Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) is an American theatre, film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the Broadway musical Rent, the motion picture How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and the television series Private Practice. His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay".
Diggs grew up in Rochester, New York. He attended Allendale Columbia School and later transferred to School of the Arts. He starred in the first production of "It All Adds Up", an original musical by the piano teacher and musician John Gabriele. 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. 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, he originated the role of the nasty landlord Benny in Jonathan Larson's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. After Rent he appeared as Mr. Black alongside Idina Menzel's character of Kate in Andrew Lippa's off-Broadway production of The Wild Party. Diggs also played The Bandleader in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago and temporarily filled in for Norbert Leo Butz (an original Rent standby) as the love interest Fiyero of Idina Menzel's Elphaba character in Wicked. .He reprised the role of Benny for the 2005 Rent film. Diggs is also 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.
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. The following year he played a tantric sex god in Doug Liman's Go, and an 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, to help the contestants through an acting challenge. Another notable role of his was when he guest starred on the comedy-drama Ally Mcbeal as a lawyer named Jackson Duper who was the love interest of the character Renee Raddick and also the possible love interest on the Ling Woo character. He also starred as the title character on the short-lived UPN television series Kevin Hilland. In 2002 he played opposite Christian Bale as Bale's partner/antagonist Brandt in the dystopian sci-fi thriller Equilibrium.
In early 2006, Diggs guest-starred in several episodes of Will & Grace as Will Truman's love interest, James. 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. Diggs co-stared opposite Kate Walsh in Private Practice and had a guest role on The West Wing. He then guest-starred on Grey's Anatomy again in the Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice Crossover Event. Diggs also starred in the live adaptation of the comic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.
Although his film and television career continue to move forward, he still returns to the stage frequently. Most recently he was seen alongside James McDaniel in Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play at Second Stage Theatre in New York.
Taye Diggs married Rent co-star actress Idina Menzel on January 11, 2003. Their son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, was born on September 2, 2009. Taye also co-owns and co-directs a dance company, DreDance (dredance.com) with best friend and fellow Broadway veteran, Andrew Palermo (How To Succeed in Business..., Annie Get Your Gun, Wicked, etc.).
Saturday, January 2, 1971
Rochester, New York, USA