Norbert Leo Butz

Last updated
Norbert Leo Butz
Butz after a performance of Catch Me If You Can in 2011
Born (1967-01-30) January 30, 1967 (age 53)
Education Webster University (BFA)
University of Alabama (MFA)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active1996–present
Michelle Federer (m. 2007)

Norbert Leo Butz (born January 30, 1967) is an American actor and singer, best known for his work in Broadway theatre. He is a two-time winner of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and is one of only nine actors ever to have won the award twice as lead actor.


Personal life

Butz was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Elaine (née Bourisaw) and Norbert Butz. [1] He was raised in a middle-class family; his parents are devout Catholics. [2] [3] He is the seventh of 11 children in his family and is named after his father. [4] Some of his first theatre roles included playing the male leads at local all-girl high schools, such as Cor Jesu Academy and Nerinx Hall. He graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School. Butz earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Professional Actor Training Program. [5] He would later receive an honorary degree from Webster University in 2013. [6]

The murder of his sister, Teresa Butz, made national news when an assailant stabbed both her and her partner in her Seattle-area home on July 19, 2009. [7] [8]

Butz's daughter Georgia Teresa was born on January 2, 2011. Butz has two older daughters, Clara and Maggie Davis, from a previous marriage. [9]


Butz made his Broadway debut as a replacement swing – a type of understudy – in Rent in 1996, after original swing David Driver was let go. Butz ultimately replaced Adam Pascal as Roger in 1997. Additional Broadway credits include Thou Shalt Not (Camille Raquin, 2001–2002), for which he received a Tony Award nomination; Wicked (the original Fiyero, 2003); and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy) for which he received the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, a Drama League Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award. His Off-Broadway credits include The Last Five Years (Jamie), Songs for a New World (Lead Male 2), Saved (Fred), and Juno and the Paycock (Jerry Devine), and he has toured as the Emcee in Cabaret and as Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Butz's film roles have included Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five (Pawnbroker), Noon Blue Apples (Howard Philips), and West of Here (Josiah Blackwell).

Butz's projects include the film Dan in Real Life (with Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook), released in October 2007, the world premiere of Is He Dead? , a hitherto unproduced Mark Twain play that opened at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on December 9, 2007, and Fifty Words Off-Broadway with Elizebeth Marvel at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (2008). [10] In January 2008, he appeared as Captain Richard King in the miniseries adaptation of the Lonesome Dove prequel, Comanche Moon .

Starting December 23, 2008, Butz stepped in to replace Jeremy Piven in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow ; Piven suddenly and unexpectedly dropped out of the play after he experienced health problems. Butz took over the part until January 13, 2009, when William H. Macy assumed the role for the remainder of the play's run. [11]

Butz taught at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey for the spring semester in 2008 in the drama department. [12] [13]

He starred as Rowdy Kaiser in the ABC show The Deep End .

From April to May 9, 2010, he returned to the Broadway stage in ENRON as Jeffrey Skilling. [14] Despite Tony nominations, the play struggled with ticket sales.

Butz starred in the 2011 drama indie film Higher Ground with Vera Farmiga, who also directed it. [15]

Butz originated the role of Carl Hanratty in the musical Catch Me If You Can which played pre-Broadway tryouts at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington from July 28 through August 14, 2009. [16] Butz played the role of Carl Hanratty in the Broadway production of Catch Me if You Can, which opened on April 10, 2011 [17] and closed in September 2011. For this role he won his second Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical [18] and his second Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. [19]

In April 2012, Butz appeared as himself in one episode of the NBC musical drama Smash. Butz played Hal Wilner in Greetings from Tim Buckley , a film on Tim and Jeff Buckley, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. [20] [21]

From November 29, 2012 to January 6, 2013, Butz appeared on Broadway in Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts , opposite Katie Holmes, Jayne Houdyshell, Josh Hamilton, and Judy Greer.

In 2013 he starred in the new Andrew Lippa musical Big Fish , which premiered in Chicago in the spring and opened on Broadway in the Neil Simon Theatre in October, directed by Susan Stroman. [22]

In 2012, he played Uncle Peck in a limited engagement revival of Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive . He also starred in the 2013 film Better Living Through Chemistry . He played Kevin Rayburn in the 2015 Netflix television show Bloodline .

He also starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady as Alfred Doolittle, the father of the leading role, Eliza Doolittle. He earned a nomination for Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the production.

From July 9-28, 2019, he appeared in an original musical collaboration titled TWOHANDER at Feinstein's/54 Below alongside Sherie Rene Scott, with musical director Todd Almond. [23] [24] Butz previously shared the stage with Scott in the original productions of the musicals Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Last Five Years .

In 2020, Butz will play the role of Craig Maddox in the NBC drama pilot Debris which was written by J. H. Wyman. [25]



1998 Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five Pawnbroker
2000 Looking for an Echo Vocals for Anthony Pirelli
2002Noon Blue ApplesHoward Phillips
West of HereJosiah Blackwell
2007 Dan in Real Life Clay Burns
2010 Fair Game Steve
2011 Higher Ground Pastor Bill
2012 Greetings from Tim Buckley Hal Willner
Disconnect Peter
2013 The English Teacher Vice Principal Phil Pelaski
2014 Better Living Through Chemistry Agent Andrew Carp
2019 Luce Dan Towson
Wonder Park Peanut (voice)
Good Posture Neil
TBA Flag Day Post-production


2000 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit John FenwickEpisode: "Misleader"
2007Playing ChickenJakeUnsold pilot
2008 Comanche Moon Richard KingEpisode: "#1.2"
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Archie BeulissEpisode: "In Treatment"
2010 The Deep End Rowdy Kaise7 episodes
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Larry LamotteEpisode: "Bump and Grind"
2011 The Good Wife Mr. MedinaEpisode: "Two Courts"
Late Show with David Letterman Carl HanrattyEpisode: "Dr. Phil/Chris Hemsworth/Catch Me If You Can"
Blue Bloods Detective KramerEpisode: "Moonlighting"
The Miraculous YearTerry SegalTelevision film
2012CountyBilly KrakowskiUnsold pilot
2015–2017 Bloodline Kevin RayburnMain cast; 33 episodes
2016–2017 Mercy Street Dr. Byron HaleMain cast; 12 episodes
2018 Trust Gordon Getty 3 episodes
The First Matthew Dawes2 episodes
2019 Fosse/Verdon Paddy Chayefsky Miniseries


1997–2000 Rent Roger Davis
2000 Juno and the Paycock Jerry Levine
2001–02 Thou Shalt Not Camille Raquin
2002 The Last Five Years Jamie Wellerstein
Carousel Jigger Craigin
2003BuicksBill Abeline
2003–04 Wicked Fiyero Tigelaar
2005–06 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddy Benson
2007–08 Is He Dead? Jean-François Millet
2008–09 Speed-the-Plow Bobby Gould
2008Fifty WordsAdam
2010 Enron Jeffrey Skilling
2011 Catch Me If You Can Agent Carl Hanratty
2012 How I Learned to Drive Uncle Peck
2012–13 Dead Accounts Jack
2013 Big Fish Edward Bloom
2017The WhirligigMichael
2018 My Fair Lady Alfred P. Doolittle

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
2002 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Thou Shalt Not Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalNominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical The Last Five Years Nominated
2003 Outstanding Actor in a Play BuicksNominated
2005 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished PerformanceWon
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a MusicalWon
2011 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Catch Me if You Can Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a MusicalNominated
2018 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical My Fair Lady Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalWon
2019 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album [26] Nominated


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