Childhood & Early Life
Steve was born Steve Michael Kazee, on October 30, 1975, in Ashland, Kentucky. His father worked as a welder and a healthcare aide who grew up in a trailer in Ashland, Kentucky. Steve, too, grew up in the same trailer.
Steve attended 'Fairview High School' and then went to 'Morehead State University.' In 2002, he moved to New York City and received his MFA degree from the 'Graduate Acting Program' offered by the 'Tisch School of the Arts' of 'New York University.'
Steve realized his love for music after an incident in school. He was barred from Spanish lessons for singing too loudly in class. The punishment was a boon in disguise, as he was then sent to the school's choir room. While at 'Morehead,' Steve once accompanied a friend to the auditions for 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' and ended up bagging a role.
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Steve made his professional stage debut in June 2005, with the 'New York Shakespeare Festival'-selected play, 'As You Like It.' In November that year, he played Leslie (understudy) in the ‘Broadway’ revival of 'Seascape,' the 1975 'Pulitzer Prize'-winning play by Edward Albee. Steve began the following year with the role of ‘Timmy Cleary’ in another 'Pulitzer Prize'-winning play, 'The Subject Was Roses,' written by Frank D Gilroy. The play was staged at the 'Kennedy Center.'
In the April 2006 ‘Broadway’ revival of the musical comedy 'Spamalot,’ Steve was cast to play a role that was initially portrayed by Sir Lancelot. In 2007, he appeared as ‘Bill Starbuck’ in the ‘Broadway’ revival of '110 in the Shade,' a musical based on the 1954 play 'The Rainmaker.' Following this, in 2008, Steve played ‘Sobinsky’ in 'To Be or Not to Be,' a play written by Nick Whitby, based on the 1942 film of the same name. The play ran from September to November that year at the 'Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.'
Meanwhile, Steve got his first project on TV. In 2006, he was seen as ‘Dumas Shepherd’ in an episode of the 'NBC' drama 'Conviction.' He was then seen as ‘Michael Barlow’ in the 'NBC' supernatural drama 'Medium.' He also played ‘Mark Green’ in the 'CBS' crime drama 'Numb3rs.'
In 2008, Steve as appeared as ‘Michael Locke’ in 'NCIS,' the action police-procedural series featuring a fictional team of special agents from the 'Naval Criminal Investigative Service.' The following year, he made a brief appearance as ‘Dominic Humphreys’ in 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.' Steve then returned to stage in the prominent role of the ‘Pirate King’ in 'Pirates!' (or 'Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd'), based on the musical 'The Pirates of Penzance.' Staged at the 'Huntington Theatre Company,' Boston, the play ran from May to June 2009.
Steve bagged a starring role in the 2011 'CMT' sitcom 'Working Class.' Two years later, he was seen as ‘Jeff Hines’ in the 'CBS' procedural drama 'Elementary' and as ‘Dustin Wycott’ in the 'Lifetime' legal comedy–drama 'Drop Dead Diva.'
Steve's most prominent and recognized theater project has been 'Once,' a musical based on the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney. The play featured him as an Irish guitarist named ‘Guy’ who falls in love with a Czech piano player. Steve played the character first in its ‘Off-Broadway’ version that opened at the 'New York Theatre Workshop' on December 6, 2011. The ‘Broadway’ revival of 'Once' was previewed on February 28, 2012, and later opened on March 18, 2012, at the 'Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.'
Steve appeared on several shows such as the 'Late Show with David Letterman' and 'The Today Show' for promoting 'Once.' He earned a 'Tony Award' in 2012 for his performance as the lead character, ‘Guy,’ in 'Once.' Additionally, he bagged two nominations, one each for the 'Drama League Award' and the 'Outer Critics Circle Award,' for the same role. In 2013, Steve shared a 'Grammy' for the soundtrack of 'Once.'
In 2015, Steve had a recurring 10-episode role in the 'TNT' crime drama 'Legends.' His character, ‘Curtis Ballard,’ was an FBI agent experiencing a transformation after failing to catch a criminal. Steve was seen in a minor character in the fifth and the sixth seasons of the 'Showtime' comedy–drama 'Shameless' (2015–2016). The series featured him as ‘Gus Pfender’ in 14 episodes.
In 2016, Steve had a brief recurring role as a seasoned country singer named ‘Riff Bell,’ who leaves stardom to raise his family, in two episodes of the 'ABC' (later 'CMT') musical drama 'Nashville.' Later that year, he played ‘Ned Nickerson’ in an unsold TV pilot of the 'CBS' series 'Drew.' Two years later, he appeared as ‘Clem’ in two episodes of 'Blindspot.'
Steve made his next theater appearance as ‘Edward,’ opposite Samantha Barks, in the 2018 musical 'Pretty Woman: The Musical,' a stage adaptation of the 1990 film of the same name. The play was staged at the 'Oriental Theatre.' Steve's inclusion in the cast of the play was announced in 2017. Directed by Jerry Mitchell, the musical premiered in Chicago in March 2018. It had its ‘Broadway’ debut in August 2018. Steve left 'Pretty Woman: The Musical' after its Chicago run due to "family reasons." He was then replaced by Andy Karl.
In 2019, Steve was seen as ‘Frank’ in the ninth episode of the 'AMC' post-apocalyptic horror 'The Walking Dead,’ titled 'Adaptation.' He was featured in the song 'A Thousand Years, Pt. 2' by Christina Perri. The song was later used as part of the soundtrack of 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.'
Family & Personal Life
Steve lost his mother, Kathy Withrow Kazee, to cancer on Easter Sunday 2012. She died in their Kentucky home where Steve had spent his childhood. Steve was with Kathy when she died. Soon after completing the condolence rituals, Steve was back on stage, performing for 'Once.' Around the same time, he could relate to the character he played in 'Once,' as the character, too, was in personal distress and coping with the death of his mother.
Steve dated Megan Hilty of ‘Smash’ fame, from 2005 to 2012. Their relationship soured when 'Once' was making a transition to ‘Broadway.’ They were prepared to end the relationship. The break-up was, however, initiated by Megan.
Steve is currently dating actor Jenna Dewan. They revealed their relationship in October 2018. The two met through common friends. In April 2019, Jenna revealed a few more details about her equation with Steve. She spoke about his passion for wrestling on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.' Jenna highlighted her relationship on social media for the first time on June 5, 2019, when she shared a photo of herself with Steve on her 'Instagram' account.