Born on September 19, 1978 in Tehran, Iran, Ramin Karimloo is an Iranian-Canadian singer and actor, best known for his work in musicals. When he was 2 months old, his parents were forced to flee Iran because of the Islamic Revolution. After spending two years in Italy, the family moved to Peterborough, Canada, where Karimloo grew up. At 12, he went on a school trip to see a touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera” and was so moved by Colm Wilkinson’s performance as the Phantom that he decided to become an actor. He moved to Richmond Hill to attend Alexander Mackenzie High School, but dropped out at 18. He landed a job as a performer on a cruise ship, despite not having any experience in dancing, and two weeks later, after the lead singer dropped out, Karimloo took his place. On one such cruise he met Amanda Ramsden (known as Mandy), who later became his wife. In 2001, he and Mandy moved to London, where he got a job at a factory, but also found a voice teacher and an agent, landing a number of small roles in touring musicals such as “Sunset Boulevard” and “The Pirates of Penzance”. In 2002 he debuted on West End as Feuilly in “Les Misérables”, understudying Marius and Enjolras. In 2003 he got the role of Raoul in “The Phantom of the Opera” and went on to perform in “Les Misérables”, this time as Enjolras, and in a touring production of “Miss Saigon” as Chris. In 2004, he appeared in a small role of Christine’s father in the movie adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera (2004). In 2007, he became the youngest actor to ever play the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” and two years later he was chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber to be the Phantom in “Love Never Dies”, a new musical continuing the character’s story. In 2010, he played Enjolras in Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (2010), appearing on stage alongside his childhood hero Colm Wilkinson. A year later, they met again when Karimloo played the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (2011), in which Wilkinson appeared as a special guest. In 2012 he released his first album, entitled simply “Ramin” (renamed “Human Heart” in the US). 2013 marked his Broadway debut, again in “Les Misérables”, but this time in the leading role of Jean Valjean. This performance got him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He went on to appear in musicals such as “The Secret Garden” (as Archibald Craven), “Murder Ballad” (as Tom), “Anastasia” (as Gleb Vaganov) and “Evita” (as Che). Him and Mandy have two sons, Jaiden and Hadley.
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