Josh Gad is a Tony Award®-nominated and Grammy®-winning actor and singer who has warmed the hearts of countless viewers around theglobe as Olaf, the lovable snowman from the 2013 box office hit Frozen and its popular follow-up, Frozen 2 (2019). Gad and Disney havebeen a perfect match at least since the actor’s guest role as Kenneth Ploufe in ABC’s Modern Family in 2011, and the partnership includes notonly Olaf’s many appearances but also Gad’s reimagining of the role of LeFou in Beauty and the Beast (2017), which became the DisneyStudios’ highest-grossing live-action film at the time.
Gad was born and grew up in Hollywood, Florida, and knew he wanted to be an entertainer even as a small child. After earning a degreeat the prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Gad began his career in the theater. By the time he was in his mid 20s, Gad was appearingon Broadway, where he catapulted to stardom as one of the original leads in the musical The Book of Mormon (2011), earning a Tony nominationfor Lead Actor in a Musical. In 2012, Gad shared a Grammy Award win with the rest of the show’s cast and creative team for Best Musical Theater Album.
The Book of Mormon introduced Gad to songwriter Robert Lopez, who co-wrote the stage musical’s music and lyrics and went on to compose the songs for Frozen and Frozen 2 with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The original film’s endearing comic center was an optimistic,sun-loving snowman named Olaf, voiced by Gad. “Partly the reason I think that Olaf worked so well in the first film is by the time he enters themovie—which is a good 30 minutes into the film—he’s such as surprise, and [he] gives [the story] such a different tone,” Gad told Disneytwenty-three magazine. Olaf “provides such a different energy, and really fulfills his purpose as comic relief… somebody who supports the storyand the characters.”
Gad’s memorable performances in Frozen and Frozen 2 earned him two Annie Awards for Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in anAnimated Feature Production. In addition to the two features, Gad has voiced Olaf for Frozen Fever (2015), LEGO® Disney Frozen: NorthernLights (2016), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), At Home with Olaf (2020), Once Upon a Snowman (2020), and Olaf Presents (2021). “Going into the[recording] booth and tapping into the sheer innocence and naivete of this snowman is one of my favorite things to do,” Gad said, “because nomatter what mood I’m in, no matter what baggage I’m bringing into the studio, the second I tap into this little guy, it brings a smile to my face. He’sso pure and so untainted, and he has such a wide-eyed approach and take on life.”
In 2017, Gad starred as LeFou, the memorable and iconic sidekick to Gaston, in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, directed by BillCondon. Gad worked with Condon to expand the role of the comedic LeFou to “make him organic to a live-action retelling,” Gad explainedat the time, a process that “led us to new areas that might not have been touched upon in the original.”
Gad’s journey with Disney continued in 2020, when he portrayed the lovable rogue Mulch Diggums in Artemis Fowl. Some of his othernotable Disney credits include Mickey’s 90th Spectacular (TV, 2018), The Disney Family Singalong (TV, 2020), 20th Century Studios’ Murder on theOrient Express (2017), and Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Disney+, 2020). Gad’s Broadway talent is also showcased as both a creator andstar of the Emmy- nominated 20th Television Animation musical series, Central Park (2020–).
Gad also uses his ongoing, intimate association with Olaf to reach out to seriously ill children, making telephone calls in character as thesnowman to kids fighting debilitating diseases. “I don’t do brain surgery. I can’t cure cancer,” he has said. “But, what I can do is make a personsmile. That is the greatest gift I could ever possibly imagine having. That’s an honor.”