Syracuse University

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs ’93
is an award-winning actor and author best known for his roles in the Broadway musical Rent, the motion picture How Stella Got Her Groove Back and the hit ABC series Private Practice. Shortly after graduating, Diggs appeared in the Tony Award-winning revival of Carousel. In 1996, he originated the role of the landlord Benny in Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent, where he co-starred alongside his future wife, actress and singer Idina Menzel. Other Broadway appearances include Chicago and Wicked.

His film debut as Winston in How Stella Got Her Groove Back brought Diggs critical acclaim and exposure to a wider audience. Other film roles include reprising the role of Benny in Rent, the bandleader in Chicago, Roland in The Wood, and Harper in The Best Man. This year, Diggs will be seen in two feature films—Baggage Claim and The Best Man Holiday, a sequel to The Best Man.

In addition to his role as Sam Bennett in the ABC hit drama Private Practice, he has appeared in numerous television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Daybreak, Will & Grace, Ally McBeal and The West Wing.

Diggs became an author with the publication of the children’s book Chocolate Me! (Feiwel & Friends, 2011), which was illustrated by Syracuse University classmate Shane W. Evans ’93.

Diggs received a bachelor’s degree in drama from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), and has been extremely active with his alma mater throughout his post-graduate years. He has served as a guest artist in the Department of Drama, and came back to campus as part of Orange Central 2011 to hold a book signing, participate in a workshop for drama students, and lead a public event for Syracuse children that promoted literacy.

Diggs has also participated in SU’s Sorkin Week in Los Angeles, the weeklong program that gives drama and film students in VPA a taste of life in L.A. He was honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California.