Chris Colfer
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Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer 2013.jpg
Colfer at a book signing event in August 2013
Christopher Paul Colfer

(1990-05-27) May 27, 1990 (age 30)[1]
  • Actor
  • singer
  • writer
Years active2009-present

Christopher Paul Colfer[2][3] (born May 27, 1990)[4] is an American actor, singer, and author. He gained international recognition for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television musical Glee (2009-2015). Colfer's portrayal of Kurt received critical praise for which he has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, and three consecutive People's Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor in 2013, 2014, and 2015.[5][6][7] In April 2011, Colfer was named one of the Time 100, Time's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Colfer wrote, starred in, produced, and novelized his first film, Struck by Lightning, which debuted at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. He also wrote The New York Times bestselling Land of Stories series of YA books, starting with The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. As of September 2019, he has published fifteen books.

Early life and education

Colfer was born in Clovis, California, to Karyn and Timothy Colfer.[8] He is of Irish ancestry and has stated: "I'm very Irish, my family is all Irish and St. Patrick's day in my house is crazy."[9] As a child, he was confined to a hospital bed for three months following lymph node surgery, which left a scar on his neck and which he credits as one of the difficult experiences that made him interested in fictional worlds.[10]

When Colfer was seven, his younger sister was diagnosed with severe epilepsy; he said, "She'd have these horrid, horrid epileptic fits in the middle of the night."[11] He "craved attention" from his parents, but it was diverted to his sister's health.[11] He knew he wanted to be an actor, but as a coping mechanism he retreated into his imagination and writing fairy tales.[11]

At an early age, Colfer showed a passion for writing. He was "born wanting to be a storyteller", using both writing and acting as ways to entertain people and escape reality.[10] His grandmother was his first editor, advising and encouraging him in elementary school when he first attempted to write a fairytale-inspired novel, which would later become The Land of Stories.[12] In 2012, Colfer dedicated his first published novel to her, and quoted her: "Christopher, I think you should wait until you're done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer."[13]

Colfer was bullied so severely in middle school that he needed to be home schooled for half of 7th grade and 8th grade.[14] When he attended Clovis East High School, he was involved with the speech and debate program, and he won "champion titles", including placing ninth in the State Competition for Dramatic Interpretation. He was also active in the drama club, the FFA, "was president of the Writer's Club, editor of the school's literary magazine, and captain of Destination ImagiNation".[15] As a high school senior, he wrote, starred in, and directed a spoof of Sweeney Todd entitled "Shirley Todd", in which all of the roles were gender-reversed.[16] One of his real in-school experiences was later turned into a sub-plot for his character on Glee, when the high school teachers denied him the chance to sing "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked because it is traditionally sung by a woman.[17][18]


The first show Colfer acted in was a community theatre production of West Side Story.[19] He then appeared in The Sound of Music as Kurt von Trapp, which later inspired the naming of his Glee character.[20]

At age 18, Colfer starred as Russel Fish in Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident, a short film in which an awkward teenager must pass a Presidential Physical Fitness test or fail gym class and lose his admission to Harvard University.


Colfer's first TV role came in 2009 when he was cast as Kurt Hummel on Fox's Glee. Kurt is a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school for being gay and participating in the very unpopular Glee Club. Colfer auditioned for the part of Artie Abrams, who uses a wheelchair, a role which eventually went to Kevin McHale.

Colfer at the Time 100 Gala in April 2011

The show's creator, Ryan Murphy, was so impressed with Colfer that he created the role of Kurt specifically for him,[21] and in the process, scrapped a planned character called Rajish so they could add Kurt. Murphy explained in the season two finale of The Glee Project that Colfer was the inspiration for the project show because he didn't fit the role he auditioned for but was still "incredible and special" so a role was created for him.[22]

The grayscale picture of three people, two women and a man, who dance and put their hands on their hips. The man wears a dark outfit, compound of a vest, a shirt and pants. The women wear similar leotards.
Jenna Ushkowitz, Colfer and Heather Morris during a performance of "Single Ladies" on the tour Glee Live! In Concert! in 2011

In a 2010 interview with Allison Kugel, Colfer stated that:

There have been a couple of times when I have gone to Ryan Murphy and told him a couple of things that have happened to me, and then he writes it into the show. Or he'll ask me what song I would want to sing, in this situation or in that situation. I don't think any of us directly try to give input on the character or on the storyline, but they definitely steal things from us.[18]

Colfer won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his performance as Kurt Hummel. In his emotional acceptance speech, he thanked Ryan Murphy for being his "fairy godfather" and dedicated the award to kids who have been bullied and told "they can't [...] have what they want because of who they are."[5] He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award[23] in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of Kurt.

In 2013 and 2014, Colfer won consecutive People's Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor. Both speeches he gave were praised by the media for being funny while making references to things like fanfiction and fanart to show his appreciation for fan culture.[6][7]

The Land of Stories

On June 8, 2011, Colfer signed a book deal with Little, Brown and Company to write two novels for children. The first book in the series, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012.[24][25] The books are about two twins, named Conner and Alex Bailey, who get their grandma's book and go through adventures in "The Land of Stories".[] For two weeks after the book's release it was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list in the Children's Chapter Books category.[26][27]

The second book in the series, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns (2013) debuted at number two on The New York Times Best Seller list, and by the end of 2013 it had spent eleven weeks in the top fifteen for Children's Middle Grade books.[28] Following the success of the first two books, Colfer contracted for an additional three books with Little, Brown: two novels and a picture book.[29]

The third book in the series, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning, was released on July 8, 2014.[30] Now considered a series, it reached No. 4 on The New York Times Best Seller list and spent four weeks on the list.[31]

Colfer's fourth novel, The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms, was released on July 7, 2015.[32] Following its release, The Land of Stories charted at No. 1 as a series on The New York Times Best Seller list for the first time on July 26.[33][34]

The picture book, written by Colfer and illustrated by Brandon Dorman, The Curvy Tree was released in October 2015, and is based on a short original fairy tale of the same name, which Colfer first told in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.[29]

The fifth book in the series, The Land of Stories: An Author's Odyssey, was released on July 12, 2016. The sixth and final installment, The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide was released on July 11, 2017.

In June 2017, it was announced that Colfer will make his directorial debut with a film adaptation of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. He will also write the script and serve as one of the executive producers on the project.[35]

Other works

Colfer wrote, starred in, executive-produced, and novelized the coming-of-age comedy film Struck by Lightning. The plot revolves around Colfer's character, who is struck and killed by a bolt of lightning, and chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he is publishing. It was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2011 and had its world premiere in 2012 at the Tribeca Film Festival.[36]

In March 2012, Colfer was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8 - a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage - as Ryan Kendall.[37] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[38][39]

Colfer landed a deal with Disney Channel to adapt the book The Little Leftover Witch for a television pilot.[40] He also wrote another movie, set in an asylum, which he planned to appear in as a supporting actor.[41] However, both of these projects have been delayed with no expected dates for production.

On January 28, 2014, it was announced that Colfer will star in a new 3D CG animated family film by Marza Animation Planet, Robodog, as the voice of the title character.[42] The film, which will costar Ron Perlman, is described as "a classic, heart-warming adventure story about an unlikely duo who couldn't be more different." The film's director, Henry F. Anderson III, said Colfer is "perfect" for the project because he "has an appealing, youthful voice which fits right in with our lead character, KC, who is above all a charismatic entertainer."[43] Vocal recording for the film began on February 1, 2014.[42] The film is now in post-production, though as of 2019 no release date has been set.[44]

After a few months of planning, it was revealed in March 2014, that Colfer had been asked by Glees producers to write an episode.[45] About the offer, Colfer said: "I've been asked in interviews if I ever wanted to write [an episode of Glee], and I said, 'Absolutely not because it was not my world.' I didn't want to tamper with someone else's image. Then they were like, 'Here, come tamper.'"[46] The title of the episode, which aired in May 2014, is "Old Dog New Tricks".[47]

In 2014, Colfer guest starred on an episode of Hot in Cleveland as Tony, Victoria's son. In March 2015, Jane Leeves posted an image on Twitter confirming that Colfer would be returning to an episode titled "All About Elka" in the show's final season.[]

On May 14, 2015, it was made public that the biopic Colfer has been mentioning for almost a year was going to be about Noël Coward with the working title Noel with Colfer in the title role.[48] Colfer prepared for the role in London. The film will be directed by Joe Stephenson. While filming was expected to begin sometime during the summer of 2015, it has been delayed.

In 2016, he played Christopher in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. He had been offered the role by Jennifer Saunders after he invited her to the Glee: Live tour in 2011. He also appeared as a guest judge in Chopped Junior.

In 2017, Colfer announced he is developing a new TV show called Indigo, a sci-fi drama about indigo children who are misdiagnosed as having mental or physical illnesses - when they really possess supernatural abilities. "In addition to starring in the project - which will be shopped around to broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services - Colfer is also expected to write and direct the pilot, which he'll executive-produce alongside Keith Quinn and Rob Weisbach.".[49]

Other books

In 2012, Colfer released a companion book to his film Struck by Lightning, called Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal.[50]

In early 2017, Colfer released his second book for young adult readers called Stranger Than Fanfiction.[51] This book follows the story of Cash Carter, a world-famous television star who decides to take a cross-country road trip with four of his biggest fans, as they are getting ready to enter college.[52]

On October 1, 2019, Colfer came out with a new book, A Tale of Magic. It is a prequel to the Land of Stories series.

Personal life

In an interview with Chelsea Handler in December 2009, Colfer stated that he is gay.[53] He has been in a relationship with actor and producer Will Sherrod since 2013.[54][55][56]

Colfer appeared on the British chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross in June 2010, together with his fellow Glee co-stars Amber Riley and Matthew Morrison. He demonstrated his skill with a pair of sai, revealing that he bought a pair on eBay and regularly practices in his trailer. He also mentioned that he would like it if his sai could be worked into an episode of Glee; they first appeared in the season 3 episode "I Am Unicorn", during Colfer's character Kurt Hummel's performance of "I'm the Greatest Star" from the musical Funny Girl.[57]

Colfer was raised in a conservative Christian home and attended Christian youth camps.[58]


Colfer is an active supporter of the It Gets Better campaign and The Trevor Project, creating an It Gets Better video after the Glee episode "Never Been Kissed" aired, and dedicated his 2011 Golden Globe Award to bullied kids in LGBTQ communities.

In 2013, Colfer filmed a public service announcement (PSA) with Elmo about anti-bullying for Sesame Street in Communities,[59] and participated in the Course of the Force run benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[60] In 2014, he participated in a PSA about Let Girls Learn, put out by the U.S. Agency for International Development.[61] On Hollywood Game Night, hosted by Glee co-star Jane Lynch, Colfer won $6,000 and donated it to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America.

Colfer was a co-chair for the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party in 2013 and 2014. He is a coalition member of Uprising of Love, an organization which supports the safety and dignity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Russians.[62]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident Russel Fish Short film
2010 Marmaduke Drama Dog No. 2 Voice
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Kurt Hummel
2012 Struck by Lightning Carson Phillips Also writer and executive producer
2016 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Christopher
TBA The Potters Asher Potter Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
2009-2015 Glee Kurt Hummel Main role; 116 episodes
Also writer on "Old Dog, New Tricks"
2009-2010 Entertainment Tonight Himself
2011 The Cleveland Show Kurt Hummel Voice
2012 8 Ryan Kendall TV movie
2012 The Glee Project Himself Guest mentor
2012 Saturday Night Live Himself
2012-2014 The Talk Himself
2013 Bitter Party of Five Himself
2014 Hollywood Game Night Himself 1 episode
2014, 2015 Hot in Cleveland Tony Chase Episodes: "Straight Out of Cleveland", "All About Elka"
2017 Julie's Greenroom Himself Episode: "The Write Stuff!"
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Himself Episode: My Best Squirrelfriend's Dragsmaids Wedding Trip
2020 Visible: Out On Television Himself Episode: The New Guard

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2009 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Glee Nominated
2010 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Male Scene Stealer Won
2011 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series Won
Monte-Carlo TV Festival Outstanding Actor - Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Male Scene Stealer Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Fashion Icon: Male Himself Nominated
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Comedy Actor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Glee Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Comedy Won
Teen Choice Awards Fashion Icon: Male Himself Nominated
2013 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Comedy Actor Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Glee Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Comedy Nominated
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic TV Actor Himself Won
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic TV Actor Won
Shorty Awards Best Author Author of The Land of Stories Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Comedy Glee Nominated
2019 Destination Imagination[63] DI Icon Award Himself Won


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  3. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at
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  6. ^ a b Goodacre, Kate (January 9, 2013). "People's Choice Awards: Glee's Chris Colfer flattered by fanfiction". Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ a b Naoreen, Nuzhat (January 9, 2014). "Chris Colfer Says He Feels Fantastic After Winning People's Choice Award". Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
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  12. ^ Lodge, Sally (June 6, 2012). "BEA 2012: A Bountiful Breakfast Menu". Retrieved 2014.
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  27. ^ "Chris Colfer Tops New York Times Best Sellers List". July 26, 2012.
  28. ^ New York Times
  29. ^ a b "#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Chris Colfer Builds on Success of Land of Stories Series with a New Three-Book Deal at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers". October 17, 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning. June 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - July 27, 2014 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms. June 27, 2017.
  33. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - July 26, 2015 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - August 24, 2014 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ Patterson, Michael (June 13, 2017). "A 'Glee'-ful Return: Chris Colfer Will Adapt & Direct A Movie Adaptation Of His Book Series, The Land Of Stories". Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
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  37. ^ "Glee Stars 'Touched' By Pitt & Clooney's Support Of '8'". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 2012.
  38. ^ ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved 2012.
  39. ^ "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". Retrieved 2012.
  40. ^ Tim Stack, "Glee star Chris Colfer discusses his new pilot for Disney and Kurt's return to McKinley - EXCLUSIVE",, April 22, 2011.
  41. ^ Malkin, Marc (January 9, 2013). "Chris Colfer's New Asylum Movie "Completely Different" From Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story". Retrieved 2014.
  42. ^ a b Blair, Gavin J (January 28, 2012). "Chris Colfer, Ron Perlman to Voice 'Robodog' Anime Feature". Retrieved 2014.
  43. ^ "Chris Colfer and Ron Perlman Will Lend Their Voices to RoboDog". January 28, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  44. ^ "Marza Animation Planet Films". Marza Animation Planet.
  45. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 17, 2014). "Glee Exclusive: Chris Colfer to Pen Episode". Retrieved 2014.
  46. ^ Swift, Andy (March 19, 2014). "Chris Colfer on Writing Glee Episode: Expect 'Animals and the Elderly' (But No Miley Cyrus)". Retrieved 2014.
  47. ^ "Instagram".
  48. ^ "Glee's Chris Colfer to star in Noel Coward biopic".
  49. ^ "Glee's Chris Colfer Developing, Starring in Sci-Fi Drama About Kids With Powers". February 16, 2017.
  50. ^ "Chris Colfer was Struck by Lightning".
  51. ^ "Chris Colfer debuts Stranger Than Fanfiction cover".
  52. ^ "Chris Colfer's new teen novel stars a bad-boy actor".
  53. ^ "Glee's Chris Colfer Comes Out". September 14, 2011.
  54. ^ "Photos from The Real Life Loves of Glee's Big Stars". E! Online. Retrieved 2020.
  55. ^ Dilip, Mangala (May 27, 2015). "Chris Colfer Turns 25; Rare Photos, Unknown Facts about the 'Glee' Star". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 2020.
  56. ^ Oct 31 2013, Oscar Lopez |; Edt, 09:24pm (October 31, 2013). "Celeb Couples Halloween Costumes 2013: See Photos Of Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Colfer, Rachel Zoe With Their Partner In Costume!". Latin Times. Retrieved 2020.
  57. ^ BBC. Chris Colfer show his sai swords skills - Friday Night With Jonathan Ross". Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Retrieved 2010.
  58. ^ "Chris Colfer's Religion and Political Views". Retrieved 2020.
  59. ^ Chris Colfer & Elmo Talk About Bullying. YouTube. December 10, 2013.
  60. ^ CHRIS COLFER Extended Interview - Course of the Force 2013: Day 1. YouTube. July 12, 2013.
  61. ^ Gajewski, Ryan (June 20, 2014). "Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner Encourage Education for Young Women in PSA". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014.
  62. ^ Ocamb, Karen (March 28, 2014). "Melissa Etheridge 'Uprising of Love' Music Video a Kiss to LGBT Russians". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  63. ^ "Chris Colfer to Receive Icon Award at Global Finals 2019". May 2019.

Further reading

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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