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Ben Platt

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Biography

Ben Platt is a Tony Award-winning actor and singer best known for musicals including the Pitch Perfect film franchise and Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. A Los Angeles native, Platt's father is film and theater producer Marc Platt (La La Land, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert) and his older brother Jonah is an actor, writer, and composer. Ben Platt has said that he caught the acting bug at the age of nine, when he was cast as Winthrop in a production of The Music Man at the Hollywood Bowl, alongside Kristin Chenoweth and Eric McCormack. He later returned to the Hollywood Bowl in Camelot and The Sound of Music, and at the age of 11, he was cast in the national tour of Caroline, or Change. Platt performed in several other musicals as a student, including during his time at the performing arts school Adderley. He graduated from the Los Angeles college preparatory school Harvard-Westlake School in 2011. Platt then briefly attended Columbia University in New York, but it was only a matter of weeks before he dropped out to accept the role of Benji in the 2012 film comedy-musical Pitch Perfect. Focusing on the world of university a cappella competitions, the movie's hit cast album arrived via Universal in September 2012. Later the same year, Platt began a run as Elder Cunningham in the Chicago production of The Book of Mormon. He went on to make his Broadway debut in January 2014 in the same role, leaving it in January 2015. Pitch Perfect 2 followed later that year, as did a role in the Meryl Streep comedy-drama Ricki and the Flash. He spent July and August of 2015 playing the title role in a Washington, D.C. production of Dear Evan Hansen, a stage musical he'd joined in the workshopping stages. In December 2016, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's Dear Evan Hanson opened on Broadway. About a high school senior whose social anxiety made it difficult for him to connect to others, the show became a box-office hit and garnered nine Tony Award nominations. It won six, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Platt. The original Broadway cast recording entered the Billboard 200 at number eight in February 2017, the highest debut for a cast recording since Camelot in 1961. Two months later, Platt was named one of the Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, and in September, he signed with Atlantic Records as a singer/songwriter. In March 2018, Platt collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the benefit single "Found/Tonight," a mash-up of songs from Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson. It was released by Atlantic in conjunction with March for Our Lives, a protest march to promote gun reform following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, a month earlier. It reached the top half of the Billboard Hot 100. Early 2019 saw the arrival of a pair of singles, the lovelorn "Bad Habit" and the anxiety- and depression-tackling "Ease My Mind," ahead of the release of the full-length studio album Sing to Me Instead, which was issued later that March. ~ Marcy Donelson
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