Happy birthday today, Lin-Manuel Miranda! It feels like he became a household name overnight. But the musician, actor and writer has been actively creating for years. You may know him because of the seven Olivier Award-winning Hamilton, but what else do you really know about him? Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Lin-Manuel Miranda.
1. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wife was his high school crush
Lin-Manuel and Vanessa Nadal married in 2010, but the couple knew each other long before that. Both attended Hunter College High School in New York City, but Vanessa was two years below Lin-Manuel. However, it wasn’t the age difference that slowed down their relationship. It was because he had a crush on her and couldn’t build the courage to speak to her.
2. Lin-Manuel Miranda has two children
Lin-Manuel and Vanessa have a 3-year-old son called Sebastian (yes, in honour of the Disney crab). Plus, last February, Vanessa gave birth to a second baby boy named Francisco Miranda.
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda was internet famous before he was famous
Okay, so before he became internet famous, he won a Tony for his Broadway show In The Heights in 2008. But, before he became arguably the most famous man on the planet, he went viral. During his wedding, Lin-Manuel put on a little performance for Vanessa. He and his guests performed a surprise rendition of To Life from Fiddler On The Roof in honour of his new wife. He posted it on YouTube and it went nuts. To date, it has 6 million views.
4. Before he was an international superstar, Lin-Manuel Miranda was a teacher
Like many writers, Lin-Manuel was an English teacher before breaking into the theatre scene. In addition to teaching, he wrote restaurant reviews for Manhattan Times.
5. Alexander Hamilton wasn’t his first role
Just like Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel took a leading role in his Tony-winning musical In The Heights. He played Usnavi de la Vega – the show’s narrator – during its Broadway run. But that’s probably not where you’ve seen him before. As well as stage acting, Lin-Manuel has popped up on screen, too. You may have glimpsed him in The Sopranos, House, Modern Family, and How I Met Your Mother among other things. And, of course, he’s taken a starring role in Mary Poppins Returns this past couple of months.
6. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote Moana
Okay, he didn’t write Moana. But he did write a lot of the score… and performed in it. As well as the iconic How Far I’ll Go, Lin-Manuel wrote Where You Are, You’re Welcome, Shiny, and more. And despite popular belief, he actually started work on Moana before Hamilton was staged and way before it became popular.
His journey with Disney doesn’t stop at Moana and Mary Poppins Returns; he also wrote and provided vocals for the cantina song, Jaba Flow, in Star Wars VII The Force Awakens. Plus, he’s also working on the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film – and we don’t think that’s where it’ll end.
7. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s net worth is $40 million
Not to be crass but everyone wants to know how much a successful playwright is worth. And though the creator of Hamilton isn’t your run-of-the-mill playwright, it’s good to know that if you hit it big, so does your bank balance.
8. He’s very close to getting a PEGOT
Only two people have a PEGOT. What’s a PEGOT? It’s when a person wins a Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. Lin-Manuel has a Tony, Grammy, and Pulitzer thanks to Hamilton, and won an Emmy for the opening number of the 2013 Tony Awards. Lin-Manuel came close to completing the PEGOT after Moana was nominated for an Oscar. However, with his continuing work with Disney, we imagine he’ll earn the title soon enough. Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch are the only people to have ever earned a PEGOT.
9. Lin-Manuel Miranda also has a book
We’re not sure where he finds the time, but Lin-Manuel’s daily tweets of encouragement at the start and end of every day now have their own book. Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks For Me & You features a collation of Lin-Manuel’s words of wisdom, be they sayings, aphorisms, or even poetry. And they’re accompanied by heart-warming illustrations by Jonny Sun, so it’s the perfect book for giving yourself a quick lift.
10. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a Facebook live stream with us here at Official London Theatre
You can see the full video below.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda here again, taking your questions, lip syncing for the people, and talking about our latest Prizeo contest! Prizeo.com/Hamilton
Posted by Official London Theatre on Monday, November 27, 2017
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First posted 3 May 2018; Updated 16 January 2019