Brian d'Arcy James

Brian d'Arcy James

Brian d'Arcy James at the stage door of Something Rotten! in mid-2015
Born (1968-06-29) June 29, 1968
Saginaw, Michigan
Occupation Actor, musician
Nationality American
Education Northwestern University
Spouse Jennifer Prescott

Brian d'Arcy James (born June 29, 1968) is an American actor and musician.


The actor's middle name by birth is d'Arcy. As there was another actor named Brian James in Equity, he uses his full name as his professional name. He graduated from Northwestern University's School of Communication. He received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 2002 for his portrayal of Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success, co-starring John Lithgow. He received an Obie Award for his performance in the one-man play The Good Thief by Conor McPherson.

Additional Broadway credits include playing Frederick Barrett in Titanic, Lincoln Center's Carousel, and Blood Brothers. Off-Broadway credits include Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party in 2000 opposite Julia Murney and Idina Menzel for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, as well as Adam Guettel's Floyd Collins and the Gershwins' Pardon My English. He appeared in Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway, replaced Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and starred in The Apple Tree opposite Kristin Chenoweth. In 2004, he released a Christmas album titled From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn. He was the Broadway version of Bob Wallace, whose character was originated by Bing Crosby, in White Christmas in 2004. He played the role of Dan Goodman in the new musical Next to Normal Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2008.[1][2] He then starred opposite Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber as the title character in Shrek the Musical. The show began previews on Broadway November 8, 2008 and opened on December 14 at The Broadway Theatre after a tryout in Seattle.[3] For this role he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[4][5] He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal.[6] He departed the cast after one year in the role and was replaced by Ben Crawford.[7]

James starred in the Broadway play, Time Stands Still which began preview performances on January 5, 2010 and officially opened on January 25 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.[8] The show ended its limited run on March 27, 2010.[9] For this role he won the Audience Award for Favorite Featured Actor in a Play.[10][11] He reprised the role of Dan Goodman in the Broadway company of Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre. He replaced J. Robert Spencer beginning May 17, 2010.[12] James ended his limited engagement on July 18, 2010 and was replaced by Jason Danieley.[13]

On July 19, 2010 James performed in front of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, which also aired on PBS October 20, 2010.[14] He returned to Time Stands Still when the show returned to Broadway. It closed on January 30, 2011.[15]

James was part of the cast of the NBC musical series Smash, playing Frank, who was the husband of Debra Messing's character.[16] NBC officially picked up Smash as a series on May 11, 2011.[17] The program made its series premiere on February 6, 2012.[18] He did not return to the show as a series regular for its second and final season.[19][20] James starred in Torstein Blixfjord's 2012 short film Bird In A Box.[21]

He co-hosted the 57th Drama Desk Awards with Brooke Shields on June 3, 2012.[22]

James starred as Bick in the new musical, Giant, which ran at the Public Theater from October 26 - December 16, 2012.[23][24] For this role James received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.[25][26]

He also performed at the 29th birthday celebration of the New York Pops, which was a celebration called "Journey On", celebrating the work of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. He performed "Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime with Andrew Rannells, Rebecca Luker, Liz Callaway, Kevin Chamberlin, Jason Danieley, Boyd Gaines, Lewis Grosso, Norm Lewis, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Darlene Love, Marin Mazzie, Tiler Peck, Nikki M. James, Rachel York, and LaChanze, along with Flaherty and Ahrens.[27]

James visiting a New York Barnes & Noble location for CD signing

He played Banquo in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Macbeth, which began previews in October 2013 and officially opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in November 2013.[28] He starred as the original King George III in the off-Broadway production of the acclaimed musical Hamilton, with previews starting January 20, 2015 and officially opening on February 17. Actor Jonathan Groff replaced James in the off-Broadway run on March 3, 2015.[29]

He stars in a new musical on Broadway, Something Rotten!, which opened in previews at the St. James Theatre on March 23, 2015 and officially on April 22,[30] for which he received his third Tony nomination. James played Matt Carroll in the 2015 film Spotlight. In March 2016, it was announced that James was cast in the CBS pilot, Superior Donuts.[31]

Personal life

James was born in Saginaw, Michigan, the son of Mary (née Kelly), a seller of children's books, and Thomas F. James (deceased), a lawyer.[32] His maternal grandfather was Harry Kelly, a former Governor of Michigan.[33] His uncle, Brian Kelly, was an actor featured in the series Flipper and a producer of the movie Blade Runner. He has three siblings: brother Andrew, a portfolio manager; sister Kate, an actress and writer; and sister Anne (Noonan), an actress and teacher.[34]

Brian is married to Jennifer Prescott, whom he met when both performed in a Lincoln Centre production, and together they have a daughter, Grace.[34]

Theatre credits

Year Show Role Notes
1993 Blood Brothers Ensemble Broadway
1994 Carousel Various Characters Broadway
Public Enemy Davey Boyd Off-Broadway
1995 Follies Young Buddy Regional
1996 Floyd Collins Clif Roney/Reporter Off-Broadway
1997–98 Titanic Frederick Barrett Broadway
1998 Chess Anatoly NY Concert
Kelly Kelly Off-Off-Broadway
2000 The Wild Party Burrs Off-Broadway
2001 The Good Thief Man Off-Broadway
2002 Sweet Smell of Success Sidney Broadway
2003 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddie Reading
Harmony Performer Regional
2004 Pardon My English Gob Schmidt Off-Broadway
White Christmas Bob Wallace Regional
2005 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddie Broadway
Children and Art Performer Broadway
Flight Reporter Off-Broadway
White Christmas Bob Wallace Boston
The Apple Tree Adam/Sanjar/Flip Encores!
2006 The Lieutenant of Inishmore Brendan Off-Broadway
Young Frankenstein Frederick Frankenstein Workshop
2006–07 The Apple Tree


2007 White Christmas Bob Wallace Boston
2008 Next to Normal Dan Goodman Off-Broadway
Port Authority Dermont Off-Broadway
Shrek the Musical Shrek Broadway
2009 Next to Normal Dan Goodman Broadway
2010–11 Time Stands Still James Dodd Broadway
2012 Giant Bick Off-Broadway
2013–14 Macbeth Banquo Broadway
2015 Hamilton King George III Off-Broadway
2015–16 Something Rotten! Nick Bottom Broadway


Cast Albums

Solo Recordings

Featured Recordings



Year Show Role Notes
1997 Sax and Violins
1999 Exiled Brinkley
2002 G Lloyd
Monday Night Mayhem Al Michaels
2004 Neurotica Andrew
2008 Ghost Town Irish Eddie
2011 Friends with Kids Husband in Restaurant
2012 The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Skippy
Bird in a Box Walter
2013 Admission Billy Flynn
Shrek the Musical Shrek Filmed stage production
2014 Time Out of Mind Mark
2015 Spotlight Matty Carroll
Sisters Jerry
2016 The Christmas Pearl George Completed
2017 Rebel in the Rye In post-production
Felt Robert Kunzel In post-production
Molly's Game Filming


Year Show Role Notes
1997 The City Mark/Ned Ashton 2 episodes
2001 The Education of Max Bickford Barry Sheppard/Gary 2 episodes
2002 Monday Night Mayhem Al Michaels Television film
2006 Rescue Me Veterinarian 1 episode
2011 Person of Interest Wheeler 1 episode: "Pilot"
2012 The Big C Tim 3 episodes
Game Change Ted Frank Television film
2012–13 Smash Frank Houston 18 episodes
2013 The Good Wife Detective Nolan 1 episode
It Could Be Worse Happy 1 episode
Ironside Bill Broughton 1 episode
2014 Submissions Only Read Whatley 1 episode
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Adam Brubeck 1 episode
Hoke Henry Hickey Pilot
The Funtastix Andrew Pilot
2015 Mozart in the Jungle Beethoven 1 episode
2016 Superior Donuts Arthur Pilot
2017 13 Reasons Why Andy Baker

Video Games

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2000 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical The Wild Party Nominated
2001 Outstanding Solo Performance The Good Thief Nominated
2002 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Sweet Smell of Success Nominated
Drama Desk Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2006 Audience Award Best Featured Actor in a Play The Lieutenant of Inishmore Nominated
2007 Best Onstage Pair (w/ Kristin Chenoweth The Apple Tree Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Port Authority Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Musical Shrek the Musical Won
Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Daniel Breaker) Nominated
Favorite Onstage Pair (w/ Sutton Foster Nominated
2010 Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Time Stands Still Won
2011 Favorite Replacement Next to Normal Nominated
2012 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Giant Nominated
2015 Outstanding Actor in a Musical Something Rotten! Nominated
Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated Audience Award Favorite Actor in a Musical Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hamilton Nominated
Gotham Award Best Ensemble Performance Spotlight Won
Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award Won
Satellite Awards Best Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards Best Ensemble Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Cast Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Won
Detroit Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Won
New York Film Critics Online Award Best Ensemble Cast Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Acting Ensemble Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Award Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Ensemble Won
Nevada Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Cast Won
2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Acting Ensemble Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Ensemble Cast Won
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Won
Georgia Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Won
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Something Rotten! Nominated


  1. Photo Flash: 'Next to Normal', Retrieved April 30, 2013
  2. "James, Gregory II and Tartaglia Set for Broadway's 'Shrek'" Archived March 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Billy Elliot, Carnage, Ruined and Avenger Are Outer Critics Circle Award Winners"
  4. " 'Ruined' and 'Billy Elliot' Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards
  5. "Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; 'Billy Elliot' Earns 15 Nominations"
  6. "Crawford Will Be Shrek This Fall on Broadway; Tix on Sale Through May 2010" Archived August 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed September 26, 2016.
  7. "James Joins Linney and Silverstone in Broadway's 'Time Stands Still'" Archived August 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "'TIME STANDS STILL Closes March 27 at MTC", 2010
  9. 2010 " Audience Award Winners", 2010
  10. It's Time for Brian d'Arcy James to Thank Fans for His 2010 Audience Award,; accessed September 26, 2016.
  11. "Brian d'Arcy James Will Rejoin 'Normal' Cast in May"
  12. "Married Couple Mazzie & Danieley Take Over in NEXT TO NORMAL 7/19"
  13. Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Brian d'Arcy James and More to Perform Broadway Celebration at White House
  14., 2010
  15. Brian d'Arcy James Joins Cast of "Smash" Musical Pilot Archived March 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Breaking News: NBC Picks Up Broadway-themed SMASH
  17. A Show Just for Us: "Smash," Starry New Drama Series About the Making of a Musical, Debuts on NBC
  18. 'Smash' Shakeup: Four Stars Axed From Second Season
  19. UPDATED: Brian d'Arcy James, Will Chase, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey Not Returning as Regulars on SMASH
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  21. "Brooke Shields and Brian D'Arcy James Will Host Drama Desk Awards" Archived May 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "Brian d'Arcy James, Kate Baldwin, Bobby Steggert, Michele Pawk to Lead Public Theater's GIANT- Full Cast Announced!", September 10, 2012
  23. Hetrick, Adam. "'Giant', Starring Kate Baldwin, Brian D'Arcy James and P.J. Griffith, Gets Extension at Public Theater", November 25, 2012
  24. "Nominations Announced for 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards; Giant and Hands on a Hardbody Lead the Pack" Archived June 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved April 29, 2013
  25. "2013 Drama League Nominations Announced -- KINKY BOOTS, PIPPIN & More Lead with 3!", Retrieved April 30, 2013
  27. "Brian d'Arcy James, Malcolm Gets and More to Join Ethan Hawke in LCT's 'Macbeth'; Cast Announced!", Retrieved September 4, 2013
  28. Hetrick, Adam. "'Spring Awakening' Star Is New King of Broadway-Bound 'Hamilton'",, February 25, 2015.
  29. Hetrick, Adam. " 'Something Rotten!' Puts a Shakespearean Twist On Broadway Musical Comedy, Starting Tonight", March 23, 2015
  30. Robinson, Will. "Spotlight star Brian d'Arcy James cast in CBS' Superior Donuts",, March 1, 2016.
  31. Profile at
  32. "Today I'm thinking of my grandfather Harry F. Kelly". Twitter. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  33. 1 2 Harris, Richard (Fall 2015). "The Life of Brian". Northwestern Magazine. Northwestern University. Retrieved 2016-09-26.

External links

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