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Sutton Lenore Foster was born on March 18, 1975 in Statesboro, Georgia. She is a two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway actor, also known for her television role as Liza Miller on TV Land’s Younger.
Raised in Troy, Michigan, Foster attended Troy High School but left before graduating to join the National Tour of The Will Rogers Follies under the direction of Tommy Tune. She would also go on to study at Carnegie Mellon University for one year before departing to pursue a full-time career on the stage.
Foster’s most notable early stage credits include the leading role of Sandy Dumbrowski in the National Tour of Grease in 1995, which led to her Broadway debut, assuming the role at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 1996. She would also appear in the 1997 Broadway revival of Annie and 1997 Broadway premiere of The Scarlet Pimpernel. In 1999, she took over the coveted role of Éponine in the national tour of Les Misérables, later transferring to the musical’s Broadway production in 2000.
Her big break came later in 2000 after finally landing the starring role of Millie Dilmount in the La Jolla Playhouse production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Following her turns in regional productions of The Three Musketeers in San Jose and South Pacific in Pittsburgh in 2001, Thoroughly Modern Millie would ultimately premiere on Broadway in 2002 to great acclaim, earning Foster her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Thanks to her new leading lady status, she became a regular on the Broadway stage and starred as Jo in Little Women (2005 Tony nomination), as Janet Van De Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony nomination), as Inga in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (2007-08), and as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical (2009 Tony nomination). She won her second Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her turn as Reno Sweeney in the 2011 Broadway revival of Anything Goes, which also led to her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album in 2012. She earned yet another Tony nomination in 2014 for her portrayal of the titular character in the Broadway premiere of Violet.
Foster’s Off-Broadway credits include the 2010 Second Stage Theater production of Trust and a Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Award-nominated performance as Charity Hope Valentine in The New Group’s 2016 revival of Sweet Charity. She has also performed in a plethora of benefit concert productions on Broadway as well as Encores! productions at New York City Center. She also starred as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods at The Hollywood Bowl in 2019.
On television, she is best known for her starring role as Liza Miller on Younger, which aired from 2015 to 2021 on TV Land. Her earlier screen credits include the leading role of Michelle Simms on Bunheads (2012-13) and guest roles on the likes of Instinct, The Good Wife, Elementary, Psych, Royal Pains, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Flight of the Conchords, among others.
As a recording artist, Foster has also released two studio albums: Wish in 2009 and Take Me to the World in 2018, along with one live album, 2011’s An Evening with Sutton Foster: Live at the Café Carlyle.