Best known for his portrayal of Aaron Burr on stage and in the film version of Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter. He’s also up for two Oscars (Best Actor and Best Original Song) for his performance in the 2020 movie, One Night In Miami. But if you ask him about his proudest achievement, the 39-year-old would probably say it was marrying Nicolette Robinson. Although she’s known for being Leslie Odom Jr.’s wife, the 32-year old actress has her own successful career on the stage and screen. Here’s a look into her life and what it’s like to be Leslie Odom Jr.’s spouse.
Leslie Odom Jr.’s Wife Is Nicolette Robinson
Nicolette Robinson was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 18th, 1988. The daughter of a choreographer and an acting teacher, she grew up in a diverse household that nurtured and supported her love of the arts. “They were my first mentors, and they’re still so supportive,” Robinson said of her parents in a 2018 interview with Broadwaydirect.com. “My parents were always great at empowering me to be proud of who I am. We celebrated Christian and Jewish holidays, and I got an understanding of both sides of my background. I feel really grateful for that.”
Robinson took on a few small parts on a couple of TV shows as a kid before attending UCLA, where she became a musical theater major. The aspiring actress began performing professionally again while she was still in college and landed a number of TV roles after graduation.
Here’s a cute moment of the two of them taking an online relationship and compatibility test, you can just see how happy they make each other!
Leslie Odom Jr. And Nicolette Robinson Met On Stage
Since both Leslie Odom Jr. and Nicolette Robinson are professional performers, it makes sense that the two met while they were working. It was 2008, and Odom Jr. was serving as an assistant director to fellow Broadway star Billy Porter on an LA-based production of the musical, Once on This Island. According to Odom Jr., as soon as Robinson came in to audition, it was love at first sight.
“I got to sit in on the auditions, and this very lovely young girl came in to audition — this UCLA student — who I would have cast,” he told Playbill.com in 2015. “That’s not blowing smoke. I just thought that she had an ineffable quality that is very rare and not really something you can teach. It was between her and another very talented actress, and Nicolette didn’t get cast.”
Luckily, when another cast member had to drop out of the show, Robinson was called back in. “So Nita had to leave and Billy had to do some juggling within the cast,” he explained. “He moved roles around and he called that pretty Black girl from the audition and had her step in. As his assistant, it was my job to get her up to speed and make sure she was okay. We got very close very quickly, but normally those kinds of things — you call them showmances — end when the show ends, but ours never ended. We just had so much fun together.”
According to the couple, Billy Porter likes to take full credit for getting these two together. “At our wedding, he was like, ‘I made this happen,’” Robinson told Playbill.com.
Since her appearance in Once on This Island, Robinson has become a seasoned stage performer. In 2018, she was tapped to take over the lead role in the popular Broadway musical Waitress, becoming the first actress of color to play the part. It was a dream job for Robinson, who was a big fan of (the musical’s creator) Sara Bareilles and said on some days she couldn’t believe she’d landed such a great gig. “Honestly, if you had told the college-age Nicolette that she was going to star in a Sara Bareilles musical one day, she would have died,” the actress told Broadwaydirect.com in 2018.
Nicolette Robinson Has Also Been Featured In A Few Television Roles
Robinson has had recurring roles on a number of TV shows, including Perfect Couples, Heart of Dixie, The Affair, and the Freeform limited series, Love in the Time of Corona. She also made an appearance alongside her husband in Once Night in Miami, playing Sam Cooke’s wife, Barbara Cooke.
Nicolette Robinson And Leslie Odom Jr. Have Two Children Together
In April of 2017, the couple welcomed their first child into the world — a daughter named Lucille Ruby. And in March 2021, the couple had their second child — a son named Able Phineas.
Baby number two came in the midst of a busy award season for Odom Jr., but even Oscar nominations couldn’t compare to the excitement of a new baby. He told People, “Award season is wonderful, really it’s so nice to have your name included on lists like these, but there’s nothing like the joy and the renewed energy and all the wonderful things that happen with a new baby.”
Clearly, these two talented actors know how to juggle a rich family life and two successful careers—though Leslie Odom Jr.’s wife does admit it’s tough sometimes. “It presents lots of challenges,” she told Broadwaydirect.com. “We’re still figuring things out, but we just try to be as supportive of each other as we can, and make time to be together. We’ve learned how important it is to rest and to find the balance in life. Healthy communication is the key.”