|André De Shields|
André De Shields at home in New York on February 11, 2009. Photo by Lia Chang
January 12, 1946 |
|Occupation||actor, singer, director, dancer, novelist, choreographer, college professor|
De Shields graduated from the Baltimore City College high school. He then attended Wilmington College of Ohio where he starred in a well-received production of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." After transferring colleges, DeShields received his BA degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After Wisconsin, he earned a Master of Arts from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor.
De Shields' early Broadway career was less than successful. In 1973, Warp! closed after eight performances and Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) never made it to opening night following accusations by fellow cast members that De Shields' ego marred production. He had better success choreographing Bette Midler's concert at the end of the year, though it was panned by the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. De Shields had a singing role in the 1974 musical Das Rheingold, which featured songs by Jim Steinman.
In 1975, De Shields was cast in the title role of The Wiz. Additional Broadway credits include Ain't Misbehavin', the Duke Ellington revue Play On!, The Full Monty, Prymate and Impressionism. He also conceived, wrote, directed, and starred in André De Shields' Haarlem Nocturne.
De Shields' regional theatre credits include Play On!, The Full Monty, Waiting For Godot, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Death of a Salesman, Dusyanta: A Tale of Kalidasa, The Gospel According to James, Camino Real and "The Jungle Book".
De Shields' television credits include Another World, Cosby, Sex and the City, Great Performances, and Law & Order. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Achievement for his performance in the 1982 NBC broadcast of Ain't Misbehavin'.
Awards and nominations
- 2013 Fox Foundation Fellowship Grant for Distinguished Achievement of $25,000 to support his work at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago 
- 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award
- 2009 AUDELCO for Outstanding Performance in a Musical/Male (Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, winner)
- 2007 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts University of Wisconsin–Madison
- 2007 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance
- 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Prymate, nominee)
- 2004 AUDELCO for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play (Dream on Monkey Mountain, winner)
- 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (The Full Monty, nominee)
- 2001 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (The Full Monty, nominee)
- 2001 Outer Critics Circle Award (The Full Monty, winner)
- 1997 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Play On!, nominee)
- 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Play On!, nominee)
- 1992 AUDELCO Recognition Award/Excellence in Black Theatre (Haarlem Nocturne, winner–La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
- 1991 AUDELCO Recognition Award/Excellence in Black Theatre (Saint Tous), winner –La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
- 1984 The 12th Annual AUDELCO Recognition Award/Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Blackberries,winner–Amas Repertory Theatre
- 1984 The 12th Annual AUDELCO Recognition Award/Outstanding Choreography of a Musical (Blackberries, winner–Amas Repertory Theatre
- 1978 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Ain't Misbehavin', nominee)
- "'Andre De Shields Awarded Fox Foundation Grant for Distinguished Achievement; Heads to Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre in 2013". Broadwayworld.com. October 3, 2012.
- André DeShields at the Internet Broadway Database
- André DeShields at the Internet Movie Database
- André De Shields Official Website
- Chang, Lia.
- Achieving the American Dream, Professional Charmer André De Shields Sees Theater is a Way to Life ,Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, New York, January 31, 2010.