Jessie Mueller

Jessie Mueller
Born Jessica Ruth Mueller
(1983-02-20) February 20, 1983 (age 34)
Evanston, Illinois
Alma mater Syracuse University
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 2005-present
Partner(s) Andy Truschinski

Jessica Ruth “Jessie” Mueller (born February 20, 1983)[1] is an American actress and singer. She started her career in Chicago and won a Joseph Jefferson Award in 2008 for her role as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel. In 2011, she moved to New York City to star in the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. She won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the lead role of Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and originated the lead role of Jenna in the musical Waitress on Broadway.


Early Years

Mueller was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of actors Jill (née Shellabarger) and Roger Mueller. Her brothers, Andrew and Matt, and sister, Abby, are all actors, known for their work in the Chicago theatre community, Broadway, and Off-Broadway.[2][3][4] Mueller is Lutheran.[5] She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2001 and from Syracuse University in 2005.[6]


2005–2011: Chicago Theatre

After graduation, Mueller returned to Chicago and acted for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, traveling in 2006 to England to perform at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as Lady Mortimer in Henry IV. She followed this with various roles in the Chicago area including Lizzie Fields in Baby, Once Upon a Mattress as the Lady-In Waiting, and Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis. At the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois, she performed roles in Shout! The Mod Musical, Shenandoah, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. In 2009 Mueller performed in two musicals at the Goodman Theatre, Animal Crackers as Grace/Mary and A Christmas Carol as Belle/Catherine.[7][8][9]

In 2011, she was named Actor of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and also was nominated for two Joseph Jefferson Awards, winning Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Amalia Balash in She Loves Me.[10][11][12][13][14]


2011–2017: Broadway debut and initial success

Mueller made her Broadway debut in a revised revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever as Melinda Wells, a role originated by Barbara Harris. The musical opened in December 2011. Mueller received critical praise for her performance, with one reviewer commenting “…Her voice contains notes of Garland, but she’s no diva — this is a star of supreme self-possession”.[15] For this role, Mueller was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.[16][17][18][19]

Mueller next was cast in the role of Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover in Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2012 revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Mueller portrayed Cinderella in a 2012 Public Theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater. She then took over the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, from March 29, 2013 until the show closed on June 15, 2013.[20] Also in 2013, she once again took on the role of Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel at Lincoln Center in a staged concert production backed by the New York Philharmonic – a special that was filmed and aired on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center.

Mueller appeared in the musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. She originated the title role of Carole King. She had performed this role in the try-out in San Francisco in 2013. She won the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She left the Broadway production on March 6, 2015.[21][22][23] On February 8, 2015, Mueller won a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album (shared with Carole King (music and lyrics), and producers Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein).[24]

On April 27, 2015, Mueller was the recipient of the Sarah Siddons Society Award at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois. [25]

Mueller reprised her role as Jenna in the musical adaptation of the film Waitress on Broadway, having previously played the role in a workshop of the musical in late 2014.[26][27] With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and direction by Diane Paulus, the musical premiered at the American Repertory Theater in August 2015. [28]

Waitress opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016. Mueller was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award, among others, for her performance. Mueller also received critical praise for her performance, Charles Isherwood for the New York Times noted: “But it is when Ms. Mueller tears into the musical’s climactic number, ‘She Used to Be Mine,’ that her talents are most fully and movingly harnessed… Ms. Mueller’s vibrant performance of this gentle but wrenching song, featuring a melody that soars and then recedes in waves, is the high point of the show — and for that matter a high point of the Broadway season. Suddenly, a pleasant and polished but weightless musical comedy rises to transporting heights, and sweeps up your heart along with it.”[29] Mueller’s performance also earned her a 2016 Lilly Award for its message of female empowerment and safety.[30][31]

Mueller left the production on March 26, 2017.[32][33]

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Stephen Sondheim Theatre – 2015 Photo Credit Joan Marcus


2017–Present: Film debut and Carousel on Broadway

In April 2017, shortly after her departure from Waitress, it was announced that Mueller will next portray the lead role of Julie Jordan in a Broadway revival of Carousel, which will open April 12, 2018 at the Imperial Theatre with previews beginning February 28.[34] [35]

Mueller made her feature film debut in Steven Spielberg’s historical drama The Post. Mueller portrayed real life advice columnist Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners), alongside a cast including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, and Carrie Coon. The film was released in select theaters on December 22, 2017, before expanding wide on January 12, 2018.[36]

Also in 2017, Mueller was nominated for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for her performance[37] in the Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices concert,[38] which was filmed and aired on WTTW earlier in the year.[39]

Personal Life

In 2009, Mueller met film producer/director and fellow actor Andy Truschinski while performing opposite him as Belle (Truschinski played Young Scrooge) in the Goodman Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. They formed a relationship during the show and remain partners to this day. The couple reside together in New York City.[40][41][42][43][44] [45]

Activism and Philanthropy

Mueller has worked frequently with the Broadway community to raise awareness and funds for various causes including LGBT+ rights, anti-gun violence, women’s rights, adoption, and other social issues. She supports Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,[46][47] and has appeared on multiple volumes of their annual Carols for a Cure albums.[48][49] In 2016, she was among numerous performers who teamed with Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky to record a cover of “What The World Needs Now” to support the GLBT Community of Central Florida after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando;[50] the movement would include a benefit concert in Orlando[51] as well as an appearance on Maya & Marty.[52] Later that year, Mueller would again work with Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley to formulate the idea for Concert for America, a series of concerts supporting various social justice organizations.[53][54][55]

Mueller is also known for her work supporting the arts and arts education. In 2014, Mueller performed at the launch of the FWD Theatre Project, a grassroots effort to support the creation of new musicals in the Chicago theatre community.[56] In 2015, she performed with fellow Beautiful alum Jarrod Spector in a series of concerts benefitting various arts organizations.[57] In 2016, she and partner Andy Truschinski were honored by the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York with the Abe L. Blinder Award for Public Service and Arts Education.[58] Mueller also recorded a song for the Museum of Modern Art’s Pop! Goes the Easel album, a collection of children’s songs inspired by works featured in the museum.[59] In 2017, Mueller served as a mentor for students in Rosie’s Theatre Kids, an organization started by actress and public personality Rosie O’Donnell to train and support youth in the performing arts.[60] Mueller continues to support her own alma maters, performing at a benefit showcase for Evanston Township High School’s YAMO theatre program in 2017[61] and providing opportunities for meetings and talkbacks with Syracuse University drama students.[62] In her spare time, Mueller teaches master classes to young aspiring performers.[63][64][65][66]

Theatre Credits

Year Title Role Theatre
2005 Once Upon a Mattress Ensemble/u.s. Winnifred Drury Lane Theatre
2006 Baby Lizzie Fields Theatre at the Center
Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 Lady Mortimer/u.s. Doll Tearsheet Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
2006–07 The Three Musketeers Cecile/Ensemble/u.s. Constance Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
2007 Shenandoah Jenny Marriott Theatre
How Can You Run With a Shell On Your Back? Daisy Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
Meet Me in St. Louis Esther Smith Drury Lane Theatre
2008 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Court Theatre
Long Wharf Theatre
Willy Wonka Veruca Salt Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
All Shook Up Natalie Haller Marriott Theatre
2008–09 The Bowery Boys Ensemble
2009 Curtains Nikki Harris Drury Lane Theatre
Animal Crackers Grace Carpenter/Mary Stewart Goodman Theatre
A Christmas Carol Belle/Catherine
2010 Fiddler on the Roof Tzeitel Marriott Theatre
Sleeping Beauty Princess Amber
Over the Tavern Annie Pazinski Peninsula Players
A Little Night Music Anne Egerman
She Loves Me Amalia Balash Writers Theatre
2011 Guys and Dolls Miss Adelaide Marriott Theatre
Merrily We Roll Along Mary Flynn The Music Theatre Company
Shout! The Mod Musical The Blue Girl Marriott Theatre
2011–12 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Melinda Wells St. James Theatre
2012 Into the Woods Cinderella The Public Theater
2012–13 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Helena Landless/Miss Janet Conover Studio 54
2013 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Avery Fisher Hall
Nice Work If You Can Get It Billie Bendix (replacement) Imperial Theatre
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King Curran Theatre
2013–15 Stephen Sondheim Theatre
2015 Waitress Jenna Hunterson American Repertory Theater
2016–17 Brooks Atkinson Theatre
2018 Carousel Julie Jordan Imperial Theatre



Year Title Role Notes
2017 The Post Judith Martin


Year Title Role Notes
2016 The Family Fran 2 episodes
2017 Blue Bloods Faith Madson Episode: “Common Ground”

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 Joseph Jefferson Award Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Carousel Won
2011 Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical Guys and Dolls Nominated
She Loves Me Won
2012 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Theatre World Award Outstanding Broadway Debut Honoree
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood Nominated
2014 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2015 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2016 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Waitress Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2017 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated
Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent (Performer) Chicago Voices Nominated

Special Honours and Awards

  • Sarah Siddons Society Actress of the Year Award – April 27, 2015[67]
  • A.R.T./New York: Abe L. Blinder Award for Public Service and Arts Education – April 11, 2016[68]
  • Lilly Award for Acting – May 23, 2016[69]


  1. Date of birth,; accessed June 4, 2014.
  2.  “Andrew Mueller on the magic of Peter and the Starcatcher, his inner nerd, and what musical his talented family should take on together”. Stage Door Dish. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  3.  “Abby Mueller | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  4.  “Abby Mueller Will Reprise Her Performance as Carole King in Beautiful on Broadway; Chilina Kennedy to Headline Toronto Engagement”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  5.  “Jessie Mueller as Herself After a Starry Night” The New York Times, June 10, 2014
  6.  Gans, Andrew. “DIVA TALK: Chatting With ‘On a Clear Day’ Star Jessie Mueller”, Playbill, January 20, 2012, accessed May 29, 2016
  7.  ” ‘Animal Crackers’ Listing”,, accessed May 29, 2016
  8.  ” ‘A Christmas Carol’ Listing”,, accessed May 29, 2016
  9.  “Jessie Mueller biography”, writers theatre, January 2014, accessed May 29, 2016
  10.  Jones, Chris (22 December 2011). “Theater Chicagoan of the Year is Jessie Mueller: A glass slipper, a crystalline voice”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  11.  Abarbanel, Jonathan (2010-10-01). “Chicago’s New Shining Stars”. Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  12.  Jessie Mueller. “Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire”. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  13.  “Chicago Shakespeare Theater – Bio – Mueller”. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  14.  “Where you’ve seen Jessie Mueller”. Chicago Tribune. May 28, 2014.
  15.  Brown, Scott (December 12, 2011). “Theater Review: Unfogging On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”. Vulture. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  16.  “Nominee Reactions: ON A CLEAR DAY’s Jessie Mueller – ‘I Really Wasn’t Expecting It…'”. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  17.  “Jessie Mueller – Broadway’s New Star | How to Sing Like You Speak with Sally Morgan”. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  18.  “Jessie Mueller « Here She Is Boys”. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  19.  “Jessie Mueller scores in B’way debut; local troupes move north”. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  20.  Jones, Kenneth. “Jessie Mueller, John Treacy Egan and Conrad John Schuck Love a Gershwin Tune; They Join ‘Nice Work’ March 29”, March 29, 2013
  21.  Gans, Andrew. “68th Annual Tony Awards Nominations Announced; ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Leads the Pack” Archived 2014-05-30 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, April 29, 2014
  22.  Ferri, Josh. “Jessie Mueller Will Star as Carole King in the New Musical ‘Beautiful’; Broadway Dates Announced”, August 12, 2013
  23.  Blank, Matthew. “Photo call: ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’, starring Jessie Mueller, opens on Broadway; Red carpet arrivals, curtain call and cast party” Playbill, January 14, 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014
  24.  “Grammy Awards Complete Coverage” The Washington Post. February 8, 2015
  25.  “Sarah Siddons Society Honors Jessie Mueller”
  26.  “Jessie Mueller to Star in Sara Bareilles ‘Waitress'”
  27.  ” ‘Waitress’ Workshop”
  28.  “Sara Bareilles ‘Waitress’ Musical”
  29.  Isherwood, Charles (April 24, 2016). “Review: Jessie Mueller Serves a Slice of Life (With Pie) in Sara Bareilles’s ‘Waitress'”. The New York Times.
  30.  The Lilly Awards (2016-06-21), The 7th Annual Lilly Awards — 5.23.16, retrieved 2017-11-27
  31.  “Gloria Steinem, Jessie Mueller and Lupita Nyong’o Set for Lilly Awards | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  32.  “Tony Winner Jessie Mueller Announces Departure from Broadway’s Waitress | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  33.  Desk, BWW News. “VIDEO: Jessie Mueller Hangs Up Her Apron and Bids Farewell to WAITRESS”. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  34.  Henry, Alan. “Breaking: Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, Renée Fleming to Star in ‘Carousel’ on Broadway”,, April 16, 2017, accessed April 16, 2017
  35.  McPhee, Ryan (4 September 2017). “Betsy Wolfe, Alexander Gemignani, and More Join Broadway Revival of Carousel; Dates and Theatre Announced”. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  36.  “Jessie Mueller Will Make Her Feature Film Debut in Steven Spielberg’s The Post | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  37.  “Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy Awards Nominee List” (PDF).
  38.  “Chicago Voices Concert”. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  39.  Chicago Voices (2017-03-21), Chicago Voices Concert on WTTW Ch. 11, retrieved 2017-11-25
  40.  “Sunday Breakfast with Jessie Mueller”. DailyNorthShore. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  41.  Teeman, Tim (2016-05-16). “How Tony Nominee Jessie Mueller Conquered Broadway”. The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  42.  Gerard, Jeremy (2016-05-04). “Tony Nominee Jessie Mueller On ‘Waitress’, Empowerment, Pies & (Whew!) Pee Breaks: Deadline Q&A”. Deadline. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  43.  “A Christmas Carol 2009 | Goodman Theatre”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  44.  Broadwaycom (2014-05-15), Show People With Paul Wontorek Interview: Jessie Mueller on “Beautiful” & More, retrieved 2017-11-27
  45.  Broadwaycom (2012-05-08), Show People with Paul Wontorek Interview: Jessie Mueller of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”, retrieved 2017-11-27
  46.  Desk, BWW News. “Jessie Mueller Joins Star-Powered Lineup for Broadway @ Town Hall Series in Provincetown”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  47.  Playbill Video (2014-05-05), Carole King Surprises Cast of Broadway Musical “Beautiful”, retrieved 2017-11-27
  48.  “Jessie Mueller, Rema Webb, Ryan Shaw, Jason Tam, Tamika Lawrence, Jenn Colella Will Be Heard on Annual ‘Carols for a Cure’ CD | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  49.  Keddy, Genevieve Rafter. “Exclusive Photo Coverage: Jessie Mueller & the Cast of WAITRESS Feel the Love for Carols For A Cure”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  50.  “”Broadway for Orlando” Playbill’s Exclusive Music Video Debuts | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  51.  “From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  52.  “Watch Broadway Stars Recreate “Broadway for Orlando” on Maya & Marty | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  53.  “Concert For America : Stand Up, Sing Out!”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  54.  “How Donna McKechnie’s Left Arm Saved the Day | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  55.  “Behind the Scenes at the Sold-Out Concert for America | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  56.  Jones, Chris. “With Mueller lending her voice, FWD Theatre Project debuts”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  57.  “Broadway stars Jessie Mueller and Jarrod Spector to headline 2015 Saturday Night Alive”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  58.  “Waitress Star Jessie Mueller and Andy Truschinski to Be Honored by A.R.T./New York”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  59.  “Pop! Goes the Easel | MoMA”. The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  60.  “Jessie Mueller, Christopher Jackson, and More Celebrate Rosie’s Theater Kids Passing It On | Playbill”. Playbill. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  61.  klockett04, Community Contributor. “Tony Award-Winner Jessie Mueller to Perform at Benefit Show for Evanston Township High School”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  62.  “Waitress Theater Event | Syracuse University”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  63.  Desk, BWW News. “Photo Flash: WAITRESS Star Jessie Mueller Mentors Kids at Broadway Artists Alliance”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  64.  “Workshops: Broadway Artists Alliance, One Day Master Classes | Backstage”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  65.  “Half-Day Master Class with Jessie Mueller | Broadway Artists Alliance”. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  66.  “Musical Theatre Master Class with Jessie Mueller (Ages 12-19) – SOLD OUT”. Broadway Workshop. 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  67.  Weiss, Hedy. “Sarah Siddons Society honoring Jessie Mueller, Chicago’s Broadway diva” Chicago Sun-Times, April 24, 2015
  68.  Gans, Andrew. “A.R.T./New York Honors Jessie Mueller at Tonight’s Spring Gala” Playbill, April 11, 2016
  69.  Gordon, David. “Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Gloria Steinem, and More at 2016 Lilly Awards”, May 24, 2016
  70. All References at Wiki

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