Fast Facts

  • Maternal grandfather Harry F. Kelly was governor of Michigan from 1943 to '47.
  • Named for his uncle Brian Kelly, who played the ranger on the TV series Flipper; and another uncle, an artist who went by his middle name, d'Arcy.
  • Debuted on Broadway in Blood Brothers in 1993. 
  • Released his debut solo album, From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn, in 2004, featuring the single "Michigan Christmas."  
  • Spent 90 minutes getting into a fat suit and prosthetic makeup for every performance of Shrek: The Musical. 
  • Performed at the White House for President Obama as part of the 2010 PBS special A Broadway Celebration.
  • Supports and performs for the Field Neurosciences Institute in his hometown of Saginaw, MI.


  • 2002, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Musical): Nominee
  • 2009, Tony — Actor (Musical): Nominee
  • 2015, Tony — Actor (Musical): Nominee
  • 2015, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2016, Independent Spirit Awards — Robert Altman Award: Winner


  • Thomas F. James — Father
  • Andrew James — Brother
  • Brian Kelly — Uncle
  • Mary James — Mother
  • Harry F. Kelly — Grandfather
  • Kate James — Sister
  • Jennifer Prescott — Wife
  • Grace James — Daughter
  • Anne James Noonan — Sister


  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1990)


  • Birth Name: Brian d'Arcy James
  • Birth Place: Saginaw, MI
  • Profession: Actor, Musician

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