Brian d'Arcy James stars as Frank, husband of Julia Houston (Debra Messing), in NBC's new musical drama "Smash." In the show, Frank has set aside his own career as Julia's has taken off, but with their son Leo now in high school, he has become restless. Frank and Julia strive to maintain their family life as Julia's attention is divided between Leo, her new musical, and the return of her old flame Michael Swift (Will Chase).
For his performance as Shrek in "Shrek the Musical" on Broadway, James was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 and won the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk Awards. In 2010, he returned to Broadway as Dan Goodman in "Next To Normal," the role he created off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theater.
James began his illustrious career on Broadway in 1993, appearing in "Blood Brothers" in the lead role of Mickey before leaving to join Nicholas Hytner's acclaimed production of "Carousel" at the Lincoln Center. He continued with "Titanic" as Barrett the Stoker for which he received his first Drama League Award nomination and a FANY Award. James originated the role of Brendan in Martin McDonagh's Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." He also starred alongside Kristen Chenoweth in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of "The Apple Tree" and in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" with Keith Carradine as the scene-stealing, crude con man Freddy Benson. In 2002, James received nominations for the Tony Award, Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as a Drama League Honor for his star turn as Sidney Falco in "Sweet Smell of Success."
Off-Broadway, he received nominations for both the Drama Desk Awards and the Drama League Awards for "The Wild Party" at Manhattan Theatre Club. For his solo performance in Conor McPherson's "The Good Thief ," James was honored with an Obie Award, a Backstage Garland Award and an LA Weekly Award, as well as nominations for the Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Conor McPherson's "Port Authority."
His other theater credits include "The Pavilion," "Flight," "Ancestral Voices" at the Lincoln Center and Kenneth Branagh's "Public Enemy." He starred in the Encores! production of "Pardon My English" and appeared in the original companies of "Floyd Collins" for Playwrights' Horizons and Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.
James has starred in numerous benefit concerts and performances around the world, most recently performing for President Barack Obama and the first family in "A Broadway Celebration at the White House." Other highlights include the "NSO Pops: Sondheim at 80," the original benefit concert for "Children and Art," and the "Kennedy Center Honors" to honor Charlton Heston and "Hamlisch on Hamlisch." He has appeared at venues ranging from Los Angeles' Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden to the Boston Pops and Dortmund, Germany.
Among his numerous recordings are his 2004 debut solo album "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" to name a few.
Recent film credits include "Game Change" for HBO and Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends with Kids." He has appeared in the feature film "Ghost Town" with Ricky Gervais, as well as in the television series "Person of Interest," "Cashmere Mafia" and "Rescue Me." He recently co-created, co-produced and starred in an original made-for-television improvisational comedy pilot "Shiny People."
James' singing talents can be heard alongside other Broadway performers in Disney's animated feature film "Enchanted."
In his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, James supports and often performs for the Field Neurosciences Institute, which aims for prevention, early diagnosis, care and cure of neurological diseases, disorders and injuries.
James resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.