Taye Diggs

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Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs (21783).jpg
Diggs in 2018
Scott Leo Berry [1]

(1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 50)
Alma mater Syracuse University (BFA)
Years active1996–present
Relatives Misty Copeland (cousin-in-law)

Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) [2] is an American actor. He is known for his roles in the Broadway musicals Rent and Hedwig and the Angry Inch , the TV series Private Practice and All American, the films How Stella Got Her Groove Back , Brown Sugar, The Best Man and its sequel, The Best Man Holiday . Between 2014 and 2016 he starred as Inspector Terry English in Murder in the First.


Early life

Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester, New York. [3] [4] His mother, Marcia (née Berry), was a teacher and actress, and his father, Andre Young, is a visual artist. When he was a child, his mother married Jeffries Diggs, whose surname Taye took. [5] His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay". [6] He is the oldest of five children. [7] He has two brothers, Gabriel and Michael, and two sisters, Christian and Shalom. He attended Allendale Columbia School in Rochester and later transferred to School of the Arts. [4] [8] [9] He received a BFA in musical theater in 1993 from Syracuse University. [10] [11]

Diggs performed many times at the popular Lakes Region Summer Theatre in Meredith, New Hampshire. He also spent the summer of 1992 at the New London Barn Playhouse in New London, New Hampshire. [12] His Broadway debut was in the ensemble cast of the 1994 Tony Award-winning revival of the musical Carousel . In 1995, he also performed as a dancer in Sebastian's Caribbean Carnival at Tokyo Disneyland.


In 1996, Diggs originated the role of the landlord Benny in Jonathan Larson's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent , which also starred his future wife, Idina Menzel. After Rent, he appeared as Mr. Black opposite Menzel's character of Kate in Andrew Lippa's off-Broadway production of The Wild Party at Manhattan Theatre Club. Diggs also played The Bandleader in the 2002 film version of the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago and filled in as Billy Flynn on Broadway. [13] He also temporarily filled in for Norbert Leo Butz (an original Rent standby) as the love interest Fiyero of Menzel's Elphaba character in Wicked .

Diggs then moved from stage to television with a role on the soap opera Guiding Light . In 1998, he made his film debut in How Stella Got Her Groove Back , which brought Diggs much acclaim and exposure. The following year, he played a tantric sex god in Doug Liman's Go , and AWOL groom in the coming-of-age drama The Wood alongside Omar Epps. Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man features Diggs as the title character, an author and best friend of the groom (portrayed by Morris Chestnut).

He also starred in the 1999 remake of William Castle's House on Haunted Hill . Diggs was featured in an episode of America's Next Top Model helping the contestants through an acting challenge. Another notable role of his was on the comedy-drama Ally McBeal as a lawyer named Jackson Duper who was the love interest of the character Renee Raddick and the possible love interest of the Ling Woo character.

Diggs portrayed the title character on the short-lived UPN television series Kevin Hill which despite critical acclaim was not renewed for a second season. He reprised the role of Benny for the 2005 Rent film. Diggs is featured on the following cast recordings: Carousel 1994 revival cast; Rent 1996 original Broadway cast; The Wild Party original off-Broadway cast. He also sings on the Rent film soundtrack. In 2002, he reprised his role as the Bandleader in the film adaptation of Chicago, and also played opposite Christian Bale as Bale's partner/antagonist Brandt in the dystopian sci-fi thriller Equilibrium.

In 2003, Diggs appeared on the TV show Punk'd after being tricked by Ashton Kutcher, while getting a check-up at a Punk'd-operated doctor's office. In early 2006, Diggs guest-starred for several episodes as Will Truman's love interest, James, on the eighth season of Will & Grace . In May, ABC picked up his pilot, Day Break , in which he portrayed a detective trapped in the same day and forced to relive it to clear his name of murder; the show debuted in mid-November 2006, but was abruptly canceled due to poor ratings. Although his film and television career continue to move forward, he still returns to the stage frequently. He was seen opposite James McDaniel in Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play at Second Stage Theatre in New York.

Diggs co-starred as Sam Bennett opposite Kate Walsh in Private Practice , the spin-off of Grey's Anatomy , which ran for six seasons from 2007 until 2013. [14] Diggs had a guest role on The West Wing as a Secret Service agent in charge of the security detail for the President's daughter. He then guest-starred on Grey's Anatomy again in the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice Crossover Event. Diggs had a major role in the live action adaptation of the comic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011). [15] He also narrated the ESPN Films documentary The Fab Five about University of Michigan basketball players Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. Diggs is one of the stars of the independent film drama Between Us that won the grand jury prize at the 2012 Bahamas International Film Festival among its other festival appearances. [16]

From 2014 until 2016, Diggs starred in the TNT serial crime drama Murder in the First with Kathleen Robertson. [17] The show ran for three seasons.

Diggs is the author of four children's books, Mixed Me! (2015), Chocolate Me (2015), I Love You More Than... (2018), and My Friend! (2021), all illustrated by Shane Evans (artist). [18]

Diggs performed the role of the titular character Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre from July 22, 2015 until the production's closing on September 13, 2015.

In 2017, Diggs appeared in the films 'Til Death Do Us Part and My Little Pony: The Movie , where he voices Capper the cat.

Diggs has twice appeared on Paramount Network’s reality competition series Lip Sync Battle and is the show's only two-time winner. In a third season episode against Ne-Yo, Diggs sang his competitor’s song “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” and then performed as Madonna for round two’s performance of "Vogue". In his next appearance, the fourth season’s Christina Aguilera tribute episode, he competed against Erika Jayne, performing “Beautiful” and "Candyman".

Diggs hosted the game show Hypnotize Me with hypnotist Keith Barry, based on Barry's British program You're Back in the Room . Hypnotize Me was originally shot for broadcast on FOX in 2016, but never aired on the network. The eight-episode series was eventually broadcast on The CW, in the summer of 2019. [19] [20] [21]

Personal life

Diggs married actress Idina Menzel, his Rent co-star, on January 11, 2003. Their son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, was born on September 2, 2009. In 2013, Diggs and Menzel separated after ten years of marriage. [22] Their divorce was finalized on December 3, 2014. [23]

Diggs dated Selling Sunset cast member Amanza Smith for five years, splitting in 2018.

Diggs is the co-artistic director of a dance company, Dre.dance, with fellow Broadway veteran and School of the Arts alumnus Andrew Palermo. [24]



1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Winston ShakespeareNominated—Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actor
1999 Go Marcus
1999 The Wood Roland
1999 The Best Man Harper StewartNominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
1999 House on Haunted Hill Eddie Baker Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Horror
2000 The Way of the Gun Jeffers
2002 New Best Friend Artie Bonner
2002 Just a Kiss AndreUncredited
2002 Brown Sugar Andre Romulus 'Dre' EllisNominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry (with Sanaa Lathan)
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock (with Sanaa Lathan)
2002 Equilibrium Andrew Brandt
2002 Chicago The Bandleader Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2003 Basic Jay Pike
2003 Malibu's Most Wanted Sean (aka Blood Bath)
2004 Drum Henry Nxumalo
2005 Rent Benjamin "Benny" Coffin IIINominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2005 Cake Hemingway Jones
2007 Slow Burn Jeffrey Sykes
2008 Days of Wrath Steve Lerato
2010 Our Family Wedding Whipped FriendUncredited
2011 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night Vampire Vargas
2011 The Fab Five Narrator
2012 Between Us Carlo
2013 The Best Man Holiday Harper Stewart Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Cast
2013 Baggage Claim Langston Jefferson Battle IIINominated—Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Cast
2015 Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant Rasta Cab Driver
2016 Opening Night Malcolm
2017 My Little Pony: The Movie CapperVoice
2017 'Til Death Do Us Part Alex Stone
2018 Set It Up Rick
2018 River Runs Red Charles Coleman, Sr.


1996 New York Undercover StephonEpisode: "No Greater Love"
1996 Law & Order Sky BellEpisode: "Good Girl"
1997 Guiding Light Adrian "Sugar" HillUnknown episodes
1997 101 Dalmatians: The Series Dre (voice)Episode: "He Followed Me Home"
2001 Ally McBeal Jackson Duper10 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
2003 Punk'd HimselfEpisode: "2.5"
2003 Ed Episode: "Captain Lucidity"
2003 The West Wing Secret Service Agent Wesley Davis2 episodes
2004 America's Next Top Model HimselfEpisode: "The Girls Meet Taye Diggs"
2004–2005 Kevin Hill Kevin Hill22 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
2006 Will & Grace James4 episodes
2006–2007 Day Break Detective Brett Hopper13 episodes
2007–2009 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Sam Bennett 3 episodes
2007–2013 Private Practice 111 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2010, 2012)
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Actor
2009 The Super Hero Squad Show Black Panther (voice)Episode: "Tremble at the Might of M.O.D.O.K.!"
2009 Better Off Ted GregEpisode: "Love Blurts"
2010 Sesame Street HimselfEpisode: "Snuffle Sneeze"
2013 New Girl Artie, the coffee shop ownerEpisode: "Coach"
2014–2016 Murder in the First Inspector Terrance English32 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Actor
2014 The Good Wife Dean Levine-Wilkins3 episodes
2015 Repeat After Me HimselfEpisode: "#1.8"
2015–2016 Rosewood Mike Boyce [25] 3 episodes
2016 NCIS USMC Gunnery Sergeant Aaron DavisEpisode: "Scope"
2016–2017 Empire Councilman Angelo DuBois23 episodes
2017, 2018 Lip Sync Battle Himself2 episodes
2018-present All American Head Coach Billy BakerMain Cast
2019 Rent: Live Himself [26]
2019Selling SunsetHimselfEpisode: "(Real) Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" [27]
2019Hypnotize MeHimself8 episodes
2019 Elena of Avalor Sanza (voice)Episode: "Flower of Light"
2020 Celebrity Ghost Stories HimselfEpisode: "Taye Diggs"
2020 Muppets Now Himself6 episodes
2021 The Best Man: The Final Chapters Harper StewartRecurring role (10 episodes)
2021 The Celebrity Dating Game Himself

Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1999 Acapulco Black Film Festival Best Actor How Stella Got Her Groove Back Nominated
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actor – Horror House on Haunted Hill Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture The Best Man Nominated
2002 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
2003 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Chicago Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Brown Sugar Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society AwardsBest Cast Chicago Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Chemistry (with Sanaa Lathan) Brown Sugar Nominated
Choice Movie Liplock (with Sanaa Lathan)Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Chicago Won
2005 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Kevin Hill Won
2006 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Rent Nominated
2008 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Private Practice Nominated
2009 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
2010 Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actor Nominated
2012 NAACP Image Awards NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Acapulco Black Film Festival Best Cast Baggage Claim Nominated
Best Cast The Best Man Holiday Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Murder in the First Nominated
2016 42nd People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actor Nominated

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