Today’s birthday, September 24: Broadway star and actor Ben Platt (1993 – )
With fans including Beyonce and Zac Efron, award-winning Broadway star and actor Ben Platt has cemented himself as an industry darling at only 25 years old.
Born in Los Angeles in 1993, Platt is one of five children born to Jewish couple Marc and Julie Platt.
Performing pedigree runs through the family’s veins – his father is an acclaimed producer who worked on La La Land and Wicked, and his elder brother Jonah has also made his mark on Broadway.
Platt scored his first role at age nine, performing alongside Kristin Chenoweth in The Music Man.
He performed a number of small-scale roles throughout his earlier years at prestigious schools in LA, before being accepted to Columbia University after his graduation in 2011.
Six weeks after classes started in 2012, he dropped out to take a role as Elder Arnold Cunningham in the Book of Mormon’s Chicago production.
At age 19, Platt is the youngest to ever play this role, which he reprised on Broadway in 2014.
Platt found worldwide fame as magician Benji in the critically acclaimed first instalment of a capella comedy Pitch Perfect. He also appeared in the 2015 sequel.
In 2015, Dear Evan Hansen premiered in Washington DC with Platt playing the titular role.
The musical was positively received, and was picked up for a run at Off Broadway’s Second Stage Theater, with Platt wowing as the lead again.
His performance won the musical a year-long stint on Broadway, for which Platt won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2017.
Dear Evan Hansen also won the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.
Since wrapping up his stint as Evan in November 2017, Platt has a number of films and television shows in the pipeline.
He is also currently working on his debut album, after being signed by Atlantic Records in late 2017.