Joshua Ilan Gad[1] (born February 23, 1981)[2] is an American actor. He is known for voicing Olaf in the Frozen franchise, playing Elder Arnold Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, and playing Le Fou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. For his role as Olaf, Gad won two Annie Awards, and for his work in The Book of Mormon, he co-won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, both shared with Andrew Rannells as one of the two leading artists.

Josh Gad
41st Annie Awards, Josh Gad (crop).jpg
Gad at the 41st Annie Awards in 2014
Joshua Ilan Gad

(1981-02-23) February 23, 1981 (age 41)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA)
Years active2001–present
Ida Darvish
(m. 2008)

Gad played Skip Gilchrist in the political sitcom 1600 Penn on NBC, and a fictionalized version of himself on FX's The Comedians, alongside Billy Crystal. His other film roles include The Rocker, The Internship, 21, Love & Other Drugs, Jobs, Pixels, The Wedding Ringer, The Angry Birds Movie and its sequel, A Dog's Purpose and its sequel A Dog's Journey, Marshall, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, Little Monsters and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He has also appeared in ER, The Daily Show, Modern Family, New Girl, Bored to Death, and Numb3rs. In 2020, he began starring in the HBO comedy series Avenue 5.

Early lifeEdit

Joshua Ilan Gad was born in Hollywood, Florida, on February 23, 1981.[2] His mother, Susan,[3] is a real estate agent and his stepfather is an investment advisor, and he has two older brothers, a stepbrother and a stepsister.[1] His father, Sam (Shmuel) Gad was born to a Jewish family in Afghanistan and moved to Israel as a teenager. Gad believes his father is a descendant of the Tribe of Gad, one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, further stating that his paternal ancestors traveled through India before settling in Afghanistan.[4] His mother was born in Germany to an Ashkenazi Jewish family of Holocaust survivors.[5][6][7][8] He was raised Jewish.[9][10]

Gad attended the University School of Nova Southeastern University, graduating in 1999. While there, he won the National Forensics League (NFL) National Tournament Championships for Original Oratory in 1998 and 1999. He also won the 1999 Humorous Interpretation at the National tournament in Phoenix.[11] He then attended the Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama. He attended college with fellow Broadway stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Rory O’Malley, the latter of whom he based his portrayal of Olaf in Frozen on.[12] During this time, he undertook a semester-long exchange at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.[13]


2002–2008: Early careerEdit

Gad made his film debut in the 2002 film Mary and Joe. In 2005, Gad made his television debut by guest-starring in an episode of the NBC medical drama series ER. The same year, he replaced Dan Fogler as William Barfée in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway after Fogler left the show.[14] Gad went on to star in the Fox sitcom Back to You as news director Ryan Church. The sitcom lasted one season from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, Gad had a supporting role in the drama film 21, and a leading role in the comedy film The Rocker.

2008–2012: The Book of Mormon and minor success on televisionEdit

After Back to You, Gad appeared as a correspondent on The Daily Show on May 5, 2009, and became a regular correspondent on June 2, 2009.[15] His signature segments include "The War on Christmas", in which he played an oversexed Benjamin Franklin, and "Chubby Chasers", in which he reported on Michelle Obama's efforts to curb childhood obesity.[16] Gad made his final appearance as a correspondent on June 27, 2011.[17] Also in 2009, Gad starred in the short-form Crackle horror comedy series Woke Up Dead.

In 2010, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy-drama film Love & Other Drugs opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. That same year, Gad had a voice role in the family comedy film Marmaduke. In 2011, Gad voiced Mondo in the MTV adult animated sitcom Good Vibes. That same year, Gad portrayed Elder Cunningham in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. The show opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011.[18] His last performance was June 6, 2012. Gad was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical and won for Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, along with his co-star Andrew Rannells.[19]

In 2012, Gad had a leading role in the independent film She Wants Me. Also in 2012, Gad co-created, produced and starred in the NBC sitcom 1600 Penn. Both Good Vibes and 1600 Penn were canceled after one season. That same year, Gad voiced the molehog Louis in Ice Age: Continental Drift.

2013–2019: Frozen franchise and continued successEdit

In 2013, he played Andrew in the film The Internship and starred as Steve Wozniak in the film Jobs. The same year, he voiced Olaf in the Disney film Frozen, re-collaborating with co-songwriter Robert Lopez from The Book of Mormon. In 2014, Gad co-starred in Zach Braff's film Wish I Was Here, playing the main character's brother.[20]

In 2015, Gad starred alongside Kevin Hart and Kaley Cuoco in The Wedding Ringer and starred alongside Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in Pixels, a film about video game players who are recruited by the military to fight 1980s-era video game characters who have attacked the earth.[21] That same year, Gad co-starred with Billy Crystal on the FX comedy series The Comedians, which premiered on April 9, 2015.[22] The series was canceled after one season. In 2016, Gad voiced Chuck in The Angry Birds Movie, based on the game franchise of the same name.

In 2017, Gad voiced the dog Bailey in A Dog's Purpose,[23][24] Also that year, he played LeFou in the live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon and co-starring with Emma Watson.[25] Gad also starred in Reginald Hudlin's biographical drama Marshall, alongside Chadwick Boseman and Beauty and the Beast co-star Dan Stevens, and Gad played Hector MacQueen in a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, alongside Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Daisy Ridley.

In 2019, Gad starred with Lupita Nyong'o and Alexander England in the Hulu horror-comedy Little Monsters.[26] He also starred in A Dog's Journey, the sequel to A Dog's Purpose, reprising his role as Bailey. Also in 2019, Gad reprised his role of Olaf in the sequel Frozen II as well as the video game Kingdom Hearts III.

2020–present: Expanding venturesEdit

In 2020, Gad returned to television by starring in two different television series. First, Gad starred in the HBO science fiction comedy series Avenue 5 opposite Hugh Laurie. The series premiered on January 19 and was renewed for a second season a month later.[27] Second, Gad created, produced and starred in the Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series Central Park. The series received a two-season order from Apple with each season set to consist of thirteen episodes each. The series premiered on May 29.

He starred in the science fantasy adventure Artemis Fowl (2020), based on the book of the same name by Eoin Colfer. The film was initially set for a theatrical release but was changed to a streaming release on Disney+ due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September 2020 Gad joined Princess Bride Reunion, a virtual live script read-through of the 1987 movie, in the role of Fezzik, originally played by André the Giant. The A.V. Club's review singled out his performance as "Josh Gad’s surprisingly moving Andre the Giant tribute... It was an impression in the gentlest, sweetest sense of the word, something remarked on repeatedly by the rest of the cast and host/moderator Patton Oswalt. 10s across the board."[28]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, where people were encouraged to practice social distancing, Gad launched the YouTube series Reunited Apart, which reunites the cast, via video conferencing, of several popular movies and movie series including Back to The Future and Lord of the Rings. The series encourages its viewers to support non-profit charities such as Dig Deep, Project Hope and No Kid Hungry.[29] In June, Gad announced that the episode on Ferris Bueller's Day Off would be the last,[30] though the series later returned for a second season, which premiered in December 2020 with the cast of Wayne's World.[31]

In the runup to the 2020 election, Gad joined other Broadway celebrities with the voter education nonprofit VoteRiders for a virtual party to raise awareness around the complexities of voter ID laws targeting at-risk voters.[32][33]

Gad is set to serve as co-creator, co-writer, and executive-producer for a Beauty and the Beast prequel limited series for Disney+, in which he will also reprise his role as LeFou as a series regular.[34] Gad was also announced to star as Nick Szalinski in the upcoming film Shrunk, a legacy-sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.[35]

In January 2019, it was announced Gad was set to produce the live-action remake of Disney's 1996 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was later rumored Gad was considered to play the lead role of Quasimodo; however this was postponed because of COVID-19.[citation needed] Gad was a guest narrator at Disney's Candlelight Processional Dec 10–12, 2022. [36]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2004, Gad met actress Ida Darvish after the two were cast to play a married couple in the David Ives play All in the Timing. They married in 2008.[37] Gad has stated that while he loves the traditional aspects of Judaism and celebrates some traditions of his wife's Catholicism, he considers himself spiritual but not religious.[9] They have two daughters, Ava Gad, born in 2011, and Isabella Gad, born in 2014.[38][39] Gad has come out in the past couple years talking about his struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as part of his effort to combat mental health stigma and shame.[40] As an effort towards squashing the mental health stigma, Gad joined other celebrities in 2018 in an ongoing project through the Child Mind Institute, titled #MyYoungerSelf. This campaign focuses on normalizing mental health especially in kids. The website features Gad and other celebrities talking about their own personal struggles with mental health and how they've found the help they need, while they also encourage viewers to find what can specifically help them.[41]Reunited Apart, talked about in the career section above, helped Gad get through the pandemic and lockdown. While he was out of work for the lockdown, he was able to focus on the series and not let his mental health plummet like many other Americans suffered from during the lockdown period.[42]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Mary and Joe Angel
2006 Razortooth Jay
2007 Watching the Detectives Mark
2008 21 Miles
The Rocker Matt
2009 Crossing Over Howie
The Lost Nomads: Get Lost 22 Gigi
Miss Piggy
Jose Sanchez
The Clown
Spatula Lover
Big Guy Rodney Short film
2010 Marmaduke Bandana Dog Voice
Love & Other Drugs Josh Randall
2011 Mardi Gras: Spring Break Bartholomew T. "Bump" Brown
2012 She Wants Me Sam Baum
Ice Age: Continental Drift Louis Voice
Thanks for Sharing Neil
2013 Jobs Steve Wozniak
The Internship Andrew "Headphones" Anderson
Frozen Olaf Voice; Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2014 Wish I Was Here Noah Bloom
2015 The Wedding Ringer Doug Harris Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Frozen Fever Olaf Voice; short film
Pixels Ludlow Lamonsoff Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Chuck Voice[43]
2017 A Dog's Purpose Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy Voice
Beauty and the Beast LeFou
Marshall Sam Friedman
Murder on the Orient Express Hector MacQueen
Olaf's Frozen Adventure Olaf (voice) Voice; television special
2018 Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. Himself Documentary
2019 Little Monsters[44] Nathan Schneider/Teddy McGiggle
A Dog's Journey Bailey/Molly/Big Dog/Max[45] Voice
The Angry Birds Movie 2 Chuck Voice
Frozen II Olaf Voice; Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2020 Artemis Fowl Mulch Diggums
Once Upon a Snowman Olaf Voice; short film
2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife Muncher Voice


Year Title Role Notes
2005 ER Sgt. Bruce Larabee Episode: "Here and There"
2007–2008 Back to You Ryan Church Main role
2008 American Dad! Art (voice) Episode: "Pulling Double Booty"
2008, 2009 Numbers Roy McGill 2 episodes
2009 Waiting to Die Simon Television film
No Heroics Horseforce Television film
Party Down Jeffrey Ells Episode: "California College Conservative Union Caucus"
2009–2011 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Himself (correspondent) 5 episodes
2010 Bored to Death Warren Episode: "Make It Quick, Fitzgerald!"
2011 The Cleveland Show Droopy / Pimp Voice; episode: "Our Gang"
Californication Doctor 2 episodes
Gigi: Almost American Gigi 10 episodes; also executive producer
2011, 2020 Modern Family Kenneth Ploufe 2 episodes: "Punkin Chunkin" and "Dead on a Rival"
2011 Good Vibes Mondo (voice) Main role
2012–2013 1600 Penn Skip Gilchrist Main role; also co-creator and executive producer
2012–2015 New Girl Bearclaw 3 episodes: "Katie", "Birthday", "Walk of Shame"
2013 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "America's Got Game Night"
2014 Monsters vs. Aliens Internet Voice; episode: "Bride of the Internet"
2015 The Comedians Josh Main role
Sesame Street Vincent Van Stop Episode: "Bert's Sign Painting Challenge[46]
Phineas and Ferb Wendell Voice; 2 episodes
TripTank Louis Voice; 1 episode
Jeopardy! Himself Celebrity contestant[47]
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself / Donald Trump Episode: "Josh Gad vs. Kaley Cuoco"
Sofia the First Olaf Voice; episode: "The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle"
LEGO Frozen Northern Lights Olaf Voice; special
Talking Dead Himself Guest
2017 Star Wars Rebels LT-319 Voice; episode: "Double Agent Droid"
South Park Marcus Preston / Ms. McGullicutty Voice; episode: "Hummels & Heroin"
Also producer
2018 Bob's Burgers Damon Voice; episode: "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"
2019 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself Guest host
2020–present Avenue 5 Herman Judd Main cast
2020 At Home with Olaf Olaf Main role; voice
2020–present Central Park Birdie / Ernst Von Gunten Main cast; voice; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2020 Home Movie: The Princess Bride Grandson[48] Episode: "Chapter One: As You Wish"[49]
2021 Curb Your Enthusiasm Chiropractor Episode: "Man Fights Tiny Woman"
2022–present Wolf Like Me Gary Main Cast
2022 The Boys Himself Episode: "Herogasm"; cameo
2022 The Tiny Chef Show Himself 2 episodes

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Voice roles
2012 MIB: Alien Crisis Emilio Chauncey, Handsome Guest, Khnemu
2013 Frozen: Olaf's Quest Olaf
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0[50]
2017 South Park Phone Destroyer Marcus Preston
2019 Kingdom Hearts III Olaf


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Woke Up Dead Matt 21 episodes
2013 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show Himself / Guest Episode: "163"
2019–present Blood Ties Michael Richland Radio Drama/Podcast
2020–present Reunited Apart Host Web Series


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2005 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee William Barfée (Replacement) Circle in the Square Theatre
2011 The Book of Mormon Elder Cunningham (Original Broadway Cast) Eugene O'Neill Theatre Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
Nominated – Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical


  1. ^ a b "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Book of Mormon Star Josh Gad". Playbill.
  2. ^ a b "Josh Gad biography". Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  3. ^ @joshgad (June 7, 2017). "Today is my mom's birthday. She is the inspiration, the motivation & the primary reason that I am the person I am today. Love you @susangad" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Diversions – SD JEWISH JOURNAL". January 3, 2018. Retrieved August 27, 2021. Gad believes his father is likely a direct descendant of the original Tribe of Gad, one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. "He came from a very religious family that was on a nomadic journey searching for a home," he said. "They went through India before finally settling in Afghanistan."
  5. ^ "Josh Gad Talks "Gigi: Almost American," "The Book Of Mormon," And Physical Comedy". Complex. March 25, 2011. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2021. My dad was born in Afghanistan—he's a Jew who was born in Afghanistan.
  6. ^ "Josh Gad combats sadness with laughter". May 24, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "To Have and Have Knot: Exploring Family Ties in 'Wish I Was Here'". Jewish Exponent. July 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Diversions – SD JEWISH JOURNAL". January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Eric Spitznagel (June 9, 2011). "Josh Gad Has No Formal Musical Training and Five-to-Two Odds That He'll Win the Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  10. ^ Ellen Gamerman. "A Missionary From the Borscht Belt". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "Nationals History". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Living the Dream with Rory O'Malley". Spotify. April 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Beauty and the Beast's Josh Gad: controversy over the gay LeFou 'very blown out of proportion'". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  14. ^ "Josh Gad to Replace Tony Winner Dan Fogler in Spelling Bee". Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  15. ^ Matt Tobey (May 6, 2009). "Josh Gad on the Daily Show". Comedy Central. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  16. ^ Rudolph, Ileane (July 27, 2015). "Alumni Association: A roundup of The Daily Show's coolest Graduates". TV Guide. pp. 21–22.
  17. ^ "'Daily Show' correspondents: Where are they now?". Newsday. August 27, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  18. ^ "About the Show". The Book of Mormon Musical. 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "2011 Tony Nominations Announced! 'The Book of Mormon' Leads With 14!". Broadway World. May 3, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Josh Gad Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here'". Variety. May 15, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  21. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 26, 2014). "Adam Sandler to Star in Sony's Big-Budget Video Game Movie 'Pixels'". Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  22. ^ Maane Khatchatourian (February 14, 2015). "Watch: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in 'The Comedians' First Trailer". Variety.
  23. ^ "Josh Gad is Reincarnated Over and Over in the A Dog's Purpose Trailer". August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "A Dog's Purpose filmmakers face animal cruelty accusations – BBC News",, January 19, 2017, retrieved January 21, 2017
  25. ^ Kit, Borys (March 13, 2015). "Josh Gad Joining Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  26. ^ Clark, Stewart (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad to Star in Zombie Rom-Com 'Little Monsters'". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  27. ^ Petski, Denise (February 13, 2020). "'Avenue 5' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Deadline. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  28. ^ Shoemaker, Allison (September 14, 2020). "Mandy Patinkin's six-fingered sword and other delights from the Princess Bride reunion". AV Club. Retrieved September 15, 2020. The table-reading and reunion, which served as a fundraiser in support of Wisconsin Democrats, was a messy, technically clumsy, non-stop source of delight...You could be forgiven for, upon learning that Gad was going to be stepping into Andre the Giant's shoes for the evening, expecting a Fezzik with a lot less chill and a great deal more in the way of wacky hijinks. You would have been wrong, and likely delighted to be so.
  29. ^ O'Kane, Caitlin (June 1, 2020). "Actor Josh Gad reunites stars of "Lord of the Rings" while raising money for kids in need". CBS News. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  30. ^ "Josh Gad reveals his next 'Reunited Apart' will also be his last". Connect FM | Local News Radio | Dubois, PA. June 18, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  31. ^ Walsh, Michael (December 7, 2020). "Josh Gad Reunited the WAYNE'S WORLD Cast". The Nerdist. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  32. ^ Strause, Jackie (October 7, 2020). "Broadway Stars to Host Virtual Party to Educate At-Risk Voters". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  33. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe. "Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells & More Host Voter Education Virtual Party". Broadway World. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  34. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 6, 2020). "'Beauty and the Beast' Prequel Series in the Works at Disney+ (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  35. ^ "Exclusive: 'Honey I Shrunk The Kid' Reboot 'Shrunk' in the Works With Josh Gad to Star". /Film. May 13, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^ Gilcrease, Grayson (June 19, 2020). "Josh Gad and Ida Darvish Actually Played a Married Couple Before Coupling Up in Real Life". PopSugar. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  38. ^ Ann Oldenburg (February 18, 2014). "Josh Gad welcomes baby girl". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 16, 2014.
  39. ^ Erin Hill (June 14, 2011). "Bryce Dallas Howard: I've Always Wanted My Dad to Direct Me". Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  40. ^ "Josh Gad Talks About His Generalized Anxiety Disorder". FHE Health – Addiction & Mental Health Care. March 16, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  41. ^ "#MyYoungerSelf". Child Mind Institute. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  42. ^ Berryman, Rachel (February 9, 2022). ""Reunited Apart": Charity Reunion Specials on YouTube in Lockdown". Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network. 15 (1). ISSN 1755-9944.
  43. ^ "Angry Birds Movie Voice Cast Announced, Includes Game of Thrones and SNL Vets". Yahoo News. October 1, 2014.
  44. ^ Hipes, Patrick (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o & Josh Gad To Star In Zombie Comedy 'Little Monsters'". Deadline. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  45. ^ Schaffstall, Katherine (January 29, 2019). "'A Dog's Journey' Trailer: Josh Gad Returns as Bailey in 'Dog's Purpose' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  46. ^ "Sesame Street Season 45 Episode 4520 – Bert's Sign Painting Challenge". Muppet Central Forum.
  47. ^ Kelley, Seth (May 14, 2015). "Watch 'Scandal' Star Bellamy Young Dominate 'Celebrity Jeopardy'". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  48. ^ Starner, Nina (June 26, 2020). "Quibi just announced a Princess Bride remake you never expected to see". Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  49. ^ Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  50. ^ Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.

External linksEdit