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Ben Vereen

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Ben Vereen BIO

Few entertainers today are as accomplished as Ben Vereen. He won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Pippin and starred in such phenomenal musicals as Jesus Christ Superstar (Tony nom.), Fosse, Hair, Jelly’s Last Jam, Chicago, Wicked and I’m Not Rappaport. He is remembered for films like Sweet Charity and All That Jazz, and he became a household name in his Emmy-nominated role of Chicken George in the groundbreaking television series Roots. He has also been inducted to The Theatre Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame, and received various Emmy & Golden globe nominations. He received the BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award Best Celebrity Male Vocalist and his awards also include the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, several NAACP Image Awards, and he recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Gold Coast International Film Festival.

He is now working on his new Broadway musical Reflections, written by Joe Calarco, to be directed by Tony-nominee Josh Bergasse with music by Stephen Schwartz.

Vereen has also starred in numerous television programs, and is well known for the role of 'Chicken' George Moore in Alex Haley's landmark TV miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination in 1977.

In 1985, Vereen starred in the Faerie Tale Theatre series as Puss in Boots alongside Gregory Hines. He appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse", in which he played Will Smith's biological father Lou Smith. He made several appearances on the 1980s sitcom Webster as the title character's biological uncle.

He also appeared as Mayor Ben (a leopard) on the children's program Zoobilee Zoo and as Itsy Bitsy Spider in Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme. In 1993 he appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Interface" as the father of Roots co-star LeVar Burton's character Geordi La Forge; fellow Roots star Madge Sinclair appeared in the same episode as Geordi's mother. He also appeared on the television series The Nanny episode "Pishke Business". In 2010, he appeared on the television series How I Met Your Mother episodes "Cleaning House" and "False Positive" as Sam Gibbs, the long lost father of James Stinson, Barney Stinson's brother. He returned in 2013 and 2014 for another two episodes.

Ben Vereen Photos


[New York]
Reading, 2006

Original Broadway Production, 2003
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Replacement]

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [Replacement]

Performer [Replacement]

Broadway Revival, 2002

Original Broadway Production, 1999
Performer [Replacement]

[US Tour]
2nd National Tour, 1997
Billy Flynn [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1992
Chimney Man [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1985

Original Broadway Production, 1972
Leading Player

Leading Player

Leading Player [Replacement]

Leading Player

Original Broadway Production, 1971
Judas Iscariot

Broadway Transfer, 1968
Hud (Understudy) [Replacement]

Ben Vereen Videos

Ben Vereen News

Wayne Brady, Huey Lewis, Norm Lewis, and Joe Morton Join Chita Rivera Awards Lineup

More stars have been announced for the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards, being presented on May 20 at 7:30PM at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more about the lineup here!
Fourth Annual Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth Concert to Return This Summer

The Broadway League’s Black to Broadway initiative will present the return of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth. Learn more about the performances!
Shoshanna Bean, Kenny Ortega & David Hyde Pierce to Join Chita Rivera Awards

More stars will be joining the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards. See the stars joining the event and learn more!
Kristin Chenoweth, Joel Grey & More Among Presenters and Performers at 2024 Chita Rivera Awards

Presenters have been announced for the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards, being presented on May 20 at 7:30pm at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park). See the lineup here!
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Comes To Australia In November 2024

Experience the global phenomenon as JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR arrives in Australia. Get ready for an unforgettable theatrical experience with this iconic musical.
Vivid Stage Highlights Director and Musical Director for Vivid Dreamers Summer Theatre Camp

Vivid Stage will highlight Harry Patrick Christian, Director, and Vanessa Parvin, Musical Director, for its Vivid Dreamers summer theatre program. This theatre camp is open to students entering grades 5 through 12 from July 8 through July 26, 2024.
Photos: Stars Walk the Red Carpet on Opening Night of THE GATSBY

And that's a wrap on the 2023/24 Broadway season! The final two shows of the spring officially opened last night, and BroadwayWorld was on the red carpet for The Great Gatsby as the VIP guests arrived at the Broadway Theatre. Check out photos below!
Photos: Go Inside Opening Night of UNCLE VANYA on Broadway

The Lincoln Center Theater production of Anton Chekhov’s UNCLE VANYA, with a new version by Heidi Schreck and directed by Lila Neugebauer, just celebrated its opening night at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Check out photos from inside the big night!
Meet the Cast of ILLINOISE, Beginning Performances Today on Broadway

Previews begin tonight, April 24, for Illinoise, the theatrical adaptation of Grammy- and Oscar-nominated Sufjan Stevens’ concept album Illinois. Performances will continue through August 10 at the St. James Theatre. Meet the cast of Illinoise here!
Photos: Stars Walk the Yellow Carpet on Opening Night of THE WIZ on Broadway

The Wiz officially opened at the Marquis Theatre and the best of broadway was on hand for the celebration. Check out photos of special guests, including original stars Stephanie Mills and Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kandi Burruss, Todd Tucker, Andy Cohen, Tamron Hall,  Leslie Uggams, and many more!
Los Angeles Ballet Will Honor Kris Bowers at 2024 Gala

Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) will celebrate its Season 18 Gala on Thursday, April 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Broadway Veteran Louis Gossett Jr. Passes Away at 87

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report the passing of stage and screen actor Louis Cameron Gossett Jr., who died March 29, 2024 in in Santa Monica, California. He was 87 years old.
John Tartaglia, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Jared Grimes & More Join The Muny's 106th Season

The Muny has revealed the teams of directors, choreographers and music directors for its 2024 season. Learn about the shows this season and see how to purchase tickets!

City Winery NYC presents Rita Harvey’s ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ – A Tribute to the Music of Linda Ronstadt live on March 2nd at 1pm.
Interview: Michael Orland Enjoys/Loves Being Continuously Booked & Always Giving Back

The consistently busy musical director Michael Orland books gigs on both coasts juggling the multitude of vocalists all vying to have his piano expertise to accompany them. One of his next shows in Los Angeles will be his Open Mic Event at the Write-Off Room March 22, 2024. Michael managed to answer a few of my queries during his drive to Palm Springs.  
Robert Klein and Julie Gold Among The 14 Honorees At The 39th Annual BISTRO AWARDS GALA

Celebrate the musical and comedy artistry of Robert Klein, Julie Gold, and more at the 39th Annual Bistro Awards Gala on April 1 at Gotham Comedy Club. Hosted by Steve Hayes, the event honors exceptional artists with performances and special awards.
Interview: Luke Yankee's Being Me in MARILYN, MOM & ME

Luke Yankee’s Marilyn, Mom & Me world premieres February 16, 2024, at the International City Theatre. Written by Luke, he also directs the cast of Laura Gardner, Alisha Soper, Jacquelin Lorraine Schofield, Brian Rohan and Noah Wagner.
BACKSTAGE BABBLE To Celebrate 'Week Of Wine And Roses' With Kelli O'Hara, Adam Guettel, and Craig Lucas

Next week, the theater podcast Backstage Babble, hosted by 16-year-old theater buff Charles Kirsch, will be hosting a “Week of Wine and Roses” featuring in-depth interviews with members of the cast and creative team of the new musical Days of Wine and Roses. 
World Premiere of MARILYN, MOM & ME to Open International City Theatre 2024 Season

International City Theatre will open its 2024 season with the world premiere of Yankee’s deeply personal comic drama, Marilyn, Mom & Me.
Student Blog: 2023 Jimmy Award Nominee Denver Dickenson Jr. on Defying Expectations and Thriving with Versatility

In this interview, I got to sit down with Denver Dickenson Jr., one of my personal role models as a performer. They spent their summer in New York representing AZ at the Jimmy Awards as a nominee before moving there to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre at Pace University. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.


How many Broadway shows has Ben Vereen been in?

Ben Vereen has appeared on Broadway in 8 shows.

How many West End shows has Ben Vereen been in?

Ben Vereen has not appeared in the West End.

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