BEN VEREEN BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Ben Vereen was born on October 10th, 1946 in Dade County in Florida with the birth name Benjamin Augustus Middleton. His involvement in acting first began with working as a stage actor for which he feels in the reason he became so successful due to the discipline and dedication stage acting taught him.
After graduating from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts he found work at the age of eighteen in his first off-Broadway production of, "The Prodigal Son". Soon after he relocated to Las Vegas and began performing in the production, "Sweet Charity". When this tour ended he went back to work in New York in another production, but this time on Broadway in, "Hair".
After gaining quite a bit of experience as a stage actor, Vereen was then ready for the film industry and was cast in the film version of, 'Sweet Charity" (1969) followed by another film role in, "Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It" (1970).
Along with now breaking into the film industry he continued to appear on stage earning a number of wards such as a Tony Award for his role in, "Jesus Christ Superstar" (1972) and then another Tony in "Pippin" (1973).
In addition to stage acting and film roles he was also appearing on numerous television appearances such as, "Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style" (1976), "Roots" (1977) for which he earned an Emmy nomination for, "Tenspeed and Brownshoe" (1980), "Webster" (1984-1985), "Silk Stalkings" (1991-1993), "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1994), "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1993), "Law & Order" (2007) and "How I Met Your Mother" (2010).
Vereen has also does voice over work for such animated movies as, "Puss N' Boots", "Once Upon a Forest", "The Painting" and the show, "Wonderful Pets". Other film credits include, "All That Jazz" (1979), "Funny Lady" (1975), "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (1998) and "An Accidental Friendship" (2008).
He has been married twice throughout his lifetime. His first wife was Andrea Townsley whom he wed in 1966 and after having one child they soon divorced. He then married Nancy Bruner in 1976 and they had four children and are currently separated. He lost his daughter, from his second marriage, Naja at the age of sixteen after she was killed in a car accident.
Some of his latest roles have been in, "Mamma, I Want to Sing" (2011) and soon to release in 2012, "Khumba". Along with his acting he is also a public speaker. His topics vary from arts in education, Black History and a variety of motivational topics.
Ben is also involved in a number of charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Organization, the American Heart Association and in 1989 he started his own organization called, "Celebrities for a Drug Free America". Ben Vereen is also an ordained minister. As his career progresses he continues to impress us with his extraordinary talents as an actor, singer and public speaker and remains a very influential man.
2011 Mama, I Want to Sing!
2010 How I Met Your Mother
2010 House of Payne
2009 21 and a Wake-Up
2008 Accidental Friendship
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2007 Grey's Anatomy
2007 And Then Came Love
2001 Feast of All Saints
2001 The Painting
2001 Great Performances: Dance in America
1999 I'll Take You There
1999 Promised Land
1999 The Jamie Foxx Show
1998 Soldier of Fortune, Inc.
1998 Why Do Fools Fall in Love
1997 American Masters
1997 Second Noah
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child
1996 Touched by an Angel
1995 New York Undercover
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1994 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
1993 Star Trek: The Next Generation
1993 Once Upon a Forest
1991-1993 Silk Stalkings
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme
1990 The Kid Who Loved Christmas
1988 J.J. Starbuck
1988 Jenny's Song
1987 Buy & Cell
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse
1986 Zoobilee Zoo
1985 Lost in London
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre
1985 The Zoo Gang
1984 Ellis Island
1984 The Jesse Owens Story
1982-1984 The Love Boat
1984 Breakin' Through
1983 The Charmkins
1981 Pippin: His Life and Times
1980 Tenspeed and Brownshoe
1979 All That Jazz
1979 The Cheryl Ladd Special
1976 Ben Vereen: Showcase for a Man of Many Talents
1976 Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style
1976 Mary's Incredible Dream
1975 Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya
1975 Funny Lady
1972 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
1970 Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.
1969 Sweet Charity