Taye Diggs

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Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs 2015.jpg
Diggs at the 2015 Texas Book Festival
Born Scott Leo Berry[1]
(1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 47)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Other names Taye
Alma mater Syracuse University (BFA)
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1996–present
Children 1

Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles in the Broadway musicals Rent and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the TV series Private Practice, 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[edit]

Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Rochester, New York.[2] His mother, Marcia (née Berry), is 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.[3][4] His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay".[5] He is the oldest of five children.[6] 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. He received a BFA in musical theater from Syracuse University.

Diggs performed many times at the popular Lakes Region Summer Theatre in Meredith, New Hampshire. He also spent a summer at the New London Barn Playhouse in New London, New Hampshire. 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 nasty 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 Idina 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.[7] 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 final 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 opposite Kate Walsh in Private Practice, the 2007 spin-off of Grey's Anatomy.[8] 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 stars in the live adaptation of the comic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.[9] 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.[10]

Since the summer of 2014, Diggs has starred in serial crime drama Murder in the First with Kathleen Robertson.[11]

Diggs is the author of three children's books, Mixed Me! (2015), Chocolate Me (2015), and I Love You More Than . . . (2018), all illustrated by Shane W. Evans.

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 2016, Diggs hosted the unaired game show Hypnotize Me, based on the British game show You're Back in the Room for FOX with hypnotist Keith Barry.

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

Diggs has appeared on the reality show Lip Sync Battle and is the show's only two time winner to date. In Season 3 Diggs performed as Madonna for the song "Vogue" and in Season 4 in the Christina Aguilera tribute episode, performing "Candyman" and becoming a winner a second time when Aguilera chose him as the champion.

Personal life[edit]

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.[12] Their divorce was finalized on December 3, 2014.[13]

Diggs is the co-artistic director of a dance company, Dre.dance, with fellow Broadway veteran and School of the Arts alumnus Andrew Palermo.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back Winston Shakespeare Nominated—Acapulco Black Film Festival Award for Best Actor
1999 Go Marcus
1999 The Wood Roland
1999 The Best Man Harper Stewart Nominated—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 Andre Uncredited
2002 Brown Sugar Andre Romulus 'Dre' Ellis Nominated—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 III Nominated—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 Friend Uncredited
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 III Nominated—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 Capper Voice
2017 'Til Death Do Us Part Alex Stone
2018 Set It Up Rick
2018 River Runs Red Charles Coleman, Sr. Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1996 New York Undercover Stephon Episode: "No Greater Love"
1996 Law & Order Sky Bell Episode: "Good Girl"
1997 Guiding Light Adrian "Sugar" Hill Unknown episodes
1997 101 Dalmatians: The Series Dre (voice) Episode: "He Followed Me Home"
2001 Ally McBeal Jackson Duper 10 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
2003 Punk'd Himself Episode: "2.5"
2003 Ed Episode: "Captain Lucidity"
2003 The West Wing Secret Service Agent Wesley Davis 2 episodes
2004 America's Next Top Model Himself Episode: "The Girls Meet Taye Diggs"
2004–2005 Kevin Hill Kevin Hill 22 episodes
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
2006 Will & Grace James 4 episodes
2006–2007 Day Break Detective Brett Hopper 13 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 Episode: "Tremble at the Might of M.O.D.O.K.!"
2009 Better Off Ted Greg Episode: "Love Blurts"
2010 Sesame Street Himself Episode: "Snuffle Sneeze"
2013 New Girl Artie, the coffee shop owner Episode: "Coach"
2014–2016 Murder in the First Inspector Terrance English 32 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-Wilkins 3 episodes
2015 Repeat After Me Himself Episode: "#1.8"
2015–2016 Rosewood Mike Boyce[15] 3 episodes
2016 NCIS USMC Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Davis Episode: "Scope"
2016–2017 Empire Councilman Angelo DuBois 8 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
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 Awards Best 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

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 2012, in the "Dr. Klaustus" episode of the animated series American Dad!, the character Roger sees a picture of Diggs in a magazine and comments that he is "still perfect". He refers to Diggs as "my constant, my ebony north star".
  • On the NBC series Parks and Recreation, Diggs is often referenced by character Tom Haverford, who likens himself to Diggs. He also fantasizes about co-owning a burlesque nightclub with Diggs and two of the Pussycat Dolls.
  • On the ABC/TBS television series Cougar Town, the character Laurie Keller is shown to have a crush on Diggs. She describes his smile as one that "lights up the world" and has numerous pictures of him in her apartment.


  1. ^ Hannaham, James (2015) "How Taye is Transforming the Role of Hedwig." New York Times July 21, 2015. Retrieved 3-26-2017.
  2. ^ "ABC TV Shows, Specials & Movies - ABC.com". ABC. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Taye Diggs Biography (1972?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/magazine/how-taye-diggs-is-transforming-the-role-of-hedwig.html
  5. ^ [1] Archived May 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Taye Digs: Actor". People.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  7. ^ The Broadway League. "Taye Diggs - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". IBDb.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ [3] Archived June 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Interview of the BIFF Winner: Dan Mirvish". Filmfestivals.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Advertisement". Variety. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Nudd, Tim (December 11, 2013). "Taye Diggs & Idina Menzel Split". People. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel: Divorce Finalized". TMZ. January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (October 12, 2008). "Party Guests With Jazzy Moves and Political Leanings". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (October 12, 2015). "Taye Diggs Joins Fox Drama 'Rosewood'; Erik Allan Kramer In 'Mike & Molly'". Deadline. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]