Taye Diggs

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Taye Diggs
BornScott Leo Diggs
(1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 44)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Idina Menzel (m. 2003–14) ( divorced )
ChildrenWalker Nathaniel Diggs
(born September 2, 2009)
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Taye Diggs
BornScott Leo Diggs
(1971-01-02) January 2, 1971 (age 44)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Idina Menzel (m. 2003–14) ( divorced )
ChildrenWalker Nathaniel Diggs
(born September 2, 2009)

Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) is an American theatre, film and television actor, best known by his nickname, Taye Diggs. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the Broadway musical Rent, the motion picture How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the television series Private Practice and his starring role in the cult favorite motion picture The Best Man as Harper Stewart, as well as its sequel The Best Man Holiday. His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay".[1]

Early life[edit]

Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in Rochester, New York,[2] the son of Marcia (née Berry), a teacher and actress, and Jeffries Diggs.[3] He is the oldest of five children;[4] he has two brothers, Gabriel and Michael, and two sisters. He attended Allendale Columbia School in Rochester and later transferred to School of the Arts. Diggs received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater from Syracuse University. He 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, located in New London, New Hampshire. Diggs's 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.[5] 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. Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man features Diggs as the eponymous character, an author and best friend of the groom (portrayed by Morris Chestnut). He also starred in the remake of William Castle's The 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Since the summer of 2014 Taye Diggs is starring in serial crime drama Murder in the First with Kathleen Robertson.[9]

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. On October 29 or 30, 2013, it was reported that Diggs and Menzel had separated after ten years of marriage.[10] Their divorce was finalized on December 3, 2014.[11]

Diggs is the co-artistic director of a dance company, Dre.dance, with fellow Broadway veteran and School of the Arts alumnus Andrew Palermo.[12]


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1998How Stella Got Her Groove BackWinston Shakespeare
The WoodRoland
The Best ManHarper Stewart
House on Haunted HillEddie Baker
2000The Way of the GunJeffers
2002New Best FriendArtie Bonner
Just a KissAndre
Brown SugarAndre Romulus 'Dre' Ellismain role
EquilibriumAndrew Brandt
ChicagoThe Bandleader
2003BasicJay Pike
Malibu's Most WantedSean (aka Blood Bath)
2004DrumHenry Nxumalo
2005RentBenjamin "Benny" Coffin III
CakeHemingway Jones
2007Slow BurnJeffrey Sykes
2008Days of WrathSteve Lerato
2010Our Family WeddingWhipped Friend
2011Dylan Dog: Dead of NightVampire Vargas
The Fab FiveNarrator
2012Between UsCarlo
Scooby-Doo! Music of the VampireTommy
2013The Best Man HolidayHarper Stewart
Baggage ClaimLangston Jefferson Battle III
2016The Best Man WeddingHarper Stewart

TV credits[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1996New York UndercoverStephonEpisode 50: No Greater Love
1997Guiding LightAdrian "Sugar" Hill
2001Ally McBealJackson Duper10 episodes
2003Punk'dHimselfEpisode: 2.05
EdHimselfEpisode: "Captain Lucidity"
2003The West WingSecret Service Agent Wesley DavisEpisodes: "Twenty Five", "Commencement"
2004America's Next Top ModelHimself1 episode
2004–2005Kevin HillKevin Hill
2006CakeHemingway Jones
Will & GraceJamesEpisodes: "Grace Expectations", "The Definition of Marriage", "I Love L. Gay", "Von Trapped"
2006–2007Day BreakDetective Brett Hopper
2007–2009Grey's AnatomyDr. Sam BennettEpisodes: "The Other Side of This Life: Part 1/Part 2" (Private Practice backdoor pilot), "Before and After"
2007–2013Private PracticeDr. Sam BennettSeasons 1–6; 111 episodes
2009The Super Hero Squad ShowBlack PantherVoice
Better Off TedGregEpisode: Love Blurts
2013New GirlArtie, the coffee shop ownerEpisode: "Coach"
2014Murder in the FirstInspector Terrance English, SFPDSeries regular
2014The Good WifeDean Levine-WilkinsSeason 6 recurring guest star

Awards and honors[edit]

2000Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureThe Best ManNominated
2002Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesAlly McBealNominated
2003Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureChicagoWon
Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Motion PictureBrown SugarNominated
2005Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Drama SeriesKevin HillWon
2008Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesPrivate PracticeNominated
2009Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesPrivate PracticeWon[13]
2010Image AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Drama SeriesPrivate PracticeNominated

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  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. ^ "Taye Digs: Actor". People.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  5. ^ The Broadway League. "Taye Diggs - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". IBDb.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ "Interview of the BIFF Winner: Dan Mirvish". Filmfestivals.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  9. ^ "Advertisement". Variety. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Nudd, Tim (December 11, 2013). "Taye Diggs & Idina Menzel Split". People. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel: Divorce Finalized". TMZ. January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  12. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (October 12, 2008). ""Party Guests With Jazzy Moves and Political Leanings"". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Hudson, Diggs and "Raisin in the Sun" Among NAACP Image Award Winners". Playbill. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 

External links[edit]