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Rufus Wainwright

Biography

Music feeling whose hit music and albums were inspired by classical opera. His curiosity about opera developed quickly before he reached his teenagers. He was sexually assaulted when he was 14 and battled for quite some time to come quickly to terms using the occurrence. His debut record, Rufus Wainwright, was an instantaneous hit with Moving Rock naming him Greatest New Musician of 1998. He was the kid of folk vocalist and professional Loudon Wainwright III and folk vocalist Kate McGarrigle. His sister was Martha Wainwright. His parents had been alert to his homosexuality young, but they merely could not deal with it and thought we would never treat it. In 2012 he wedded Jörn Weisbrodt. Each of them, with their friend Lorca Cohen possess a daughter called Viva. He toured with fellow musician Tori Amos to market his second record, Poses, in 2001.

Quick Facts


Full Name Rufus Wainwright
Date Of Birth July 22, 1973
Place Of Birth Rhinebeck, NY
Height 1.8 m
Profession Opera Singer
Education Millbrook School, McGill University, Concordia University
Nationality American, Canadian
Spouse Jörn Weisbrodt
Children Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen
Parents Loudon Wainwright III, Kate McGarrigle
Siblings Martha Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Alexandra Kelly Wainwright
Awards Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year, GLAAD Media Stephen F. Kolzak Award, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist
Nominations Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year, Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Annie Award for Music in a Feature Production, Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist, Genie Award for Best Achievement in Music - Original Song
Movies Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, The Aviator, Heights, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, Days of Darkness, Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle, In the Woods, The McGarrigle Hour, Circuit 1:9, Rufus Wainwright: Milwaukee at Last!!!
Star Sign Cancer

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1His daughter, Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen (b. 2 February 2011), was mothered by Lorca Cohen, the daughter of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
2Writing an opera for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. [2007]
3Recording his new record. [August 2006]
4Mixing next record called 'Release the Stars' [January 2006]
5Touring the world promoting his new album 'Release the Stars'. [2007]
6Wainwright's album "Out of the Game" (2012), produced by Mark Ronson, features Helena Bonham Carter in the title track video.
7Is good friends with Melissa Auf der Maur, whose father, Nick Auf der Maur, was a political activist in Montreal. Melissa appeared in Rufus's video, "April Fools".
8Once saved from drowning in a hotel pool by Betty Buckley.
9His favorite songs are "Mystery Train" by Elvis Presley, "Talk To Me Of Mendocino" by 'Kate Mcgarrigle' & Anna McGarrigle, "Trains And Boats And Planes" by Dionne Warwick, "I Want You" by Bob Dylan, "69 Anne Erotic" by Serge Gainsbourg, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by Roberta Flack, "Heart Of Glass" by Blondie, "Accentuate The Positive" by Harold Arlen, "Venus As A Boy" by 'Bjork' and "In My Room" by The Beach Boys. (Source: BBC Radio 2 "Tracks of My Years").
10Nephew of Anna McGarrigle and Jane McGarrigle.
11Longtime companion has been Jorn Weissbrodt, a German concert manager for the Berlin State Opera, since 2005.
12Considers Judy Garland his top gay icon, according to an interview with "The Observer" (21 December 2006).
13His debut album ('Rufus Wainwright') is about a straight man who he fell for named Danny. This can be reflected in the song 'Danny Boy.'.
14Is writing an opera, which will be called "Prima Donna".
15His song 'Gay Messiah' originally started out as a political song to sing at parties.
16Is friends with actor Alan Cumming.
17Studied classical and modern piano at McGill University.
18Heard an amazing recording of Verdi's Requiem when he was 14, and for ten years, he listened to opera and only opera.
19His character Jeremy in Heights (2005) was based on himself.
20The song 'The One You Love' (from his album 'Want Two') features a line from the song 'See What Percy's Picked Up in the Park.' The line is modified, so instead of "Singing, oh Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem, see what Percy's picked up in the park" it is "I'm singing oh Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem, see what he's picked up in the park. The song is about coming to terms with ones sexual escapades.
21Kate Winslet is a fan of his song 'Poses' -- mentioned in one of her ads for AmEx.
22Wainwright is a big fan of opera and counts the Metropolitan Opera House as one of his favorite places in New York.
23The music video for a song from his debut album was filmed in Gwen Stefani's home.
24I Eat Dinner (When the Hunger's Gone), the song he sings in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), was written by his mother, Kate McGarrigle.
25A fan of the film Grey Gardens (1975), he wrote a song with the same name for his second album, Poses. The song features an audio clip of 'Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale', taken from the film.
26Once lived in New York's famous Chelsea Hotel.
27His parents considered naming him Oscar.
28His song "Memphis Sky Line" (from his album Want Two) is dedicated to Jeff Buckley.
29His song "Matinee Idol" is about River Phoenix.
30His song "Dinner At Eight" is about an argument he and his father Loudon Wainwright III had once.
31His song "Beauty Mark" is about his mother, Kate McGarrigle.
32Grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
33His father is an American of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His mother is of French-Canadian decent.
34His song "Natasha" is written about Natasha Lyonne.
35Performed the song "Complainte de la Butte" for the film Moulin Rouge! (2001), the only song in French featured in the Paris-set movie.
36Older brother of Martha Wainwright.
37Son of singer/actor Loudon Wainwright III and singer Kate McGarrigle.
38Won a Juno Award for "Best Alternative Album" in 1999 and 2002.
39Named "Best New Artist" by "Rolling Stone" magazine in 1999.
40Performed songs featured in the soundtracks for The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) and Big Daddy (1999).


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Justiça2016TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon2016TV Series performer - 1 episode
Holding the Man2015performer: "Forever and a Year" / writer: "Forever and a Year"
About a Boy2014TV Series performer - 1 episode
Tom à la ferme2013performer: "Going to a Town" / writer: "Going to a Town"
So You Think You Can DanceTV Series performer - 4 episodes, 2008 - 2013 writer - 1 episode, 2013
Elle s'en va2013performer: "This Love Affair"
Boardwalk Empire2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Late Show with David Letterman2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Conan2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle2012Documentary performer: "Candles", "I Am a Diamond", "I Cried for Us", "First Born Son", "Southern Boys", "Talk to Me of Mendocino", "A la Claire Fontaine", "The Walking Song", "Kitty Come Home" / writer: "Candles"
De wereld draait door2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Die Harald Schmidt Show2012TV Series performer - 1 episode
Private PracticeTV Series performer - 1 episode, 2012 writer - 1 episode, 2012
Any Day Now2012performer: "Metaphorical Blanket" / writer: "Metaphorical Blanket"
How I Met Your MotherTV Series performer - 1 episode, 2009 writer - 1 episode, 2009
The Paul O'Grady Show2009TV Series writer - 1 episode
Flashforward2009TV Series performer - 1 episode
Het leven uit een dag2009performer: "Agnus Dei"
Dancing with the Stars2009TV Series performer - 1 episode
Caos calmo2008performer: "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" / writer: "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" - as R. Wainwright
Banda sonora2008TV Series performer - 1 episode
L'âge des ténèbres2007performer: "Du Moment Qu'on Aime" from "Zemire et Azor", "Lungi Del Caro Bene"
Meet the Robinsons2007lyrics: "Another Believer", "Where is Your Heart At?", "The Motion Waltz Emotional Commotion" / music: "Another Believer", "Where is Your Heart At?", "The Motion Waltz Emotional Commotion" / performer: "Another Believer", "The Motion Waltz Emotional Commotion"
Trade2007/Iperformer: "Agnus Dei"
The History Boys2006performer: "Bewitched"
Druckfrisch2006TV Series performer - 1 episode
Words to Music: The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame 20062006TV Movie performer: "Everybody Knows"
Strangers2005Video lyrics: "Dinner at Eight" / performer: "Try Again"
Prime2005performer: "PEACH TREES" / writer: "PEACH TREES"
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man2005Documentary performer: "Everybody Knows", "Chelsea Hotel No. 2", "Hallelujah"
Brokeback Mountain2005performer: "Maker Makes" / writer: "Maker Makes"
Filthy Gorgeous: The Trannyshack Story2005Documentary performer: "Imaginary Love" / writer: "Imaginary Love"
The Baxter2005performer: "Beautiful Child" / writer: "Beautiful Child"
The Aviator2004performer: "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" 1922
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason2004performer: "I Eat Dinner"
Later... With Jools Holland2004TV Series performer - 1 episode
The L Word2004TV Series performer - 1 episode
The O.C.TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2003 writer - 1 episode, 2003
Queer as FolkTV Series performer - 1 episode, 2002 writer - 1 episode, 2002
I Am Sam2001performer: "Across the Universe"
Zoolander2001performer: "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother" / producer: "He Ain't Heavy... He's My Brother"
Moulin Rouge!2001performer: "Complainte De La Butte" / producer: "Complainte De La Butte"
Big Daddy1999performer: "Instant Pleasure"
Party of Five1999TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Myth of Fingerprints1997arranger: "Vainement, ma bien-aimée" / performer: "Vainement, ma bien-aimée", "On the Banks of the Wabash"
Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller1988performer: "I'm Running" / writer: "I'm Running"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
BoJack Horseman2016TV SeriesDrinking Bird / The Overtones
Prima Donna2015The Pianist
The Being Experience2013/I
Stuff You Should Know2013TV SeriesManuel
Shakespeares Sonette2009TV Movie
L'âge des ténèbres2007Le prince chantant
Heights2005Jeremy
The Aviator2004Cocoanut Grove Vocalist #1
Frasier2002TV SeriesJeremy
Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller1988Singer

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Shakespeare Live! From the RSC2016TV Movie
Prima Donna2015
Shakespeares Sonette2009TV Movie

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man2005Documentary featured performer
La Música Te Eleva, Episodio 1: Rufus Wainwright2016Short music
Shakespeares Sonette2009TV Movie music by

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Shakespeares Sonette2009TV Movie by

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle2012Documentary executive producer

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle2012Documentary special thanks: funding
Strangers2005Video special thanks
All I Want: A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright2005TV Movie documentary acknowledgment: still photographs provided by

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come2016TV MovieHimself
Live from Lincoln Center2016TV SeriesHimself
Late Motiv de Andreu Buenafuente2016TV SeriesHimself - Guest
La Música Te Eleva, Episodio 1: Rufus Wainwright2016ShortHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon2016TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Shakespeare Live! From the RSC2016TV MovieHimself - Performer
Coming Together for One Night Only2015ShortHimself
CBS This Morning2014TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Renée Fleming: Christmas in New York2014TV MovieHimself
BBC Proms2014TV SeriesHimself
Live from the Artists Den2012-2014TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
The Kennedy Center Honors2013TV SpecialHimself - Performer
Robbie Williams One Night at the Palladium2013TV MovieHimself
Durch die Nacht mit...2013TV Series documentaryHimself
CBS News Sunday Morning2012TV Series documentaryHimself - Guest
Late Show with David Letterman1998-2012TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest / Himself - Guest / Himself
Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf2012TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Rufus Does Gum2012ShortHimself
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show2012TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Conan2012TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle2012DocumentaryHimself
Sunday Brunch2012TV SeriesHimself - Guest
De wereld draait door2012TV SeriesHimself - Performer
Die Harald Schmidt Show2012TV SeriesHimself
The Graham Norton Show2007-2012TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon2009-2011TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Daybreak2011TV SeriesHimself
Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna2011DocumentaryHimself
Chelsea Lately2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Tavis Smiley2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Ànima2010TV SeriesHimself
Continuarà...2005-2010TV SeriesHimself
Dinner with the Band2010TV SeriesHimself
Breakfast2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Hour2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Five Minutes With...2009TV SeriesHimself
Rufus Wainwright: Milwaukee at Last!!!2009VideoHimself
Miradas 22009TV Series documentaryHimself
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross2007-2009TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Imagine2009TV Series documentaryHimself
Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...2009TV SeriesHimself
19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards2008TV SpecialHimself
No disparen al pianista2007TV SeriesHimself
Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!2007TV MovieHimself
Benicassim Festival 20072007TV MovieHimself
The Henry Rollins Show2007TV SeriesHimself
Ce soir (ou jamais!)2007TV SeriesHimself
Sunday AM2007TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton2007TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Music from the Mountain2007Video documentary shortHimself
Decades Rock Live2006TV SeriesHimself
Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig2006DocumentaryHimself
NewNowNext Music2006TV SeriesHimself
Words to Music: The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame 20062006TV MovieHimself
Musikprogrammet - programmet om musik2005-2006TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Singer
French and Saunders2005TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Paul O'Grady Show2005TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Silenci?2005TV SeriesHimself
Strangers2005VideoHimself
Loops!2005TV SeriesHimself
Later... With Jools Holland1998-2005TV SeriesHimself
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man2005DocumentaryHimself
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson2005TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
My Fabulous Gay Wedding2005TV Series documentaryHimself
Sarah Kuttner - Die Show2005TV SeriesHimself
Kiki and Herb Reloaded2005Himself
Le grand journal de Canal+2005TV Series documentaryHimself
All I Want: A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1998-2005TV SeriesHimself - Guest
First Comes Love2005TV SeriesHimself
Tout le monde en parle2004TV SeriesHimself
Rufus Wainwright: Live at the Fillmore2004Video documentaryHimself
The Frank Skinner Show2004TV SeriesHimself - Musical Guest
Live! from Central Park SummerStage2004TV Series documentaryHimself
Totally Gayer2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Sharon Osbourne Show2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Isaac Mizrahi Show2003TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Lance Loud!: A Death in an American Family2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
Absolutely Fabulous2002TV SeriesHimself
Becoming Sam2002Video documentary shortHimself
Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen2002TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Rosie O'Donnell Show2002TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno2002TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music2001TV Special documentaryHimself
Zonen van...1998TV Movie documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Loops!2006-2007TV SeriesHimself
Silenci?2005-2006TV SeriesHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2008Stephen F. Kolzak AwardGLAAD Media Awards

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2013GLAAD Media AwardGLAAD Media AwardsOutstanding Music ArtistFor the album "Out of the Game"
2008AnnieAnnie AwardsBest Music in an Animated Feature ProductionMeet the Robinsons (2007)· Danny Elfman
· Rob Thomas
2007OFTA Film AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Music, Adapted SongThe History Boys (2006)· Richard Rodgers (music by)
· Lorenz Hart (lyrics by)
· Samuel Barnett (performed by)
· Jamie Parker (performed by)
1989GenieGenie AwardsBest Original SongTommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (1988)


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#Quote
1[on 2013 plans to compose an opera, with Daniel MacIvor, set in Roman times] Hadrian was an Emporer filled with ambition, sensitivity and intelligence and - like all big political figures - he also had a tormented and brooding dark side. Perfect opera material.
2[on collaborating with producer Mark Ronson in recording 'Out of the Game'] We're both keenly aware that there are elements [to our partnership] that can benefit both camp, things we had to offer each other. I wanted a more pop approach, an upbeat palette, a certain cool factor. He wanted a depth and vocal prowess that he hadn't been around since Amy [Winehouse]. And also a variety that I alone bring in terms of musical influences.
3I very consciously allowed Mark to be the captain of the ship. I said, 'If I'm going to work with you, I want to get you. Its about what you have to offer, not about you discovering the new Rufus'. It's taken many years for me to develop that capacity to let go and be confident in someone.
4[on the production crew] They're these amazing, dedicated, dirty boys. It was very much about hanging out with the boys in the clubhouse at three in the morning, listening to R&B. It was a very heterosexual environment, which I enjoyed. And except for Mark - who I was head over heels in love with - I had to tone down my seductive side. It was really about the music.
5[on 'Out of the Game', his most commercial album to date (2012)] There hasn't been a lot of time to philosophize or construct these kinds of elaborate cathedrals that I tend to do - which is great.
6I find so many songwriters today are missing an element ... either the production is amazing but the songs aren't, or it's the other way around.
7I have a good face for what I do.
8They wanted me to be, you know, whatever..a little Japanese girl with tiny little fingers who played Rachmaninoff. I could only play Mozart very slowly, so whatever, I had to leave. So I was basically thrown out of the classical world for being a renegade.
9There's no life without humor. It can make the wonderful moments of life truly glorious, and it can make tragic moments bearable.
10"It seems like the older I get, the more unreal the world becomes.
11I've developed into quite a swan. I'm one of those people that will probably look better and better as I get older - until I drop dead of beauty.
12I may not lead the most dramatic life, but in my brain it's War and Peace everyday.
13I like to make the mundane fabulous whenever I can.
14Everything I do, I feel is genius. Whether it is or it isn't.
15[When asked if all his older songs were getting tiresome to sing] "No, they're all fresh; fresh as daisies!"
16Frank Sinatra has passed on the torch to me. But little did he know that he'd be passing it on to a gay opera queen.
17Why be in music, why write songs, if you can't use them to explore life or an idealized vision of life? I believe a lot of our lives are spent asleep, and what I've been trying to do is hold on to those moments when a little spark cuts through the fog and nudges you.


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