Taye Diggs is an American actor and singer, who appear on TV and films. He is best known for his role in the 1999 American romantic comedy drama 'The Best Man', where he played the lead role of Harper Stewart, and for his role in the American TV series 'Murder in the First', where he played the role of Inspector Terry. Born in New Jersey, Diggs spent most of his childhood in New York, where he grew up. He was heavily influenced by his mother to pursue a career in acting. After finishing his studies, and having performed in theatres, he made his Broadway debut in the revival of the well-known musical 'Carousel' in 1994. Having made his film debut with the 1998 romantic comedy 'How Stella Got her Groove Back', he has continued to entertain the audience with his brilliant acting skills, and there has been no looking back for him. In 1999, he won his first award, the 'Blockbuster Entertainment Award' for Best Supporting Actor, for his role in the horror movie 'House on Haunted Hill'. He has also written two books for children, 'Mixed Me' and 'Chocolate Me', in the year 2015.
Childhood & Early Life
Taye Diggs was born as Scott Leo on 2 January 1971 to Andre Young and Marcia. They had five children, Taye being the eldest one.
He picked up his surname from his stepfather Jeffries Diggs, whom his mother married much later.
He attended the Allendale Columbia School, and later School of Arts, both in Rochester, New York. He completed his graduation from Syracuse University, with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts).
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In 1996, Taye Diggs appeared in the musical 'Rent' playing the role of a cruel and opportunistic landlord. It starred his future wife Idina Menzel as well.
After having performed several successful roles on stage, he moved to TV in 1998, and started appearing in the soap opera 'Guiding Light,' a show which holds a Guinness World record for being the longest running television show in the history of American television.
The same year he also made his film debut in the comedy movie 'How Stella Got her Groove Back'. The film was adapted from a best-selling novel by Terry McMillan. His role earned him his first award nomination for ‘Acapulco Black Film Festival Award' for Best Actor.
He appeared in a lead role in the 1999 American romantic comedy drama 'The Best Man', for which he received the ‘NAACP Image Award’ nomination for Best Actor. The same year, he also appeared in an American horror film 'House on Haunted Hill', for which he earned his first award, the 'Blockbuster Entertainment Award' for Best Supporting Actor.
Throughout the years, he also appeared in supporting roles in several TV shows such as 'Law and Order' (1996), 'Ally McBeal' (2001), 'The West Wing' (2003), and 'America's Next Top Model' (2004).
He played the lead role in a legal drama TV show ‘Kevin Hill’ which started airing in 2004. Appearing as a lawyer named Kevin Hill, the role earned him the 'NAACP Image Award' for Outstanding Actor.
Meanwhile he appeared in films such as 'The Way of the Gun' (2000), ‘New Best Friend’ (2002), and ‘Brown Sugar’ (2002). His role in the criminal comedy 'Chicago' was much loved and appreciated, winning him two awards and one nomination.
He appeared in the 2005 movie 'Rent' which was an adaptation of the musical of the same name in which he had acted. Depicting the lives of Bohemian people and how they struggle with different aspects of their lives, the film received mixed reviews. It earned Diggs a nomination for 'Broadcast Film Critics Association Award' for Best Ensemble Cast.
In the following years he continued to appear in several movies such as 'Slow Burn' (2007), 'Days of Wrath' (2010), ‘Between Us' (2012), 'The Best Man Holiday (2013), and 'Baggage Claim' (2013).
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In 2007, he started appearing in 'Private Practice', an American medical drama, which can be regarded as one of Diggs' most significant works on television. For his role as Sam Bennett, he got several award nominations as well as won the 'NAACP Image Award' for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
Another one of Diggs' most significant works on television is his role as Inspector Terry in the American drama TV series 'Murder in the First'. The show started airing in 2014.
'The Best Man', a 1999 American romantic comedy film was one of the most significant movies of Diggs' career. With Diggs in the lead role, the movie starred several well-known actors such as Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, and Sanaa Lathan. It was directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, and also turned out to be a commercial hit, grossing over $34 million. It won several awards and accolades, and Diggs earned his first award nomination for 'NAACP Image Award' for Outstanding Actor.
’Chicago’ a 2002 criminal comedy, was another one of Taye Diggs' significant works. Directed by Rob Marshall, the film is about themes involving celebrities, scandals and corruption in Chicago in the Jazz Age. The film won six Oscars. Diggs appeared in a supporting role, for which he won three awards and one nomination.
Diggs reprised his role as Harper Stewart in 'The Best Man Holiday', a sequel to his 1999 film 'The Best Man.’ Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, the film won Diggs and the other cast members the 'Acapulco Black Film Festival Award' for Best Cast.
His role as Inspector Terry in the American drama TV series 'Murder in the First' was one of Diggs' major works on TV. The show, which started airing in 2014, starred him in the lead role along with Kathleen Robertson, Richard Scfiff, James Cromwell and Currie Graham. It received mostly positive reviews.
Awards & Achievements
Taye Diggs has won several awards as well as nominations throughout his career. These include the 'Broadcast Film Critics Association Award' for Best Cast for his role in the movie 'Chicago' (2002), and 'NAACP Image Award' for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role in the TV series 'Private Practice' (2009).
Personal Life & Legacy
Taye Diggs married actress Idina Menzel on 11 January 2003. They had a son in 2009 who was named Walker Nathaniel Diggs. In the year 2013, Diggs and Menzel separated, which eventually led to their divorce the next year.