Ben Vereen - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben Vereen

Highest Rated:   86% Top Five (2014)
Lowest Rated:   17% And Then Came Love (2007)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Effervescent African-American entertainer Ben Vereen attended New York's High School of the Performing Arts and Emerson College. Vereen was 18 when he made his New York stage bow in Prodigal Son; shortly thereafter, he was cast in the touring company of Sweet Charity, eventually making his 1969 screen debut in the film version of that Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields musical. He joined the cast of Hair in 1969, at various junctures playing both Claude and Berger. The following year, he won the Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Judas in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. After a season with the National Shakespeare Company, Vereen was cast as "The Leading Player" in the Broadway musical Pippin, a performance that earned him a Tony Award. While he seemed destined to appear in naught but film musicfests like Funny Lady (1975) and All That Jazz (1979), Vereen proved his dramatic mettle with his unforgettable portrayal of Chicken George in the landmark miniseries Roots. While he didn't win the Emmy for this role (as many expected), his 1978 TV special Ben Vereen...His Roots copped the gold statuette. Vereen has also been honored with the American Guild of Variety Artists' George M. Cohan award, and with the NAACP's Image Award. In 1980, he co-starred with Jeff Goldblum in the Steven Cannell-produced TV series Tenspeed and Brownshoe. Though the series failed, Vereen reserved a warm place in his heart for his wheeler-dealer "Tenspeed Turner" character, reprising the role on the 1987 TV weekly J. J. Starbuck. His additional TV credits include the 1975 summer series Ben Vereen...Comin' at Ya, the recurring role of Uncle Phillip on Webster (1986), and the hosting chores for the syndicated talent contest You Write the Songs (1986) At the height of his fame, Vereen ebulliently attributed his success to "Jesus." His faith was sorely tested in the late 1980s; enduring the death of his son, Vereen began contemplating suicide, at one point deliberately standing in the middle of a busy Los Angeles street, allowing himself to be struck down by a passing car. Happily, Vereen recovered both emotionally and professionally; his recent credits include the Broadway musical Jelly's Last Jam and the recurring role of Captain Hutchinson in the TV cop series Silk Stalkings (1991- ).

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
28% The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again
  • Dr. Everett Scott
2016
79% Time Out Of Mind
  • Dixon
2015
86% Top Five
  • Carl Allen
$17.1M 2014
44% Khumba
  • Mkhulu
$91.0k 2013
No Score Yet Mama, I Want to Sing!
  • Horace Payne
2009
No Score Yet Cooking with B. Smith and Friends - Appetizers
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1970s
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Tapioca
  • Nuts
2008
No Score Yet An Accidental Friendship
  • Wes
2008
No Score Yet Hair: Let the Sunshine In
  • Actor
2007
17% And Then Came Love
  • Chuck Cooper
2007
48% Idlewild
  • Percy Sr.
$12.6M 2006
No Score Yet Soldiers of Change
  • Whistlin' Willie Weston
2006
No Score Yet The Painting
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Broadway: The American Musical
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Soldiers of Change (The Painting)
  • Whistlin' Willie Weston
2002
No Score Yet Fosse
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet The Feast of All Saints
  • Rudolphe Lermontant
2001
43% I'll Take You There
  • Mr. Gwin
1999
54% Why Do Fools Fall In Love
  • Richard Barrett
1998
No Score Yet Vaudeville
  • Narrator
1997
19% Once Upon a Forest
  • Phineas
1993
No Score Yet Intruders
  • Gene Randall
1992
No Score Yet The Kid Who Loved Christmas
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
1990
No Score Yet Buy & Cell
  • Shaka
1989
No Score Yet Lost in London
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet The Zoo Gang
  • The Winch
1985
No Score Yet The Jesse Owens Story
  • Herb
1984
No Score Yet Breakin' Through
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet The Charmkins
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Cycling through China
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Pippin
  • The leading player
1981
85% All That Jazz
  • O'Connor Flood
1979
No Score Yet Louis Armstrong---Chicago Style
  • Actor
1976
44% Funny Lady
  • Bert Robbins
1975
No Score Yet Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet Gas-s-s-s
  • Carlos
1970
No Score Yet Sweet Charity
  • Frug Dancer
1969

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
92% Making History
2017
  • Dr. Cobell
  • 2017
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet Comment je l'ai rencontrée
2005
  • Sam Gibbs
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet How I Met Your Mother
2005-2014
  • Sam Sam Gibbs
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2010
No Score Yet NCIS
2003
  • Lamar Addison
  • 2013
70% Grey's Anatomy
2005
  • Archie
  • 2007
No Score Yet Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2001-2011
  • Rev. Jeremiah Morris
  • 2007
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Performer
  • 2002
No Score Yet The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990-1996
  • Lou Smith
  • 1994
No Score Yet Star Trek: The Next Generation
1987-1994
  • Dr. La Forge
  • 1993
No Score Yet Oz
1997-2003
  • A.R. Whitworth

Quotes from Ben Vereen's Characters

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