Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester)- Matthew attended NYU’s School of the Arts before joining the cast of Footloose on Broadway. He was a member of the mock boy band Fresh Step which debuted on Late Night with David Letterman and appeared on MTV’s Total Request Live.
Following that he became a member of another, real, boy band, LMNT. He departed the group to join the Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since then he has originated the role of Link Larkin in Hairspray on Broadway, earning himself an Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and reprised the role in Los Angeles.
Matthew starred in ABC’s TV movie Once Upon a Mattress with Carol Burnett, Tracey Ullman, Denis O’Hare, and Zoey Deschanel. In February 2009, he was cast in Fox’s musical comedy Glee.
Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) Actress Jane Lynch isn’t exactly a leading lady, but she’s okay with that. Known for her supporting roles in such films as The Forty-Year-Old Virgin, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and several Christopher Guest-directed pictures, Jane is still trying to get her name recognized long after everyone knows her face. A Second City alumni, Jane is also no stranger to the small-screen with starring roles on such television series as Lovespring International, Showtime’s The L Word, and Criminal Minds on CBS. Jane can currently be seen in the FOX series Glee.
Jessalyn Gilsig (Terri Schuester) Jessalyn Gilsig began acting at the age of twelve. In 1995 she moved to New York, where she appeared in several off-Broadway plays. Despite having appeared in several Canadian productions in the late 80’s/ early 90’s, her television career began in the late 90’s when she guest starred in a couple of television series including Seven Days and Viper. Through her association with David E. Kelly, she landed a role in Boston Public. Jessalyn left Boston Public at the end of the season in May 2002, but the reason was never officially revealed. In 2003, she landed a role in Ryan Murphy’s Nip/Tuck. She then appeared in NYPD Blue and Prison Break. After her departure from Boston Public, Jessalyn joined the cast of Nip/Tuck in 2003. In addition to her credits in television and theater, she also has some experience with the big screen. In 2007-2008, her character continued on Nip/Tuck as well as roles on Heroes and Friday Night Lights. In 2009, she landed another role in a Ryan Murphy production, Glee.
Jayma Mays (Emma Pillsbury) In 2004, Jayma Mays made her first television appearance on Joey. The following year, she made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Red Eye. Mays has also appeared on Six Feet Under, The Ghost Whisperer, Pushing Daisies, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Ugly Betty among other television shows. She also starred in the movies Epic Movie and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Jayma Mays is currently starring in the Fox series Glee as Emma Pillsbury. In 2011, Mays will star in the big screen adaptation of the Saturday morning cartoon, The Smurfs.
Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) Lea Michele made her Broadway debut in 1995 as a replacement cast member in Les Miserables as Young Cosette. Soon after, she moved to Toronto with her mother to act in the original company of Ragtime and in 1998 brought that show to Broadway. In 2001, Lea went on her first audition for Spring Awakening, and she would be a part of all workshops for that show. In 2004 Lea portrayed Shprintze and Chava in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof and regionally played Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank that same year. She was part of the original cast of Spring Awakening both off-Broadway and on Broadway as Wendla in 2006 through 2008. She was nominated for a Tony Award as Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Best Lead Actress. On May 18, 2008, Lea and costar Jonathan Groff had their final performances of Spring Awakening and she was replaced by Alexandra Socha, a former understudy. On August 8-10, 2008 she played Eponine in Hollywood Bowl’s concert of Les Miserables. She can be heard on the soundtracks for Ragtime, Spring Awakening, and Fiddler on the Roof. In May of 2009 after the finale of American Idol, Glee, a new comedy that features music on Fox, aired to much hype. The show returned in September 2009 for its initial 13 episode run, and has since been picked up for an additional back 9 for season one, as well as a 2nd season for the 2010-2011 Fox lineup.
Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson) Cory bounced around professions working all sorts of odd jobs until a customer of his (while working as a cab driver) suggested he try acting. He signed up for a few classes and fell in love with it, he then moved to Vancouver to pursue his career. He then landed roles on TV shows such as Kyle XY, Smallville and Supernatural. He has had many other small roles on both the small and big screen. Cory landed a role as the jock turned singer in Fox’s Glee.
Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel) Chris Colfer is an up and coming young actor born in Fresno and raised in Covis, California. He has had an interest in acting since high school where he preformed in community as well as regional based theater. At the tender age of 14, he was the assistant director for a benefit at Valley Children’s Hospital. His love of acting and directing continued in high school when he wrote a spoof of “Sweeny Tood” entitled “Shirley Todd” as a senior in high school, a play which he also starred in and directed. His first TV role came in 2009 when he was cast as Kurt Hummel in Fox’s hit show Glee.
Mark Salling (Noah “Puck” Puckerman) Mark’s first acting gig was in Children of the Corn IV. He had a few guest spots in movie and television in the 90’s and then stopped acting for a few years. In 2006, he landed a role in the horror film The Graveyard. In the mean time he has focused on other pursuits such as music. In 2009, he landed a part in Fox’s musical comedy Glee playing Noah Puckerman, known as “Puck,” a football player and bully.
Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) He started off pursuing his music career when he joined the boy band NLT (Not Like Them) in 2003, the group landed a record deal in 2006 and spent three years developing their record. After producing their first record the group split up, mostly because Kevin wanted to explore his acting career more after having small parts on shows such as Zoey 101 and True Blood and had landed a role on Fox’s musical comedy Glee.
Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones) Amber Riley is a young actress and musician who has had a lot of hard breaks in Hollywood. She was a contestant on American Idol at 17, but got rejected. Then her pilot St. Sass wasn’t picked up, but her luck has started to turn. She then landed a role on Cedric the Entertainer Presents and the producer of Glee saw her in the pilot and decided to cast her in the show. In addition to her TV work she has an extensive background in theater.
Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) Jenna Ushowitz is a young actress with a burgeoning careers. With an extensive career in theater she has used her musical and acting abilities to land a role on Fox’s new musical show Glee in which she portrays the character Tina. She has also worked on several television programs including Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street and As the World Turns. In addition to her TV work she has appeared in several independent films.
Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) Dianna Agron is an upcoming young actress who already has an extensive background in TV. She grew up in San Francisco, as a young girl she trained in dance and other performing arts. She then landed recurring roles on Veronica Mars and Heroes. She is also a fervent supporter of animal rights and devotes herself to vegetarians. In 2009, she landed a role on Fox’s Glee.
Heather Morris (Brittany) Morris’s first significant appearance was in 2006 on So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 where she made the “green mile” but failed to make the final 20 by a vote of 3-2. Not discouraged, Morris decided to move to LA and actively pursue a career in dancing. Her big break came in 2007 via Beyoncé. Morris was one of Beyonce’s backup dancers on The Beyoncé Experience world tour and, following that, worked again with Beyonce on a mini “Single Ladies” promotional tour that included 2008 performances on the American Music Awards, Saturday Night Live,, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, and MTV’s Total Request Live Finale. Her second big break came via a small role in the movie Fired Up, where she met choreographer Zach Woodlee. Following that film, Woodlee brought Morris in to dance on other shows he was choreographing, including episodes of Eli Stone and Swingtown, the movie Bedtime Stories, and eventually Glee. Morris was taking acting classes and actively pursuing an acting career when she was asked by Woodlee to teach the choreography for Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” dance to the Glee actors. At the same time, the show was looking for a third cheerleader, and Morris ended up landing the role of Brittany. Initially a background character who hardly ever spoke, the role grew as writers discovered Morris had a gift for delivering one liners. Due to the positive response to her character, Morris will be promoted to official series regular status during Season 2 of Glee. She will be at the center of the second episode of the second season—a tribute to Britney Spears—and make her singing debut, covering one song as a solo. Heather Morris and co-star Naya Rivera are real life best friends.
Naya Rivera (Santanna Lopez) Naya’s career began in 1991, after being cast as a series regular alongside the late Redd Foxx in the hit television show, The Royal Family. From the The Royal Family, Naya next went on to guest star on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith, followed by numerous guest star roles on hit shows such as Smart Guy, The Jersey,and The Sinbad Show, followed by two major recurring roles: one with Jaleel White on Family Matters and the other with Bernie Mac on the Bernie Mac Show. This young star’s resume covers all aspects of the entertainment industry from drama to comedy. Moving into her teen years, Naya booked a series regular role on a teen talk show Pajamarama, which enabled Naya to interview people such as Jon Voight, B2K and Shia LeBeouf. The show also allowed Naya to shine with her beautiful voice. Currently, Naya can be seen on the hit TV show, Glee which airs on FOX in the U.S. She plays cheerleader Santana Lopez, where she can showcase her acting ability as well as her amazing vocals.