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.
Diggs in 2018
January 2, 1971
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University (BFA)|
Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Rochester, New York. His mother, Marcia (née Berry), was 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. His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay". He is the oldest of five children. 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 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. 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 eighth 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 as Sam Bennett opposite Kate Walsh in Private Practice, the spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, which ran for six seasons from 2007 until 2013. 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 had a major role in the live action adaptation of the comic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011). 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.
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.
Diggs has twice appeared on Paramount Network’s reality competition series Lip Sync Battle and is the show's only two-time winner. In a third season episode against Ne-Yo, Diggs sang his competitor’s song “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” and then performed as Madonna for round two’s performance of "Vogue". In his next appearance, the fourth season’s Christina Aguilera tribute episode, he competed against Erika Jayne, performing “Beautiful” and "Candyman".
Diggs hosted the game show Hypnotize Me with hypnotist Keith Barry, based on Barry's British program You're Back in the Room. Hypnotize Me was originally shot for broadcast on FOX in 2016, but never aired on the network. The eight-episode series was eventually broadcast on The CW, in the summer of 2019.
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. Their divorce was finalized on December 3, 2014.
|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||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||3 episodes|
|2016||NCIS||USMC Gunnery Sergeant Aaron Davis||Episode: "Scope"|
|2016–2017||Empire||Councilman Angelo DuBois||8 episodes|
|2017, 2018||Lip Sync Battle||Himself||2 episodes|
|2018||All American||Head Coach Billy Baker||12 episodes|
|2019||Selling Sunset||Himself||Episode: "(Real) Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"|
|2019||Hypnotize Me||Himself||8 episodes|
|2019||Elena of Avalor||Sanza||Episode: "Flower of Light"|
Awards and nominations
In popular culture
- 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 NBC series 30 Rock, Diggs is referenced as a male-excellence example by Jack Donaghy: " If I were dating a man he would be at the top of my list, with Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington."
- 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.
- Season 4 episode 10 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "The only people who follow Fran’s girlfriend Monica on Twitter are her mom “and, of course, Taye Diggs"
- Hannaham, James (2015) "How Taye is Transforming the Role of Hedwig." New York Times July 21, 2015. Retrieved 3-26-2017.
- "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019". United Press International. January 2, 2019. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
actor Taye Diggs in 1971 (age 48)
- "ABC TV Shows, Specials & Movies - ABC.com". ABC. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Taye Diggs Biography (1972?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Archived May 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Taye Digs: Actor". People.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Quiz answers explained: Who said it?". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
- The Broadway League. "Taye Diggs - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". IBDb.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Archived June 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Interview of the BIFF Winner: Dan Mirvish". Filmfestivals.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- "TNT Slices Into Steven Bochco's 'Murder in the First'". Variety. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Petski, Denise (5 April 2016). "Taye Diggs To Host 'You're Back in the Room' Hypnosis Game Show on Fox".
- "Hypnotize Me". The CW Press. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Powlett, Mark (July 28, 2016). "Is Hypnotize Me a Fake?". markpowlett.co.uk. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Nudd, Tim (December 11, 2013). "Taye Diggs & Idina Menzel Split". People. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel: Divorce Finalized". TMZ. January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Sulcas, Roslyn (October 12, 2008). "Party Guests With Jazzy Moves and Political Leanings". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Petski, Denise (October 12, 2015). "Taye Diggs Joins Fox Drama 'Rosewood'; Erik Allan Kramer In 'Mike & Molly'". Deadline. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
- Turchiano, Danielle (January 27, 2019). "'Rent' Star Injured in Live Performance, Original Broadway Cast to Appear". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- "Selling Sunset | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 2019-04-23.