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Sutton Foster Biography

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Birth Name: Sutton Foster
Born: 03/18/1975
Birth Place: Statesboro, Georgia, USA

Born in Statesboro, Georgia on March 18, 1975, Foster moved around a lot as a child for her father's job as a salesman at General Motors. Foster has lived in Athens and Augusta, GA; Troy, MI; Germantown, TN; and New York City. She started dancing at age 4, and at 13, Foster's considerable talents snagged her the lead role in a local production of "Annie," sparking her life-long passion for performing.

Right around that time, Foster's family made the move to Michigan, where her brother enrolled in the theater program at the University of Michigan and Sutton joined both the high school drama program and local community theater productions. She also appeared on TV in "Star Search" at age 15, but didn't win, joining the ranks of Star Search's other famous losers: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

Foster left high school for her role in "The Will Rogers Follies" during its first national tour, and was the youngest member of the cast at age 17. She continued touring throughout high school and only took time off for prom and graduation, eventually completing her degree via correspondence. After the tour ended, she took a stab at college, enrolling in Carnegie Mellon University, but the program didn't quite fit and she left after only one year to move back home and ponder on her next step.

After a few months, Foster went to visit her brother, Hunter Foster, in New York, where he was performing in "Grease" on Broadway with Rosie O'Donnell. Motivated by her brother's success, she appeared in "Grease," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Annie" and "Les Misérables" on Broadway. Then in 2000, Foster landed her big break. She was part of the chorus for a production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the La Jolla Playhouse, and the actress playing Millie Dillmount fell sick a week before rehearsals. Foster was asked to step in for the actress temporarily but after the director and crew saw her in the role, they offered it to her full time. She was a hit, and the show went on to Broadway a year later. While on Broadway, the role earned Foster her first Tony Award for Best Actress, elevating her to the big leagues of the theater world.

After starring in the role of Millie, Foster moved on to launch the role of Jo March in "Little Women" on Broadway, earning her a second Tony Award nomination. Continuing her successful momentum, she starred in "The Drowsy Chaperone," earning another Tony Award nomination, and appeared in the extremely popular production of "Young Frankenstein." Around that time, Foster dated and then married fellow thespian and college alum Christian Borle, who went on to star in television Broadway drama, "Smash" (NBC, 2012-). The two married on Sept. 18, 2006, but then divorced in 2009. In 2008, Foster originated the role of Princess Fiona in the lively Broadway adaptation, "Shrek the Musical," for which she earned her fourth Tony Award nomination. Foster eventually left the role in 2010, riding high.

She released her first solo album, Wish, in 2009, featuring a collection of jazz, pop and Broadway tunes that showcased her talents beyond her characters' songs. In 2010, Foster toured the country to promote the album and began pursing her other life's ambition: teaching drama at the prestigious Tisch School of the Art at New York University. In the classroom, Foster shared her love of drama and the arts with equally ambitious students, sharing her guidance and shaping the next generation of performers at Interlochen Academy for the Arts, MI and co-directing students in Indiana's Ball State University's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone."

Foster soon returned to the stage for the revival of "Anything Goes," and won her second Tony Award for her performance -- and the opportunity of a lifetime. Television writer/producer Amy Sherman-Palladino happened to catch Foster's performance and knew she had found her leading lady for an upcoming dance pilot by intermission. A former dancer herself, Palladino was famous for her long-running series, "Gilmore Girls" (2000-07), and was in the process of creating another female-driven, smart series about the dance world titled "Bunheads." Taking the leap from stage to studio lot finally introduced Foster to the rest of the world outside Broadway. Foster's turn as a Las Vegas showgirl-turned-small town dance teacher was a perfect fit, lending some Broadway authenticity to the show and helping earn "Bunheads" a second season.