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Spotlight on HAMILTON: Catching Up with Leslie Odom, Jr.

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Hamilton is coming! In just a matter of days (July 3), Disney+ will broadcast the hugely-anticipated Hamilton, captured live on stage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2016.

The original Broadway cast appearing in the film include Tony Award winners Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Tony Award® nominees Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jonathan Groff as King George; Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton; and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.

History may have its eyes on Hamilton, but today, we have our eyes on the history of its stars. Below take a deep dive into the career of Leslie Odom Jr., both before and after his Tony-winning turn in as Aaron Burr!


Raised in Philadelphia, Odom graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with honors, but made his Broadway debut before college at the age of 17 as Paul in Rent. He is the recipient of a 2002 Princess Grace Award for Acting, which is dedicated to identifying emerging talent in theater, dance and film.

In 2003, he moved to Los Angeles, where he did theatre regularly, and starred in Leap of Faith with Raul Esparza in 2010. He transferred with the show to Broadway in 2012. For the role of Isaiah Sturdevant, he won the 2012 Astaire Award for Outstanding Male Dancer on Broadway and was nominated for a Drama League Award.


Odom went on to star as Sam Strickland in two seasons of NBC's "Smash" in 2012-2013. He is also known on the small screen for his recurring role as Reverend Curtis Scott on "Law & Order: SVU." He has appeared in episodes of "Gotham," "Person of Interest," "Grey's Anatomy," "House of Lies," "Vanished" and "CSI: Miami." On the big screen he starred in the 2012 film, "Red Tails," opposite Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and David Oyelowo.


He also starred in the 2014 musical Venice, which also played at The Public Theater; and the Encores! Off­ Center production of "Tick, Tick... Boom!" which was his first time working with Hamilton creator, Lin­-Manuel Miranda.


In 2014, Odom self-released his debut album as a jazz singer, Leslie Odom Jr. on CD and SoundCloud, and promoted the album with several concerts at The Public Theater. Tracks included standards like "Autumn Leaves," "Look for the Silver Lining," and "The Party's Over."


The following year, Hamilton opened at the Public and Odom received critical acclaim for his performance. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical in n2015. In 2016, he brought the show to Broadway and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical- one of eleven awards that the show took home that night.


Odom was signed to a four-album deal with S-Curve Records. Released in June 2016, the first charted at No. 1 on Billboard Jazz and No. 147 on Billboard 200. Later that year he released his second album, Simply Christmas, which featured jazz interpretations of Christmas standards.


On the big screen, he played Dr. Arbuthnot in Kenneth Branagh's 2017 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express. He also starred as abolitionist William Still in the 2019 film Harriet, opposite fellow 2016 Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo. In 2019, Odom starred in Only, a post-apocalyptic romance.


In Spring 2018, Odom penned his first book, titled: Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning. With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?

In November 2019, he released Mr- his first album featuring original songs. Mr is available now!


Sign up for Disney+ today for your chance to catch Leslie and even more of the original cast of Broadway's biggest hit from home on July 3!


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