Anthony Rapp

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Anthony Rapp
Anthony Rapp by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Rapp in 2018
Born Anthony Deane Rapp
(1971-10-26) October 26, 1971 (age 46)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1981–present

Anthony Deane Rapp[1] (born October 26, 1971)[2] is an American actor and singer best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent in 1996 and for reprising the role in the film version and the Broadway Tour of Rent in 2009. He also performed the role of Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and originated the role of Lucas in the musical If/Then in 2014. His screen roles include Lieutenant Paul Stamets on the television series Star Trek: Discovery.

Early life[edit]

Rapp was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in nearby Joliet, Illinois,[2] the son of Mary Lee (née Baird) and Douglas Rapp.[3] After his parents' divorce in 1974,[2] he was raised by his mother, a trained nurse.[4] His older brother is playwright, novelist, and filmmaker Adam Rapp. He also has an older sister.[5]

Rapp participated in community theater as a child[5] and won numerous awards for his singing in junior high school.[6] Rapp attended high school at Joliet West High School and theatre camp at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.[7] He moved to New York in 1989 to attend New York University as a film student, but dropped out after a semester.[5]


Rapp first performed on Broadway in 1981 in The Little Prince and the Aviator, a musical based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novel The Little Prince. The show closed during previews. His screen debut was as a member of the starring ensemble in the 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting, directed by Chris Columbus, who would later direct him in the film version of Rent. He has appeared in several movies and Broadway shows. His notable roles includes such films as Dazed and Confused, A Beautiful Mind, School Ties, Road Trip, Six Degrees of Separation (stage and film versions), An American Family, Danny Roane: First Time Director and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.[8]

Rapp greeting fans following a 2009 performance of Rent

Rapp went on to play the character of Mark Cohen in the off-Broadway and original Broadway casts of Jonathan Larson's musical Rent. For his audition, Rapp sang R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion", and received his callback in September 1994.[6] After offering him the role, Jonathan Larson wrote new songs for the production with Rapp's voice in mind.[9] He reprised that role in the film adaptation, which was released on November 23, 2005. He returned to Rent on July 30, 2007, for a six-week run, along with original cast member Adam Pascal.[10] The two continued in their return to Rent through October 7, 2007.[11] Rapp and Pascal, along with fellow original cast member Gwen Stewart, reprised their roles of Mark and Roger in a national tour of Rent beginning January 6, 2009.[12][13]

Rapp in 2009 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri

In 2000, Rapp released a solo CD, entitled Look Around. In 2006, he published a memoir about Rent and his relationship with his mother, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent.[6] The manuscript took him six years to finish because of how personal it was.[14] Rapp developed a one-man stage show with music based on the memoir beginning in 2007, later performing it at such locations as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[14] A recording of the show was released on December 11, 2012 by PS Classics.[15]

In 2005, Rapp played the doctor in the world premiere of Feeling Electric (later to become the Broadway musical Next to Normal at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.[5][16] During Next to Normal's Off-Broadway run (2008), he worked as assistant director to Michael Greif, who had directed him in Rent,[17] and later wrote the introduction to the published script.[18]

Rapp played the role of Lucas in If/Then, which starred fellow Rent alum Idina Menzel. If/Then played the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., and began previews on Broadway on March 5, 2014, and opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater on March 30, 2014. In July, Rapp had to miss performances due to a knee injury and surgery.[19] It closed on March 22, 2015. Rapp reprised the role in select performances of the 2015-2016 National Tour,[20] along with Menzel and the rest of the main Broadway cast.

Rapp also appeared in the television episode Psych: The Musical, which premiered on USA Network on December 15, 2013. In 2016, Rapp was cast in Star Trek: Discovery as Lt. Paul Stamets, the first openly gay character in the Star Trek television series.[21] This was Rapp's first television regular role; while he had watched some Star Trek as a child, he watched "curated lists" of episodes from the multiple series to prepare for the role.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Rapp had a close relationship with his mother, who was battling cancer during the beginning of the Off-Broadway and Broadway transfer of Rent. He would visit her on weekends. [6][14] She died at age 55 in 1997.[23] He credits her for instilling values of justice and respect in him by leading by example.[24]

In 2012, the periodical Metro Weekly referred to Rapp as "one of the first openly gay men on Broadway".[25][26] He first came out to his mother at the age of 18, and by her death in 1997 she had grown comfortable with it.[2] During a 1997 interview with Oasis Magazine, the actor explained his sexual identity as "queer" rather than "gay": "I don't want to get into labels, but I've never labeled myself except to say I'm queer. The thing that's been most important to me to be out about is that I have been in loving relationships with men...I haven't said 'I am gay.' Because the truth is that I've also been in love with women, although the truth is I do think I'm primarily homosexual".[27] He has also identified as "bisexual"[2] and "four-and-a-half" on the Kinsey Scale.[20] He has cited working with Larry Kramer as a young man (in Kramer's play The Destiny of Me) for his commitment to activism and "liv[ing] an open life".[24][28]

Rapp is a "die hard" Chicago Cubs fan and co-hosts the podcast The Clubhouse about baseball.[29] At the Cubs game on August 29, 2016, he threw the first pitch and sang the Star Spangled Banner.[30] He enjoys playing poker and video games.[18]

Accusations against Kevin Spacey[edit]

In late October 2017, Rapp alleged in an interview with BuzzFeed that actor Kevin Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Rapp was invited to a party at Spacey's home and, at the end of the evening, an apparently drunk Spacey physically carried Rapp to bed and attempted to initiate sex.[31] Rapp added that he had once met with a lawyer to discuss possible legal action, but was told there was no case worth pursuing.[32][33] He had previously discussed the assault in a 2001 interview with The Advocate, but Spacey's name was redacted from publication to avoid legal disputes and public outing.[34] Rapp was inspired to come forward in 2017 after the effects of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations with the support of his family, boyfriend, representatives, and a lawyer.[24]

In response, Spacey posted on Twitter that he did not remember the encounter, which had allegedly occurred 31 years before, but nevertheless said that he was "beyond horrified to hear his story" and offered Rapp the "sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior".[35] At least 14 other accusers came forward after Rapp in 2017,[36] ultimately costing Spacey his starring role on House of Cards and involvement in other projects.[37] Rapp faced harassment and criticism for the accusation,[38] such as from comedian Dave Chappelle in his Netflix stand-up special The Bird Revelation.[39]

Acting roles[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Sky High Wes Hansen TV movie
1994 Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker Cadet Frederick G. Hodgson TV movie
1996 The Lazarus Man Verity Episode: "Panorama"
1997 Spin City Himself Episode: "An Affair to Remember"
1997 The X-Files Jeff Glaser Episode: "Detour"
2000 The Beach Boys: An American Family Van Dyke Parks TV movie
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Matt Spevak Episode: "Bound"
2006–07 Kidnapped Larry Kellogg 4 episodes
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nathan Forrester Episode: "Lessons Learned"
2013 Psych Zachary Wallace Zander aka Z Episode: "Psych: The Musical"
2014 It Could Be Worse Casting Director Episode: "Uncharted Territory"
2015 Stop the Bleeding Buster 2 episodes
The Knick Dr. Thurman Drexler 2 episodes
2017 The Good Fight Glenn 2 episodes
2017–present Star Trek: Discovery Lieutenant Paul Stamets Regular cast/Lieutenant Paul Stamets (Mirror) 1st season
2018 13 Reasons Why Pastor Episode: "Bye"


Year Production Role Notes
Unknown Youth is Broken Unknown off-Broadway
1981 Evita Unknown Regional
1982 The Little Prince and the Aviator The Little Prince Broadway; never opened
1986 Precious Sons Freddy Broadway; Mar. 20 - May 10, 1986
1990 Six Degrees of Separation Ben/Woody (u/s)/Doug (u/s) Broadway; Nov. 8, 1990 - Jan. 5, 1992
1992 The Destiny of Me Alexander Weeks off-Broadway
1993 Sophistry Jack Kahn off-Broadway
1994 Trafficking in Broken Hearts Bobby off-Broadway
1995 Raised in Captivity Dylan Taylor Sinclair/Roger off-Broadway
Rent Mark Cohen off-Broadway; 1995
1996 Broadway; 1996–97
1997 National Tour
1998 West End
Bright Lights, Big City Unknown off-Broadway
1999 You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown Charlie Brown Broadway; Feb. 4 - Jun. 13, 1999
2001 Nocturne The Son[40] Berkely Repertory Theatre; written by brother Adam Rapp
2002 Henry V King Henry V Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
2003 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig Robinson City Theatre[41]
Private Jokes Public Places William off-Broadway
2004 Little Shop of Horrors Seymour Krelbourn National tour
2005 The 24 Hour Plays Trisan Broadway; special benefit production
2005 Feeling Electric Dr. Madden New York Musical Theatre Festival; earlier version of Next to Normal
2006 Rent Mark Cohen Broadway; 10th anniversary reunion concert
2007 Broadway; Jul. 30 - Oct. 7, 2007
Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell Performer off-Broadway
2007-2014 Without You Himself Various locations; one-man show with music based on his memoir
2008 Some Americans Abroad Henry McNeil off-Broadway
2009 Rent Mark Cohen National tour
2012 Pop! Unknown City Theatre
2014 If/Then Lucas Broadway; Mar. 30, 2014 - Mar. 22, 2015
2015 National tour; Oct. 13, 2015 - Aug. 15, 2016


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Adventures in Babysitting Daryl Coopersmith
1989 Grave Secrets Jamie
Far From Home Pinky Sears
1992 School Ties Richard "McGoo" Collins
1993 Dazed and Confused Tony Olson
Six Degrees of Separation Ben
1996 Twister Tony
The Mantis Murder Unknown
1997 David Searching David
1999 Man of the Century Timothy Burns
2000 Road Trip Jacob Schultz
2001 Cruise Control Mirror Man Short
A Beautiful Mind Bender
2002 Paradisco L'ami américain Short
2004 Open House Barry Farnsworth
2005 Rent Mark Cohen
Winter Passing Dean
2006 Danny Roane: First Time Director Self
2007 Let Them Chirp Awhile Self
Blackbird Unknown
2008 Scaring the Fish Gene
2009 The Other Woman Simon
2012 Junction Connor
2014 Grind Vincent Short
2015 Not Again Dr. Thom Short
2016 Opening Night Logan Joyce
Do You Take This Man Daniel
bwoy Brad


Year Title Notes
1996 Rent (original Broadway cast recording) Solos on twenty-two tracks
1999 You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (new Broadway cast recording) Solos on nine tracks
2000 Look Around Solo album
2012 Without You (original cast recording) Solo album
2014 If/Then (original Broadway cast recording) Solos on six tracks
2016 Acoustically Speaking: Live at Feinstein's/54 Below Solos on fourteen tracks; live concert with Adam Pascal


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1986 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Precious Sons Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
1996 Obie Award Special Citations Rent Won
2001 ACC Award Best Ensemble Cast A Beautiful Mind Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2005 Stinkers Bad Movie Award Worst Song Performance Rent Nominated
2006 Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Song Performance Nominated
Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
OFTA Film Award Best Adapted Music Nominated
2014 Audience Award Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical If/Then Won
2017 The Advocate's Person of the Year N/A N/A Finalist[42]


  1. ^ Anthony Rapp [@albinokid] (29 November 2009). "Someone was messing with my wiki page, I discovered. My middle name is Deane. With an e. RT @Hails224 Is your middle name Dean or Mortimer?" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Life in the Rapp family". The Advocate. Los Angeles, California: Here Media. October 14, 1997. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ Buckley, Michael (February 20, 2006). "Stage to Screens: Chatting with Playwright and Screenwriter Adam Rapp". Playbill. New York City: Playbill Inc. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Wiegand, David (February 21, 2006). "From musical to memoir, actor Anthony Rapp comes up with dramatic making-of 'Rent' story and moving personal one". San Francisco Chronicle. san Francisco, California: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 25, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c d Patrick Hinds (June 15, 2014). "Episode 13: Anthony Rapp" (Podcast). Theater People. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d Rapp, Anthony (2006). Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 309. ISBN 0-7432-6976-4. 
  7. ^ Jacobs, Jodie (January 4, 1998). "Rapp Session: Catching up with Anthony Rapp, who has progressed from the footlights of Joliet West to a starring role in 'Rent'". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois: Tronc. Retrieved July 25, 2018. 
  8. ^ Anthony Rapp's official website Archived March 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Rapp, Anthony (2006). Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0743269773. 
  10. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (August 21, 2007). "Pascal and Rapp Extend Rent Engagement Until October 7". TheaterMania. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  11. ^ Kenneth Jones; Robert Simonson (August 21, 2007). "Pascal and Rapp, Bohemian Heroes for a New Generation of Rent-Heads, Extend to Oct. 7". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  12. ^ Kenneth Jones (February 28, 2008). "Playbill News: Pascal and Rapp Will Tour in Rent in 2009". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  13. ^ Rent tour schedule Archived August 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ a b c Wallenberg, Christopher (June 16, 2012). "Anthony Rapp revisits his own past onstage in 'Without You'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  15. ^ Hetrick, Adam (December 11, 2012). "Exclusive Listen: Anthony Rapp's Without You Released On Disc Dec. 11". Playbill. Retrieved March 3, 2018. 
  16. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 14, 2005). "Rapp & Spanger Help Spark Premiere of Feeling Electric Sept. 14-24 in NYMF". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  17. ^ Gioia, Michael (March 4, 2014). "From Then, Till Now: Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and Michael greif Reunite in New Musical If/Then". Playbill. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  18. ^ a b H, Claire (June 13, 2018). "Anthony Rapp discusses 'Rent,' writing and 'Next to Normal'". Stage Door Dish. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  19. ^ Hetrick, Adam (July 9, 2014). "Knee Injury Sidelines Anthony Rapp from Broadway's If/Then". Playbill. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  20. ^ a b Leuck, Shane (March 3, 2016). "5Q: If/Then". Lavender. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  21. ^ Hibberd, James (November 29, 2016). "Star Trek: Discovery casts 3 actors, adds gay character". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Discovery's Anthony Rapp". September 21, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  23. ^ Gavron Stevens, Darlene (May 25, 1997). "Aids Education Activist Mary Lee Rapp". Chicago Tribune. 
  24. ^ a b c Reynolds, Daniel (March 30, 2018). "Anthony Rapp Reveals How He Found the Courage to Talk About Kevin Spacey". The Advocate. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  25. ^ Rule, Doug (April 12, 2012). "Rapp Star". Metro Weekly. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  26. ^ Hensley, Dennis (January 8, 2002). "From Rent to Russell". Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Anthony Rapp: Rent-able role model". Oasis Magazine (Interview). Interviewed by Jeff Walsh. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Anthony Rapp Is Honored To Make Star Trek Television History". CBS. February 2, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  29. ^ "The Clubhouse Website". The Clubhouse. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  30. ^ "Chicago Cubs tweet". Twitter. August 29, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  31. ^ Kiefer, Halle (October 29, 2017). "Actor Anthony Rapp Says Kevin Spacey Tried to Seduce Him When He Was 14". New York City: New York Media. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  32. ^ "'Star Trek' Star Claims Kevin Spacey Made a Pass at Him at Age 14". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Eldridge Industries. October 29, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  33. ^ Feldman, Kate (October 29, 2017). "Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of trying to seduce him when he was 14". New York Daily News. New York City: Tronc. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  34. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (October 31, 2017). "Why Did The Advocate Redact Kevin Spacey's Name in 2001?". The Advocate. Los Angeles, California: Here Media. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  35. ^ Kanetkar, Riddhima (October 29, 2017). "Kevin Spacey: Sexual Advances On Teenaged Anthony Rapp Was 'Inappropriate Drunken Behavior'". International Business Times. New York. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  36. ^ Puente, Maria (November 7, 2017). "Kevin Spacey scandal: A complete list of the 15 accusers". USA Today. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  37. ^ Bishop, Bryan (November 3, 2017). "Netflix fires Kevin Spacey from House of Cards". The Verge. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  38. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (December 2, 2017). "Anthony Rapp Breaks Silience on Kevin Spacey to Call Out Harassers". The Advocate. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  39. ^ Wong, Curtis M (January 3, 2018). "Dave Chappelle's Jokes About Kevin Spacey Have Some Viewers Up In Arms". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  40. ^ "Anthony Rapp opens his brother's play". The Advocate. October 20, 2001. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  41. ^ Jones, Kenneth (May 1, 2003). "Anthony Rapp is Hedwig in Pittsburgh Resident Premiere of Angry Inch, May 1-June 15". Playbill. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  42. ^ By Editors (2017-07-20). "Person of the Year: Transgender Americans". Retrieved 2017-12-25. 

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