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Billy Porter      

Actor; Director; Known For His Roles in "Kinky Boots" & "Pose"

Billy Porter is a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winning singer, composer, actor, playwright and director from Pittsburgh, PA. As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, Untitled, on A&M records and his sophomore album, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE, on Sh-K-Boom Records.

Porter’s voice can be heard on the albums A Very Rosie Christmas, Jim Brickman’s Destiny (top ten AC hit), Grease (revival cast album), Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns, Gershwin and Sondheim Benefit Albums, Hercules (Disney) and Anastasia (Warner Bros.), Liz Callaway – The Story Goes On, Alvin Ailey/Revelations, Broadway Cares Home for the Holidays, Dreamgirls in Concert, HAIR (Actor’s Fund Benefit recording), Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas (with The Broadway Inspirational Voices) and The Human Rights Campaign’s Love Rocks.

Porter starred as “Lola” in the smash hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical.

Other Broadway acting credits include Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease (all original cast), Smokey Joe’s Café and Dreamgirls (20th Anniversary Broadway Concert and LA Ovation Award). Off Broadway and regional credits include Angels in America (Signature Theater), Romance in Hard Times, The Merchant of Venice, House of Lear and Radiant Baby (The New York Shakespeare Festival), Birdie Blue (Second Stage), Angels in America (Actors Theatre Of Louisville), Going Native (The Long Wharf), Jelly’s Last Jam (Alliance), Topdog/Underdog (City Theatre), King Lear (Exit, Pursued by a Bear), Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World (original cast), Jesus Christ Superstar, Antigone, A Chorus Line and Chicago.

His one-man show, Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am, debuted at The Public Theater in NYC in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh and was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award. Porter was also named “Pittsburgh’s Performer of the Year 2003-2004” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

His directing credits include Five Guys Named Moe for Casa Manana, Altar Boyz for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma,RENT (Associate Director: Off-Broadway Revival),

He was artistic director for the 2009 season of Wicked Summer Nights Concert Series at The Ford Amphitheater starring Shoshana Bean, Eden Espinosa and Stephen Schwartz in conjunction with Upright Cabaret. Porter made his London directorial debut in the fall of 2009 with Olivier Award Nominee Patina Miller at Live in the Delfont Room. Porter is also a graduate of The Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, where he has directed productions of Company and Letters from ‘Nam.

Porter’s film and television credits include Sundance Film Festival features The Broken Hearts Club (Sony Pictures) and Intern, Noel (with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams),Shake Rattle & Roll as Little Richard (CBS mini-series), Another World (recurring),Twisted, Law & Order, The Oprah Winfrey Show, A Very Rosie Christmas, The Tonight Show, and multiple appearances on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Most recently, Porter guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU in a part written for him.

He appeared as a guest judge in the mega-hit television show So You Think You Can Dance and also appeared in the film The Humbling, starring Al Pacino. His original song “Time” has been featured twice on So You Think You Can Dance as well as the 2011 Miss America Pageant. Porter’s concerts credits include opening act for Rosie O’Donnell and Aretha Franklin, Carnegie Hall, John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Buffalo Philharmonic, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops, soloist for President Bill Clinton and various benefits throughout the United States.

As a director, Porter helmed the revival of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum at Boston’s Huntington Theater. He also directed a critically acclaimed rethinking of The Wiz in Pittsburgh and conceived a musical revue entitled Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder, which starred Chaka Khan and ran at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas in 2002.

He was the Associate Director for the Off Broadway revival of RENT and has directed concerts featuring Shoshana Bean, Eden Espinosa, Patina Miller and Stephen Schwartz. He will direct Top Dog/Underdog at the Huntington Theater in early 2017.

In 2014, Primary Stages presented the highly successful World Premiere of While I Yet Live, Porter’s autobiographical play at off Broadway’s Duke Theater.

He stars in the television series Pose for which he was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe Award and won the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He is the first openly gay black man to be nominated and win in any lead acting Emmy category.


Pose's Billy Porter Is First Openly Gay Black Man with Emmy Nomination for Lead Actor in a Drama

"This is why I’m here," the actor says of making history with his role on the Ryan Murphy series Pose

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