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Matthew Morrison is an American actor who was in the long-running Broadway show Hairspray and is now featured on the hit television series Glee.
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He even tried his hand at soap operas, appearing on As the World Turns in 2006.
Still, Morrison remained primarily a stage actor. In early 2004, he left the cast of Hairspray, and a year later starred in the original musical Light in the Piazza. Morrison starred as Fabrizio Naccarelli, a young Italian man, who falls in love with an American tourist. The musical, by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel, netted several Tony Award nominations,
including Morrison's first nod for Best Actor Featured in a Musical. To prepare for the role, Morrison "met with friends who spoke fluent Italian, and even some Italian natives. I just wanted to be enveloped in the language. Then I had to work really hard on my voice to get the sound that they wanted for this show," he explained to the nyctourist.com website.
Morrison soon appeared in another original musical, 10 Million Miles, off-Broadway in 2007. Based on the songs of Patty Griffin, the show follows a mechanic named Duane as he goes on a road trip with his former girlfriend Molly. Morrison liked playing Duane, explaining to Paper magazine that "it was kind of a different character that I haven't played before so I was excited for the challenge—I've always kind of played the secondary character in shows and stuff and its kind of a change to be at the forefront of things." Around this time, Morrison got engaged to actress Chrishell Stause. The couple later split.
In 2008, Morrison moved to another starring role, this time in the Broadway revival of Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers' South Pacific. He then landed his most famous role to date on the musical comedy series Glee the following year. The show explores the misadventures of a high school glee club. Morrison plays Will Schuester, a teacher who heads up the much-maligned club.
"If I could have created a TV show for myself, this would have been it. So this is a dream job for me," Morrison explained to Parade magazine. "It's great to see the crossover of Broadway on television. Actually, when I auditioned, I didn't try to belt out a big show-stopper. I came in and sang 'Over the Rainbow' accompanying myself on the ukulele. I guess it worked."
Members of the glee club include overeager aspiring star Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele) and top athlete Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) among others. The club faces intense opposition from the cheerleading coach (Jane Lynch). Glee has won over legions of fans, sometimes known as "Gleeks," with its fantastic musical numbers. The show has featured music from such artists as Madonna and Journey. Their cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" was the most downloaded track on iTunes the day after it was featured in an episode.
In addition to starring on a hit television show, Morrison has been working on his own music. He signed a recording deal with Mercury Records in early 2010. According to an interview in Parade magazine, the album is "sort of in the style of Michael Buble, or maybe you could call it Dean Martin-esque. It's just me and a big orchestra doing some standards and original songs."
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