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Ramin Karimloo (Persian: رامین کریملو; born September 19, 1978) is an Iranian-Canadian actor and singer recognized chiefly for his work in London's West End. He has played leading male roles in both of the West End's longest running musicals: The Phantom and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, and Jean Valjean, Enjolras, and Marius in Les Misérables. He also originated the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, which continues the story of The Phantom of the Opera. He made his Broadway debut as Valjean in the 2014 revival production of Les Misérables, for which he received a Tony Award nomination.
Ramin was a twelve-year-old living in Canada when he decided to become a performer. His inspiration was Colm Wilkinson, who was going on tour in the "Phantom of the Opera" at the time. Ramin moved to Richmond Hill from Peterborough and attended Alexander Mackenzie High School. After dropping out of school at 18, he began his performing career in rock bands, cruises, and various theatre projects before moving on to perform in theatre companies for Airtours and P&O Cruises.
After moving to England, his first role was in a pantomime of Aladdin in Chatham, in which he played the title role. Following this, in 2001, he went on to join the UK national tour of The Pirates of Penzance, understudying and then playing the role of the Pirate King.
In 2002, he joined the national tour of Sunset Boulevard, playing Artie Green and covering the role of Joe Gillis. Les Misérables was his West End debut; he played Feuilly and understudied the roles of Marius and Enjolras.
After this, in 2003, Ramin took one of the lead roles, Raoul Vicomte de Chagny, in The Phantom of the Opera. His final matinee performance was filmed for use on a behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD of Joel Schumacher's The Phantom of the Opera, a film in which he also appeared, in a cameo role as Gustave Daaé.
During the same period, Ramin also appeared in two concerts of Les Misérables (as Marius), and one of Jesus Christ Superstar (as Simon Zealotes, and a featured singer in "Superstar"), as well as being involved in several theatre workshops.
In 2004, Ramin returned to Les Misérables, this time taking on the role of Enjolras. In the December of that year, he appeared in a concert of Les Misérables at Windsor Castle, in honour of the French president Jacques Chirac. Excerpts from this were shown on Easter Sunday 2005, in a behind-the-scenes documentary about Windsor Castle.
In June 2005, Ramin joined the UK national tour of Miss Saigon, playing the role of Christopher Scott. He appeared in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, this time as the Phantom, starting in September 2007. He brought a new interpretation to the role and a vitality which was recognized by fans of the show as it earned him a Theatregoers' Choice Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Take Over Role.
Ramin has also released an EP, Within the Six Square Inch, on which he duets with Hadley Fraser and Sophia Ragavelas, both of whom he had already appeared with in Les Misérables (Marius and Éponine).
In July 2008, he was asked to take part in the Sydmonton Festival and was the first actor to play The Phantom in the workshop presentation of Love Never Dies. It was the first act to the sequel of The Phantom of the Opera. It was confirmed he would play the role alongside Sierra Boggess when the sequel opened in London, England, March 2010.
In 2008 Ramin recorded a song, "I Only Wish for You", with Shona Lindsay and Dianne Pilkington, for the CD Songs from the Musicals of Alexander S. Bermange, an album of 20 brand new recordings by 26 West End stars, released in November 2008 on Dress Circle Records.
In 2009 he was asked to take part in the recording of new musical album called Bluebird, by Gareth Peter Dicks. Bluebird is a dramatic WW2 musical, in which he plays the part of US serviceman Ben Breagan. He appeared along with a host of West End stars. The 24-track album was released in four countries in September 2009.
Ramin's last regular performance in The Phantom of the Opera took place on November 7, 2009. He moved on to playing the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel, Love Never Dies, alongside Sierra Boggess, performing the role until the show closed on August 27, 2011.
On October 3, 2010, he played the role of Enjolras in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables at The O2 Arena in London. In 2011, Ramin sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera at the Miss World Competition, which took place in London.
On October 1 and 2, 2011, he played The Phantom for three performances alongside Love Never Dies co-star Sierra Boggess as Christine Daaé in the unique 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall and was streamed live to cinemas across the world and later released on DVD and Blu-ray worldwide.
Ramin has also starred in many short independent films such as The Flipside (2001), The Rope (2008), and The Rain (2012)
From November 29, 2011 to March 31, 2012, Ramin returned to Les Misérables, to play the lead role of Jean Valjean at The Queen's Theatre, London, for which he won the 2013 Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role.
Ramin had a guest appearance in Warwick Davis's BBC2 comedy Life's Too Short as a Scientologist. This episode aired Dec 8, 2011. He has also had a recurring role in The Spa (TV series) on Sky in the United Kingdom.
As part of the 25th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, Ramin performed the title song at The Royal Variety Performance - held in The Lowry, Manchester - on Monday, December 5, 2011. Performing alongside Pussycat Dolls' lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, Ramin was joined by three other former Phantoms (Simon Bowman, Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones). The performance was aired on ITV1 on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.
Ramin can also be found on The Music Box album as a hidden track. The song is from the musical Bluebird by Gareth Peter Dicks and is a short acoustic version of a track from the album of the same name.
His solo album, Ramin, was released by Sony Music Entertainment on April 9, 2012 in the UK. The album was released in Canada and the US in August 2012.
On January 26, 2013, Ramin joined John Owen-Jones, Peter Joback, and Hugh Panaro to sing the title song from Phantom with Sierra Boggess and "The Music of the Night" for the encore of Phantom's 25th Anniversary on Broadway. He also played a small role in the action film Vendetta.
Ramin played Valjean in the Canadian production of the newly staged Les Misérables, which opened in September 2013.
Ramin played the role of Valjean in the 2014 Broadway revival of "Les Misérables", making his Broadway debut, and was nominated for the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Ramin concluded his run on August 30, 2015, and was replaced by Alfie Boe. Boe portrayed Valjean in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert.
On May 29, 2015 it was announced that Ramin will be leading the long-awaited musical called "Prince of Broadway" that features songs from all of Harold Prince's famous musicals (including Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, West Side Story, etc.) in Japan. Rehearsals begin in September in New York.
On September 25, 2015 he played the role of Barry Hamidi in "Worst Case Scenario" the premiere episode of the 6th season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods.
In February 2016, Karimloo will reunite with Sierra Boggess in the Manhattan Concert Productions' staging of The Secret Garden
Sunset Boulevard (as Artie Green and covering Joe Gillis), 2002, UK National Tour,
Les Misérables (as Feuilly and understudying Marius and Enjolras), 2002, London,
The Phantom Of The Opera (as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny), 2003, London,
Les Misérables (as Enjolras), 2004, London,
Miss Saigon (as Christopher Scott), 2005, UK National Tour,
The Phantom Of The Opera (as The Phantom), 2007, London,
Love Never Dies (as The Phantom), 2010, London,
Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert (as Enjolras), 2010,London,
The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary (as The Phantom), 2011, London,
Les Misérables (as Jean Valjean), 2012, London,
Les Misérables (as Jean Valjean), 2013, Toronto,
Les Misérables (as Jean Valjean), 2014, Broadway,
The Pirates of Penzance (as the Pirate King), 2001, UK National Tour,
2010 Broadwayworld.com awards
Love Never Dies
2011 Viewers' Choice Theatre Awards at Whatsonstage.com
Love Never Dies
2011 Laurence Olivier Award
Love Never Dies
Best Actor in a Musical
2011 Theatregoers' Choice Award
Love Never Dies
Best Actor in a Musical
2013 Theatregoers' Choice Award
Best Takeover in a role
2014 Drama League Award
2014 Tony Award
Best Performance by an Leading Actor in a Musical
2014 Theatre World Award
2014 Dora Award
Outstanding Male Performance in a Musical
Ramin won the Best Actor award for the Broadwayworld.com awards in 2010 for his portrayal of The Phantom in Love Never Dies. He was also nominated for the Best Actor category for the Viewers' Choice Theatre Awards at Whatsonstage.com in 2011. On February 7, 2011, Ramin was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Love Never Dies received seven nominations.
On February 20, 2011, Ramin won the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Love Never Dies.
On February 17, 2013, Ramin won the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role for his performance as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
On April 23, 2014, Ramin received a nomination for the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.
On April 29, 2014, Ramin was announced as a Tony Award nominee for Best Performance by an Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Miserables.
On May 6, 2014, it was announced that Ramin would be receiving a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in Les Miserables.
On June 2, 2014, he received a Dora Award nomination for Outstanding Male Performance in a Musical for his performance in the 2013 Toronto revival of Les Miserables.