Ben Vereen - October 10, 2014

Happy 68th Birthday to Ben Vereen! Showing a talent for drama and dance at a young age, he was accepted into the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York. Vereen studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins, and began working on stage shortly after graduation. He toured with Bob Fosse’s production of Sweet Charity from 1967-68 and was cast in the 1969 film version starring Shirley MacLaine. Vereen is also known for his roles in Funny Lady, Roots, and All That Jazz, and winning a Tony for 1973’s Pippin.

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

In 1964, Vereen was an understudy for a huge star for the 1964 Broadway musical Golden Boy. Who was it?

a) Sammy Davis, Jr.

b) Robert Goulet

c) Joel Grey

d) Sidney Poitier

Answer below!

CLIP OF THE DAY

Check out Vereen’s amazing skills in his Tony award-winning performance in Pippin.

DID YOU KNOW…

Vereen’s character of “Bert Robbins” in Funny Lady is a composite of famed vaudeville performer Bert Williams and tap-dancing superstar Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

Vereen is the godfather of R&B star Usher.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

If we plant the right seeds, tomorrow will be better. If you put out good things, then you'll get good things back. That's part of our responsibility as entertainers.

~Ben Vereen

 TRIVIA ANSWER

a) Sammy Davis, Jr.