Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen Biography, Age, Net worth, Wife, Personal life, Accident, Movies, Tv Shows, Family

Ben Vereen is an American actor, dancer, and singer best known for appearing in numerous Broadway theatre shows.

Ben Vereen Biography

Ben Vereen is an American actor, dancer, and singer best known for appearing in numerous Broadway theatre shows.

Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen Age

Ben Vereen was born on October 10, 1946 in Laurinburg, North Carolina U.S. He is 72 years old as of 2018.

Ben Vereen Height

Ben Vereen stands at a height of 1.73 m

Ben Vereen Net worth

Ben Vereen has an estimated net worth of $5 million dollars.

Ben Vereen Wife

Ben Vereen is married to Nancy Bruner Vereen. But on September 2012, he filed for divorce from his wife Nancy Bruner Vereen of 36 years citing irreconcilable differences. In the early 1980s, he moved with his family to Saddle River, New Jersey.

Ben Vereen Family

Ben Vereen was adopted by James Vereen, who is a paint-factory worker, and his wife, Pauline, worked as a maid and theatre wardrobe mistress. He was raised Pentecostal. He has a brother, James Middleton, who lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Ben Vereen Photo

Ben Vereen Personal life

He discovered he was adopted when he applied for a passport to join Sammy Davis, Jr. on a tour of “Golden Boy” to London when he was 25. During his pre-teen years, he exhibited an innate talent for drama and dance and often performed in local variety shows. At the age of 14, Vereen enrolled at the High School of Performing Arts, where he studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. He was 18 years old when he made his New York stage bow off-off Broadway in The Prodigal Son at the Greenwich Mews Theater.

By the following year, he was in Las Vegas, performing in Bob Fosse’s production of Sweet Charity, a show with which he toured in 1967-68. He returned to New York City to play Claude in Hair in the Broadway production, before joining the national touring company. The following year, he was cast opposite Davis in the film adaptation of Sweet Charity. After developing a rapport with Davis, he was cast as understudy in the upcoming production of Golden Boy, which toured in England and ended the run in Palladium Theatre in London’s West End..

He is the godfather of R&B superstar Usher and is also the first cousin once removed of New York Giants running back Shane Vereen. Vereen was the keynote speaker for the Boys & Girls Clubs in St. Petersburg, Florida annual alumni tribute gala held in October 2007. In August 2011, he was named Co-Artistic Director of Tampa’s Broadway Theatre Project. He has also appeared as a public speaker and humanitarian speaking on such topics as black history, overcoming adversity, and the importance of continuing education.

On 2007 he was diagnosed with 2 types of diabetes he shares his personal story on his website along with advice from medical experts. According to the ‘Fayetteville Observer’ of April 29, 2006, Vereen learned while applying for a passport in the late 1960s that he was adopted. His birth certificate revealed that his birth name was Benjamin Augustus Middleton, that he was the son of Essie Middleton, and that he was born in Laurinburg, NC. In April 2006, Vereen visited Scotland County with a genealogist on a search for family members and learned that his mother’s name was Essie May Pearson.

The Laurinburg Exchange reported: that “Vereen, an adoptee learned that he was born in Laurinburg and made a celebrated trip to Scotland County in 2006 to reconnect with his family. While on the trip he learned his mother had died 24 years before, but he had several relatives who lived in the area.” According to her acquaintances, Essie had gone on a trip when he was a child, and had left her baby in someone’s care. During his Interview in April 28, 2006 with ‘Laurinburg Exchange’, Vereen said that his visit “Has just all been so overwhelming … I’ve finally found my family”.

Ben Vereen Stage

Ben Vereen was nominated for a Tony Award for Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972 and won a Tony for his appearance in Pippin in 1973. He appeared in the Broadway musical Wicked as the Wizard of Oz in 2005. Vereen has also performed in one-man shows and actively lectures on black history and inspirational topics.

Ben Vereen Television

In 1978, on a Boston Pops TV special, Vereen performed a tribute to Bert Williams, complete with period makeup and attire, and reprising Williams’ high-kick dance steps, to vaudeville standards such as “Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee”. In 1981, he performed at Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration. The performance generated controversy as he performed in the first part of the show of blackface. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Vereen worked steadily on television with projects ranging from the sitcom Webster to the drama Silk Stalkings.

In 1985, he starred in the Faerie Tale Theatre series as Puss in Boots alongside Gregory Hines. 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 played in the Roots, of “Chicken George”, the grandson of Burton’s character Kunta Kinte.

Ben Vereen Accident

In 1992, Ben Vereen suffered three accidents in one day, when his car hit a tree causing him to hit his head on the roof of his car, then he suffered a stroke while he was walking on a Malibu highway, and on the road where he was struck by a car which was driven by record producer David Foster. He had critical injuries (including a broken leg) he was required to undergo arduous physical rehabilitation in the ensuing months.

Ben Vereen Sexual misconduct allegations

In January 2018, Ben Vereen, was with multiple actresses in Florida production of Hair directed by Vereen alleged that Vereen had made inappropriate sexual advances towards them throughout the production. He apologized for his misconduct allegations.

Ben Vereen Movies

  • Sweet Charity (1969)
  • Gas-s-s-s (1970)
  • Funny Lady (1975)
  • All That Jazz (1979)
  • This Boxer Wears a Shirt (1980)
  • Cycling Through China (1982)
    (documentary)
  • Sabine (1982)
  • The Zoo Gang (1985)
  • Buy & Cell (1987)
  • Once Upon a Forest (1993) (voice)
  • Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)
  • I’ll Take You There (1999)
  • The Painting (2001)
  • Idlewild (2006)
  • And Then Came Love (2007)
  • Tapioca (2007)
  • Accidental Friendship (2008)
  • Mama, I Want to Sing! (2011)
  • Broadway: The Next Generation (2011) (documentary)
  • Khumba (2013) (voice) Mkhulu the Elder Zebra
  • Time Out of Mind (2014) Dixon
  • Top Five (2014)

Ben Vereen Tv Shows

  • Ben Vereen… Comin’ at Ya (1975) (summer replacement series – only four episodes produced)
  • Louis Armstrong – Chicago Style (1976)
  • The Muppet Show (1976)
  • Roots (1977) (miniseries)
  • The Carol Burnett Show (1977)
  • The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots (1978)
  • Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (1980) (canceled after 12 episodes)
  • Pippin: His Life and Times (1981)
  • The Love Boat (1982)
  • SCTV 1984
  • The Charmkins (1983) (voice)
  • The Jesse Owens Story (1984)
  • Ellis Island (1984)
  • Webster (cast member from 1984–1985)
  • A.D. (1985)
  • The Magic of David Copperfield VIII: Walking Through the Great Wall of China (1986) (TV special)
  • Lost in London (1985) roots
  • Faerie Tale Theatre Puss in Boots (1985)
  • Zoobilee Zoo (1986–1987)
  • You Write the Songs (1986–1987)
  • Jenny’s Song (1988)
  • J.J. Starbuck (cast member in 1988)
  • Rockin’ Through the Decades (1990)
  • The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990)
  • Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme (1990)
  • Booker: “The Life and Death of Chick Sterling” (Carl McQueen, 1990)
  • Silk Stalkings (cast member from 1991–1993)
  • Intruders (1992)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: “Interface” (Dr. Edward LaForge, 1993)
  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse” (Lou Smith, 1994)
  • The Nanny: “Pishke Business” (1994)
  • Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: “Illusions of Grandeur” (Dr. Andre Novak) 1994
  • Portraits of Courage (1996–1997)
  • Promised Land (3 episodes in 1999)
  • The Jamie Foxx Show: “Taps for Royal” (Royal Johnson, 1999)
  • The Feast of All Saints (2001)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (2007)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: “Senseless” (Rev. Jeremiah Morris, 2007)
  • Your Mama Don’t Dance (Judge, 2008)
  • How I Met Your Mother: “Cleaning House”, “False Positive”, “Mom and Dad” and “The End of the Aisle” (Sam Gibbs, 2010-2014)
  • NCIS as Lamar Addison (2013)
  • Hot in Cleveland as Mayor of Cleveland (2 episodes) (2015)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again as Dr. Everett von Scott (TV movie, 2016)
  • Sneaky Pete as Porter (3 episodes) (2017)
  • Making History as Dr. Theodore Anthony Cobell (2017)
  • Magnum P.I. as Henry Barr (1 episode) (2018)
  • Bull as Willie Lambert (1 episode) (2019)

Ben Vereen Awards

Theater

  • 1973 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical: Pippin [winner]
  • 1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance: Pippin [winner]
  • 1972 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Jesus Christ Superstar [nominee]
  • 1972 Theatre World Award: Jesus Christ Superstar [winner]

Television

  • 1985 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television – Nominee
  • 1976 Golden Globe: New Star of the Year – Actor – Nominee
  • 1977 Emmy: Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in Variety or Music – Nominee
  • 1977 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series – Nominee
  • 1992 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special – Nominee

Ben Vereen Other

The Community Mental Health Council awarded Vereen with their 2004 Lifeline Celebration Achievement Award. For his humanitarian contributions, he has received a number of awards including Israel’s Cultural and Humanitarian Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and a Victory Award. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Arizona, Emerson College, St. Francis College, and Columbia College in Chicago. In 2001, Medgar Evers College created the Ben Vereen Scholarship for the Performing Arts, and in 2004, he received an Achievement in Excellence Award from his alma mater, the High School of the Performing Arts.

He was the first simultaneous winner of the “Entertainer of the Year,” “Rising Star,” and “Song and Dance Star” awards from the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). He also earned a coveted spot in the Casino Legends Hall of Fame. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the Hallmark movie An Accidental Friendship. In 2004, Vereen was nominated for a “Career Achievement Award” by the Le Prix International Film Star Awards Organization. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.

Ben Vereen Stage Roles

Year

Title

Role

Venue

Type

1965

The Prodigal Son

Dancer

Greenwich Mews Theater

Off-Broadway

1967-68

Sweet Charity

Dancer

US & Canada Tour

Touring

1968-72

Hair

Hud

Biltmore Theatre

Broadway

1968

Hair

Claude

National Tour

Broadway

1968

Golden Boy

Understudy to
Sammy Davis Jr.

London Palladium

Touring

1970

Gurton’s Apocalyptic Needle

Alternate roles

The New Troupe

Touring

1970

Don’t Call Me Toby

Singer/Dancer

The New Troupe

Touring

1970-71

No Place to be Somebody

Alternate roles

Touring Company

Touring

1971-73

Jesus Christ Superstar

Judas Iscariot

Mark Hellinger Theatre

Broadway

1972-74

Pippin

Leading Player

Imperial Theater

Broadway,
U.S. tour

1985

Grind

LeRoy

Mark Hellinger Theatre

Broadway

1992-93

Jelly’s Last Jam

Chimney Man

Shubert Theater

Broadway

1995-96

A Christmas Carol

Ghost of Christmas Present

Madison Square Garden

Broadway

1999

Chicago

Billy Flynn

U.S. & Canada Tour

Touring

2001

Fosse

Performer

Shubert Theater

Broadway

2002

I’m not Rappaport

Midge

Shubert Theater

Broadway,
U.S. tour

2003

The Exonerated

Actor

Off-Broadway

Off Broadway

2005-6

Wicked

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Gershwin Theatre

Broadway

Ben Vereen Twitter

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Ben Vereen You tube Interview

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