Jessica Ruth Mueller was born on February 20, 1983 in Evanston, Illinois. She is known for her Tony Award-winning role of Carole King in Beautiful - The Carole King Musical and for her Tony-nominated performance as leading lady Jenna in Waitress on Broadway.
After graduating from Evanston Township High School in 2001 and from Syracuse University in 2005, Mueller returned to Chicago and began her acting career with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, even starring as Lady Mortimer in Henry IV at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon — the birthplace of the Bard himself. She appeared regulalry on stages in the Chicago area through 2011, with roles in Once Upon a Mattress, Baby, The Three Musketeers, Meet Me in St. Louis, Willy Wonka, All Shook Up, Shout! The Mod Musical, Shenandoah, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Animal Crackers, and A Christmas Carol. Two of her most acclaimed performances during this period of her career were the roles of Amalia Balash in She Loves Me and Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel.
Mueller finally made her Broadway debut as Melinda Wells in the Broadway premiere of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Harry Connick, Jr., leading to her first Tony Award nomination in 2012. She also received a Theatre World Award as well as a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance. In the summer of 2012, she made her Public Theater debut, taking on the role of Cinderella in an outdoor production of Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Later that year, she went on to play the dual roles of Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover in the 2012 Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, picking up a second Drama Desk Award nomination in 2013. Shortly after she finished the Broadway run of Drood, she assumed the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It until the production closed in June 2013, and she would reprise her role of Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel for a PBS Special of Live from Lincoln Center backed by the New York Philharmonic.
Ms Mueller shot to Broadway superstardom after originating the leading role of Carole King in Beautiful - The Carole King Musical. She played the role from November 2013 through to March 2015, winning her first Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in 2014 and singing with King herself at the Tony ceremony. She also won her first Grammy Award in the category of Best Musical Theater Album in 2015.
For her next Broadway project, Mueller originated the role of Jenna in the musical adaptation of Waitress. The musical premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in August 2015, before officially opening on Broadway in April 2016. Mueller was once again nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards. In 2018, she returned once again to Carousel, this time taking on the leading role of Julie Jordan in a Broadway revival from February 28 through September 16, 2018, earning her fourth Tony nomination in the category of Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Musical and winning her second Drama Desk Award.
Mueller appeared as Fran in the TV series The Family in 2016 and as Faith Madson in Blue Bloods in 2017, and she made her feature film debut as Judith Martin in the critically acclaimed 2017 movie The Post with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.