Brian d’Arcy James is an award winning theater, film and television actor as well as a recording artist.
Brian is a two time Tony nominee, and an Obie and Drama Desk Award winner for his varied and extensive work in the theater on Broadway and off-Broadway.
Brian most recently starred as ‘Bick Benedict’ earning a 2013 Drama Desk Nomination and Drama League Honor for his performance in The Public Theater’s production of the new musical GIANT where he was described as a “star of the first order” (Huffington Post) in a “powerhouse performance” (NY1).
TV audiences will recognize Brian in the role of Frank Houston from the first two seasons of NBC’s SMASH starring opposite Debra Messing.
Other TV credits include the pilot of a new NBC version of IRONSIDE starring Blair Underwood, THE GOOD WIFE on CBS, Showtime’s THE BIG C, the pilot of JJ Abrams’ PERSON OF INTEREST as well appearing in the ABC series CASHMERE MAFIA, and FX’s RESCUE ME. He recently co-created, co-produced and starred in an original, improvised comedy TV pilot called SHINY PEOPLE about the unique world of corporate entertainment.
On film Brian can be seen in the feature film ADMISSION starring Paul Rudd and Tina Fey. Other recent film credits include HBO’s Emmy winning GAME CHANGE with Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin and also Ed Burns’ FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS. He will will re-team with Burns on his new project WINTER SPRING SUMMER FALL which started shooting in January 2013.
Brian stars in the absurd and bittersweet comedy short film BIRD IN A BOX by Torstein Blixfjord where he plays a man who falls in love with his GPS device. Other film appearances include FRIENDS WITH KIDS, written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt as well as GHOST TOWN with Ricky Gervais where Brian plays ‘Irish Eddie,’ a tattooed gangster.
Brian started his illustrious career on Broadway when he appeared in BLOOD BROTHERS in 1993, taking over the lead role of ‘Mickey’ for a limited time before leaving to join Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of CAROUSEL at Lincoln Center. He continued with strong performances in TITANIC in the role of ‘Barrett the Stoker’, for which he received his first Drama League Nomination and a FANY Award. “If there ever was a ‘breakout’ role for me, it would definitely be playing the heroic and lovesick Barrett”, says James.
Broadway highlights include a Tony nomination, a Drama Desk nomination, an Outer Critics Circle nomination and a Drama League Honor for his star turn as ‘Sidney Falco’ in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS.
And for his portrayal of the lovable green ogre ‘Shrek’, Brian was honored with a Tony nomination and was awarded the Outer Critics Award as well as the Drama Desk Award for his performance in SHREK THE MUSICAL.
Brian originated the role of ‘Dan Goodman’ in the Pulitzer Prize–winning NEXT TO NORMAL at Second Stage Theater and reprised his role in the Broadway production in the summer of 2010.
His Off-Broadway performances and achievements include receiving a 2000 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and a Drama League Award Nomination for THE WILD PARTY at Manhattan Theatre Club. He also received a 2001 Obie Award, Drama Desk Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Backstage Garland Award, and LA Weekly Award for his solo performance in Conor McPherson’s THE GOOD THIEF.
In 2007 Brian was an original cast member of Martin McDonagh’s Tony and Drama Desk nominated play THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE, he starred with Kristen Chenoweth in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of THE APPLE TREE, and starred with Keith Carradine in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS as the scene-stealing, crude con-man ‘Freddy Benson.’
Brian received rave reviews for the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of PORT AUTHORITY, his second Conor McPherson play. For his role, Brian was nominated for a Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Lead Actor and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for the 2009 season.
He has appeared in the plays THE PAVILION, FLIGHT, ANCESTRAL VOICES at Lincoln Center and PUBLIC ENEMY by Kenneth Branagh. He starred in the Encores production of PARDON MY ENGLISH, and appeared in the original companies of FLOYD COLLINS for Playwrights Horizons and originated the role of Bob Wallace in Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.
An accomplished and sought-after concert performer, Brian has appeared in esteemed concert halls all over the world. He made his highly acclaimed solo debut at the new New York City venue 54 Below with his show UNDER THE INFLUENCE. Brian will return for an encore of this show at 54 Below in September of 2013.
Other concert highlights include performing for President Clinton at the “Kennedy Center Honors” as well as his 2010 White House performance for President Obama and the First Family for PBS’s BROADWAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE. He has appeared at venues ranging from LA’s Disney Hall to Madison Square Garden with Barry Manilow; from the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart to numerous appearances at The Kennedy Center. Brian has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall on many occasions as well.
His numerous recordings include but are not limited to his 2004 debut Solo Album entitled “From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn” (featuring his original popular holiday song “Michigan Christmas”), “Shrek the Musical,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “Carousel,” “Floyd Collins,” “The Wild Party,” and “Sweet Smell of Success” among many others. He can be heard along with numerous Broadway performers singing Alan Menken and Steven Schwartz’s original songs in the Disney feature film “Enchanted.”
Brian d’Arcy James resides in New York City with his wife and daughter. He has supported and performed many times for an organization in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, called the Field Neurosciences Institute (FNI). The mission of the FNI is the prevention, early diagnosis, care and cure of neurological diseases, disorders and injuries.