Ben Vereen’s daughter, Naja, was killed when a minivan driven by her mother was crushed by a tractor toppled on a highway ramp. According to her acquaintances, Essie had gone on a trip when Vereen was a child, and had left her baby in someone's care. In 1972, Ben Vereen's acting talent earned him his first Theatre World Award after finding out he didn't want to lead the life of a seminary. Thank you to the public for loving my son. In 1981, Vereen performed at Ronald Reagan's first inauguration. Terry Bell died with family, friends and loved ones left in total devastation.Our prayers, thoughts condolences are with the loved ones of the deceased for the great loss. Come Monday, … Life Change Look. Childhood. Childhood. 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. It took three and a half hours to recover Naja’s body from the remains of the van. He was adopted by James Vereen, a paint-factory worker, and his wife, Pauline, who worked as a maid and theatre wardrobe mistress. He was placed on injured reserve on September 1, 2018 and was later released with an injury settlement. Here is a look into the actor's controversial marital life. Vereen was born Benjamin Augustus Middleton on October 10, 1946 in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Annie Lennox. Vereen was nominated for a Tony Award for Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972 and won a Tony for his appearance in Pippin in 1973. His father, who's best known for his portrayal of "The Leading Player" in the original Broadway cast of Pippin, released a statement saying, "I am sorry to announce my son Benjamin A Vereen Jr., affectionately known as "Benji" passed away. The eldest son and namesake of Tony Award-winning actor Ben Vereen has died under unknown circumstances at age 55, two weeks after he went … Ben Vereen, Spiritual Director), Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ben_Vereen&oldid=998843641, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from October 2019, BLP articles lacking sources from September 2014, Internet Off-Broadway Database person ID same as Wikidata, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Articles with permanently dead external links, Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Episode: "The Life and Death of Chick Sterling", Outstanding Supporting Actor in Variety or Music, Outstanding Lead Actor Drama or Comedy Series, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 07:53. Ben Vereen Sr., who'd yet to speak out on the Page Six report Thursday afternoon, won Tony in 1972 for his performance in Broadway's Pippin. Vereen was born in Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita, California, where he attended Valencia High School. Broadway Actor Ben Vereen Accused Of Sexual Assault In 2015 'Hair' Production. A singer, dancer, and actor known for his dramatic performances in theater, Ben Vereen has performed on television, in films, and on stage. 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. He also earned a coveted spot in the Casino Legends Hall of Fame. In 1972, Ben Vereen's acting talent earned him his first Theatre World Award after finding out he didn't want to lead the life of a seminary. 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. [22], His 55-year old son, Ben Vereen Jr., passed away in 2020. Vereen Sr. gave a statement about his son’s passing to NY1, saying, “I am sorry to announce my son Benjamin A Vereen Jr., affectionately known as “Benji” passed away. "The theater was my first training ground. [2][3][4] While still an infant, Vereen and his family relocated to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City. In May 2006, he met his mother's daughter, (his sister), Gloria Walker, of Derby, Connecticut. Come Monday, … His father found out Saturday he died. Ben Vereen-+ 0 Everyone I've worked with has been good. Ben Vereen is a dynamo. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Arizona, Emerson College, St. Francis College, and Columbia College in Chicago. Ben Vereen may have played the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Broadway's "Wicked," but tech wiz is not a role he ever imagined himself in. In 2004, Vereen was nominated for a "Career Achievement Award" by the Le Prix International Film Star Awards Organization. [23], 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. By David Hinckley Looking back on a half century of performances that have taken him from Broadway to national television to dance stages and the silver screen, Ben Vereen adds just one qualifier. The Tony Award-winning actor is divorcing his wife of 51 years — after … Benjamin Vereen Junior, who went by Benji, was a dancer and choreographer. NEW YORK - Film and theater actor Ben Vereen says his son has died. Ben Vereen has been accused of bigamy after he allegedly was illegally married to two women for 36 years.. Ben Vereen. What the Biden Presidency Means for New York's Recovery. Veeren later married his second wife Nancy Bruner in 1976. 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. Get the best experience and stay connected to your community with our Spectrum News app. [24], According to the New York Daily News, "the women — part of the Venice Theatre production outside of Tampa — say Vereen forced unwanted kisses, hugged them aggressively, stripped naked during an acting exercise and made degrading comments about their weight, sex appeal and personal lives". Vereen did so while repeatedly citing the musical’s content, as Hair portrays the hippie culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s and includes a nude scene. In the 2017 season, Vereen finished with 164 rushing yards and 253 receiving yards but did not record a touchdown for the first time in his career. 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. During the time I was there, I wanted to see if I could do what the doctors had told me I would never do again. The Daily News published cast members' claims that he used his position of authority as a director and mentor to pressure them to engage him in unwanted sexual interactions. Ben Vereen is one of the entertainment industry’s most-versatile figures, a performer who’s achieved success as a singer and dancer, as well a stage, film and television actor, overcoming great tragedy – including the death of his daughter and, several years later, a stroke and car accident – in the process. [19], In September 2012, Vereen filed for divorce from his wife Nancy Bruner Vereen of 36 years, citing irreconcilable differences. Four women accused Vereen of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault. The Community Mental Health Council awarded Vereen with their 2004 Lifeline Celebration Achievement Award. Ben Vereen Jr. tributes. Upon his graduation, he struggled to find suitable stage work and was often forced to take odd jobs to supplement his income. Our new Spectrum News app is the most convenient way to get the stories that matter to you. Benjamin Vereen Junior, who went by Benji, was a dancer and choreographer. Ben Vereen – Now. ", "Donny and Marie," and "The Muppet Show." Ben Vereen may have played the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Broadway's "Wicked," but tech wiz is not a role he ever imagined himself in. Learn More. Download it here. The 69-year-old Tony-winning actor is … Vereen was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his performance in the Hallmark movie An Accidental Friendship. That was to perform. We seek the parting of the seas, the moving of the mountains. Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. In the early 1980s, Vereen moved with his family to Saddle River, New Jersey.[15]. Vereen confirmed his son’s death in a statement on Tuesday, saying: "I am sorry to announce my son Benjamin A Vereen Jr., affectionately known as Benji passed away." The driving force behind the 74-year-old's successful acting career - his mother. On July 18, 2018, Vereen signed with the New Orleans Saints. His daughter died when she was 16, and Vereen himself was critically injured when he was hit by a car. In 1985, Vereen starred in the Faerie Tale Theatre series as Puss in Boots alongside Gregory Hines. Vereen has also performed in one-man shows and actively lectures on black history and inspirational topics. In prior interviews with People Magazine and Ability … Benji was a dancer and a choreographer with an extraordinary artistic talent … In a … Learn how and when to remove this template message, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries, "Ben Vereen Writes About 'Blood Family' in New Book", "When Ben Vereen Wore Blackface to Reagan's Inaugural Gala", "What Viewers Didn't See Changed Everything for Ben Vereen Cy Musiker", "Farr cancels, Vereen in at Putting on the Ritz Nov. 7", "Ben Vereen is revealed to be a bigamist", "Ben Vereen Allegedly Spent 36 Years Married to Two Women", "Ben Vereen Named Co-Artistic Director of Tampa's Broadway Theatre Project", "Ben Veeren files for divorce from wife of 36 years", "Democrats Hope to Get $6 Million in Telethon", "Ben Vereen Jr., Son of Tony Award-Winning Performer, has Died", "Broadway legend Ben Vereen accused of sexually assaulting and harassing actresses during production of 'Hair, "Broadway Star Ben Vereen Apologizes After Accusations of Sexual Harassment", http://www.lycos.com/info/ben-vereen--sweet-charity.html, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway/stars/vereen_b.html, Angels of Love Spiritual Center (Rev. [11] Ben Vereen allegedly spent 36 years married to two women illegally and this controversy landed him a lawsuit. 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. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Vereen worked steadily on television with projects ranging from the sitcom Webster to the drama Silk Stalkings. In August 2011, Vereen was named Co-Artistic Director of Tampa's Broadway Theatre Project. LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Moments after his vehicle hit Ben Vereen, record producer David Foster told a 911 operator that a badly injured pedestrian lay nearby and, ″I think he’s going to die,″ according to an audio tape. [6] He was raised Pentecostal.[7]. Vereen was cast opposite Jeff Goldblum in the short-lived detective series Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (1980). After developing a rapport with Davis, Vereen was cast as his understudy in the upcoming production of Golden Boy, which toured England and ended the run at the Palladium Theatre in London's West End. To my management company, The Cooper Company, Pamela Cooper, Steve Gaeto, Kendra Pettis, and Phil Byron, Thank you. Sometimes we look for those thunderous things to happen in our life for our lives to change or go in the other direction. When Vereen was 18 years old, he made his New York stage bow off-off Broadway in The Prodigal Son at the Greenwich Mews Theater. a role ben vereen was born to play Will Power January 28, 2010 FETCH CLAY Fetch Clay, Make Man has been up and running now for two weeks, and I’m just now starting to reflect-although the full vibe of what’s happened and what’s to come for the piece won’t be known until after we close. Ben Vereen allegedly spent 36 years illegally married to two women. Vereen later fired his agent after "Roots" producer Stan Margulies walked into one of his shows and told him he wanted Vereen to play Chicken George. At the age of 14, Vereen enrolled at the High School of Performing Arts, where he studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. Multi-faceted performer Ben Vereen wants to say thank you to audiences who have cheered him over the decades. Ben Vereen is a multi-award winning actor who dedicated decades to the art of performing in theatre and television. BroadwayWorld is saddened to hear of the passing of Benjamin Vereen Jr., the son of Tony-winning actor Ben Vereen. Come Monday, Jan. 25, the Tony-winning star of "Pippin" and countless other Broadway musicals will find out just how much of a techie he is when he begins teaching an eight-week virtual Master Class in acting for Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts. While on the trip he learned his mother had died 24 years before, but that several relatives still lived in the area." For example, two of the actresses said he did this by privately luring them on separate occasions to his Florida rental home. We are unable to confirm if a GoFundMe was created by the family/friends of the deceased at the time of this publication. Ben Vereen Jr. Obituary, funeral arrangement, any GoFundMe page. When she returned, the child was gone. Re-teaming with Bob Fosse, Vereen hit movie theaters the following year in Fosse's semi-autobiographical, Oscar-nominated feature "All That Jazz" (1979). At least for me it was. Vereen was the keynote speaker for the Boys & Girls Clubs in St. Petersburg, Florida annual alumni tribute gala held in October 2007. In Roots, Vereen had played "Chicken George", the grandson of Burton's character Kunta Kinte. Ben Vereen. That love and support has helped Ben Vereen survive obstacles that would easily end the careers of other artists. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. [8] 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. They are available for free. Ben Vereen, best known for his role as “Chicken George” in Roots and as a superb Broadway dancer, revealed that he developed an extremely heavy cocaine addiction that was kicked into overdrive after the sudden death of his 16 year old daughter, Naja. [5] 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. New Orleans Saints. But no, it's a quiet thing. The desired quotes are awaiting you below. 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