Billy Magnussen Biography
Born on April 20, 1985, William “Billy” Gregory Magnussen is a well-known American actor and musician hailing from Queens, New York City. In 2003, Magnussen completed his education at South Forsyth High School, and later graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Magnussen’s theatrical career began on Broadway in 2007 in The Ritz. Five years later, he starred alongside David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Christopher Durang’s play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The play received six Tony Award nominations, with Billy Magnussen nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Spike.
In his film career, Billy Magnussen appeared in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet and Happy Tears, which featured Demi Moore and Parker Posey. His roles varied from Claude in Twelve, Neil Thomas in The Lost Valentine, and Thor in Damsels in Distress.
His breakthrough role came as Rapunzel’s Prince in the 2014 film Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall. Further roles included Ellis in The Great Gilly Hopkins and the newly conceived character of Prince Anders in Disney’s 2019 live-action adaptation of Aladdin.
In television, Magnussen is known for his portrayal of Kato Kaelin in the first season of American Crime Story, centered on the O. J. Simpson murder case. He assumed the role of Casey Hughes in the CBS soap opera As the World Turns in 2008.
Guest roles followed on The CW’s series The Beautiful Life: TBL, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order. In 2017, he guest-starred as Russ Snyder on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He also played high school teacher Joshua “Nick” Sullivan, who starts a relationship with one of his students, in the 2018 series Tell Me a Story.
Aside from acting, Billy Magnussen also explored a music career, and was once a bass player and songwriter for the New York City-based rock band The Dash. He currently plays guitar in another local band, Reserved for Rondee.