Brian d'Arcy James

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Brian d'Arcy James
Actor and musician Brian d'Arcy James visiting a New York Barnes & Noble location for CD signing.
Born (1968-06-29) June 29, 1968 (age 46)
Saginaw, Michigan
Occupation actor, musician
Nationality American
Education Northwestern University

Brian d'Arcy James (born June 29, 1968) is an American actor and musician.


James graduated from Northwestern University's School of Communication. He received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 2002 for his portrayal of Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success, co-starring John Lithgow. He also received an Obie Award for his performance in the one-man play The Good Thief by Conor McPherson.

Additional Broadway credits include playing Frederick Barrett in Titanic, Lincoln Center's Carousel, and Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway credits include Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party in 2000 opposite Julia Murney and Idina Menzel for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, as well as Adam Guettel's Floyd Collins and the Gershwins' Pardon My English. He appeared in Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway, replaced Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and starred in The Apple Tree opposite Kristin Chenoweth.

In 2004, Brian released a Christmas album titled From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn. He was the Broadway version of Bob Wallace, whose character was originated by Bing Crosby, in White Christmas in 2004.

He played the role of Dan Goodman in the new musical Next to Normal Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2008.[1][2] He then starred opposite Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber as the title character in Shrek the Musical. The show began previews on Broadway November 8, 2008 and opened on December 14 at The Broadway Theatre after a tryout in Seattle.[3] For this role James won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[4][5] He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal.[6] He departed the cast after one year in the role and was replaced by Ben Crawford.[7]

James starred alongside Laura Linney, Alicia Silverstone, and Eric Bogosian in the Broadway play, Time Stands Still. It began preview performances on January 5, 2010 and officially opened on January 25 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.[8] The show ended its limited run on March 27, 2010.[9] For this role he won the Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actor in a Play.[10][11]

James reprised the role of Dan Goodman in the Broadway company of Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre. He replaced J. Robert Spencer beginning May 17, 2010.[12] James ended his limited engagement on July 18, 2010 and was replaced by Jason Danieley.[13]

On July 19, 2010 James performed in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, which also aired on PBS October 20, 2010.[14]

Most recently, James returned to Time Stands Still when the show returned to Broadway. It closed on January 30, 2011.[15]

James was part of the cast of the NBC musical series Smash, playing Frank, who was the husband of Debra Messing's character.[16] NBC officially picked up Smash as a series on May 11, 2011.[17] The program made its series premiere on February 6, 2012.[18] He did not return to the show as a series regular for its second and final season.[19][20]

James starred in Torstein Blixfjord's 2012 short film Bird In A Box, alongside Fiona Glascott.[21]

He co-hosted the 57th Drama Desk Awards with Brooke Shields on June 3, 2012.[22]

James starred as Bick in the new musical, Giant, which ran at the Public Theater from October 26 - December 16, 2012.[23][24] For this role James received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.[25][26]

He also performed at the 29th birthday celebration of the New York Pops, which was a celebration called "Journey On", celebrating the work of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. He performed "Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime with Andrew Rannells, Rebecca Luker, Liz Callaway, Kevin Chamberlin, Jason Danieley, Boyd Gaines, Lewis Grosso, Norm Lewis, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Darlene Love, Marin Mazzie, Tiler Peck, Nikki M. James, Rachel York, and LaChanze, along with Flaherty and Ahrens.[27]

He played Banquo in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Macbeth, which began previews in October 2013 and officially opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in November 2013.[28]

Personal life[edit]

James was born in Saginaw, Michigan, the son of Mary (née Kelly), a seller of children's books, and Thomas F. James (deceased), a lawyer.[29] His maternal grandfather was Harry F. Kelly, a former Governor of Michigan.[30] His uncle was Brian Kelly, an actor featured in the series "Flipper" and a producer of the movie Blade Runner. He has two sisters: Kate James, an actress and writer who performs in the Chicago based sketch comedy group, Schadenfreude, and Anne James Noonan, also an actress. He also has one brother, Andrew James.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Tony Award[edit]

Drama Desk Award[edit]


  1. ^ Photo Flash: 'Next to Normal' Retrieved April 30, 2013
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ James, Gregory II and Tartaglia Set for Broadway's Shrek
  4. ^ "Billy Elliot, Carnage, Ruined and Avenger Are Outer Critics Circle Award Winners"
  5. ^ Ruined and Billy Elliot Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards
  6. ^ Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; Billy Elliot Earns 15 Nominations
  7. ^ Crawford Will Be Shrek This Fall on Broadway; Tix on Sale Through May 2010
  8. ^ James Joins Linney and Silverstone in Broadway's Time Stands Still
  9. ^ TIME STANDS STILL Closes March 27 at MTC
  10. ^ 2010 Audience Award Winners
  11. ^ It's Time for Brian d'Arcy James to Thank Fans for His 2010 Audience Award
  12. ^ Brian d'Arcy James Will Rejoin "Normal" Cast in May
  13. ^ Married Couple Mazzie & Danieley Take Over in NEXT TO NORMAL 7/19
  14. ^ Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Brian d'Arcy James and More to Perform Broadway Celebration at White House
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ Brian d'Arcy James Joins Cast of "Smash" Musical Pilot
  17. ^ Breaking News: NBC Picks Up Broadway-themed SMASH
  18. ^ A Show Just for Us: "Smash," Starry New Drama Series About the Making of a Musical, Debuts on NBC
  19. ^ 'Smash' Shakeup: Four Stars Axed From Second Season
  20. ^ UPDATED: Brian d'Arcy James, Will Chase, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey Not Returning as Regulars on SMASH
  21. ^
  22. ^ Brooke Shields and Brian D'Arcy James Will Host Drama Desk Awards
  23. ^ Brian d'Arcy James, Kate Baldwin, Bobby Steggert, Michele Pawk to Lead Public Theater's GIANT- Full Cast Announced!
  24. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'Giant', Starring Kate Baldwin, Brian D'Arcy James and P.J. Griffith, Gets Extension at Public Theater", November 25, 2012
  25. ^ Nominations Announced for 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards; Giant and Hands on a Hardbody Lead the Pack Retrieved April 29, 2013
  26. ^ 2013 Drama League Nominations Announced -- KINKY BOOTS, PIPPIN & More Lead with 3! Retrieved April 30, 2013
  28. ^ Brian d'Arcy James, Malcolm Gets and More to Join Ethan Hawke in LCT's MACBETH; Cast Announced! Retrieved September 4, 2013
  29. ^ Profile at
  30. ^ "Today I'm thinking of my grandfather Harry F. Kelly.". Twitter. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]