Keala Settle is an American actress and singer known for her performance on Broadway in Hands on a Hardbody. She will make her film debut with The Greatest Showman.
Settle has performed in numerous stage productions. Her Broadway debut was in 2011 in a production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as Shirley and a member of the ensemble.
Settle originated the role of Norma Valverde in Hands on a Hardbody, a new musical which ran briefly on Broadway in 2013, and is based on the 1997 documentary about real people competing to win a new truck. The TheatreMania reviewer wrote: "...but Settle, as Norma, steals every scene she's in. The spectacularly bizarre lead-in to her big number, 'Joy of the Lord,' is more difficult to pull off than most Shakespearean monologues, and her solo vocals reveal a soulful, oversized gospel range that drives the Holy Spirit straight to the back of the theater. When she tearfully realizes what her faith in God may have wrought, it stings like a chigger bite. Settle's touching performance should go on the shortlist for every Best Featured Actress prize in town." For this role, Settle was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Additionally, she was awarded the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway debut performance during the 2012-13 theatrical season/
Settle played the role of Madame Thenardier in the revival of Les Misérables, starting in March 2014, and ending on March 1, 2015.
She starred in the stage musical Waitress, which opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016, as Becky. She played this role in the premiere production at the ART (Cambridge, Massachusetts) in August to September 27, 2015.