13 Fascinating Facts About Award-Winning Actress Renée Elise Goldsberry

Renée Elise Goldsberry is an actress, singer, and songwriter. Goldsberry originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in the Broadway musical Hamilton, a performance for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Check out these other fascinating facts about Goldsberry and her successful career.


1. Renée Elise Goldsberry was born on January 2, 1971, in San Jose, California. She was raised in both Houston, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan.

2. 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.

3. She also attended graduate school at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where she received a Master of Music in Jazz Studies in 1997.

4. Goldsberry had a recurring role on Ally McBeal as one of the backup singers who frequently accompanied Vonda Shepard’s performances.

5. Goldsberry portrayed attorney Evangeline Williamson on the long-standing ABC soap opera One Life to Live for four years. After leaving the show, she played Geneva Pine on the political drama The Good Wife from 2010 to 2016.

6. Goldsberry was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2004 for “Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.” She won a Soap Opera Digest Award in 2005 for Favorite Triangle. She was also nominated for two Emmy awards for the role.

7. She originated the role of Nettie in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Color Purple.

8. She played a replacement Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King, and was on the U.S. tour for Dreamgirls.

9. For her work as Angelica Schuyler Church in Hamilton, Goldsberry won a 2015 Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and a 2016 Tony Award. She was received a Grammy Award after the original cast album won Best Musical Theater Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

10. 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.

11. She married New York attorney Alexis Johnson in 2002. In May 2009, she gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son named Benjamin Johnson. She and her husband also adopted a daughter, Brielle, in 2014.

12. Throughout her career, she has made guest appearances on such shows as Star Trek: Enterprise, Royal Pains, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Younger, Masters of Sex, and That 80’s Show.

13. Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, announced Goldsberry would be playing Henrietta Lacks in the HBO television film adaptation of her book.




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