Diggs at the White House in 2016
Daveed Daniele Diggs
January 24, 1982
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Brown University|
Daveed Daniele Diggs (born January 24, 1982) is an American actor, rapper, singer and songwriter. He is the vocalist of the experimental hip hop group Clipping and in 2015 originated the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical Hamilton, for which he won both a Grammy Award and Tony Award. Since leaving Hamilton in 2016, he has had a recurring role on the television series Black-ish, and co-starred in the film Wonder. Diggs also wrote, produced and starred in the 2018 film Blindspotting, which earned him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.
Diggs was born in Oakland, California, the son of Barbara, a social worker, and Dountes Diggs, a bus driver. His mother is Jewish, and his father is African-American. His parents named him "Daveed", the Hebrew pronunciation of David. Diggs has said, "'David' means beloved in Hebrew... They spelled it with two E's because my dad liked the look of it." His parents' ethnic/racial identities have contributed to his own self-identification: "The cultures never seemed separate--I had a lot of mixed friends. When I was young, I identified with being Jewish, but I embraced my dad's side too."
Diggs is an alumnus of Berkeley High School and Brown University, where he graduated in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in theatre arts. He was recruited by Brown for his track skills, and broke the Brown Bears' school record in the 110 meter hurdles as a sophomore with a time of 14.21 seconds. After graduating, he worked as a substitute teacher.
Diggs performed in experimental theater early in his career, most notably when he was on the national tour for Marc Bamuthi Joseph's choreopoem, Word Becomes Flesh, about a nine-month pregnancy through the eyes of a young, single father. He also frequently performed in regional Shakespeare productions.
Around 2012, Lin-Manuel Miranda invited Diggs to read and hear early versions of Hamilton. Diggs was impressed by Miranda's demos and passion for the project, and saw that the concept was a perceptive use of the rap-musical medium. He played the roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette off-Broadway in 2015, continuing with the roles when the show was moved to Broadway later in the year. For his performance, Diggs won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, as well as a 2016 Grammy Award for the cast album. Diggs played his final performance in the show on July 15, 2016.
Diggs is the vocalist of and writer for the experimental hip-hop and rap group Clipping. The group was founded by William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes in 2009, with Diggs joining in 2010. The trio self-released their first mixtape album midcity in 2013 to fairly positive reviews. Signing with Sub Pop, they released their album CLPPNG in 2014, which they promoted with their CLPPNG Tour. In 2016, they released an EP titled Wriggle, then the album Splendor & Misery. In 2017, they released The Deep, a five-and-a-half minute track that tells the story of a society of slave descendants living underwater. In 2018, the song was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).
Diggs is a member of True Neutral Crew, with Brian Kinsman, Margot Padilla, and Signor Benedick the Moor. The group have released two EPs, #MONSANTO (2013)[better source needed] and 2014's #POPPUNK, as well as Live, a 20-minute short film of a live performance. They released their debut album soft rules in 2016.
In 2010, he made an album with Rafael Casal titled The BAY BOY Mixtape. Diggs also founded a hip hop triumvirate with Chinaka Hodge and Casal known as The Getback. The Getback later became a collaborative ensemble composed of Diggs, Hodge, Casal and other artists along with a band formed by drummer Chukwudi Hodge, turntablist Dion Decibels and Max Miller-Logan on trumpet and Keys. Though the band have diversified themselves from their work with the ensemble, they are still known as The GetBack (Get:Band) on Facebook. Two years later, in 2012, he released his first solo rap album, Small Things to a Giant, composed of original music he had written. Both The BAY BOY Mixtape and Small Things to a Giant included other artists in The Getback collective.
Diggs served as an executive producer of the ABC series The Mayor. In addition, he wrote original music for it, as well as guest starring on it. He will also star in the upcoming television adaption of Snowpiercer.
Diggs had a voice role in the animated film Ferdinand, in which he played the character Dos.
Alongside his lifelong friend Rafael Casal, Diggs co-wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in the 2018 film Blindspotting, which premiered at Sundance in January 2018. The film was released in the U.S. on July 27, 2018. Diggs plays Collin, a felon living in Oakland, as he tries to get through the last three days of his year-long probation without incident. Diggs and Casal wrote the film over nine years to tell a story about their quickly gentrifying hometown as they knew it. Diggs received critical praise for his performance in the film.
|2005||Temptation||Dr. Henry Foustka||Custom Made Theatre Company|
|2006||Two Rooms||Walker Harris||Custom Made Theatre Company|
|2006||The Tempest||Ferdinand / Caliban||San Francisco Shakespeare Festival|
|2007||Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train||Angel Cruz||San Francisco Playhouse|
|2007||Six Degrees of Separation||Paul||San Francisco Playhouse|
|2008||Troilus and Cressida||Troilus||Pacific Repertory Theatre|
|2010||Red Light Winter||Matt||Custom Made Theatre Company|
|2010||Mirrors in Every Corner||Watts||Intersection for the Arts|
|2010||In the Red and Brown Water||The Egungun||Marin Theatre Company|
|2011||Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine||Flow Barnes Calles||The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre|
|2012||A Behanding in Spokane||Toby||San Francisco Playhouse|
|2015||Hamilton||Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson||The Public Theater|
|2015-2016||Richard Rodgers Theatre|
|2019||White Noise||Leo||The Public Theater|
|2010||Rock Hard: The Rise and Fall of Sexual Detergent||Neil Davis||Short film|
|2012||Yoga Boner||Daveed||Short film|
|2016||Zootopia||N/A||Writer and performer: "Parlez-Vous Rap"|
|2016||Growing Up Wild||Narrator||Documentary|
|2017||Wonder||Mr. Thomas Browne|
|2018||Blindspotting||Collin Hoskins||Also writer and producer|
|TBA||The Little Mermaid||Sebastian||Voice role; in pre-production|
|2014||Hobbes and Me||Hobbes||8 episodes; web series|
|2015-2016||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Counselor Henderson||2 episodes|
|2016-2017||The Get Down||Adult Ezekiel Figuero||10 episodes|
|2016-2018||Black-ish||Johan Johnson||10 episodes|
|2017||Sesame Street||Mr. Noodle's Brother||Episode: "Elmo Comes Clean"|
|2017||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Perry||3 episodes|
|2017||Tour de Pharmacy||Slim Robinson||Television film|
|2017||The Mayor||Mac Etcetera||Episode: "Pilot"; also executive producer|
|2018||BoJack Horseman||Cooper Thomas Rogers Wallace Sr. (voice)||Episode: "The Amelia Earhart Story"|
|2018||Bob's Burgers||Jesse (voice)||Episode: "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"|
|2019||Undone||Tunde (voice)||4 episodes|
|2019||Green Eggs and Ham||Mouse (voice)||Upcoming Netflix series|
|2020||Snowpiercer||Layton Well||Upcoming series|
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|2015||Lucille Lortel Awards||Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Hamilton||Won|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Outstanding Debut Performance||Won|
|Tony Award||Best Featured Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Performance||Nominated|
|Grammy Award||Best Musical Theater Album||Won|
|Fred and Adele Astaire Award||Best Male Dancer||Nominated|
|Broadway.com Audience Awards||Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
|Favorite Funny Performance||Nominated|
|Favorite Breakthrough Performance (male)||Won|
|2017||Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (as clipping.)||Splendor & Misery||Nominated|
|2018||Independent Spirit Award||Best Male Lead||Blindspotting||Nominated|