Billy Magnussen

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Billy Magnussen
Billy Magnussen 2011 (cropped).jpg
Magnussen in 2011
Born William Gregory Magnussen
(1985-04-20) April 20, 1985 (age 32)
Woodhaven, Queens, New York[1]
Education North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA)
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 2007–present

William Gregory Magnussen[1] (born April 20, 1985) is an American actor.

Early life[edit]

Magnussen was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Daina, an aerobics instructor, and Greg Magnussen, a professional bodybuilder and kickboxer, he has two younger brothers.[2][3][4] His maternal grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants, he grew up in Queens around Woodhaven Blvd. until the age of 10, when he moved with his family to Cumming, Georgia. Magnussen graduated from South Forsyth High School in 2003 and later graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Acting career[edit]


In 2007, he made his Broadway stage debut in The Ritz, starring Rosie Perez.[5]

In 2012, he was cast alongside David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, premiering at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, prior to its move to Lincoln Center in New York City. It then moved to the John Golden Theatre, where it was nominated for six Tony Awards. Magnussen was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Spike.

In 2014, he starred Off-Broadway with Anna Gunn in a critically acclaimed production of Sex With Strangers directed by David Schwimmer at the Second Stage Theatre.[6]


Magnussen appeared in the films Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet and Happy Tears, which stars Demi Moore and Parker Posey. He stars as Claude in the film Twelve, which was released July 30, 2010.

He played Neil Thomas, a World War II hero, in the 2011 film The Lost Valentine, based on the book The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt. The Lost Valentine aired on January 30, 2011, on CBS as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. In 2011, he also played Thor in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress. In 2012, he starred in the indie feature Surviving Family.

In 2014, Magnussen starred in his breakout role as Rapunzel's Prince in Rob Marshall's Into the Woods.

In 2016, Magnussen appeared in THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS, opposite Kathy Bates, as Ellis, the social worker in charge of Gilly Hopkins, played by Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse, the role was originally written for a female in the novel and stage play.

In 2017, Magnussen has been cast in a newly created role as Prince Anders in Disney's live-action adaptation of Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie which eventually drew a controversy over his casting as an assumed case of whitewashing.


Magnussen plays Kato Kaelin on the first season of American Crime Story, about the O. J. Simpson murder case.

He is known for his role on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, where he took over the role of Casey Hughes on January 29, 2008.[7] He guest-starred in the CW's series The Beautiful Life in 2009.

He guest-starred on Boardwalk Empire as Roger McAlister, Gillian Darmody's lover, and was the stand-in for Jimmy Darmody's corpse.

He also has guest-starred on Law & Order Criminal Intent, in the 10th-season episode "Icarus", and on Law & Order, in the 19th-season episode, "Sweetie".

He also has guest-starred on The Divide in 4 episodes.

He also has guest-starred on NCIS: Los Angeles in episode 3 of season 2, titled "Borderline" for his role, Corporal Allen Reed.

In 2017 Magnussen starred as Russ Snyder on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Music career[edit]

Magnussen once was the bass player and a contributing songwriter for the NYC–based rock band The Dash,[8] he plays guitar in the NYC-based band Reserved for Rondee.[9][10]



External links[edit]