Howard McGillin

Howard McGillin (born November 5, 1953 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor. He is known for his role of John Jasper in Drood and for portraying the role The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

Howard McGillin
Born (1953-11-05) November 5, 1953 (age 68)
OccupationActor, vocalist
Years active1970s–present
Mary Lloyd-Butler
(m. 1976; div. 1990)

Richard Samson (m. 2013)


Early life and careerEdit

McGillin was born in Los Angeles, California. His father William was an accountant, and his mother Margaret was an administrator at Santa Barbara City College.[1] McGillin graduated from Dos Pueblos High School and the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in college, he appeared at the Sacramento Music Circus in seven musicals.[2]

He began his career on television, working as a contract player for Universal Studios,[3] and his early film and TV credits include roles in McMillan & Wife (1976), The Six Million Dollar Man (2 episodes, 1976), Emergency! (2 episodes, 1976 and 1977), The Bionic Woman (2 episodes, 1976), The Rockford Files (1977), Columbo (1977), Mary White (1977), Wheels (1978), Women in White (1979) and Where the Boys Are '84 (1984). He moved to New York City with the intention of pursuing a career on Broadway, and was cast as one of the male leads in the New York Shakespeare Festival's 1984 production of La Boheme, which starred Linda Ronstadt.[3] The New York Times reviewer, Frank Rich, called McGillin "dashing".[4]


Other featured and leading roles on the stage followed. Often considered a "tall, dark and handsome" leading man,[citation needed] McGillin originated the role of John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Imperial Theatre; for his performance he was nominated for a 1986 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He earned a second Tony nomination in 1988 for his portrayal of Billy Crocker in the Broadway revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.

McGillin starred in the award-winning West End 1995 production of Mack & Mabel and sings on the cast album recording.[5] He received praise as Molina in the Kander and Ebb musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, replacing Brent Carver in 1994.

The New York Times reviewer wrote: "In an impressive change of pace from the smooth philanderer he played in 'She Loves Me,' Howard McGillin is Molina...Mr. McGillin can be almost boyishly blithe at times. He embraces Aurora's campy films with the flair of the musical-comedy aficionado...While Mr. McGillin is playing up Molina's more exuberant charm, Mr. [Brian Stokes] Mitchell is playing down Valentin's brusque condescension. As a result, the growing affection between them seems the more believable."[6] Due to their performances and that of leading lady Vanessa Williams, the show received a rare second cast recording.[7]

McGillin originated a leading role in the world premiere of Stephen Sondheim's musical Bounce at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, and the Kennedy Center in 2003.[8] He was featured in the Encores! production of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 in 1999.[9]

He appeared in the Irish Repertory Theatre (New York City) concert, A Child's Christmas in Wales in Concert in December 2011.[10]

McGillin has continued to perform in television and film as a voice-over artist. His is the singing voice of Gregory in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, has narrated many books on tape, and programs/commercials on television (including the PBS series Nature). He voiced Prince Derek in the animated film The Swan Princess (1994).[11] McGillin has released one solo CD, Where Time Stands Still.[12] He has contributed to numerous cast recordings, including those of The Mystery of Edwin Drood,[13] Anything Goes,[14] and Bounce.[15]

McGillin used to hold the record for the most performances by an actor in the title role of the musical The Phantom of the Opera (currently held by Brad Little), joining the Broadway cast in 1999.[16] He was part of the musical when it became the longest-running production in Broadway history on January 9, 2006, and its twenty-first anniversary on January 26, 2009. McGillin played his last performance in the role on July 25, 2009, marking his 2,544th show.[17]

He performed in the York Theatre production of I Remember Mama, which ran from October 8–10, 2010.[18]

McGillin starred as Sir Francis Chesney in the New York City Center Encores! production of Where's Charley? from March 17–20, 2011.[19] He played Applegate in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Damn Yankees! in Millburn, New Jersey, which ran from March 7, 2012 through April 1, 2012.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

McGillin married longtime partner Richard Samson in September 2013; he had been married and divorced prior to this.[1] McGillin has two sons, Brian and Christopher.[21]

Selected stage creditsEdit


Source: Playbill Vault[22]

West EndEdit



  1. ^ a b "Richard Samson, Howard McGillin." The New York Times September 22, 2013
  2. ^ "McGillin", accessed April 9, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Howard McGillin", accessed April 9, 2015
  4. ^ Rich, Frank. "Opera: Linda Ronstadt In Puccinni's 'La Boheme'" New York Times, November 30, 1984
  5. ^ "'Mack & Mabel' Cast Recording, 1995, Credits",; accessed April 9, 2015.
  6. ^ Richards, David. "Theater review. Vanessa Williams's Enticing 'Spider Woman'" New York Times, July 26, 1994
  7. ^ Spencer, David. "Recording Review. Kiss of the Spider Woman ", accessed April 9, 2015
  8. ^ Portantiere, Michael. Bounce, November 2003
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Cast Announced for 'Encores!' Revival of 'Ziegfeld Follies of 1936'",, March 12, 1999.
  10. ^ Gioia, Michael. "Howard McGillin, Edwin Cahill Among Cast for Irish Rep's A Child's Christmas in Wales in Concert",, November 22, 2011.
  11. ^ The Swan Princess,; accessed April 9, 2015.
  12. ^ "Howard McGillin – Where Time Stands Stil (2003, CD)". Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  13. ^ "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Original Broadway Cast Recording)". Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Anything Goes: The New Broadway Cast Recording". Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  15. ^ Simonson, Robert (February 24, 2004). "Bounce Original Cast Recording to Be Released on April 27". Playbill. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  16. ^ Ehren, Christine. "Howard McGillin Dons the Mask as Bway's 11th Phantom Aug. 23", July 22, 1999
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. Cudia Will Succeed McGillin, World's Longest-Running Phantom, on Broadway",, May 7, 2009.
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Howard McGillin, George S. Irving, Erin Mackey and More Cast in Mufti 'I Remember Mama'" Archived 2010-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, October 4, 2010.
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Encores! 'Where's Charley?' to Feature Rebecca Luker and Howard McGillin", February 3, 2011
  20. ^ "Howard McGillin, Chryssie Whitehead, Christopher Charles Wood to Lead Paper Mill's DAMN YANKEES".
  21. ^ Wong, Wayman. "The Leading Men: A ‘Phantom’ phenom - McGillin, Tartaglia & Gurland." Playbill, April 1, 2003
  22. ^ "McGillin Broadway Credits", accessed April 8, 2015
  23. ^ " 'Anything Goes' Listing", accessed April 8, 2015
  24. ^ "'The Secret Garden' Listing", accessed April 8, 2015
  25. ^ " 'She Loves Me' 1993-1994", accessed April 8, 2015
  26. ^ " 'Sunday in the Park with George' Concert, 1994", accessed April 8, 2015
  27. ^ Trucco, Terry. "A London Accent for 'Anything Goes'" New York Times, July 25, 1989
  28. ^ Wallach, Allan. "A CurtainUp Review. 'As Thousands Cheer' ", June 19, 1998
  29. ^ Hughes, David-Edward. "Interview", 2004

External linksEdit