Tony Award-winning actor, singer and dancer Ben Vereen
was born October 10, 1946 in Miami Florida. He graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts and starred in several stage productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Wicked, Hair and the Wizard of Oz among many others.
In 1976, his work on the musical film Funny Lady earned him a Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture nomination at the Golden Globe Awards. His portrayal of Roscoe Haines on the miniseries Ellis Island also got him nominated for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role award at the 1985 Golden Globe. His other big screen projects are All That Jazz, Winners Take All, Soldiers of Change, And Then Came Love and Idlewild to name a few. In 2000, the biographical documentary Ben Vereen: The Hard Way was released.
Ben Vereen was Emmy nominated for his roles as Gene Randall on Intruders, as George Moore on Roots and as himself on The Bell Telephone Jubilee. CableACE Awards also recognized his acting skills on the TV adaptation of Pippin: His Life and Times. Among his other TV appearances were on shows Oz, Law & Order: Criminal Intent
, Grey's Anatomy
, Star Trek
: The New Generation and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He also landed the leading role of E.L. Turner on the ABC detective series Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.
Ben did TV commercials for Old Navy clothes and Bayer Aspirin. He was also featured in the June 1977 issue of Playboy.
Ben Vereen is one of the three judges on the Lifetime TV reality series Your Mama Don't Dance
. Dubbed as the dance competition with a twist, contestants on the show auditioned without knowing that their dancing partners would be their very own parents. Five male contestants and five female contestants would foxtrot and mambo with their mothers and fathers as they compete to win the title and the $100,000 cash prize.
(Photo courtesy of Lifetime)