The first original cast member of the Broadway phenomenon Rent
to make the leap to Hollywood, this sexy triple threat seduced Angela Bassett—along with drooling droves of female audiences—with his steamy, mostly shirtless turn as an eye-catching islander in the 1998 chick flick How Stella Got Her Groove Back
. With his jaw-dropping physique and dazzling smile, Diggs seemed capable of sparking lust in even the most frigid of viewers. But the versatile player proved he could also inspire fear (as a villain in the sci-fi actioner Equilibrium
), laughs (as an upper-crust actor playing "ghetto" in the racial satire Malibu's Most Wanted
) and toe-tapping (as the piano-playing bandleader in the movie musical Chicago
). He also found the time to regularly return to his theatrical roots, appearing in a number of New York productions, including the musical version of The Wild Party
at Manhattan Theater Club and the Tony Award-winning Wicked
, both opposite his former Rent
costar—and eventual wife—Idina Menzel. In 2001, Diggs showed the small screen couldn't dampen his charisma, with a recurring romantic role on Ally McBeal
. Three years later, he headlined his first series, the critically lauded dramedy Kevin Hill
, which unfortunately failed to register with viewers. 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.Taye Diggs Fast Facts:
- His first name is a shortened version of his childhood nickname "Scott-taye."
- Debuted on Broadway in the 1994 Tony-winning revival of Carousel; in 1996, he originated the role of Benny in Rent.
- In 1997, he made his TV debut on the soap Guiding Light.
- Along with childhood friend Andrew Palermo, he formed the company dre.dance.
- Taye Diggs Relationships:
- Walker Nathaniel Diggs - Son
- Idina Menzel - Wife (separated)
- Gabriel Diggs - Brother
- Jeffries Diggs - Father
- Marcia Berry - Mother
- Taye Diggs Awards:
- 2002 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Winner
- Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, United States (BFA in Musical Theater, 1993)