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Actor Ben Vereen starred in Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin before appearing in the epic 1977 mini series Roots.
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for which Vereen won a Tony Award in 1972. Vereen also appeared in the epic 1977 TV mini series Roots. After personal troubles derailed his career, he made a comeback in the late 1990s.
Sweet Charity. The following year, he was cast opposite Sammy Davis Jr. in the film adaptation. After developing a rapport with Davis, Vereen was cast as his understudy in the upcoming production of Golden Boy.
In 1971, after steady work on Broadway, Vereen earned critical recognition for his dazzling performance as Judas Iscariot in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. The following year, Fosse cast him as the effervescent Leading Player in Pippin, for which he won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In 1975, Vereen starred with Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady (the sequel to Funny Girl) and hosted the TV variety series Comin at Ya!.
In 1977, Vereen was introduced to a more mainstream audience with his crafty portrayal of Chicken George in Alex Haley's landmark TV miniseries Roots. Following a well-deserved Emmy nomination for his work in Roots, he was cast opposite Jeff Goldblum in the short-lived detective series Tenspeed and Brownshoe (1980). During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Vereen worked steadily on television with projects ranging from the sitcom Webster to the drama Silk Stalkings. Ronald Reagan, an act that outraged many African-Americans.
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