Glee

In 2017, Criss reunited with Glee creator Ryan Murphy to portray serial killer Andrew Cunanan in the second season of Murphy's anthology series American Crime Story . [48] His performance received acclaim from critics, and earned Criss a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. [49] He also earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television.

On July 10, 2019, it was announced that Criss would be an actor, executive producer, and creator for Royalties , a new show on the streaming service Quibi. Criss is working with previous collaborators Matt and Nick Lang of Team StarKid, who are to co-write the series as well as executive produce. [50] [51] The show is scheduled to be released on June 1, 2020.

On September 6, 2019, it was announced that Criss would be an actor and executive producer for Hollywood , released on Netflix on May 1, 2020.

Film debut

Criss signing autographs during the premiere of Girl Most Likely Girl Most Likely 33.jpg
Criss signing autographs during the premiere of Girl Most Likely

On September 7, 2012, Criss made his feature film debut in the comedy Girl Most Likely . It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and was released nationwide on July 19, 2013. Previously titled Imogene, the film starred Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, and Matt Dillon. [52] [53]

Music

Solo artist (2005–present)

Criss began his solo music career while attending the University of Michigan. Playing in small venues, he developed his own musical repertoire which today consists of standards from the Great American Songbook, contemporary songs, Disney songs, and his own compositions. [54] [55]

On July 20, 2010, Criss released an independently produced EP called Human . [56] Describing his album as "soul-folk" to Entertainment Weekly , it peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart. [57] [58] On December 10, 2010, Criss became the 400,000th member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). [59] In April 2011, he signed with Sony Music Entertainment. [60] He is in the process of recording a full-length studio album, with a release date yet to be determined. [61]

In January 2013, Criss performed for US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden at the inaugural balls of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. [62] [63]

During a benefit concert for public school arts on April 14, 2013, Criss was made an honorary member of Yale University's a cappella singing group The Whiffenpoofs. [64] [65]

Criss' first solo music tour visited 17 cities in the United States, Canada, and France from May 29–June 30, 2013, and included songs from Glee, StarKid, his Human EP, and new material from his upcoming solo album. [66] [67]

StarKid Productions (2009–present)

Criss is credited as one of the primary songwriters and composers for StarKid Productions. He has contributed songs to A Very Potter Musical , Me and My Dick (which became the first-ever student-produced college musical to reach Billboard , debuting at No. 11 on the Top Cast Albums chart), Little White Lie, and A Very Potter Senior Year . Subsequently, Criss solely composed all the songs and music for A Very Potter Sequel , its companion album A Very StarKid Album , and Starship , which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums chart, and at No. 134 on the Billboard 200 chart. [68] [69] [70]

In November 2011, Criss participated in StarKid's first national concert tour, The SPACE Tour, for the New York and Boston shows, and, in the summer of 2012, he joined them again for their second national tour, Apocalyptour, for the Los Angeles and New York shows. [71] [72]

Glee (2010–2015)

Criss performing as Blaine Anderson Blaine Glee Tour Raise.jpg
Criss performing as Blaine Anderson

As Blaine, Criss features in many musical performances on Glee, which have been released as singles, available for download. His first performance, "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry, was featured on the soundtrack album Glee: The Music, Volume 4 . [73] It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week ending November 27, 2010, [74] and number one on the Billboard Digital Songs chart. [75]

It was the best-selling song in the US that week, selling 214,000 copies, the largest figure for a Glee title. [76] It was only the second US-certified gold single in the show's history. [77] Both Billboard 's Jillian Mapes and Erica Futterman of Rolling Stone deemed "Teenage Dream" the best song of "Never Been Kissed", the episode in which it featured. [78] [79]

The New York Daily News 's Anthony Benigno gave the song an "A", and noted that it was "flawless" and improved on Perry's original. [80] The performance was nominated for the Best Gay Moment of the Year and Favorite Music Video awards at the 2010 AfterElton.com Visibility Awards. [81] A Billboard cover-feature on Criss noted that the performance "arguably ushered in the trend of more current pop hits being reworked by the [Glee] cast." [82]

Later songs performed by Blaine and the Warblers became popular enough to warrant a Warbler soundtrack album, Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers . [83] It debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Billboard 's Soundtracks chart, selling 86,000 copies in its first week. [84] [85] The Warbler tracks had sold over 1.3 million copies as singles by the time the album was released. [86]

From May 21–July 3, 2011, Criss and the cast of Glee performed in Glee Live! In Concert!, touring the US, Canada, England, and Ireland. According to Billboard , it was the 16th most successful concert tour of 2011, grossing more than $40 million, with total attendance topping 485,000. All 40 dates sold out, including shows at Staples Center, Nassau Coliseum, and The O2 Arenas in London and Dublin. [87] [88]

For Season 6 of Glee, Criss composed "Rise" for the episode "The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester" and "This Time" for the series finale. [89] [90] Criss was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for writing "This Time". [91]

Media appearances

Criss has appeared on the magazine covers of Billboard, [92] Entertainment Weekly , [93] Out , [94] Playbill , [95] TV Guide , [96] Da Man, [97] GT , [98] Prestige , [99] and Essential Homme. [100] Criss is featured in the fall ad campaign (2011) for Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing line. [101] Criss was named one of People 's Sexiest Men Alive (2011), [102] and was ranked No. 1 on AfterElton's "Hot 100" list (2011 & 2012), [103] [104] and No. 1 on GQ Magazine's "30 Under 30: The Most Stylish Young Men In Hollywood" list (2012). [105]

Other projects

Criss is an investor and partner of The Motley, a California-based men's grooming e-tailer. [106]

Criss is a co-founder of Elsie Fest, a music festival which features Broadway and pop music acts. The first annual show was held on September 27, 2015, in New York City. [107]

Advocacy and charity work

Criss is an advocate for LGBT rights, and is an active supporter of The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Criss is the recipient of Variety's Power of Youth Philanthropy award for his contributions to The Trevor Project. [108] [109] [110]

Criss has been a spokesperson for various organizations, including Rock the Vote and the Foundation for New American Musicals. [111] [112]

Criss recorded the Bob Dylan song "New Morning", featuring his brother, Chuck Criss, for Amnesty International. It was part of the compilation album Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International , released on January 24, 2012. [113]

Criss has performed at various charity benefits including American Conservatory Theater, AIDS Project Los Angeles, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Toys for Tots, City of Hope National Medical Center, Motion Picture & Television Fund, Public School Arts, MusiCares Foundation, The Old Vic, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Young Storytellers Foundation, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. [114]

Personal life

In January 2018, Criss announced he was engaged to Mia Swier, his girlfriend of seven and a half years. [115] [116] They married on February 16, 2019. [117]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2005I Adora You [118] JoshShort film, minor role
2009Walker Phillips [119] ElliottShort film
2010 The Chicago 8 [120] Yippee ManMinor role
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Blaine Anderson Concert documentary
2012 Girl Most Likely LeeFeature film debut
2013 The Wind Rises KatayamaVoice-over role
2013 The Tale of the Princess Kaguya SutemaruVoice-over role
2014 Stan Lee's Mighty 7 MicroVoice-over role
2015 Wrestling Isn't Wrestling Theatre Audience MemberShort film
2019 Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael Voice; direct-to-video [121]
2019 Midway Commander Eugene E. Lindsey
2020 Superman: Man of Tomorrow Clark Kent/Superman Voice; direct-to-video
2021 Justice Society: World War II Clark Kent/Superman (Earth-1); "Shakespeare"/Clark Kent/Superman (Earth-2) Voice; direct-to-video

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
2009 Eastwick Josh BurtonRecurring role, 5 episodes
Little White Lie [122] Toby Phillips11 episodes; also co-songwriter and musical producer
2010 Cold Case Ruben HarrisEpisode: "Free Love"
2010–15 Glee Blaine Anderson Recurring role (Season 2); 14 episodes
Main role (seasons 3–6) [123]
2011 Archer Mikey and TommyVoice (episode: "Placebo Effect")
Life of Leopold [124] Leopold BonarLead, voice role
2011–12 The Glee Project Himself4 episodes
2012Glee: Don't Stop BelievingHimselfDocumentary on Glee
The Cleveland Show [125] HunterVoice (episode: "Jesus Walks")
2013 Web Therapy Augie Sayles3 episodes
2013 Teen Choice Awards Co-hostCo-hosted with Lucy Hale
Six by Sondheim Franklin Shepard HBO documentary
2014 Whose Line Is It Anyway? HimselfEpisode: "Darren Criss"
2015–17 Transformers: Robots in Disguise Sideswipe [126] Voice role [127]
2015 American Horror Story: Hotel JustinRecurring role, 2 episodes
2016Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Turtles Take Time (and Space)
Raphael Short (voice role)
Hairspray Live! HimselfTelevision special, NBC
2017 Supergirl [128] Music Meister Episode: "Star-Crossed"
The Flash [128] Music Meister Episode: "Duet"
2018 The Assassination of Gianni Versace:
American Crime Story
Andrew Cunanan 9 episodes
2020 Saturday Night Seder HimselfTelevision special
The Disney Family Singalong HimselfTelevision special
Hollywood Raymond Ainsley7 episodes; also executive producer
Royalties Pierce10 episodes; also executive producer
Wayward GuideRyan ReynoldsSeries regular
2021 Trese MarcoVoice role [129]
Rick and Morty Bruce ChutbackVoice (episode: "Amortycan Grickfitti")

Theatre

YearTitleRoleVenueNotes
1997 Fanny [130] Cesario 42nd Street Moon productionStage debut
1998 Do I Hear a Waltz? [131] Mauro
1999 Babes in Arms [132] Beauregard Calhoun
2005Shed a Little Light: The Music of James Taylor [133] [134] Singer and Musician American Conservatory Theater
2006Paper Canoes [135] [136] [137] SalmonZeitgeist Artworks production
2009 A Very Potter Musical [138] Harry Potter StarKid Productions Lead role, Co-songwriter and composer [139]
2009 Me and My Dick [140] Italian restaurant ownerCameo (voice only), Co-songwriter and composer, guitarist [141]
2010 A Very Potter Sequel [142] Harry Potter Lead role, Sole songwriter and composer, Co-producer [143]
2012 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying [38] J. Pierrepont Finch Broadway Broadway debut; Lead role
2012 A Very Potter Senior Year Harry Potter StarKid Productions Lead role, Co-songwriter and composer
2015 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig Robinson Broadway Lead role

Web

YearTitleRoleNotes
2008That Media Show [144] Presenter3 episodes (No. 1, No. 2, No. 5)
Series about Hollywood, filmmaking, and visual effects. [144]
2012Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards [145] Host13th annual award.
2015 Tony Awards Red Carpet [146] Co-hostCo-hosted with Laura Osnes and Sierra Boggess
2016Countdown to Hairspray Live! [147] Co-hostCo-hosted with Kristin Chenoweth and Martin Short.

Musical performances

YearEventLocationNotes
2010–2013Trevor LiveLos AngelesBenefit for The Trevor Project. In 2010, Criss sang "Not Alone" and "Teenage Dream" with Glee's Dalton Academy Warblers and Katy Perry, in 2011, he sang Tom Jones' hit, "It's Not Unusual", in 2012 he sang an acoustic version of Katy Perry's "Part of Me", and in 2013, he co-sang lead, with the cast of Glee, the Charlie Chaplin song '"Smile". [148] [149]
2011 MusiCares Person of the Year Los AngelesCriss and Glee's Dalton Academy Warblers performed for Barbra Streisand, in honor of her being named MusiCares Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation. [150]
2011 Glee Live! In Concert! US, Canada, England, IrelandThe 16th most successful concert tour of 2011, grossing more than $40 million, with total attendance topping 485,000. All 40 dates sold out, including shows at Staples Center, Nassau Coliseum, and The O2 Arenas in London and Dublin. [87] [88]
2011 ASCAP Pop Music AwardsLos AngelesCriss paid tribute to Rod Stewart by singing a ballad version of Stewart's song "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", while accompanying himself on piano. [151] [152]
2011 Billboard / Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music ConferenceLos AngelesCriss honored composer Alan Menken with a medley of his own Disney songs, singing alongside Broadway star Lea Salonga. [153]
2011 The SPACE Tour New York & Boston StarKid Productions' first national concert tour. Majority of songs performed were written and composed by Criss. [154]
2011Sing Out, Raise Hope, Benefit ConcertNew YorkCriss performed at Lincoln Center with the a cappella singing groups of Harvard University's Krokodiloes, Princeton University's Nassoons, and Yale University's The Whiffenpoofs, at a benefit concert for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and The Trevor Project. [155]
2012 E! Entertainment pre-Oscar ShowLos AngelesCriss sang "The Rainbow Connection" with Kermit the Frog for the pre-show of the 84th Academy Awards. [156]
2012 Apocalyptour New York & Los Angeles StarKid Productions' second national concert tour. [157]
2012Fundraiser for Barack Obama Los AngelesCriss performed for the President of the United States at an LGBT-sponsored campaign fundraising gala. [158]
2013 57th Presidential Inauguration Washington, D.C.
2013Listen Up TourUS, Canada & FranceCriss headlined his first solo music tour, which visited 18 cities from May 29–June 30. The set included songs from Glee , StarKid, his Human EP, and new material from his upcoming solo album. [66] [67]
2013 A Capitol Fourth Washington, D.C.Criss co-headlined the 4th of July celebration concert on the National Mall. [163]
2014Michael Feinstein's New Year's Eve at the Rainbow RoomNew YorkCriss co-sang with Michael Feinstein a medley of Frank Sinatra songs.
2016Broadway Today with Darren Criss and Betsy WolfeWashington, D.C., N.Y.C, TorontoCriss co-headlined with Betsy Wolfe a Broadway-themed concert tour, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Reineke. Performances were held at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Roy Thomson Hall.
2016 The Little Mermaid in ConcertLos AngelesCriss co-headlined the concert at the Hollywood Bowl, playing the part of "Prince Eric". [164]
* Note: This is a selection of Criss' musical performances, not a complete list.

Discography

Solo
EP's
Glee albums

StarKid Productions albums

Independent songs

Computer Games

Music videos

Tours

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
2011 Variety Magazine Power of Youth Philanthropy The Trevor Project Won [110]
Dorian Awards We're Wilde About You / Rising Star Award Glee Won [166]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout StarWon [167]
NewNowNext Awards Brink of Fame: ActorWon [168]
BroadwayWorld – Chicago AwardsBest New Work/New Adaptation Starship Won [169]
2012 BroadwayWorld – Chicago AwardsBest Special Theatrical Event A Very Potter Senior Year Won [170]
Broadway.com AwardFavorite Replacement How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Won [171]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Glee Nominated [172]
2013 Dorian Award TV Musical Performance of the YearNominated [173]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated [174]
Shorty Awards Best Producers of Short Content on Social MediaHimselfNominated [175]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic TV Actor Glee Nominated [176]
Favorite TV Bromance (with Chord Overstreet)Nominated
Favorite On-Screen Chemistry (with Chris Colfer)Nominated
2015 Broadway.com AwardFavorite Replacement Hedwig and the Angry Inch Won [177]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics "This Time" – Glee Nominated [91]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Song – TV Show/Digital SeriesWon [178]
Giffoni Film Festival Experience AwardOverall workWon [179]
2017Los Angeles Drama Critics CircleLead PerformanceHedwig and the Angry InchNominated
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Performance in a Show The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Won
TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Won [180]

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Kurt Elizabeth Hummel is a fictional character from the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. Series creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan initially conceived of him as a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school. Kurt is portrayed by actor Chris Colfer, and has appeared as a character on the show since its pilot episode, first broadcast on May 19, 2009. Glee follows the trials of the New Directions glee club at the fictional William McKinley High School in the town of Lima, Ohio, of which Kurt is a member. His storylines in the first season focus on his struggle with his sexuality as he comes out to his father and friends, and deals with his romantic feelings for Finn Hudson, the straight co-captain of the glee club.

StarKid Productions, also known as Team StarKid, is an American musical theatre company founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan by Darren Criss, Brian Holden, Matt Lang, and Nick Lang. Originally known for the viral success of their first musical, A Very Potter Musical, a parody of the Harry Potter series, the troupe primarily produces musical comedies inspired by pop culture, with original scripts, songs and music. StarKid distributes their musicals for free on YouTube, with recent projects being funded by Kickstarter and physical ticket sales.

"Never Been Kissed" is the sixth episode of the second season of the American television series Glee, and the twenty-eighth episode overall. It was written by Brad Falchuk, directed by Bradley Buecker and premiered on Fox on November 9, 2010. In "Never Been Kissed", the glee club members are assigned a boys against girls singing competition. The bullying of club member Kurt Hummel intensifies, but he meets a new ally in Blaine Anderson, the lead singer of a rival glee club. Puck is released from juvenile detention and forms a friendship with Artie Abrams, and football coach Sheldon Beiste is hurt when he learns that several of the students are visualizing him to quell their amorous moods.

<i>Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album</i> soundtrack album by the cast of the American television series Glee

Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album is the fourth soundtrack album by the cast of the American musical television series Glee. The album was released on November 9, 2010 and accompanies the season two Christmas episode "A Very Glee Christmas", aired December 7, 2010. Dante Di Loreto and Brad Falchuk serve as the album's executive producers. Critical reception has been mixed, with the majority of professional reviews praising the cover version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" performed by Chris Colfer and guest star Darren Criss, as well as the vocals of Lea Michele and Amber Riley, but questioning the arrangements of some other tracks. The album debuted at the top position of the Billboard Soundtracks chart, as well as peaking at number three on the Billboard 200.

<i>A Very Potter Musical</i> (album) 2009 cast recording by StarKid Productions

The A Very Potter Musical album contains the songs from the Harry Potter parody musical A Very Potter Musical, produced by StarKid Productions with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and A.J. Holmes, and book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Brian Holden. It was recorded by the musical's cast and was released digitally through the group's official site in 2009 and later on their Bandcamp site on July 29, 2010.

<i>A Very StarKid Album</i> 2010 compilation album by StarKid Productions

A Very StarKid Album contains several songs from the musical A Very Potter Sequel, sequel to the Harry Potter parody musical A Very Potter Musical, produced by StarKid Productions with music and lyrics by Darren Criss, and book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Brian Holden. The album features seven of the twelve songs from A Very Potter Sequel as well as tracks from others members of the group. Songs from the musical that were absent from the album were later released as the A Very Potter Sequel soundtrack. The album was released digitally through iTunes and Amazon.com on July 22, 2010, and was made available on the StarKid Productions Bandcamp page on August 3, 2010. The album reached No. 14 on the iTunes Pop Charts and No. 27 out of all Top Albums officially topping Lady Gaga (#29) and Glee (#31) on the charts. The album also reached No. 19 on Top Compilations.

<i>A Very Potter Sequel</i> (EP) 2010 cast recording (EP) by StarKid Productions

The A Very Potter Sequel cast extended play (EP) contains songs from the musical A Very Potter Sequel, sequel to the Harry Potter parody musical A Very Potter Musical, produced by StarKid Productions with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Brian Holden, that were not released on A Very StarKid Album. The EP was released digitally on July 31, 2010, through the group's Bandcamp site.

Me and My Dick contains the songs from the musical Me and My Dick, produced by StarKid Productions with music and lyrics by A.J. Holmes, Carlos Valdes, and Darren Criss, and book by Eric Kahn Gale, Brian Holden, Matt Lang, and Nick Lang. It was recorded by the musical's cast and was released digitally on January 6, 2010, through iTunes. The soundtrack became the first-ever student-produced college musical to reach Billboard, debuting at No. 11 on the Top Cast Albums chart.

<i>Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers</i> 2011 soundtrack album by Glee Cast

Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers is the seventh soundtrack album by the cast of Glee, a musical comedy-drama television series that aired on Fox in the United States. Released through Columbia Records on April 19, 2011, it contains thirteen covers: eleven accompanying performances from the series' second season and two exclusive to the album. Performers are portrayed on Glee as the fictional Dalton Academy Warblers, an all-male high school glee club from Westerville, Ohio. Darren Criss serves as lead vocalist, with Chris Colfer singing lead on one track and co-lead on a couple of others, while the Beelzebubs, an all-male a cappella group from Tufts University, provide background vocals. Dante Di Loreto and Brad Falchuk serve as the album's executive producers, and its tracks have collectively sold over 1.3 million copies.

<i>Starship</i> (album) 2011 cast recording by StarKid Productions

The Starship album contains the songs from the musical of the same name produced by StarKid Productions, with music and lyrics by Darren Criss, and book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Brian Holden, and Joe Walker. It was recorded by the musical's cast and was released digitally on April 30, 2011 through iTunes and Amazon.com. The album debuted at No. 134 on Billboard 200 and No. 1 for Top Cast Albums. The album also reached No. 4 on iTunes.

<i>A Very Potter Sequel</i>

A Very Potter Sequel is a musical with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and a book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Brian Holden. The story is a parody, based on several of the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, as well as their film counterparts.

<i>A Very Potter Musical</i>

A Very Potter Musical is a musical with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and A. J. Holmes and a book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Brian Holden. The story is a parody, based on several of the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, as well as their film adaptations.

<i>Human</i> (Darren Criss EP) 2010 EP by Darren Criss

Human is the debut EP released by singer-songwriter Darren Criss. Criss independently produced the EP and it was released digitally on July 20, 2010. The EP reached No. 17 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. As of April 2013, the EP has sold 27,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielson SoundScan.

The Dalton Academy Warblers

The Dalton Academy Warblers are a fictional a cappella glee club from the private school Dalton Academy, located in Westerville, Ohio. They were first introduced in the Glee television episode "Never Been Kissed". The episode also introduced recurring guest star Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson, lead singer and junior member of the group. Performing a cover version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" with Criss on lead vocals, the actors who portrayed the Warblers lip synced to background vocals provided by the Beelzebubs, an all-male a cappella group from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, who did not appear onscreen.

<i>The SPACE Tour</i> (album) 2012 live album by StarKid Productions

The SPACE Tour live album contains the songs from the tour of the same name by StarKid Productions. It was recorded at the tour's last concert at the Gramercy Theatre, New York City on November 27, 2011. The album features live performances of songs from the group's previous productions, and was released digitally on March 13, 2012 through iTunes and Amazon.com. A physical compact disc was later released on March 23, 2012.

<i>Apocalyptour</i> (album) 2012 live album by StarKid Productions

The Apocalyptour live album contains the songs from the tour of the same name by StarKid Productions. It was recorded at one of three concerts at the House of Blues, Los Angeles in May 2012. The album features live performances of songs from the group's previous productions, and was released digitally on October 2, 2012 through iTunes and Amazon.com. A physical compact disc was released on the same day via the Ann Arbor T-shirt Company.

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