A Tony Award-winning actress and singer, Sutton Foster got her start as a bright-voiced leading lady in Broadway musicals before branching into film, television, and solo recordings. She won Tony Awards for her breakthrough role in 2002's Thoroughly Modern Millie as well as for the 2011 revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes. In the meantime, her 2009 solo recording debut, Wish, landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. She is also known for her starring roles on the comedy-drama series Bunheads (2012-2013) and, beginning in 2015, Younger.
Born in Statesboro, Georgia in 1975, Sutton Foster was raised in suburban Detroit, Michigan. Her older brother is Tony-nominated performer Hunter Foster. As a 14-year-old, she sang in the children's chorus of a Detroit production of the opera La Bohème, and at 15 she appeared as a contestant on TV's Star Search. Sutton left Troy High School before graduating in order to tour with The Will Rogers Follies, earning her diploma via correspondence school. She then enrolled briefly at Carnegie Mellon University, but left to work in theater full-time.
Foster was cast as Sandy in a national tour of Grease in 1995 and joined the Broadway production of the musical as a replacement Sandy in 1996. After performing as a member of the ensemble in Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, Foster originated the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, which opened on Broadway in April 2002. Set in New York City during the Jazz Age, the musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical and earned Foster her first Tony for leading actress in a musical. She was nominated for the award three more times in next seven years, for originating the roles of Jo in Little Women (2005), Janet van de Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006), and Princess Fiona in Shrek: The Musical (2009).
During her run in Shrek, Foster released her first solo album, 2009's Wish, a collection of covers of folk-pop and show tunes for Ghostlight Records. Featuring her music director, Michael Rafter, on piano, An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle followed in 2011. Also in 2011, she was nominated for another Tony, this time for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. A revival of the 1934 Cole Porter musical, it won Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Choreography (Kathleen Marshall), and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Foster.
In the meantime, Foster began appearing in occasional guest spots on television series such as Flight of the Conchords and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In June 2012, she made her debut as a series regular on ABC Family's Bunheads, a comedy-drama centered around a ballet school. The series produced 18 episodes before it was canceled in 2013. She moved on to the title role in the musical Violet, which made its Broadway debut at the American Airlines Theatre in 2014. It earned Foster her sixth Tony nomination for lead actress in a musical. That year, she also made her feature film debut with a supporting role in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. She then starred in the James Roday comedy-horror film Gravy in 2015, the same year she began a multi-season run as the lead in the TV Land series Younger. Days before the show's fifth season began airing in June 2018, Foster released her third album, Take Me to the World, on Ghostlight. Its selections were inspired by the arrival of her daughter with husband Ted Griffith, a Hollywood screenwriter. ~ Marcy Donelson