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Melissa Benoist
SDCC 2017 - Jeremy Jordan, Melissa Benoist and David Harewood 01 (cropped2).jpg
Benoist at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Melissa Marie Benoist
(1988-10-04) October 4, 1988 (age 29)
Houston, Texas, U.S.[1]
Education Arapahoe High School
Alma mater Marymount Manhattan College (B.A.)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active 2008–present
Spouse(s) Blake Jenner
(m. 2015; div. 2017)

Melissa Marie Benoist (/bəˈnɔɪst/; born October 4, 1988)[2][3] is an American actress and singer. She is known for her portrayal of the title character in the CBS/CW superhero drama series Supergirl (2015–present).

Benoist rose to prominence for her portrayal of Marley Rose on the Fox musical comedy-drama television series Glee (2012–2014), and has appeared in films such as Whiplash (2014), Danny Collins (2015), The Longest Ride (2015), Patriots Day (2016), Lowriders (2016), and Sun Dogs (2017).

She made her Broadway debut in 2018 as the titular character in the Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Early life

Benoist was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Julie and Jim Benoist, a physician.[4] They divorced when she was young.[5] She has two sisters, Jessica (a novelist) and Kristina (an ecological scientist).[4][6][7] She was raised in Denver, Colorado, and started dance classes at the age of three.[8] When she was four years old, her aunt put her in a church play she was directing.[9]

As a teen, Benoist performed anonymously at Disneyland for three summers with the Academy of Theatre Arts, a musical theatre school located in Littleton, Colorado run by Paul Dwyer and Alann Worley.[10] She performed locally in productions including Cinderella and Bye Bye Birdie at Town Hall Arts Center, and instead of attending high school graduation parties , she performed the play Evita with other cast members at the shut-down Country Dinner Playhouse.[10][11]

In 2006, The Denver Post named Benoist one of Colorado's five "Can't Miss Kids".[6] She graduated from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, in 2007,[12] and from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City in 2011 with a Bachelor of arts in theatre arts.[13][14] while attending college, she played Millie Dilmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Rosalind in As You Like It.[6][15]


Benoist's first film was in Tennessee in 2008 along with singer Mariah Carey.[16]

In May 2012, she auditioned for Glee in New York at the Roundabout Theatre Company, singing a different song for each of her five auditions including: "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles, a Colbie Caillat song, and several musical theater pieces. In July,[17] she had two screen tests in California for series creator/writer, Ryan Murphy, the casting directors, and executive producers. She and Glee co-star Darren Criss appeared with Josh Duhamel in the opening of the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards.[18] That same year, she was selected as an ambassador for Coca-Cola's new product, P10 300 ml Coke Mismo.[19][20] In June 2013, they were flown to Manila, Philippines, to endorse the product by visiting various malls and meeting with fans.[21][22]

In the summer of 2013, Benoist and Blake Jenner held a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of their movie Billy Boy. The project has reached its $100,000 goal.[23] Benoist played Nicole, the love interest of Miles Teller's Andrew Neiman, in the 2014 film Whiplash,[24] which won top prizes (Grand Jury and Audience awards) at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In June 2014, she joined Nicholas Sparks' film adaption The Longest Ride as Marcia.[25]

Benoist in 2015

She had a role in the 2015 film Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino. She played the part of Jamie, a desk clerk at a hotel frequented by one of Jamie's all-time favorite rock stars.[26] In May 2015, it was announced that Benoist would be playing Lorelai in the film Lowriders, replacing Lily Collins and Nicola Peltz, who were in talks for the role previously.[27] In August of that year, she landed the leading role in the Screen Gems drama feature film Oxford, with Sam Heughan as her leading man.[28]

In October 2015, the superhero adventure series Supergirl, with Benoist in the lead role of Kara Zor-El, premiered on CBS.[29] She became the first woman to play a superhero on prime time TV since Wonder Woman went off the air in 1979.[30] The second season of the series moved to The CW.[31] She reprised her role in crossover episodes of The WB's Arrowverse collection of series.

Benoist at 2016 San Diego Comic-Con

She appeared as a presenter in the 42nd People's Choice Awards, which aired on January 6, 2016, on CBS,[32] and at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, broadcast January 10, 2016.[33] In May, Benoist was cast as Katherine Russell, the widow of deceased Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in Peter Berg's Patriots Day.[34] In June, it was announced that she was set to start alongside Michael Angarano in the comedy-drama film Sun Dogs.[35] Also in that month, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Benoist and others told the stories of the people killed there.[36][37]

In April 2017, Benoist was cast as Rachel Koresh, the legal wife of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh in Paramount Network's miniseries Waco.[38] Benoist was featured in "The Super Duper Minecraft Musical!" which was made for Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack in November.[39]

On May 7, 2018, it was announced that Benoist will be playing the titular character in the Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, which will mark her Broadway debut for a limited run from June 7 through August 4, 2018.[40]

Personal life

During her first semester in college, when she was learning to ride a bike, a cab backed into her and left a visible scar above her eyebrows.[41]

In 2015, Benoist suffered an injury that tore her iris, which caused one pupil to be permanently enlarged.[8][41]

In 2015, it was announced that she married her Glee co-star Blake Jenner. Public records later revealed that the couple actually married in 2013. [42][43][44] In late December 2016, she filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences".[45] The divorce was finalized in December 2017.[46]

In October 2017, Benoist helped with her Supergirl co-star Chris Wood's launch of his website "I Don't Mind" that works to put a stop to the stigma around mental illnesses, admitting that she has struggled with depression and anxiety attacks since she was 13 years old. She said because of Wood's words that she was able to admit to others her own issues with depression.[47]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Tennessee Laurel
2014 Whiplash Nicole
2015 Danny Collins Jamie
The Longest Ride Marcia
Band of Robbers Becky Thatcher
2016 Patriots Day Katherine Russell
Lowriders Lorelai
2017 Billy Boy Jennifer
Sun Dogs Tally Petersen


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Jessalyn Kerr Episode: "Delicate"
Blue Bloods Renee Episode: "Privilege"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ava Episode: "Wet"
The Good Wife Molly Episode: "Nine Hours"
2011 Homeland Stacy Moore Episodes: "Grace", "Clean Skin"
2012–2014 Glee Marley Rose Recurring: season 4; main: season 5 (35 episodes)
2015–present Supergirl Kara Danvers / Supergirl[A][B] Lead role
2016–2017 The Flash Kara Danvers / Supergirl[B] Episodes: "Invasion!", "Duet", "Crisis on Earth-X"
Arrow Kara Danvers / Supergirl,[B] Episodes: "Invasion!", "Crisis on Earth-X"
Legends of Tomorrow Kara Danvers / Supergirl[B] Episodes: "Invasion!", "Crisis on Earth-X"
2018 Waco Rachel Koresh Miniseries
  • ^ A. Benoist also portrayed Bizarro in the episode "Bizarro" with actress Hope Lauren.
  • ^ B. Benoist also portrayed Overgirl in the crossover "Crisis on Earth-X" with other performers including Jennifer Clarke.


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Freedom Fighters: The Ray Overgirl Voice role; Earth-X version of Supergirl[48]


Off Broadway

Year Title Role Venue Refs
2000 The Sound of Music Brigitta von Trapp Country Dinner Playhouse
2003 The Sound of Music Liesl von Trapp Littleton Town Hall Arts Center
2006 Bye Bye Birdie Kim McAfee Littleton Town Hall Arts Center [10]
A Month in the Country Vera Aleksandrovna Littleton Town Hall Arts Center
A Chorus Line Bebe Benzenheimer Littleton Town Hall Arts Center [6]
2007 Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella Cinderella Littleton Town Hall Arts Center [49]
Footloose Ariel Moore Littleton Town Hall Arts Center [49]
Evita Perón's Mistress Country Dinner Playhouse [10]
2009 Thoroughly Modern Millie Millie Dilmount Marymount Manhattan College [6]
As You Like It Rosalind Marymount Manhattan College [15]
2011 The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown Kelly Goodspeed Musical production [50]


Year Title Role Venue Refs
2018 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King Stephen Sondheim Theatre [40]

Soundtrack performances

Year Songs Album
2012 "Born to Hand Jive", "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)", "You're the One That I Want" Glee: The Music Presents Glease
"New York State of Mind", "Holding Out for a Hero", "Some Nights" Glee: The Music, Season 4, Volume 1
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "The First Noël" Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 3
"Chasing Pavements", "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)", "Don't Dream It's Over" ,
"Locked Out of Heaven", "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"/"Material Girl",
"Anything Could Happen", "You Have More Friends Than You Know",
"You're All I Need To Get By" "A Thousand Years"
Glee: The Music – The Complete Season Four[51]
"Crazy"/"(You Drive Me) Crazy", "Everytime", "Womanizer" Britney 2.0
2013 "Mary's Boy Child", "Love Child", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" The Christmas Album Volume 4
2017 "Moon River", "Super Friend" The Flash – Music from the Special Episode: Duet
"Runnin' Home to You" Supergirl – Crisis on Earth-X part 1 soundtrack[52]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Star Glee Nominated [53]
2016 Saturn Awards Breakthrough Performance Award Supergirl Won [54]
Best Actress on a Television Series Supergirl Nominated [55]
2017 Saturn Awards Best Actress on a Television Series Supergirl Won [56]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Action TV Actress Supergirl Won [57]
Choice Liplock (with Chris Wood) Supergirl Nominated [57]
Choice TV Ship (with Chris Wood) Supergirl Nominated [57]
2018 Saturn Awards Best Actress on a Television Series Supergirl Pending [58]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Action TV Actress Supergirl Pending [59]


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  2. ^ "Melissa Benoist". TV Guide. Archived from the original on May 4, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ Rose, Lacey; O'Connell, Michael; Sandberg, Bryn Elise; Stanhope, Kate; Goldberg, Lesley (August 28, 2015). "Next Gen Fall TV: 10 Stars Poised for Breakouts". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Ostrow, Joanne (August 6, 2015). "Melissa Benoist, a Colorado native, takes flight as TV's 'Supergirl'". Denver Post. Colorado. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Melissa Benoist Reveals How She Landed the Role of Marley Rose on 'Glee'". November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Moore, John (September 22, 2006). "Can't Miss Kids". Denver Post. Colorado. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Arapahoe High School – Warriors, Always Take Care of One Another". Arapahoe High School. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  8. ^ a b Abrams, Natalie (July 2, 2015). "Supergirl: Melissa Benoist on landing the role of a lifetime, and empowering women". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ Jacobs, Laura (December 8, 2015). "Why Supergirl Star Melissa Benoist Is the "Annie Hall of Superheroes"". Vanity Fair. 
  10. ^ a b c d Moore, John (September 6, 2012). "Glee adds a new cast member from Colorado: Melissa Benoist". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ ""Evita" players make passionate exit". May 24, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Congratulations, Arapahoe High School grads". May 2007. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  13. ^ Kardell, Kelli (October 4, 2012). "From MMC to McKinley High: Alumna Melissa Benoist". MMC The Monitor. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  14. ^ Coryell, Katie (March 1, 2016). "Amazing Alumni: MMC Edition!". 
  15. ^ a b "Marymount Manhattan College Presents AS YOU LIKE IT 11/18-11/22". November 16, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2017. 
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  17. ^ "Who Is Melissa Benoist? All About Glee Season 4's Marley". November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Darren Criss & Melissa Benoist With Josh Duhamel on Kids Choice Awards 2013 23/03/13". YouTube. March 24, 2013. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  19. ^ "The Cast of GLEE for Coke,, June 2013.
  20. ^ Butler, Peppermint (June 10, 2013). "Shaken, Not Stirred: Coke Launch with Glee Stars". Status Magazine online. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  21. ^ "‘Glee’ cast members invade 3 malls",, June 2013. Accessed 2014-08-19.
  22. ^ Yang, Tatin (June 9, 2013). "Newest Glee stars overwhelmed by Pinoys' welcome". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  23. ^ "BILLY BOY". Kickstarter. 
  24. ^ "'Fast & Furious 7' Adds Djimon Hounsou; 'Glee's Melissa Benoist Gets 'Whiplash'; Liana Liberato Joins 'If I Stay'". Deadline Hollywood. September 11, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ Yamato, Jen (June 24, 2014). "'Glee's Melissa Benoist Joins 'The Longest Ride'; 'Sicario' Adds 'Captain America 2's Maximiliano Hernandez; Shane Black Rebooting 'Predator'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Melissa Benoist Joins 'Imagine'; Natalie Dormer Cast In 'Posh'; Carter Jenkins Leads 'Skate God'". Deadline Hollywood. July 11, 2013. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  27. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 21, 2015). "'Supergirl' Star Melissa Benoist Climbs Into 'Lowriders' Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  28. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (August 27, 2015). "'Supergirl's Melissa Benoist, 'Outlander's Sam Heughan Set For Screen Gems Love Story 'Oxford'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  29. ^ "CBS Fall 2015 Schedule: 'Supergirl' Opens Monday, 'Life In Pieces' Follows 'Big Bang'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  30. ^ Current Biography Yearbook 2017. Ipswich, Massachusetts: Grey House Publishing. 2017. pp. 43–45. ISBN 9781619258488. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  31. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 18, 2016). "CBS President Explains 'Supergirl' Moving to the CW". Variety. 
  32. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2016 highlights". CBS News. Retrieved March 25, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Golden Globe Awards 2016 highlights". CBS News. Retrieved March 25, 2017. 
  34. ^ McNary, Dave (May 5, 2016). "'Supergirl's' Melissa Benoist, Khandi Alexander Join Mark Wahlberg's 'Patriots Day'". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  35. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 1, 2016). "Michael Angarano & Melissa Benoist To Star In Jennifer Morrison's 'Sun Dogs'". Deadline Hollywood. 
  36. ^ "49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy | Human Rights Campaign". June 29, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016. 
  37. ^ Rothaus, Steve (June 12, 2016). "Pulse Orlando shooting scene a popular LGBT club where employees, patrons 'like family'". The Miami Herald. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  38. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 21, 2017). "Melissa Benoist & Julia Garner To Co-Star In 'Waco' Event Series For Par Network". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  39. ^ Khan, Imran. "Supergirl Star Melissa Benoist Performs A Minecraft Musical In This Video". Game Informer. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
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  41. ^ a b Romano, Nick (March 19, 2016). "Supergirl: Melissa Benoist, Jimmy Fallon talk cab story on The Tonight Show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 11, 2017. 
  42. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (August 6, 2015). "Melissa Benoist, a Colorado native, takes flight as TV's 'Supergirl'". Denver Post. Colorado. Retrieved June 18, 2018. 
  43. ^ "Glee stars Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner split after just 21 months of marriage". 
  44. ^ Toomey, Alyssa (July 13, 2015). "Glee's Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner Are Married! | E! News". Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  45. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (December 29, 2016). "Supergirl's Melissa Benoist Files for Divorce from Blake Jenner: Report". People. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  46. ^ Dugan, Christina (December 21, 2017). "Supergirl's Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner Finalize Divorce". People. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  47. ^ Vargas, Alani. "'Supergirl' Star's Mental Health Campaign "I Don't Mind" Is So Important To Increase Awareness". Elite Daily. Retrieved October 5, 2017. 
  48. ^ Hogan, John (2017). "A Ray of Hope". TV Guide Comic-Con Special 2017. p. 83. 'It's called Freedom Fighters: The Ray for a very specific reason,' Guggenheim explains, 'which is we knew we wanted to establish the Freedom Fighters and Earth-X. ... Some familiar voices will be dropping by, like Supergirl's Melissa Benoist as Overgirl, the Earth-X version of the Girl of Steel... 
  49. ^ a b Roberts, Michael (October 27, 2015). "Melissa Benoist: Before Supergirl, She Was Cinderella (and More) in Littleton". Westword. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  50. ^ Jones, Kenneth (August 4, 2011). "Meghann Fahy Is Samantha Brown in New Goodspeed Musical; Andrew Durand, Stephen Bogardus Co-Star". Playbill. The company of the new musical by Brian Lowdermilk (music) and Kait Kerrigan (book and lyrics) also features Melissa Benoist as Kelly;... 
  51. ^ "Glee: The Music - The Complete Season Four". iTunes. January 14, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  52. ^ "Benoist Sings in Supergirl Crisis on Earth-X Part 1 Crossover". November 27, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  53. ^ Maglio, Tony (July 1, 2013). "'Glee,' 'Pitch Perfect' Lead Second Wave of Teen Choice Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  54. ^ McClendon, Lamarco (May 11, 2016). "'Better Call Saul,' Melissa Benoist, Nichelle Nichols To Be Honored at Saturn Awards". Variety. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  55. ^ Bryant, Jacob (February 24, 2016). "'Star Wars,' 'Mad Max,' 'Walking Dead' Lead Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  56. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  57. ^ a b c Ceron, Ella (June 19, 2017). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: See the First Wave of Nominations". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  58. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  59. ^ Cohen, Jess (June 13, 2018). "Teen Choice Awards 2018: Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Riverdale Among Top Nominees". E! News. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 

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