Ben Vereen
Name: Ben Vereen
Occupation: Actor
Gender: Male
Height: 173 cm (5' 9'')
Birth Day: October 10, 1946
Age: 76
Birth Place:  Dade County, Florida, United States
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Social Accounts

Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen was born on October 10, 1946 in  Dade County, Florida, United States (76 years old). Ben Vereen is an Actor, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: $5 Million.

Net Worth 2020

$5 Million
Find out more about Ben Vereen net worth here.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Malaika Vereen Children N/A N/A N/A
#2 Ben Vereen Jr. Children N/A N/A N/A
#3 Kabara Vereen Children N/A N/A N/A
#4 Karon Vereen Children N/A N/A N/A
#5 Naja Vereen Children N/A N/A N/A
#6 Nancy Bruner Spouse N/A N/A N/A

Physique

Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
173 cm (5' 9'') N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Biography

Biography Timeline

1946

Vereen was born Benjamin Augustus Middleton on October 10, 1946, in Laurinburg, North Carolina. While still an infant, Vereen and his family relocated to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City. He was adopted by James Vereen, a paint-factory worker, and his wife, Pauline, who worked as a maid and theatre wardrobe mistress. He discovered he was adopted when he applied for a passport to join Sammy Davis Jr. on a tour of "Golden Boy" to London when he was 25. He was raised Pentecostal.

1972

Vereen was nominated for a Tony Award for Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972 and won a Tony for his appearance in Pippin in 1973. Vereen appeared in the Broadway musical Wicked as the Wizard of Oz in 2005. Vereen has also performed in one-man shows and actively lectures on black history and inspirational topics.

1975

Vereen's four-week summer variety series, Ben Vereen ... Comin' At Ya, aired on NBC in August 1975 and featured regulars Lola Falana, Avery Schreiber and Liz Torres.

1977

Vereen has also starred in numerous television programs, and is well known for the role of 'Chicken' George Moore in Alex Haley's landmark TV miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination in 1977.

1978

In 1978, on a Boston Pops TV special, Vereen performed a tribute to Bert Williams, complete with period makeup and attire, and reprising Williams' high-kick dance steps, to vaudeville standards such as "Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee".

1981

In 1981, Vereen performed at Ronald Reagan's first inauguration. The performance generated controversy as Vereen performed the first part of the show in blackface. Before the finale, ABC cut the live performance, generating confusion and anger from viewers at home. According to video artist Edgar Arcenaux, what TV viewers didn’t see was the second part of the performance, in which Vereen mimicked being refused service because of his color while trying to buy the Republican elite a congratulatory drink. As Arceneaux explains, Vereen's performance was meant as a critique of Republican civil rights policies, but the TV audience didn't get to see it.

1985

In 1985, Vereen starred in the Faerie Tale Theatre series as Puss in Boots alongside Gregory Hines. He appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode, "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse", in which he played Will Smith's biological father, Lou Smith. He made several appearances on the 1980s sitcom Webster as the title character's biological uncle.

1987

His 16-year-old daughter, Naja, was killed in an auto accident in 1987 on the New Jersey Turnpike when a truck overturned on her car.

1992

In 1992, Vereen suffered three accidents in one day, when his car hit a tree causing him to hit his head on the roof of his car, then he suffered a stroke while he was walking on a Malibu highway, apparently veering into the road where he was struck by a car driven by record producer David Foster. His critical injuries (including a broken leg) required him to undergo arduous physical rehabilitation in the ensuing months.

1993

He also appeared as Mayor Ben (a leopard) on the children's program Zoobilee Zoo and as Itsy Bitsy Spider in Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme. In 1993 he appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Interface" as the father of Roots co-star LeVar Burton's character Geordi La Forge; fellow Roots star Madge Sinclair appeared in the same episode as Geordi's mother. In Roots, Vereen had played "Chicken George", the grandson of Burton's character Kunta Kinte. He also appeared on the television series The Nanny episode "Pishke Business". In 2010, he appeared on the television series How I Met Your Mother episodes "Cleaning House" and "False Positive" as Sam Gibbs, the long lost father of James Stinson, Barney Stinson's brother. He returned in 2013 and 2014 for another two episodes.

2001

The Community Mental Health Council awarded Vereen with their 2004 Lifeline Celebration Achievement Award. For his humanitarian contributions, he has received a number of awards including Israel's Cultural and Humanitarian Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and a Victory Award. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Arizona, Emerson College, St. Francis College, and Columbia College in Chicago. In 2001, Medgar Evers College created the Ben Vereen Scholarship for the Performing Arts, and in 2004, he received an Achievement in Excellence Award from his alma mater, the High School of the Performing Arts.

2004

Vereen was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the Hallmark movie An Accidental Friendship. In 2004, Vereen was nominated for a "Career Achievement Award" by the Le Prix International Film Star Awards Organization.

2006

According to the 'Fayetteville Observer' of April 29, 2006, Vereen learned while applying for a passport in the late 1960s that he was adopted. His birth certificate revealed that his birth name was Benjamin Augustus Middleton, that he was the son of Essie Middleton, and that he was born in Laurinburg, N.C. In April 2006, Vereen visited Scotland County with a genealogist on a search for family members and learned that his mother's name was Essie May Pearson. The Laurinburg Exchange reported: "Vereen, an adoptee who learned that he was born in Laurinburg and made a celebrated trip to Scotland County in 2006 to reconnect with family. While on the trip he learned his mother had died 24 years before, but that several relatives still lived in the area." According to her acquaintances, Essie had gone on a trip when Vereen was a child, and had left her baby in someone's care. When she returned, the child was gone. In the April 28, 2006, interview with the 'Laurinburg Exchange', Vereen said that his visit "has just all been so overwhelming ... I've finally found my family". In May 2006, he met his mother's daughter, (his sister), Gloria Walker, of Derby, Connecticut. He also has a brother, James Middleton, who lives in Tucson, Arizona.

2007

In 2007, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has a website in which he shares his personal story along with advice from medical experts.

Vereen is the godfather of R&B superstar Usher and is also the first cousin once removed of New York Giants running back Shane Vereen. Vereen was the keynote speaker for the Boys & Girls Clubs in St. Petersburg, Florida annual alumni tribute gala held in October 2007.

2011

In August 2011, Vereen was named Co-Artistic Director of Tampa's Broadway Theatre Project.

In 2011, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

2012

In September 2012, Vereen filed for divorce from his wife Nancy Bruner Vereen of 36 years, citing irreconcilable differences.

In 2012, Vereen was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.

2018

In January 2018, four actresses in a Florida production of Hair directed by Vereen in 2015 alleged that he sexually harassed them throughout the production.

2019

Vereen was inducted as an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity on April 9, 2019.

2020

His 55-year old son, Ben Vereen, Jr., passed away in 2020.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Ben Vereen is 76 years, 1 months and 23 days old. Ben Vereen will celebrate 77th birthday on a Tuesday 10th of October 2023.

Find out about Ben Vereen birthday activities in timeline view here.

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