Leslie Odom Jr.

Leslie Odom Jr.

Odom in costume as Aaron Burr in Hamilton
Born (1981-08-06) August 6, 1981
Queens, New York, U.S.
Education Carnegie Mellon University
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2003–present
Spouse(s) Nicolette Robinson Odom (m. 2012)

Leslie Odom Jr. (born August 6, 1981) is an American actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway and in television and film, as well as in other theatrical productions. He is perhaps best known for his performances as Sam Strickland in the 2013 musical television series Smash, as well as in the role of Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton, a performance for which he won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Early life

Odom was born in Queens, New York.[1] Later, his family moved to the East Oak Lane section Philadelphia where he grew up. He attended Julia R. Masterman School for middle school and high school.[2] After graduating, he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduating with honors. After he graduated, he moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2003.



Odom sang as a teenager, and studied musical theatre in college. At the age of 17 he made his Broadway debut as Paul in Rent. In 2000, he appeared in the ensemble of the one-night Broadway concert version of Dreamgirls.

He spent much of his time doing theatre in LA, including in 2010 with Leap of Faith,[3] which moved to Broadway in 2012, with him starring as Isaiah Sturdevant. The show closed shortly afterwards, however he made the move to New York and relocated there.

After starring in Venice Off-Broadway and Witness Uganda at A.R.T. and in workshops, Odom Jr. worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Encores! Off-Center production of Tick, Tick... Boom! playing Michael. Odom also played Nat King Cole in the 2015 one-night Actors Fund of America benefit concert of Bombshell.[4] Upon questioning if Odom would play the role when the show eventually opens on Broadway, it was implied that the part will be cut from the show.

Odom was nominated for a 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical[3] for the role of Aaron Burr in the Off-Broadway production of Hamilton at The Public Theater. He continued in the same role at the Richard Rodgers Theatre after the show transferred to Broadway later that year where it continues to run to massive acclaim. He also won a 2016 Grammy Award for the cast album, and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Odom's final appearance in the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton occurred on July 9, 2016.[5]


In 2003, Odom began a recurring role as Joseph Kayle on CSI: Miami, appearing on nine episodes between then and 2006, when he left to take a recurring role as Maliko Christo on Vanished, appearing in 10 episodes before the shows' cancellation.

From 2006 to 2007, he held a recurring role as Freddy on Big Day, appearing on nine episodes prior to its cancellation. He later had a supporting role as Julian Noble in the TV movie Poe in 2011.

In 2012 he had a recurring role as Sam Strickland on Smash, before being promoted to a starring role for season two in 2013 before the series was cancelled. His performance was praised, though the show's second season was not.

In late 2013, he was offered the leading role of Lucas Newsome on State of Affairs. He accepted the role, but ended up backing out to take the part of Aaron Burr in the workshops of the musical Hamilton.

From 2013 to 2014 he had a recurring role as Peter Collier on Person of Interest, appearing on a total of eight episodes. He also played Reverend Curtis Scott on 7 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit between 2013 and 2015.

Beginning on May 19, 2016, Odom Jr hosted the Broadway.com web series Aaron Burr, Sir: Backstage at Hamilton with Leslie Odom Jr, with a new episode being uploaded every Thursday for 8 weeks. Odom was also set to play Jimmy Jam in a 2017 miniseries about New Edition, but ended up leaving the project.

He has made guest appearances on several shows including Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, and The Good Wife.


Odom Jr. has appeared in multiple short films, and had a supporting role as Declan Hall in the 2012 war film Red Tails. He will play Dr. Arbuthnot in Kenneth Branagh's upcoming adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.[6]


He released his debut album Leslie Odom Jr. in 2014 on CD and Soundcloud. He promoted the album with several concerts at the Public Theater, and in 2016 he released a version of Selena Gomez's Good For You. Also, in June 2016 he released an updated and improved version of Leslie Odom Jr on S-Curve Records. The album charted at #1 on Billboard Jazz and #147 on Billboard 200. He promoted the album with a series of concerts throughout the year.

On November 11, 2016, he released a new album, titled Simply Christmas.

Theatre credits

Year Show Role Notes
1998 Rent Paul, a cop, others Broadway, Nederlander Theatre
2001 Dreamgirls Ensemble Actors Fund Benefit Concert
Unknown Jersey Boys Geffen Playhouse
Keep Your Pantheon Philadelphia Theatre Company
2007 Being Alive Performer Westport Country Playhouse
Philadelphia Theatre Company
2008 Once On This Island Ensemble Los Angeles; also assistant director
2009 Soul of Rodgers Performer Reprise Theatre Company
2010 Dido, Queen of Carthage Shakespeare Classics Festival
Leap of Faith Isaiah Sturdevant Los Angeles Premiere
2012 Broadway, St. James Theatre
April 26, 2012 - May 13, 2012
2013 Venice Markos Monroe Off-Broadway
2014 Tick, Tick... Boom! Michael Encores!
2015 Hamilton Aaron Burr Off-Broadway, The Public Theater
January 20, 2015 – May 3, 2015
Broadway, Richard Rodgers Theatre
August 6, 2015 – July 9, 2016
Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical



Year Film Role Notes
2007 Scarecrow Joe Joe Short
2012 Red Tails Declan 'Winky' Hall
2015 Luna Goes Cruising Oscar Short
2017 Murder on the Orient Express Dr. Arbuthnot Filming
2003–2006 CSI: Miami Joseph Kayle Recurring Role
2004 The Big House Lamont Episodes: "A Friend In Need", "Almost Touched By An Angel"
2006 Threshold Sergeant Adams Episode: "The Crossing"
2006 Gilmore Girls Quentin Walsh Episode: "Bridesmaids Revisited"
2006 Vanished Agent Malik Christo Recurring Role
2006 Close To Home Jordan Carter Episode: "Prodigal Son"
2006–2007 Big Day Freddy Recurring Role
2007 The Bill Engvall Show Mr. Pratt Episodes: "Good People", "Feel Free To Say No"
2007 Supreme Courtships Marcus TV Movie
2008 Grey's Anatomy P.J. Wallings Episode: "There's No "I" In Team"
2011 NCIS: Los Angeles FBI Agent Duane Lausten Episode: "Archangel"
2011 Zeke and Luther Mr. Arliss Bunnyson Episode: "Zeke, Luther, and Kojo Strike Gold"
2011 Bandwagon Urban Glee performer Episode: "You Can Do Anything"
2011 Supernatural Guy Episode: "Season Seven, Time For A Wedding"
2011 Poe Julian 'Jupiter' Noble TV Movie
2012 House of Lies James Episodes: "Ouroboros", "Veritas"
2013 Smash Sam Strickland Lead role
2013 Person of Interest Peter Collier[7] Recurring Role
2013–2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Reverend Curtis Scott Recurring Role
2015 Gotham Ian Hargrove Episode: "Harvey Dent"
2016 The Good Wife Barry Pert Episode: "Unmanned"
2016 Aaron Burr, Sir: Backstage at Hamilton with Leslie Odom Jr Host Web series; 8 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2002 Princess Grace Award Acting Won
2012 Fred and Adele Astaire Award Best Dancer on Broadway Leap of Faith Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
2015 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Hamilton Nominated
Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Nominated
2016 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
Broadway.com Audience Awards Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Lin-Manuel Miranda) Won



Personal life

Odom met Nicolette Robinson when he was an assistant director to Billy Porter for Once on This Island in Los Angeles, in 2008. Robinson, then a student at UCLA, had auditioned for the show, but was not initially cast. Later, she joined as a replacement when another cast member went on leave. Odom was responsible for "put in" her rehearsals for the show. They were subsequently married on December 1, 2012.[8]

On October 17, 2016, it was announced that they are expecting their first child.[9]


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