July 5, 1960 |
Douglas Sills (born July 5, 1960) is an American actor.
Sills was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Rhoda and Archie Sills, and grew up in the suburb of Franklin, in a Jewish household. He was friends (and did amateur theatrics and films) with both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Sills attended Cranbrook School, from which he graduated in 1978, and the University of Michigan where he majored in music. He then continued his education at the American Conservatory Theater in California.
During the 1990s, Sills built a solid reputation as a stage character actor, especially in the professional theaters of southern California. He also performed in several national tours, including Into the Woods and The Secret Garden, which would also feature future Broadway stars as James Stacy Barbour and Audra McDonald. His first Broadway role, however, came when composer Frank Wildhorn and lyricist Nan Knighton approached him in hopes of finding a male lead for their new musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Before this audition, Sills told his agent not to send him to any more auditions because he planned to attend law school. With a score in the 99th percentile on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Sills hoped to attend Stanford Law School. However, being a fan of the movie as a child, Sills decided to give acting one more chance and was offered the lead as Sir Percy Blakeney.
Douglas Sills opened on his first Broadway show on November 9, 1997. Continuing the role in three other versions of the show, Sills received a Tony Award nomination. He portrayed the foppish hero in SP 1.0 (The Original Broadway Production, starring Terrence Mann, Christine Andreas & Gilles Chiason), SP 2.0 (Revised Broadway Production, starring Rachel York & Rex Smith), and for several months in the National Tour (4.0). Although rumored as the title role of Wildhorn's Dracula, the Musical, Sills opted out (despite doing a recording demo), and rather Tom Hewitt portrayed the gothic character at the premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2001. He played Orin Scrivello, and several other roles in the 2003 Broadway revival cast of Little Shop of Horrors.
In 2004, Sills joined the Broadway-bound Chicago production of Monty Python's Spamalot. However, before the production began, Sills left on his own account due to reported "major script changes." In early 2005, production plans were announced for Wildhorn's new musical Cyrano de Bergerac, from the same team that helped launch his career with The Scarlet Pimpernel. The title role was written specifically for Sills, however, producers dropped plans for the show in spring 2006 without explanation. A studio-concept recording was planned, starring Sills, Linda Eder and Rob Evan, but plans also quickly fell through.
In 2009, Sills starred opposite Kristin Chenoweth at the New York City Center production of Music in the Air, a long-forgotten Kern-Hamerstein project from the 1930s. The concert-style version ran February 5 through February 8. Sills assumed the role of Gomez Addams in the national tour of The Addams Family in September 2011 until the company's closing on December 30, 2012.
- Sam Whiting (2 April 2000). "Master of Disguise: 'Pimpernel' star could have been mistaken for a lawyer, or 'just' a singer". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Ernio Hernandez (19 November 2004). "Douglas Sills Leaves Upcoming Broadway Musical Monty Python's Spamalot". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Ernio Hernandez (5 February 2009). "PHOTO CALL: There Is Music in the Air at City Center". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Ernio Hernandez (15 July 2009). "Three Knights and a Lady Join Monty Python's Spamalot Round Table". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Andrew Gans (14 August 2003). "Frank Wildhorn Penning New Cyrano Musical for Pimpernel Star". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Andrew Gans (8 July 2003). "Be a Dentist: Douglas Sills Offered Role of Orin in Broadway Little Shop". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Kenneth Jones (22 December 1999). "Douglas Sills Will Buckle His Swash For Scarlet Pimpernel Tour in 2000". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Kenneth Jones (20 February 2009). "Douglas Sills Swashbuckles Into Pimpernel Tour Feb. 20 in CT". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Robert Simonson (31 January 2005). "Frank Wildhorn's Cyrano to Play London in Spring 2006". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Andrew Adler (20 September 2011). "'Addams Family' creative team comes to New Orleans". The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Retrieved 2011-12-19.