Melissa Benoist (born October 4, 1988) is an American actress and singer known for her portrayal of Marley Rose on season four and the start of season five on the Fox musical comedy-drama television series Glee. Aside from her role on Glee, she has appeared in a number of television series including Homeland, The Good Wife and Law & Order. Benoist's first film was in singer Mariah Carey's Tennessee. She appears in a new film by director Damien Chazelle,Whiplash which won top prizes (Grand Jury and Audience awards) at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 2014. She has completed filming Danny Collins set for a 2015 release, starring Jennifer Garner, Al Pacino, andAnnette Bening.
Melissa Benoist, the daughter of Jim and Julie Benoist, was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. Benoist has four sisters and three brothers. She graduated from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado in 2007 and from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City in 2011.
Benoist made her film debut in Tennessee in 2008. In May 2012, she auditioned for Glee in New York at the Roundabout Theatre Company, singing a different song for each of her five auditions including: "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles, a Colbie Caillat song, and several musical theater pieces. In July, she had two screen tests in California for series creator/writer, Ryan Murphy, the casting directors, and executive producers. As the show's executives had been looking for an actress who could play the part of Marley for some time, Benoist began work immediately.
In July 2013, Benoist was cast for the film Danny Collins. She will play the role of Jamie, a desk clerk at a hotel frequented by one of Jamie's all-time favorite rock stars.
She and Glee co-star Darren Criss appeared with Josh Duhamel in the opening of the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards. She was also selected as an ambassador for Coca Cola's new product, P10 300 ml Coke Mismo. In June 2013, they were flown to Manila, Philippines to endorse the product by visiting different malls and meeting with fans.
Benoist has been dating her Glee co-star Blake Jenner since 2012; the two announced their engagement on July 11, 2013.