Josh Gad

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Josh Gad
41st Annie Awards, Josh Gad (crop).jpg
Gad at the 41st Annie Awards in 2014
Joshua Ilan Gad

(1981-02-23) February 23, 1981 (age 40)
Education Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)
OccupationActor, singer
Years active2002–present
Ida Darvish
(m. 2008)

Joshua Ilan Gad [1] (born February 23, 1981) [2] is an American actor and singer. He is known for voicing Olaf in the Frozen franchise, playing Elder Arnold Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon , and LeFou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast . For his role as Olaf, Gad won two Annie Awards, and for his work in The Book of Mormon, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.


Gad played Skip Gilchrist in the political sitcom 1600 Penn on NBC, and a fictionalized version of himself on FX's The Comedians , alongside Billy Crystal. His other film roles include The Rocker , The Internship , 21 , Love & Other Drugs , Jobs , Pixels , The Wedding Ringer , The Angry Birds Movie and its sequel, A Dog's Purpose and sequel A Dog's Journey , Marshall , and Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express . He will star in the upcoming Netflix movie Super-Normal. He has also appeared in ER , The Daily Show , Modern Family , New Girl , Bored to Death , and Numb3rs . In 2020, he began starring in the HBO comedy series Avenue 5 .

Early life

Joshua Ilan Gad was born in Hollywood, Florida, on February 23, 1981. [2] His mother, Susan, [3] is a real estate agent and his stepfather is an investment advisor, and he has two older brothers, a stepbrother and a stepsister. [1] He was raised Jewish [4] [5] as his father Sam (Shmuel) Gad is a Jewish emigrant from Afghanistan and his mother, who was born in Germany, is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. [6] [7] [8] [9]

Gad attended the University School of Nova Southeastern University, graduating in 1999. While there, he won the National Forensics League (NFL) National Tournament Championships for Original Oratory in 1998, and for Humorous Interpretation and Original Oratory in 1999. [10] He then attended the Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama. He attended college with fellow Broadway stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Rory O’Malley, the latter of whom he based his portrayal of Olaf in Frozen on. [11] During this time, he undertook a semester-long exchange at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. [12]


2002–2008: Early career

Gad made his film debut in the 2002 film Mary and Joe. In 2005, Gad made his television debut by guest starring in an episode of the NBC medical drama series ER. Gad went on to star in the Fox sitcom Back to You as news director Ryan Church. The sitcom lasted one season from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, Gad had a supporting role in the drama film 21 , and a leading role in the comedy film The Rocker .

2008–2012: The Book of Mormon and minor success on television

Gad at the 2010 Streamy Awards Streamy Awards Photo 1309 (4513298027).jpg
Gad at the 2010 Streamy Awards

After Back to You, Gad appeared as a correspondent on The Daily Show on May 5, 2009, and became a regular correspondent on June 2, 2009. [13] His signature segments include "The War on Christmas", in which he played an oversexed Benjamin Franklin, and "Chubby Chasers", in which he reported on Michelle Obama's efforts to curb childhood obesity. [14] Gad made his final appearance as a correspondent on June 27, 2011. [15] Also in 2009, Gad starred in the short-form Crackle horror comedy series Woke Up Dead .

In 2010, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy-drama film Love & Other Drugs opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. That same year, Gad had a voice role in the family comedy film Marmaduke. In 2011, Gad voiced Mondo in the MTV adult animated sitcom Good Vibes. That same year, Gad portrayed Elder Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. The show opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011. [16] His last performance was June 6, 2012. Gad was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, along with his co-star Andrew Rannells. [17]

In 2012, Gad had a leading role in the independent film She Wants Me . Also in 2012, Gad co-created, produced and starred in the NBC sitcom 1600 Penn . Both Good Vibes and 1600 Penn were canceled after one season. That same year, Gad voiced the molehog Louis in Ice Age: Continental Drift.

2013–2019: Frozen franchise and continued success

In 2013, he played Andrew in the film The Internship and starred as Steve Wozniak in the film Jobs . The same year, he voiced Olaf in the Disney film Frozen , re-collaborating with co-songwriter Robert Lopez from The Book of Mormon. In 2014, Gad co-starred in Zach Braff's film Wish I Was Here , playing the main character's brother. [18]

In 2015, Gad starred alongside Kevin Hart and Kaley Cuoco in The Wedding Ringer and starred alongside Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in Pixels, a film about video game players who are recruited by the military to fight 1980s-era video game characters who have attacked the earth. [19] That same year, Gad co-starred with Billy Crystal on the FX comedy series The Comedians , which premiered on April 9, 2015. [20] The series was canceled after one season. In 2016, Gad voiced Chuck in The Angry Birds Movie , based on the game franchise of the same name.

In 2017, Gad voiced the dog Bailey in A Dog's Purpose , [21] [22] Also that year, he played LeFou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast , directed by Bill Condon and co-starring with Emma Watson. [23] Gad also starred in Reginald Hudlin's biographical drama Marshall , alongside Chadwick Boseman and Beauty and the Beast co-star Dan Stevens, and Gad played Hector MacQueen in a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel Murder on the Orient Express , directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, alongside Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley.

In 2019, Gad starred with Lupita Nyong'o and Alexander England in the Hulu horror-comedy Little Monsters . [24] He also starred in A Dog's Journey , the sequel to A Dog's Purpose, reprising his role as Bailey. Also in 2019, Gad reprised his role of Olaf in the sequel Frozen II as well as the video game Kingdom Hearts III .

2020–present: Expanding ventures

In 2020, Gad returned to television by starring in two different television series. First, Gad starred in the HBO science fiction comedy series Avenue 5 opposite Hugh Laurie. The series premiered on January 19 and was renewed for a second season a month later. [25] Second, Gad created, produced and starred in the Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series Central Park. The series received a two-season order from Apple with each season set to consist of thirteen episodes each. The series premiered on May 29.

He starred in the science fantasy adventure Artemis Fowl (2020), based on the book of the same name by Eoin Colfer. The film was initially set for a theatrical release but was changed to a streaming release on Disney+ due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September 2020 Gad joined Princess Bride Reunion, a virtual live script read-through of the 1987 movie, in the role of Fezzik, originally played by the late André the Giant. The A.V. Club's review singled out his performance as "Josh Gad’s surprisingly moving Andre the Giant tribute... It was an impression in the gentlest, sweetest sense of the word, something remarked on repeatedly by the rest of the cast and host/moderator Patton Oswalt. 10s across the board." [26]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, where people were encouraged to practice social distancing, Gad launched the YouTube series Reunited Apart , which reunites the cast, via video conferencing, of several popular movies and movie series including Back to The Future and Lord of the Rings . The series encourages its viewers to support non-profit charities such as Dig Deep, Project Hope and No Kid Hungry. [27] In June, Gad announced that the episode on Ferris Bueller's Day Off would be the last, [28] though the series later returned for a second season, which premiered in December 2020 with the cast of Wayne's World . [29]

Gad is set to serve as co-creator, co-writer, and executive-producer for a Beauty and the Beast prequel limited series for Disney+, in which he will also reprise his role as LeFou as a series regular. [30] Gad was also announced to star as Nick Szalinski in the upcoming film Shrunk , a legacy-sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids . [31]

Personal life

Gad married actress Ida Darvish on May 10, 2008. They have two daughters, Ava, who was born on December 1, 2010 and Isabella, who was born on February 17, 2014. [32] [33] Gad has stated that while he loves the traditional aspects of Judaism and celebrates some traditions of his wife's Catholicism, he considers himself spiritual but not religious. [4]



2002Mary and JoeAngel
2007 Watching the Detectives Mark
2008 21 Miles
2008 The Rocker Matt
2009 Crossing Over Howie
2009The Lost Nomads: Get Lost 22Gigi
Miss Piggy
Jose Sanchez
The Clown
Spatula Lover
2009Big GuyRodney
2010 Marmaduke Bandana Dog (voice)
2010 Love & Other Drugs Josh Randall
2011 Mardi Gras: Spring Break Bartholomew T. "Bump" Brown
2012 She Wants Me Sam Baum
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Louis (voice)
2012 Thanks for Sharing Neil
2013 Jobs Steve Wozniak
2013 The Internship Andrew "Headphones" Anderson
2013 Frozen Olaf (voice) Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2014 Wish I Was Here Noah Bloom
2015 The Wedding Ringer Doug HarrisNominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2015 Frozen Fever Olaf (voice)Short film
2015 Pixels Ludlow LamonsoffNominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Chuck (voice) [34]
2017 A Dog's Purpose Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy (voice)
2017 Beauty and the Beast LeFou
2017 Marshall Sam Friedman
2017 Murder on the Orient Express Hector MacQueen
2017 Olaf's Frozen Adventure Olaf (voice)Television special
2019 Little Monsters [35] Nathan Schneider/Teddy McGiggle
2019 A Dog's Journey Bailey/Molly/Big Dog/Max (voice) [36]
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Chuck (voice)
2019 Frozen II Olaf (voice) Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2020 Artemis Fowl Mulch Diggums
2020 Once Upon a Snowman Olaf (voice)Main role; short film


2005 ER Sgt. Bruce LarabeeEpisode: "Here and There"
2007–08 Back to You Ryan ChurchMain role; 17 episodes
2008 American Dad! Art (voice)Episode: "Pulling Double Booty"
2008, 2009 Numb3rs Roy McGill2 episodes
2009Waiting to DieSimonMovie
2009No HeroicsHorseforceMovie
2009 Party Down Jeffrey EllsEpisode: "California College Conservative Union Caucus"
2009–11 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Himself (correspondent)5 episodes
2010 Bored to Death WarrenEpisode: "Make It Quick, Fitzgerald!"
2011 The Cleveland Show Droopy / Pimp (voice)Episode: "Our Gang"
2011 Californication Doctor2 episodes
2011Gigi: Almost AmericanGigi10 episodes
Also executive producer
2011, 2020 Modern Family Kenneth Ploufe2 episodes: "Punkin Chunkin" and "Dead on a Rival"
2011 Good Vibes Mondo (voice)Main role; 12 episodes
2012–13 1600 Penn Skip GilchristMain role; 13 episodes; also co-creator and executive producer
2012–15 New Girl Bearclaw 3 episodes: "Katie", "Birthday", "Walk of Shame"
2013 Hollywood Game Night HimselfEpisode: "America's Got Game Night"
2014 Monsters vs. Aliens Internet (voice)Episode: "Bride of the Internet"
2015 The Comedians JoshMain role
2015 Sesame Street Vincent Van StopEpisode: "Bert's Sign Painting Challenge [37]
2015 Phineas and Ferb Wendell (voice)2 episodes
2015 TripTank Louis (voice)1 episode
2015 Jeopardy! HimselfCelebrity contestant [38]
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself / Donald TrumpEpisode: "Josh Gad vs. Kaley Cuoco"
2016 Sofia the First Olaf (voice)Episode: "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle"
2016LEGO Frozen Northern LightsOlaf (voice)Special
2016 Talking Dead HimselfGuest
2017 Star Wars Rebels Controller (voice)Episode: "Double Agent Droid"
2017 South Park Marcus Preston / Ms. McGullicutty (voices)Episode: "Hummels & Heroin"
Also producer
2018 Bob's Burgers Damon (voice)Episode: "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"
2019 The Ellen DeGeneres Show HimselfGuest host
2020–present Avenue 5 Herman JuddMain cast
2020 At Home with Olaf Olaf (voice)Main role
2020–present Central Park Birdie (voice)Main cast; also co-creator and executive producer
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride Grandson [39] Episode: "Chapter One: As You Wish" [40]

Video games

YearTitleVoice roles
2012 MIB: Alien Crisis Emilio Chauncey, Handsome Guest, Khnemu
2013 Frozen: Olaf's Quest Olaf
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 [41]
2019 Kingdom Hearts III


2009 Woke Up Dead Matt21 episodes
2013 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show Himself / GuestEpisode: "163"
2019–presentBlood TiesMichael Richland Radio Drama/Podcast
2020–present Reunited Apart HostWeb Series


2005 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee William Barfée (Replacement) Circle in the Square Theatre
2011 The Book of Mormon Elder Cunningham (Original Broadway Cast) Eugene O'Neill Theatre

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