Olivier and Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo made his name in the early 2000s in some of the West End’s most enduring productions, most notably Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. He originated the role of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies in 2010 before making his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Mis.
Born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Peterborough and Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, Karimloo began his music career in Toronto, where he sang in rock groups, including a Tragically Hip cover band. After a stint with cruise-based theater companies, Karimloo relocated to the U.K., where in 2000 he played the title role of Aladdin in a pantomime production staged by the Chatham Theatre. Over the next two years, he joined the U.K. tours of The Pirates of Penzance and Sunset Boulevard, making his West End debut soon after, playing Feuilly in Les Misérables in 2002. In 2003, he joined Phantom of the Opera as Raoul, and a year later, he appeared in Joel Schumacher’s film version of the musical as Christine’s father. Karimloo returned to the national tour circuit in 2005 for Miss Saigon. Off-stage, Karimloo made his first solo recording, the EP Within the Six Square Inch, 2007. It included two Billy Joel covers alongside well-known show tunes. That same year, he returned to Phantom, this time taking on the title role, which he continued until late 2009. The following year, he originated the role of the Phantom in the sequel Love Never Dies. He stayed with the production until the show closed in summer 2011, making time in October 2010 to play Enjolras in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables. He also appeared on the Love Never Dies cast recording, which made it onto the Billboard 200 chart. By late 2011, Karimloo had joined the Les Misérables cast once more, this time stepping into the lead role of Jean Valjean. His full-length solo debut, Ramin (aka Human Heart), arrived via Sony Masterworks in early 2012 and reached 16 in the UK Charts.
In 2013, Karimloo joined a Toronto production of Les Misérables, then made his Broadway debut in March 2014 with a revival of the same show. He was nominated for a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Valjean. A month after leaving Broadway’s Les Mis in August 2015, Karimloo appeared in an episode of the CBS series Blue Bloods. Over the next couple of years, he performed in the world premiere of The Prince of Broadway, directed by the late Hal Prince. Ramin played Che in Evita (Vancouver and Japan) U.K. Premier of Murder Ballad playing Tom, (London), Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (Japan) and Anatoly in Chess (Kennedy Center and Japan). Ramin also originated the role of Gleb Vaganov in the Broadway Premier of Anastasia.
In 2019, Karimloo joined the main cast of the BBC medical drama Holby City playing Kian Madani and played the title role in two concert performances of the musical Doctor Zhivago in London. In September of that year, Sony Masterworks released his second solo album, From Now On. With popular songs from The Greatest Showman, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen, among other film and stage musicals, From Now On reached number 11 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
In 2022 Ramin opened in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl playing Nick Arnstein, which he is still starring in.
For Westway, Ramin has released the DVD of his extraordinary concert featuring his Broadgrass Band, made during lockdown at London’s Clapham Grand Theatre, as well as the final two EPs in his Road To Find Out Series, The Road To Find Out North and The Road To Find Out West.
There is no denying that Ramin Karimloo is a force to be reckoned with