Ben Vereen

Actor, Singer, Dancer
Tony Award winner Ben Vereen's credits read like an overview of the modern Broadway musical, from his breakout with "Pippin" and "Hair" in the 1970s, to his 1990s performances in "Jelly's Last Jam" and "I'm Not ... Read more »
Born: 10/10/1946 in Miami, Florida, USA

Filmography

Actor (110)

Time Out of Mind 2015 (Movie)

Dixon (Actor)

Hot in Cleveland 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Top Five 2014 (Movie)

Carl (Actor)

NCIS 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 66th Annual Tony Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

Your Mama Don't Dance 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

And Then Came Love 2007 (Movie)

Chuck Cooper (Actor)

Grey's Anatomy 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 61st Annual Tony Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

Idlewild 2006 (Movie)

Percival Sr (Actor)

The Painting 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

From Broadway: Fosse 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Sammy Davis Jr.: The E! True Hollywood Story 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Fosse: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

New York Undercover 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Promised Land 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Silk Stalkings 1991 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Jamie Foxx Show 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Nanny 1994 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Della Reese: Outspoken Angel 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

I'll Take You There 1998 (Movie)

Mr Gwin (Actor)

Why Do Fools Fall in Love? 1998 (Movie)

Richard Barrett (Actor)

Second Noah 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Gail Sheehy's New Passages 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 50th Annual Tony Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Performer

The Nerd 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The World's Greatest Magic 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

David Foster's Christmas Album 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

In a New Light '93 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Once Upon a Forest 1993 (Movie)

of Phineas (Voice)

The 47th Annual Tony Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Performer

Intruders 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Star-athon '92: A Weekend With the Stars 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Bordertown 1988 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Children's Miracle Network Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

George Burns' 95th Birthday Party 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Starathon '91 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Chipmunks Rockin' Through the Decades 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Sea World Summer Night Magic 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Starathon '90 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 14th Annual Circus of the Stars 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Buy and Cell 1989 (Movie)

Shaka (Actor)

Golden Globe Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

Jenny's Song 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Webster 1983 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS' Happy New Year America 1987 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

J.J. Starbuck 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

A Star-Spangled Celebration 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Faerie Tale Theatre 1982 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Golden Globe Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

Six Hours For Life 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

The Saint 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Walt Disney World's Happy Easter Parade 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

You Write the Songs 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Zoobilee Zoo 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

52nd Annual King Orange Jamboree Parade 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

An All-Star Party For "Dutch" Reagan 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Miss Hollywood, 1986 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Tony Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Performer

The ABC All-Star Spectacular 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

A.D. 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Here's Television Entertainment 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Secret World of the Very Young 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Winners Take All 1985 (Movie)

(Actor)

Lynda Carter: Body and Soul 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Salute to Lady Liberty 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Christmas in Washington 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Walt Disney... One Man's Dream 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Opryland: Night of Stars and Future Stars 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Uptown 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

All That Jazz 1979 (Movie)

O'Connor Flood (Actor)

The Cheryl Ladd Special 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Ben Vereen: His Roots 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Jubilee 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Mary's Incredible Dream 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny Lady 1975 (Movie)

Bert Robbins (Actor)

Gas-s-s-s! 1969 (Movie)

Carlos (Actor)

Accidental Friendship (TV Show)

Actor

Ellis Island (TV Show)

Actor

Lost in London (TV Show)

Actor

Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme (TV Show)

Actor

Pippin (Movie)

The leading player (Actor)

Roots (TV Show)

Actor

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (TV Show)

Actor

The Charmkins (TV Show)

Voice

The Feast of All Saints (TV Show)

Actor

The Jesse Owens Story (TV Show)

Actor

The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Show)

Actor

Vaudeville (TV Show)

Narrator
Music (2)

Nick Jr. Rocks 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Funny Lady 1975 (Movie)

("Clap Hands Here Comes Charley") (Song Performer)

Biography

Tony Award winner Ben Vereen's credits read like an overview of the modern Broadway musical, from his breakout with "Pippin" and "Hair" in the 1970s, to his 1990s performances in "Jelly's Last Jam" and "I'm Not Rapaport" and his run as the Wizard of Oz in "Wicked" in the new millennium. Vereen was frequently cast to interpret the sensual, prowling style of choreographer Bob Fosse with his principal role in "Sweet Charity," a Tony Award nomination for "Jesus Christ Superstar," and a featured role in the film adaptation of Fosse's "All That Jazz" (1979). Among Vereen's other musical screen performances was in the Barbra Streisand musical classic "Funny Lady" (1975), and in a more dramatic vein, his Emmy-nominated role in Alex Haley's landmark miniseries "Roots" (ABC, 1977) as well as a number of other acclaimed, mostly historical TV events. Throughout his career and his fair share of personal setbacks, the high-intensity performer maintained his reputation for hard work, high standards, and consummate professionalism. His regular success touring the nation in one-man shows earned Vereen the titles of Entertainer of the Year and Song and Dance Star from the American Guild of Variety Artists, while his respect among younger generations of performers secured his reputation as an indefatigable elder statesman of Broadway.

Relationships

Usher Actor

Godchild

Lucinda Batts

Sister
Younger Died March 14, 1996 while in police custody; was reportedly pregnant

Nancy Bruner

Wife
Married July 15, 1976 Vereen filed for divorce Sept. 19, 2012

Essie Pearson

Mother
Biological mother; when Ben was a child, she had left him in someone's care, when she returned it was discovered that he had been given up for adoption; when Ben discovered his mother's identity she had already passed away

Andrea Townsley

Wife
Married 1966 Divorced

Kabara Vereen

Daughter
Mother, Nancy Bruner

Malakia Vereen

Daughter
Born May 1970; mother, Nancy Bruner

Naja Vereen

Daughter
Born July 1971; mother, Nancy Bruner Killed at age 16 in 1987 auto accident

Benjamin Vereen

Son
Mother, Andrea Townsley

Gloria Walker

Sister
Biological sister; mother, Essie May Pearson

EDUCATION

Pentecostal Theological Seminary

attended for six months

The School of Performing Arts

New York , New York

Milestones

2014

Appeared in the socially conscious drama "Time Out of Mind."

2011

Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame

2010

Became a recurring character on the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother"

2007

Guest starred on ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy"

2006

Cast in "Idlewild," a musical feature set in the Prohibition-era American south

2001

Returned to Broadway as co-star of the award-winning revue "Fosse"

1995

Co-starred in the seasonal musical "A Christmas Carol"

1993

Made return to the Broadway stage succeeding Keith David as the Chimney Man in the musical "Jelly's Last Jam"

1992

Struck by car while walking alongside Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, CA

1992

Cast in the CBS sci-fi TV movie "Intruders"

1991

Played Capt. Ben Hutchinson in "Silk Stalkings" (USA)

1988

Reprised role of Tenspeed on "J.J. Starbuck" (NBC)

1984

Joined the cast of the ABC sitcom "Webster," playing the title character's uncle

1980

Co-starred with Jeff Goldblum in short-lived detective series "Tenspeed and Brownshoe" (ABC)

1977

Offered memorable Emmy-nominated performance as Chicken George in "Roots" (ABC)

1976

Played title role in "Louis Armstrong: Chicago Style" (ABC)

1975

Played featured role in "Funny Lady"; cast in a role that was a composite of black entertainers like Bert Williams and Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson

1975

Hosted NBC variety series "Ben Vereen...Comin' at Ya"

1972

Won Tony Award for turn as the Leading Player in the stage musical "Pippin," directed and choreographed by Fosse

1970

Played Judas Iscariot in "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Broadway; earned first Tony Award nomination

1968

Made screen debut in "Sweet Charity," directed by Fosse

1968

Performed in "Hair" in New York and Los Angeles

1966

Performed in "Sweet Charity" in Las Vegas; first association with Bob Fosse

1965

Made stage debut in off-Broadway production of "The Prodigal Son"

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