Norbert Butz was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Elaine and Norbert Butz. He attended Bishop DuBourg High School where he sang in the chamber singers choir. Butz has a theatre degree from Webster University.
Butz made his Broadway debut as Adam Pascal's replacement as Roger Davis in Rent in 1996. Additional Broadway credits include Thou Shalt Not (Camille Raquin, 2001–2002), for which he received a Tony Award nomination; Wicked (the original Fiyero, 2003); and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy, 2005–2006), for which he received the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. His off-Broadway credits include The Last Five Years (Jamie), Saved (Fred), and Juno and the Paycock (Jerry Devine), and he has toured as the Emcee in Cabaret and as Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Butz's film roles have included Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five (Pawnbroker), Noon Blue Apples (Howard Philips), and West of Here (Josiah Blackwell).
Butz's latest projects include the film Dan in Real Life (with Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook), released in October 2007, and the world premiere of Is He Dead?, a hitherto unproduced Mark Twain play that opened at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on December 9, 2007. In January 2008 he appeared as Captain Richard King in the miniseries adaptation of the Lonesome Dove prequel, Comanche Moon.
Butz most recently taught at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey for the spring semester in 2008 in the drama department. Butz is married to former Wicked principal Michelle Federer (the original Nessarose.)