Taye Diggs

Active - 1998 - Present  |   Born - Jan 2, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

As the dignified and relentlessly photogenic object of Angela Bassett's affections in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Taye Diggs made an immediate and unforgettable impression on legions of filmgoers. Diggs came to film by way of the theater. Born in 1971 in New Jersey, he was raised as the oldest of five children in Rochester, NY. After earning a B.F.A. in musical theater from Syracuse University, he made his way to Broadway, debuting in the Tony-winning production of Carousel.

In 1996, Diggs got his big break, originating the role of the nasty landlord, Benny, in Jonathan Larson's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. He then moved from stage to television, with a role on Guiding Light, and in 1998 he made his film debut in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The excitement surrounding Diggs' performance netted him both media exposure and more work, and the following year he could be seen in no less than four films. First up was his turn as a tantric sex god in Doug Liman's Go; audiences could next see him as an AWOL groom in the coming-of-age drama The Wood; Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man featured Diggs as another member of the wedding, this time as the titular best man suffering from his own pre-wedding jitters; finally, he starred as a guest at Geoffrey Rush's allegedly haunted mansion in the remake of William Castle's The House on Haunted Hill.

In 2001, Diggs returned to the small-screen with a recurring role on Fox's Ally McBeal. And when subsequent film roles in such unsuccessful projects as Equilibrium, Basic, and Malibu's Most Wanted did his career no good, he decided to try on a full-time television gig with Kevin Hill. Premiering in 2004 on UPN, the primetime drama starred Diggs in the title role, a fast-living bachelor who finds his life turned upside down with the unexpected introduction of an infant. In 2006, after a stint as the title character's gay boyfriend on the final season of Will & Grace, Diggs gave TV stardom another shot as a cop trapped in a time loop in the high-concept, 24-esque Day Break, but the show was yanked after a handful of episodes. His TV career was finally resuscitated by the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice, in which he was cast in the role of Sam Bennett, an internist trying to survive the medical and romantic entanglements at the Oceanside Wellness Center. Later, the actor would play the role of Vargas in the live adaptation of the comic Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, and narrate The Fab Five, a documentary following five famous basketball players from the University of Michigan. In 2013, he reprised his role of Harper Stewart in The Best Man sequel, The Best Man Holiday. Diggs returned to television the next year, starring in Steven Bochco's Murder in the First, and booking a recurring role on The Good Wife.

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  • His name, "Taye," is a shortened version of his childhood nickname "Scott-taye," given to him by one of his uncles.
  • Debuted on Broadway in 1994 in the Tony-winning revival of Carousel.
  • Met former wife Idina Menzel when they co-starred in the original Broadway production of Rent.
  • In 1997, made TV debut in the soap Guiding Light.
  • Along with childhood friend Andrew Palermo, formed an artistic company called dre.dance.
  • In 2015, was a replacement lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.
  • Released two children's books, Mixed Me and Chocolate Me, in 2015.