John Gallagher Jr.
Gallagher in 2013
John Howard Gallagher Jr.

(1984-06-17) June 17, 1984 (age 39)
Other namesJohnny Gallagher
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2000–present

John Howard Gallagher Jr. (born June 17, 1984) is an American actor and musician best known for originating the role of Moritz Stiefel in the 2006 rock musical Spring Awakening, which earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He also played Johnny in Green Day's Broadway musical, American Idiot, Lee in the 2011 Broadway production of Jerusalem, and Edmund in the 2016 Broadway revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night. He portrayed Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's drama series The Newsroom, starred in the HBO mini-series Olive Kitteridge, and played Emmett DeWitt in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Early life

Gallagher was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and was raised there with his two older sisters. His parents, John and June Gallagher, are folk musicians. He attended Brandywine High School.[1] He eventually went on to play in numerous bands, including Not Now Murray, What Now, Annie's Autograph, and Old Springs Pike. Gallagher played Tom Sawyer as a child actor at the Delaware Children's Theatre.[2][3][4][5]

Before and throughout his Spring Awakening run, he was in the folk-rock group Old Springs Pike. On January 23, 2008, his fellow band members announced his departure. The next day, Gallagher made an official announcement confirming his departure on his MySpace page. Old Springs Pike later officially changed their name to the Spring Standards.[6]

Stage career

2000–2005: Early career

Gallagher has appeared in three plays by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. He originated the role of Jeff in Abaire's hit play Kimberly Akimbo, appeared in the ill-fated United Kingdom production of Fuddy Meers, and he received critical acclaim for his role in Rabbit Hole, which marked his Broadway debut. He also appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club Production of the David Marshall Grant play Current Events.[7]

2006–2011: Broadway and Spring Awakening

Gallagher originated the role of Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening on Broadway after performing the role Off-Broadway and in workshops at Lincoln Center. The rock musical, with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company on May 19, 2006, and ran through August 5, 2006.[8] Spring Awakening opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006. Gallagher won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.[9] On December 16, 2007, he left Spring Awakening and was succeeded two days later by Blake Bashoff.[10]

Gallagher starred in productions of the dramas, Port Authority, by Conor McPherson and Farragut North by Beau Willimon.[11] Both plays were productions of the Atlantic Theater Company, the same theater that premiered Spring Awakening.

Gallagher starred in American Idiot, a musical based on the Green Day album of the same name, along with fellow Spring Awakening alumni Brian Charles Johnson and Gerard Canonico.[12] American Idiot premiered in Berkeley, California, at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 4, 2009.[13] The show's run ended on November 15, 2009. It began previews on Broadway at the St. James Theatre March 24, 2010, and officially opened on April 20, 2010. It was later nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards, of which it won two.[14] Gallagher played Johnny, or "Jesus of Suburbia". Gallagher departed American Idiot on February 27, 2011, and was succeeded by Van Hughes[15] The show's run ended on April 24, 2011.

After leaving American Idiot, Gallagher was featured in the Broadway production of The Royal Court Theatre's Jerusalem. The production was directed by Ian Rickson, and opened on April 21, 2011, at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).[16] He played the role of Lee until leaving the production on July 17, 2011.[17]

2016–present: Return to stage acting

He starred as Edmund Tyrone in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, alongside Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne. The show was directed by Jonathan Kent and opened on April 19, 2016, at the American Airlines Theatre.

In 2022, he starred in the world premiere production of Swept Away at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Based on the music of The Avett Brothers, the musical reunited Gallagher with Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer.[18] Of note, Gallagher named the Avett Brothers his favorite band in a 2007 New York magazine article.[19]

Film and television work

Gallagher has appeared in several television programs, including The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NYPD Blue, Ed, Love Monkey, and Hallmark Hall of Fame's film The Flamingo Rising. He played Jim Harper in Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom which aired on HBO.[20] He also appeared in HBO's mini-series Olive Kitteridge, based on the Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name, in the role of Christopher Kitteridge.

Gallagher's film credits include Pieces of April, Woody Allen's Whatever Works, Jonah Hex, The Heart Machine, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, and a lead role in Short Term 12 opposite Brie Larson. Short Term 12's director, Destin Daniel Cretton described Gallagher as having an innate quality, that the actor "feels like a big brother anyone would want to have."[21] In 2016, he starred in the thriller film 10 Cloverfield Lane.[22][23] As of June 2015, he filmed The Belko Experiment, a horror thriller film directed by Greg McLean and written by James Gunn. In 2016, Gallagher starred as the antagonist in horror-thriller film Hush. In 2018 he starred in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and in 2020 he played Liam Dempsey Jr. in season 3 of Westworld.


Gallagher has been writing music since his early adolescent years, playing guitar, bass, drums and harmonica.[24] He frequently performs in live spaces such as Rockwood Music Hall in New York.[24] On January 15, 2016, Gallagher released his debut album "Six Day Hurricane" via Rockwood Music Hall Recordings, under the name Johnny Gallagher.[25] The album was recorded in Brooklyn in 2012, over the course of six days during Hurricane Sandy.[26] Regarding the decision to release his music after a three-year delay, Gallagher said: "I knew I had to do it now, or I was going to go another year or see another birthday without putting my music out, and I can't live with that."[25] The album, produced by close friend and collaborator Thad DeBrock, includes nine songs originally selected for a previous live performance, including singles "Two Fists Full," "Dangerous Strangers," and "Sarasota Someone."[25]


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Pieces of April Timmy Burns
2006 Mr. Gibb Brett Mullen
2009 Whatever Works Perry Singleton
2010 Jonah Hex Lieutenant Evan
2011 Margaret Darren Rodifer
2013 Short Term 12 Mason
Broadway Idiot Himself Documentary
2014 The Heart Machine Cody
2016 10 Cloverfield Lane Emmett DeWitt
Hush The Man
2017 The Belko Experiment Mike Milch
2018 The Miseducation of Cameron Post Reverend Rick
Sadie Cyrus
Peppermint Detective Stan Carmichael
2019 The Best of Enemies Lee Trombley
American Woman Juan
2020 Underwater Liam Smith
Come Play Marty
2021 The Same Storm Dale Salt
2022 Gone in the Night Max
Spring Awakening: Those You've Known Himself Documentary
Abandoned Alex
2023 I.S.S. Christian
2024 Which Brings Me to You Wallace
Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Flamingo Rising Gary Television film
2002 Law & Order Terrence Holt Episode: "Girl Most Likely"
2002 The West Wing Tyler Episode: "20 Hours in America (Part 1 & 2)"
2003 Ed Eric Episode: "The Decision"
2003 NYPD Blue Ray Spier 2 episodes
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Gary Episode: "Conscience"
2006 Love Monkey Paul 2 episodes
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jeff Lynwood Episode: "Lead"
2012–2014 The Newsroom James "Jim" Harper 25 episodes
2014 Olive Kitteridge Christopher Kitteridge Miniseries; 3 episodes
2018 High Maintenance Zach Episode: "Steve"
2019 Easy Lucas Episode: "Yes"
2019 Modern Love Rob Episode: "At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity"
2020 Westworld Liam Dempsey Jr. 4 episodes
2020 Love Life Luke Ducharme Episode: "Magnus Lund Part II"


Year Title Role Venue Notes
2000 Current Events Ethan New York City Center Off-Broadway
2001 Kimberly Akimbo Jeff South Coast Repertory Regional
2003 Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway
2004 Fuddy Meers Kenny Arts Theatre London
2006 Rabbit Hole Jason Willette Pacific Playwrights Festival Regional
Biltmore Theatre Broadway
2006–2007 Spring Awakening Moritz Stiefel Atlantic Theatre Company Off-Broadway
Eugene O'Neill Theatre Broadway
2008 Port Authority Kevin Atlantic Theatre Company Off-Broadway
2008 Farragut North Stephen Meyers Off-Broadway
2009–2011 American Idiot Johnny (The Jesus of Suburbia) Berkeley Repertory Theatre Regional
St. James Theatre Broadway
2011 Jerusalem Lee Music Box Theatre Broadway
2016 Long Day's Journey into Night Edmund Tyrone American Airlines Theatre Broadway
2018 Nassim Performer New York City Center Off-Broadway
2022–2024 Swept Away Mate Berkeley Repertory Theatre Regional
Arena Stage Regional

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Spring Awakening Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated Audience Choice Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
2010 American Idiot Nominated Audience Choice Award Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical Won
2014 CinEuphoria Award Best Supporting Actor Short Term 12 Nominated
2016 Audience Choice Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Play Long Day's Journey Into Night Won


  1. ^ "Johnny Gallagher comes home to Queen with a new album". Delaware Online. January 21, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  2. ^ Ruston, Muriel (September 29, 2009). "Leaving the nest for 'Birdie'". The News Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  3. ^ "John Gallagher Jr". Film Bug. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  4. ^ Andrew Osborn. "Sex Advice From Aubrey Plaza". Nerve. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  5. ^ Denise Martin (2012-07-24). "The Newsroom's John Gallagher Jr. on Pratfalls and His First Girlfriend, Aubrey Plaza". Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  6. ^ "The Spring Standards – Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ Official Spring Awakening biography Archived 2010-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary."'Spring Awakening' Advance Approaches $2 Million" Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine, December 12, 2006
  9. ^ McBride, Walter. "Photo Coverage: 'Spring Awakening' LIVE at the Apple Store".
  10. ^ "Bashoff Joins Broadway's Spring Awakening" Archived 2009-02-20 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Farragut North, Backstage Political Tale, With Noth and Gallagher, Begins in NYC Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "I'm Not The American Idiot!".
  13. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (March 30, 2009). "Punk CD Is Going Theatrical". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2009-11-09). "Broadway Future Is Confirmed for American Idiot, But When?". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  15. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (February 10, 2011). "New 'American Idiot' Cast Members Include Davey Havok of AFI". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "John Gallagher Jr. to Co-Star in Jerusalem; Full Cast Announced". Broadway February 17, 2011.
  17. ^ "Jay Sullivan Replaces John Gallagher, Jr., in Broadway's Jerusalem, Starting July 19". Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  18. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe. "Avett Brothers Musical SWEPT AWAY Announces Third Extension at Berkeley Rep". Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  19. ^ Jackson, Brian Keith (March 1, 2007). "Cast Bios of the 'Spring Awakening' Actors -- New York Magazine - Nymag". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2022-06-14.
  20. ^ from 2012 to 2014."John Gallagher Jr. Departs Jerusalem to Join Aaron Sorkin's More As This Story Develops"
  21. ^ Ordona, Michael (12 September 2013). "John Gallagher Jr. carving nice niche". The Atlanta Constitution. San Francisco Chronicle. p. D2. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Interview: John Gallagher Jr. Says Goodbye to The Newsroom"
  23. ^ Chitwood, Adam (January 14, 2016). "'10 Cloverfield Lane' Is the Title of J.J. Abrams' Secret Bad Robot Movie". Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Lindsey Sullivan. "Johnny Gallagher on Debut Solo Album 'Six Day Hurricane,' Dropping the 'Jr.' & Jamming With Jeff Daniels", Billboard, January 19, 2016. Retrieved on December 25, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c Andrea Towers. "John Gallagher, Jr. announces album Six Day Hurricane, releases first single", Entertainment Weekly, November 23, 2015. Retrieved on December 25, 2016.
  26. ^ Pamela Thomas. "Interview: Johnny Gallagher on the release of his debut LP Six Day Hurricane", The Reel Spin, January 15, 2016. Retrieved on December 25, 2016.