Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (born January 2, 1971) is an American theatre, film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the Broadway musical Rent, the motion picture How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and the television series Private Practice. His nickname, Taye, comes from the playful pronunciation of Scotty as "Scottay".
Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey but grew up in Rochester, New York, the son of Marcia (née Berry), a teacher and actress, and Jeffries Diggs. He attended Allendale Columbia School in Rochester and later transferred to School of the Arts. He starred in the first production of "It All Adds Up", an original musical by the piano teacher and musician John Gabriele. He is the oldest of five children; he has two brothers, Gabriel and Michael, and two sisters, Shalom and Christian. Diggs received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater from Syracuse University. He performed many times at the popular Lakes Region Summer Theatre in Meredith, New Hampshire. Diggs's Broadway debut was in the ensemble cast of the 1994 Tony Award-winning revival of the musical Carousel. In 1995, he also performed as a dancer in Sebastian's Caribbean Carnival at Tokyo Disneyland.
In 1996, he originated the role of the nasty landlord Benny in Jonathan Larson's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent, which also starred his future wife, Idina Menzel. After Rent he appeared as Mr. Black alongside Idina Menzel's character of Kate in Andrew Lippa's off-Broadway production of The Wild Party. Diggs also played The Bandleader in the 2002 film version of the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago and filled in as Billy Flynn on Broadway. He also temporarily filled in for Norbert Leo Butz (an original Rent standby) as the love interest Fiyero of Idina Menzel's Elphaba character in Wicked.