Joshua Ilan Gad (born February 23, 1981) 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.
Joshua Ilan Gad
February 23, 1981
Hollywood, Florida, U.S.
|Education||Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)|
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.
Joshua Ilan Gad was born in Hollywood, Florida, on February 23, 1981. His mother, Susan, is a real estate agent and his stepfather is an investment advisor, and he has two older brothers, a stepbrother and a stepsister. 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. His mother was born in Germany to an Ashkenazi Jewish family of Holocaust survivors. He was raised Jewish.
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. 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. During this time, he undertook a semester-long exchange at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
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. 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. 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. Gad made his final appearance as a correspondent on June 27, 2011. 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. 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.
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.
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. That same year, Gad co-starred with Billy Crystal on the FX comedy series The Comedians, which premiered on April 9, 2015. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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."
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. In June, Gad announced that the episode on Ferris Bueller's Day Off would be the last, though the series later returned for a second season, which premiered in December 2020 with the cast of Wayne's World.
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.
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. Gad was also announced to star as Nick Szalinski in the upcoming film Shrunk, a legacy-sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
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. Gad was a guest narrator at Disney's Candlelight Processional Dec 10–12, 2022. 
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. 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. They have two daughters, Ava Gad, born in 2011, and Isabella Gad, born in 2014. 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. 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.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.
|2002||Mary and Joe||Angel|
|2007||Watching the Detectives||Mark|
|The Lost Nomads: Get Lost 22||Gigi
|Big Guy||Rodney||Short film|
|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|
|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|
|2017||A Dog's Purpose||Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy||Voice|
|Beauty and the Beast||LeFou|
|Murder on the Orient Express||Hector MacQueen|
|Olaf's Frozen Adventure||Olaf (voice)||Voice; television special|
|2019||Little Monsters||Nathan Schneider/Teddy McGiggle|
|A Dog's Journey||Bailey/Molly/Big Dog/Max||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|
|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"|
|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|
|Phineas and Ferb||Wendell||Voice; 2 episodes|
|TripTank||Louis||Voice; 1 episode|
|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|
|2017||Star Wars Rebels||LT-319||Voice; episode: "Double Agent Droid"|
|South Park||Marcus Preston / Ms. McGullicutty||Voice; episode: "Hummels & Heroin"|
|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||Episode: "Chapter One: As You Wish"|
|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|
|2012||MIB: Alien Crisis||Emilio Chauncey, Handsome Guest, Khnemu|
|2013||Frozen: Olaf's Quest||Olaf|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0|
|2017||South Park Phone Destroyer||Marcus Preston|
|2019||Kingdom Hearts III||Olaf|
|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|
|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
- "PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Book of Mormon Star Josh Gad". Playbill.
- "Josh Gad biography". Biography.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
- @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.
- "Diversions – SD JEWISH JOURNAL". Sdjewishjournal.com. 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."
- "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.
- "Josh Gad combats sadness with laughter". inquirer.net. May 24, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "To Have and Have Knot: Exploring Family Ties in 'Wish I Was Here'". Jewish Exponent. July 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Diversions – SD JEWISH JOURNAL". Sdjewishjournal.com. January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- 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.
- Ellen Gamerman. "A Missionary From the Borscht Belt". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Nationals History". Speechanddebate.org. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- "Living the Dream with Rory O'Malley". Spotify. April 24, 2017.
- "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.
- "Josh Gad to Replace Tony Winner Dan Fogler in Spelling Bee". Broadway.com. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
- Matt Tobey (May 6, 2009). "Josh Gad on the Daily Show". Comedy Central. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Rudolph, Ileane (July 27, 2015). "Alumni Association: A roundup of The Daily Show's coolest Graduates". TV Guide. pp. 21–22.
- "'Daily Show' correspondents: Where are they now?". Newsday. August 27, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
- "About the Show". The Book of Mormon Musical. 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "2011 Tony Nominations Announced! 'The Book of Mormon' Leads With 14!". Broadway World. May 3, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Josh Gad Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here'". Variety. May 15, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- Sneider, Jeff (February 26, 2014). "Adam Sandler to Star in Sony's Big-Budget Video Game Movie 'Pixels'". thewrap.com. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- Maane Khatchatourian (February 14, 2015). "Watch: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in 'The Comedians' First Trailer". Variety.
- "Josh Gad is Reincarnated Over and Over in the A Dog's Purpose Trailer". August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "A Dog's Purpose filmmakers face animal cruelty accusations – BBC News", Bbc.com, January 19, 2017, retrieved January 21, 2017
- Kit, Borys (March 13, 2015). "Josh Gad Joining Disney's Live-Action 'Beauty and the Beast' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Clark, Stewart (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad to Star in Zombie Rom-Com 'Little Monsters'". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- Petski, Denise (February 13, 2020). "'Avenue 5' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Deadline. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- Walsh, Michael (December 7, 2020). "Josh Gad Reunited the WAYNE'S WORLD Cast". The Nerdist. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
- Strause, Jackie (October 7, 2020). "Broadway Stars to Host Virtual Party to Educate At-Risk Voters". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
- Rabinowitz, Chloe. "Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells & More Host Voter Education Virtual Party". Broadway World. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
- Goldberg, Lesley (March 6, 2020). "'Beauty and the Beast' Prequel Series in the Works at Disney+ (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- "Exclusive: 'Honey I Shrunk The Kid' Reboot 'Shrunk' in the Works With Josh Gad to Star". /Film. May 13, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- 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.
- Ann Oldenburg (February 18, 2014). "Josh Gad welcomes baby girl". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 16, 2014.
- Erin Hill (June 14, 2011). "Bryce Dallas Howard: I've Always Wanted My Dad to Direct Me". Parade.com. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Josh Gad Talks About His Generalized Anxiety Disorder". FHE Health – Addiction & Mental Health Care. March 16, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
- "#MyYoungerSelf". Child Mind Institute. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
- 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.
- "Angry Birds Movie Voice Cast Announced, Includes Game of Thrones and SNL Vets". Yahoo News. October 1, 2014.
- Hipes, Patrick (October 30, 2017). "Lupita Nyong'o & Josh Gad To Star In Zombie Comedy 'Little Monsters'". Deadline. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- 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.
- "Sesame Street Season 45 Episode 4520 – Bert's Sign Painting Challenge". Muppet Central Forum.
- Kelley, Seth (May 14, 2015). "Watch 'Scandal' Star Bellamy Young Dominate 'Celebrity Jeopardy'". Variety. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- Starner, Nina (June 26, 2020). "Quibi just announced a Princess Bride remake you never expected to see". Looper.com. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.