Emmy-Winning Actor and Singer
Darren Criss is a multi-faceted artist with an illustrious career spanning television, film, music and stage. In 2019, he won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan in FX’s “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” In 2018, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, also for "Versace." With his newly minted Emmy nomination, Criss made television history for being the second actor of Asian descent to ever be nominated in this category. His turn as Cunanan has garnered him rave-reviews, being deemed as “electrifying,” “chilling,” “compelling,” “magnetic and frightening,” and “career-changing.” It also earned him acting nods from the Television Critics Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Drama and an MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Performance in a Show.
In addition to his recent television ventures, Criss successfully wrapped his LM/DC North American Tour with his “Glee” co-star Lea Michele. Prior to that, he released a five-track indie EP entitled ‘Homework’ in November of 2017. This was his first solo project in over seven years. Last March, Criss debuted his indie-pop band Computer Games along with his brother Chuck Criss with their first album entitled ‘Lost Boys Life EP’. Billboard called the bands first single “Every Single Night” as a contender for song of the summer. Most recently Computer Games was nominated as one of Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Stars.
In the fall of 2016, Criss returned to Broadway in his critically-acclaimed performance as Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which kicked off the 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival’s national tour. The New York Times touted Criss as “mesmerizing” when he first stepped into the title role on Broadway in 2015. Criss made his Broadway debut in January of 2012 as J. Pierrepont Finch in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” With Criss at the helm, the revival made just under $4 million, which proved to be the most lucrative three weeks of its 11-month run. Criss is also the founder of New York City’s first showtunes music festival, Elsie Fest.
Criss is best known for playing Blaine Anderson on FOX’s global phenomenon “Glee.” He received an Emmy Award nomination in 2015 for best original music and lyrics for the song “This Time,” which appeared in the episode titled “Dreams Come True.” As a member of the cast, he was also nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Criss’ previous credits include “Girl Most Likely,” “American Horror Story,” “Web Therapy” and “Eastwick.”
Prior to his television career, the San Francisco native pursued his acting degree at the University of Michigan. In his senior year, Criss and his friends created a Harry Potter musical parody entitled, “A Very Potter Musical” as a fun project for their classmates, friends and other Harry Potter fans.
Along with starring as the boy wizard himself, Criss also lent several of his songs to be used in the show. Within weeks of posting the musical online, it became a YouTube hit, garnering millions of views and musical theater‐world attention. Using “A Very Potter Musical” as a springboard, Criss and his writing partners started StarKid Productions. Within a year, they wrote and produced subsequent online hits, “Me and My Dick” and “A Very Potter Sequel”, the latter of which he wrote all the music and lyrics for. As a result, the StarKid brand has grown to become just as popular as the shows themselves, spawning an enormous cult following from all over the world. Having established their home base in Chicago, StarKid Productions wrapped their latest original musical comedy with a two‐week sold out run in February 2012. Entitled Starship, Criss was responsible for the music and lyrics.
Criss and StarKid Productions appeared on the Billboard charts through four separate releases – all within the year 2012. These include the #1 spot on Billboard’s Top Cast Album for “Starship,” the #11 spot on Billboard's Top Cast Albums with their cast soundtrack for the original musical “Me and My Dick,” along with the #19 spot on the Top Compilations chart for “A Very StarKid Album,” and the #30 spot on Billboard's Heatseekers chart with Criss’ self‐released EP “Human.” With overwhelming success on the music charts, Criss has defied what many try to achieve under various music genres. “Human” was released as an acoustic collection of 5 original songs, differing greatly from the more Broadway‐esque music found on “Me and My Dick” and the pop‐rock stylings featured on “A Very Starkid Album.”