Renée Elise Goldsberry

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Renée Elise Goldsberry
Goldsberry at Audience Choice Awards
Born (1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 53)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
University of Southern California (MM)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1997–present
Alexis Johnson
(m. 2002)

Renée Elise Goldsberry (born January 2, 1971)[1] is an American actress and singer known for originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway musical Hamilton, for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Her other Broadway credits include Nettie Harris in the original Broadway cast of The Color Purple, and Mimi Marquez in Rent. She has portrayed many roles on television, including Geneva Pine on The Good Wife, and Evangeline Williamson on One Life to Live, for which she received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. As of 2021, she stars in the Peacock musical comedy Girls5eva.[2] Also that year, she received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance in the Disney+ live stage recording of Hamilton, which was released in 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Goldsberry was born in San Jose, California and raised in both Houston, Texas and Detroit, Michigan.[3] She is the daughter of Betty Sanders, an industrial psychologist, and her father was an automotive industry executive in Michigan.[4][5] Goldsberry has one older brother and two younger brothers.[5] Goldsberry was introduced to theater in summer camp when she was 8 years old. Renée's younger brother was shy, and their mother enrolled both of them in camp at the HITS Theatre in Houston taught by Carolyn Franklin.[4]

After graduating from Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, she attended Carnegie Mellon University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater, in 1993. This is also where she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority through the Theta Beta chapter.[6][7] She subsequently attended graduate school at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where she received a Master of Music in jazz studies, graduating in 1997.[8]



Between 1997 and 2002, Goldsberry had a recurring role on the Fox legal comedy-drama Ally McBeal, as one of the back-up singers who frequently accompanied Vonda Shepard's performances. She appeared in a total of 43 episodes prior to the series' cancellation. Goldsberry also carried the role over into a three-episode guest appearance on the spin-off series Ally.

Goldsberry portrayed attorney Evangeline Williamson on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live from 2003 until 2007. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2004 for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series, and won a Soap Opera Digest Award in 2005 with co-stars Michael Easton and Melissa Archer. Goldsberry was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in both 2006 and 2007 for the role.[9] After she left One Life to Live, Goldsberry held a recurring role as assistant state attorney Geneva Pine on the CBS political drama The Good Wife, appearing multiple times every season throughout its run. She ultimately appeared in 23 episodes between 2010 and the series' end in 2016. Goldsberry has also made guest appearances on series such as Evil (2019 TV series from the same creators of The Good Wife), Star Trek: Enterprise, Royal Pains, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Younger, Masters of Sex, and That '80s Show.

In 2017, Goldsberry starred as Henrietta Lacks in the HBO television film adaptation of Rebecca Skloot's nonfiction work, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.[10] In 2018, she appeared in the Netflix science fiction series Altered Carbon as Quellcrist Falconer, and reprised the role in season 2.[11] She also performed the Johnny Cash song "Ain't No Grave" for the end credits to the final episode. Goldsberry currently stars on Girls5eva in the role of Wickie Roy, a member of a one-hit wonder 1990s girl band group Girls5eva. Girls5eva chronicles their reunion and attempts to reignite their stardom. The series premiered on May 6, 2021, on the Peacock streaming service.


In 2001, Goldsberry had the lead role of Nicole Taylor in the romantic comedy All About You, for which her performance was praised. She also portrayed Drea Smalls in the 2008 action film Pistol Whipped, and small supporting roles as Cynthia Barnes in the crime drama Every Secret Thing (2014) and Kim in the comedy Sisters (2015). In 2019 she starred in Waves (2019) with co-star Sterling K. Brown.


Goldsberry (right) with co-star Javier Muñoz in costume for Hamilton

Goldsberry played a replacement Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King,[9] and was in the cast of the United States national tour of Dreamgirls.

She was nominated for a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance, and won a New York magazine Best of 2005 Award, for her performance as Sylvia in the 2005 Shakespeare in the Park revival of Two Gentlemen of Verona.[9] Goldsberry later originated the role of Nettie Harris in The Color Purple, the Broadway musical adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name.[9] She starred in the production from November 2005 to January 2006.

Goldsberry returned to the Off-Broadway stage in The Baker's Wife in 2007, before taking over the role of Mimi Márquez in the Broadway musical Rent, making her the final actress to play the role on Broadway.[9] Rent's last performance was filmed and made into a DVD, Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, which also aired as a television film. In 2011, she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of Kate Dillon in the Broadway production of David Lindsay-Abaire's play Good People.[12] She went on to appear in off-Broadway productions of Love's Labour's Lost and As You Like It, and appeared in I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road at Encores!.

Goldsberry (center) performs with Hamilton castmates at the White House

Goldsberry originated the role of Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton,[13] playing her last performance in the role on September 3, 2016.[14] For her work in the production, she won a 2015 Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In addition, as a member of the principal cast, she also received a Grammy Award after the original cast album won Best Musical Theater Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.[15]


Goldsberry has had a lengthy singing and songwriting career, co-writing and performing more than half the soundtrack to the 2001 film All About You, including the title song. She was also the grand prize winner of the 1997 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her rock music. Goldsberry wrote and recorded an album titled Everything But the Kitchen Sink (2001) and an EP titled Beautiful (2006).

In October 2015, she appeared at the BET Hip Hop Awards, where she was one of two women to rap in the Cypher.[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Goldsberry married New York attorney Alexis Johnson.[3] In May 2009, she gave birth to their first child, a son named Benjamin Johnson. In 2014, she and her husband adopted a second child, a daughter from Africa named Brielle.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Palco & Hirsch Jessica
All About You Nicole Taylor Also composer and lyricist
2002 Turnaround Rachel
2008 Pistol Whipped Drea Smalls
2009 Jump the Broom: A Musical Ayana Short film
2014 Every Secret Thing Cynthia Barnes
2015 Sisters Kim
2018 The House with a Clock in Its Walls Selena Izard
2019 Waves Catherine
2020 Hamilton Angelica Schuyler Filmed recording of 2016 Broadway musical
2021 Tick, Tick... Boom! "Sunday" Legend
2022 Anything's Possible Selene


Year Title Role Notes
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Singer 43 episodes
1999 Ally 3 episodes
2002 Providence Clare Episode: "The Start of Something Big"
Any Day Now Beverly Morris Episode: "The Real Thing"
That '80s Show Spokesmodel #2 Episode: "Road Trip"
Star Trek: Enterprise Crewman Kelly Episode: "Vox Sola"
One on One Paulette Episode: "Fatal Attractions"
2003–07 One Life to Live Evangeline Williamson 272 episodes
2008 The Return of Jezebel James Paget Kaufman 2 episodes
Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway Mimi Marquez TV film
Life on Mars Denise Watkins Episode: "Things to Do in New York When You Think You're Dead"
2010 Royal Pains Mrs. Phillips Episode: "Big Whoop"
White Collar Ellen Samuel Episode: "Company Man"
2010–16 The Good Wife Geneva Pine 23 episodes
2013 The Following Olivia Warren 3 episodes
Save Me Mary Episode: "The Book of Beth"
2013–14 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Defense Attorney Martha Marron 3 episodes
2014 Masters of Sex Morgan Hogue Episode: "Blackbird"
2015 Younger Courtney Ostin Episode: "Hedonism"
2016 I Shudder Lucy Wainscott TV film
2017 The Get Down Misty Holloway Episode: "Gamble Everything"
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Henrietta Lacks TV film
2018–19 The Lion Guard Dhahabu (voice) 2 episodes
2018–20 Altered Carbon Quellcrist Falconer Series regular
2019 Documentary Now! Dee Dee Episode: "Original Cast Album: Co-Op"
2019–21 Evil Renée Harris 3 episodes
Fast & Furious: Spy Racers Ms. Nowhere (voice) Main role
2020 Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Ava Price 3 episodes
Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing Melodia (voice) TV special
2021 Centaurworld Waterbaby (voice) 7 episodes
2021–present Girls5eva Wickie Roy Main role
2022 Eureka! Roxy (voice) Main role
2022 She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Mallory Book Main role


Year Title Role Location Category
1997 Dreamgirls Michelle Morris National Tour
2002 The Lion King Nala New Amsterdam Theatre Broadway
2005 Two Gentlemen of Verona Silvia Delacorte Theater Off-Broadway
2005–06 The Color Purple Nettie Harris Broadway Theatre Broadway
2007 The Baker's Wife Genevieve Castagnet York Theatre Off-Broadway
2008 Rent Mimi Márquez Nederlander Theatre Broadway
2011 Good People Kate Dillon Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Broadway
Love's Labour's Lost Princess of France The Public Theater Off-Broadway
2012 As You Like It Celia Delacorte Theater Off-Broadway
2013 I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road Heather Jones New York City Center Encores!
2014 Hamilton Angelica Schuyler The 52nd Street Project Workshop
2015 The Public Theater Off-Broadway
2015–16 Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2023 The Tempest Prospero Delacorte Theatre Central Park


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series One Life to Live Nominated
2005 Soap Opera Digest Awards Favorite Triangle Won
Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Two Gentlemen of Verona Nominated
2006 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series One Life to Live Nominated
2007 Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series Nominated
2011 Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Good People Nominated
2015 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Hamilton Won
Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
2016 Tony Awards Best Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Won Audience Awards Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical Won
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Hamilton Nominated
TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Girls5eva Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy Nominated
2022 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2023 Nominated


  1. ^ "This day in history – The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. January 2, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2018. Jan. 2, the second day of 2018... Birthdays... Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry is 47.
  2. ^ "Watch Girls5eva Streaming | Peacock". @peacocktv. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Kaufman, Joanne (October 9, 2015). "A Night Out With Renée Elise Goldsberry of 'Hamilton'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Dansby, Andrew (June 11, 2016). "Tony nominee bitten by acting bug as child in Houston". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Weber, Mia (September 2, 2016). "Telling Her Story". New York Family. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  6. ^ Rickwald, Bethany (October 2, 2015). "Renée Elise Goldsberry's Path From Middle School Class Clown to Hamilton Class Act". TheatreMania. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Hip-hop "Hamilton"". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Alumna Renée Elise Goldsberry wins Tony for "Hamilton"". USC Thornton School of Music. June 13, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Headlines: Renée Elise Goldsberry to Join Broadway's Rent as Mimi". May 15, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (July 25, 2016). "Renée Elise Goldsberry Cast In HBO Films' The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks". Deadline Hollywood.
  11. ^ Lee, Ashley (July 13, 2016). "Renée Elise Goldsberry to Exit Hamilton for Netflix's Altered Carbon". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. ^ "Outer Critics Circle Announce 2010–11 Season Nominees". Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  13. ^ Schulman, Michael (August 6, 2015). "The Women of "Hamilton"". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Renée Elise Goldsberry sets Hamilton leaving date". New York Theatre Guide. August 25, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  15. ^ "All Past Winners. GRAMMY Search". Grammy Awards. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "The Cypher Revealed: Hamilton Cypher [Explicit]". Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Jacobs, Pamela (August 31, 2015). "Hamilton's Renée Elise Goldsberry". Retrieved December 12, 2016.

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