Billy Magnussen

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Billy Magnussen
Billy Magnussen 2011 (cropped).jpg
Magnussen in 2011
William Gregory Magnussen

(1985-04-20) April 20, 1985 (age 36)
EducationUniversity of North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA)
  • Actor
Years active2007–present

William Gregory Magnussen[1] (born April 20, 1985) is an American actor. He has been featured in the films Into the Woods (2014), Birth of the Dragon (2016), Game Night (2018), and Aladdin (2019), and has had supporting television roles in Get Shorty (2017) and Maniac (2018). In 2021, Magnussen starred in the comedy series Made for Love on HBO Max and appeared in the films The Many Saints of Newark and No Time to Die.

He has starred in Broadway and off-Broadway theater productions, including 2013's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, for which he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Early life

Magnussen was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Daina, an aerobics instructor, and Greg Magnussen, a professional bodybuilder and kickboxer. He has two younger brothers.[2][3][4] His maternal grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants. He grew up in Queens around Woodhaven Boulevard until the age of 10, when he moved with his family to Cumming, Georgia. Magnussen graduated from South Forsyth High School in 2003, and later from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.[5]

Acting career


Magnussen made his Broadway stage debut in 2007's The Ritz, starring Rosie Perez.[6] In 2012, he was cast alongside David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, premiering at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, prior to its move to Lincoln Center in New York City. It then moved to the John Golden Theatre, where it was nominated for six Tony Awards. Magnussen was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Spike. In 2014, he starred Off-Broadway with Anna Gunn in a critically acclaimed production of Sex with Strangers directed by David Schwimmer at the Second Stage Theater.[7]


Magnussen appeared in the films Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet and Happy Tears, which stars Demi Moore and Parker Posey. He starred as Claude in the film Twelve, which was released July 30, 2010. He played Neil Thomas, a World War II hero, in the 2011 film The Lost Valentine, based on the book of the same name by James Michael Pratt, which aired on CBS on January 30, 2011. That same year, he also played Thor in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress. In 2012, he starred in the independent feature Surviving Family.[8]

Magnussen starred in his breakout role as Rapunzel's Prince in Rob Marshall's 2014 film Into the Woods.[9] In 2016, Magnussen appeared in The Great Gilly Hopkins, opposite Kathy Bates, as Ellis, the social worker in charge of Gilly Hopkins, played by Canadian actress Sophie Nélisse. The role was originally written for a female in the novel and stage play. In 2019, Magnussen played the newly created role of Prince Anders in Disney's live action adaptation of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie.[10]


Magnussen played Kato Kaelin on the first season of American Crime Story, about the O. J. Simpson murder case. He is known for his role on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, where he took over the role of Casey Hughes on January 29, 2008.[11] He guest-starred on The CW's series The Beautiful Life: TBL in 2009.[12] He guest-starred on Boardwalk Empire as Roger McAlister, Gillian Darmody's (Gretchen Mol) ill-fated lover, and was the stand-in for Jimmy Darmody's (Michael Pitt) corpse.[13]

He also guest-starred on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, in the 10th-season episode "Icarus", and on Law & Order, in the 19th-season episode, "Sweetie". Magnussen appeared in four episodes of The Divide, guest-starred on NCIS: Los Angeles in episode 3 of season 2, titled "Borderline", and in episode 6 of the first season of The Leftovers. In 2017, Magnussen guest-starred as Russ Snyder on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.[14][15]

Magnussen also played a high school teacher Joshua "Nick" Sullivan who engages in a relationship with one of his students in Tell Me a Story during the first season, which came out in 2018.

Music career

Magnussen once was the bass player and a contributing songwriter for the New York City-based rock band The Dash.[16] He plays guitar in the New York City-based band Reserved for Rondee.[17][18]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Elephant Garden Michael Short film
2009 Lalo Bike messenger
Happy Tears Ray
Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet Eric
2010 Twelve Claude Kenton
2011 Choose Paul
Damsels in Distress Thor
2012 Surviving Family Alex D'Amico
The Brass Teapot Arnie
2nd Serve Lingo
2013 The East Porty McCabe
Walking Stories Chip Short film
2014 A Mighty Nice Man Robbie
Revenge of the Green Dragons Detective Boyer
Into the Woods Rapunzel's Prince
2015 I Smile Back Zach
The Meddler Ben
Bridge of Spies Doug Forrester
The Great Gilly Hopkins Ellis
The Big Short Mortgage broker
2016 Birth of the Dragon Steve McKee
2017 Ingrid Goes West Nicky Sloane
2018 Game Night Ryan Huddle
The Oath Agent James Mason
2019 Velvet Buzzsaw Bryson
Aladdin Prince Anders
2021 The Survivor Dietrich Schneider
The Many Saints of Newark Paulie Gualtieri
No Time to Die Logan Ash


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 As the World Turns Casey Hughes 198 episodes
2008 Law & Order Cody Larson Episode: "Sweetie"
2009 The Unusuals Bo Keebler Episode: "The Dentist"
The Beautiful Life: TBL Alex Marinelli 3 episodes
2010 NCIS: Los Angeles Cpl Allen Reed Episode: "Borderline"
2011 The Lost Valentine Neil Thomas Television film
In Plain Sight Jonathan Collins / Yonni Peterschwim Episode: "Something A-mish"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marc Landry Episode: "Icarus"
2012 Blue Bloods Rand Hilbert Episode: "Collateral Damage"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Det. Michael Crenshaw 2 episodes
Boardwalk Empire Roger McAllister 2 episodes
2013 Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell Spencer Episode: "Schmickler83!"
2014 It Could Be Worse Competition Web series; Episode: "Uncharted Territory"
The Leftovers Marcus Episode: "Guest"
The Divide Eric Zale 4 episodes
2015 The Good Wife Chris Fife Episode: "Open Source"
2016 The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story Kato Kaelin 3 episodes
2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Russ Snyder 2 episodes
Friends from College Sean Episode: "All-Nighter"
Get Shorty Nathan Hill 6 episodes
Black Mirror Valdack Episode: "USS Callister"
2018–2020 The Bold Type Billy Jeffries 2 episodes
2018 Maniac Jed Milgrim / Grimsson 7 episodes
2018–2019 Tell Me a Story Joshua / Nick Sullivan Main role (Season 1)
2021–present Made for Love Byron Gogol Main role


Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Ritz Patron Also understudy
2013 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Spike
2014 Sex With Strangers Ethan


Award Date of ceremony Category Work Result Ref(s)
Tony Awards June 9, 2013 Best Featured Actor in a Play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society December 10, 2018 Best Ensemble Game Night Won [19][20]


  1. ^ a b Matthew Blank. "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Tony Nominee Billy Magnussen". Playbill.
  2. ^ "Five Things to Know About Twelve's Billy Magnussen". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Photos! Roll in the Hay with Anna Gunn & Billy Magnussen on Opening Night of Sex with Strangers". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Billy Magnussen and mother Daina Photo (2013-06-09)". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Billy Magnussen Biography". The A&E Television Networks. February 29, 2016. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "Billy Magnussen Joins 'As the World Turns'". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  7. ^ Isherwood, Charles (July 30, 2014). "Reading Between the Sheets: Anna Gunn and Billy Magnussen Star in 'Sex With Strangers'". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  8. ^ Propes, Richard. ""Surviving Family" Review". The Independent Critic. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 22, 2013). "Billy Magnussen Ventures 'Into The Woods' To Replace Jake Gyllenhaal". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Galuppo, Mia (September 5, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Casts Billy Magnussen as New Character (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Billy Magnussen: As The World Turns on CBS Archived 2010-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Marsi, Steve (August 26, 2009). "Billy Magnussen to Guest Star on The Beautiful Life". TV Fanatic. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  13. ^ VJ (October 22, 2012). "Jimmy Darmody and Roger McAllister". Fikkle Fame. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Kimmy and the Trolley Problem!". The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. May 19, 2017. Netflix. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "Kimmy Googles the Internet!". The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. May 19, 2017. Netflix. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "Billy Magnussen". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-04-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Reserved For Rondee". Facebook. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  19. ^ "2018 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. 2018-12-07. Archived from the original on 2018-12-07. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  20. ^ "2018 San Diego Film Critics Society Award Winners". San Diego Film Critics Society. 2018-12-10. Archived from the original on 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2018-12-11.

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