Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady

Brady in 2015
Born Wayne Alphonso Brady
(1972-06-02) June 2, 1972
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, television personality, comedian, singer, presenter, game show host
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Diana Lasso (m. 1993–95)
Mandie Taketa (m. 1999–2008)
Children 1

Wayne Alphonso Brady[1] (born June 2, 1972) is an American actor, singer, comedian, and television personality, known for his work as a regular on the American version of the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? He was the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show, the original host of Fox's Don't Forget the Lyrics!, and has hosted Let's Make a Deal since its 2009 revival. Brady also performed in the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots on Broadway as Simon and as drag queen Lola from November 2015 to March 2016.

Early life

Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia[2] to West Indian parents, and moved to Orlando, Florida as a young child to live with his grandmother and aunt. Brady refers to his grandmother, Valerie Petersen, as his "mom," since she raised him.[3][4] Brady is second cousin to professional footballer Jozy Altidore who currently plays for Toronto FC.[5] At 16, Brady started performing in community theater and at the Orlando improv troupe SAK Comedy Lab, where he first started developing his improv skills. He attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he graduated in 1989. In 1990, he enrolled at the University of Miami.[6] In 1996, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he continued developing his acting skills.[7]


Brady's career began as one of the improvisational theater performers in the original (British) version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, along with Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and host Clive Anderson in 1998 when the last season was filmed in Hollywood, after which he became a regular on the American version, hosted by Drew Carey, which was his first Stateside television exposure. In 2003, Brady won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Series for his work on the show, the only person to win the award for a television series, as opposed to a special, since Dana Carvey in 1993.

He went on to star in his own ABC variety show in 2001 called The Wayne Brady Show, and a daytime talk show of the same name in 2002, which lasted two seasons and won four Daytime Emmy Awards, two of which went to Brady for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Brady guest-starred on The Drew Carey Show in 1999 and 2000 to take part in "Drew Live" and "Drew Live II". On the show, Brady played several games taken from Whose Line Is It Anyway? for the two episodes with other characters.

In 2004, Brady joined the Broadway revival of Chicago, playing the role of lawyer Billy Flynn. He appeared briefly in the final episode of the 2004 season of the comedy Reno 911!. He guest starred on the Sci Fi Channel's hit series show Stargate SG-1 as Trelak, the first-prime of the Goa'uld System Lord, Ares. He made an appearance on Chappelle's Show, poking fun at his squeaky clean persona.[8]

Brady wrote and sang the theme song for Disney's animated series The Weekenders. In 2005, he sang and recorded Jim Brickman's original Disney song "Beautiful" (a cover of All-4-One's 2002 hit "Beautiful As You") and its Christmas version.[9]

In 2006, Brady became the host of TV Land's That's What I'm Talking About, a talk show discussing the role of African-Americans in the entertainment industry. From August 29  September 29, 2006, Brady hosted the Fox show Celebrity Duets.

Brady made several guest appearances on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, playing James Stinson, the gay brother of Neil Patrick Harris's character, Barney Stinson. Brady has also appeared as a guest star for the MTV show Wild 'N Out, and lent his voice to the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken.

Brady has also guest starred in the CBC comedy, Getting Along Famously, alongside his Whose Line is It Anyway? costar Colin Mochrie. He has also appeared on the episode "You Don't Know Jack" on the television show Dirt and also guest starred on the show 30 Rock, where he played the role of Steven Black, Liz Lemon's date for The Source Awards.

Brady was the co-host of the short-lived VH1 show Vinyl Justice in 1998. In 2007, he starred in the ABC Family film The List. He starred in Flirt,[10] a comedy pilot developed for The CW Television Network, which, if it had been picked up, would have aired in the 200607 television season.

Brady guest starred as Julius Rock's gifted younger brother, Louis, in the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, and hosted a singing game show called Don't Forget the Lyrics! on Fox until its cancellation in June 2009. He also performs "Wayne Brady: Making $%!^ up" at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada four nights a week.[11][12] He was also on two episodes of Kevin Hill. Brady's debut album was released on September 16, 2008. Brady's version of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" earned Brady a Grammy nomination in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance category.[13]

Brady started hosting an updated version of the game show Let's Make a Deal for CBS in October 2009, which taped at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and currently tapes in Los Angeles. The show replaced the soap opera Guiding Light, which ended its long-time run. The original host of Let's Make a Deal was Monty Hall, who serves as consultant for the new show. Drew Carey currently hosts The Price Is Right, and thus, both game shows in the CBS daytime lineup (as of May 2013) hold the distinction of being hosted by an alumnus of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

Brady was the guest host on the May 3, 2010 episode of WWE Raw, where he was involved in an in-ring segment with Edge and Randy Orton, and eventually getting RKO'd by Orton.[14] Later that year, in August, Brady played the role of Tom Collins in a staged production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. The production was directed by Neil Patrick Harris.[15]

Brady appeared alongside Let's Make a Deal announcer Jonathan Mangum in two episodes of Fast and Loose, a new improvisational series on BBC2 hosted by Hugh Dennis, in January 2011. Then, along with Holly Robinson Peete, he co-hosted the 42nd annual NAACP Image Awards on March 4, 2011.[16]

On May 3, 2011 he appeared on Dancing With The Stars as the lead performer in a tribute to James Brown, celebrating what would have been Brown's 78th birthday in the Macy's Stars of Dance segment. He has also been a special guest of Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN.

Brady made a cameo in the 2011 song "Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)" by Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne and Andre 3000, narrating Lil Wayne's section of the song. He also appeared as a special guest star in the March 14, 2012 episode of the TV series Psych.

Brady starred in the 2012 ABC improvisational comedy series Trust Us with Your Life, and returned for the revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the Summer of 2013.[17][18]

Brady guest starred as Don in the Phineas and Ferb episode, "Where's Pinky?" on June 7, 2013 and for one week February 9 to 13, 2015, guest host on The Late Late Show on CBS.

In November 2015, Brady replaced Billy Porter as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway.[19][20]

Personal life

Brady has been married twice. He married Diana Lasso on December 31, 1993. They divorced on September 21, 1995. On April 3, 1999, he married dancer Mandie Taketa. He and Taketa have one child, a daughter named Maile Masako Brady, born on February 3, 2003. Brady and Taketa separated on April 5, 2006 and Taketa filed for divorce on July 2, 2007.[21]

In 2007, Brady became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, the Friends of RMHC.[22]

In 2013, Bill Maher compared Brady to President Barack Obama, in that they were both supposedly "not black enough". Brady took issue with this statement, suggesting that Maher should "be careful when you make statements like that, because it will allow his viewers to make the same stereotypical assumptions about black people."[23]

As a child, Wayne struggled with stuttering due to a great deal of anxiety he felt from being bullied by other children.[24] Wayne stated in a November 2014 Entertainment Tonight interview that he suffers from clinical depression, and that he suffered a mental breakdown on his 42nd birthday. He credits Taketa for helping him recover.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Superboy John Episode: "The Sons of Icarus"
1993 I'll Fly Away Damon 2 episodes
1993 In the Heat of the Night Henry Ulmer Episode: "Hatton's Turn" (Parts 1 & 2)
19971999 Kwik Witz Himself Syndicated improv
1998 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK) Himself 3 episodes in series 10
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US) Himself Starring: seasons 27, 9–; recurring: seasons 1 & 8
Also executive producer (season 9–)
1999, 2000 The Drew Carey Show Himself "Drew Live" and "Drew Live II" (improv episodes)
2000 Batman Beyond Micron Episode: "The Call" (Parts 1 & 2)
2000 Geppetto The Magician Movie
20012004 The Wayne Brady Show Host Variety show
2002 Miss America Host
2004 Chappelle's Show Himself 2 episodes
2005 Stargate SG-1 Trelak Episode: "It's Good to be King"
2006/2008 Everybody Hates Chris Louis 2 episodes
2006 Robot Chicken Pegasus 'Sunny Muffin' / Salam Fayyad (voice) Episode: "Adoption's an Option"
2006 Crossover Vaughn
2006 Shorty McShorts' Shorts Cameron Voice; 3 episodes
20062014 How I Met Your Mother James Stinson 13 episodes
2007 30 Rock Steven Black Episode: "The Source Awards"
2007 Dirt Henchman Episode: "You Don't Know Jack"
2008 The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Sparx Video game
20072009 Don't Forget the Lyrics! Host
2009present Let's Make a Deal Host
2011 Fast and Loose Himself UK improv; 2 episodes
2011 Are We There Yet? Devin Episode: "The Man and the Bragging Snafu Episode"
2011 Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza Himself 5 episodes
20122013 American Dad! Cuba Gooding Jr. / Tungee 3 episodes (voice)
2012 Trust Us with Your Life Himself 7 episodes
2012 Psych Hilton Fox Episode: "Shawn and the Real Girl"
2013present Sofia the First Clover the Rabbit Voice role
2013 So You Think You Can Dance Guest judge (himself) 2 episodes
2014 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "50 Charades of Grey"
2014 So You Think You Can Dance Guest judge (himself) [26]
2015 The Late Late Show Guest host 5 episodes
2016 The Price Is Right Himself Mash Up Week
2016present The Loud House Harold McBride Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Electric Piper Sly (voice) Television film
2004 Clifford's Really Big Movie Shackelford (voice)
2004 Going to the Mat Mason Wyatt
2005 Roll Bounce D.J. Johnny Feelgood
2006 Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild Reeko (voice) Direct-to-video
2007 The List Lewis
2012 Foodfight! Daredevil Dan (voice)
2013 Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright Brik Pimlento (voice) Direct-to-video
2013 1982 Alonzo
2014 The Hero of Color City Blue (voice)
2015 VeggieTales: Noah's Ark Shem (voice) Direct-to-video
2016 Todrick Hall: Straight Outta Oz Todrick's Father Visual Album



Year Album details Chart positions
2008 A Long Time Coming 157 20 2
2011 Radio Wayne

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2001 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program Whose Line Is It Anyway? Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Won
2003 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Talk Show Host The Wayne Brady Show Won
2004 Nominated
2009 Grammy Awards Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance "A Change Is Gonna Come" Nominated
2010 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show Host Let's Make a Deal Nominated
2011 Outstanding Game Show Host Nominated
2012 Outstanding Game Show Host Nominated
2013 Outstanding Game Show Host Nominated
2014 Outstanding Game Show Host Nominated
2014 Outstanding Original Song "30,000 Reasons to Love Me" for Let's Make a Deal (lyrics writer) Won
2016 Outstanding Game Show Host Let's Make a Deal Nominated



  1. "People Search". peoplefinders.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.http://wayback.archive.org/web/20150513141051/http://www.peoplefinders.com/Summary.asp?ln=BRADY&fn=WAYNE&mn=&city=&state=&dobmm=06&dobdd=02&doby=1972&age=&x=0&y=0&vw=people&input=
  2. video Let's Make A Deal, episode May 11, 2010 at 9:23 minutes, Wayne Brady says he was born in Columbus, Georgia.
  3. Brady, Wayne. "A Long Time Coming iTunes Booklet (PDF)" (PDF). concordmusicgroup.com. p. 7. My mother, Valerie Petersen, the best mother a guy could have.http://wayback.archive.org/web/20131019104003/http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/assets/documents01/Artists/Wayne-Brady/PKD-30665/A-Long-Time-Coming-iTunes-Booklet.pdf
  4. Walker, Nicole (2003-02-10). "Wayne Brady". Jet. 103 (7). Brady also credits his 72-year-old grandmother, Valerie Peterson [sic], who reared him and whom he affectionately calls 'Mom,'...
  5. "Toronto FC acquire US international Jozy Altidore via Allocation, send Jermain Defoe to Sunderland". MLSsoccer.com. January 16, 2015.
  6. "Wayne Brady". Goviva Speakers. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  7. Boedeker, Hal (2007-07-02). "Joey Fatone, Wayne Brady form mutual-admiration society". OrlandoSentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel Communications. Archived from the original on 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  8. Neal Brennan & Dave Chappelle (writers); Neal Brennan (director) (2004-04-07). "Episode #2.12". Chappelle's Show. Season 2. Episode 12. Comedy Central.
  9. "Beautiful" from The Disney Songbook album by Jim Brickman and Disney's Cinderella [Special Edition] soundtrack. "Beautiful" (Christmas version) from Disney's Princess Christmas Album
  10. Dana Slagle, "Comedic Actor Wayne Brady Demonstrates Versatility In New Movie, 'Crossover'", Jet 110.11 (Sep 18, 2006), 61.
  11. Wayne Brady Las Vegas Show Tickets - Comedy at The Venetian http://wayback.archive.org/web/20141215092516/http://www.venetian.com/BRADY.aspx
  12. "Las Vegas Shows". VEGAS.com. Retrieved 4 December 2015.http://wayback.archive.org/web/20141215092825/http://shop.vegas.com/shows/showtimes2.jsp?show=1015
  13. "News » Grammy Nomination". Wayne Brady. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  14. WWE.com March 22, 2010
  15. BWW News Desk. "Brady, Tveit, Astin And Thoms Join RENT At Hollywood Bowl". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  16. "Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete to Host '42nd NAACP Image Awards' Friday, March 4 on Fox – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  17. "About this show: Trust us with your life". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  18. Ng, Philiana (March 1, 2013). "'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' Being Revived by The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  19. BWW News Desk. "Breaking News: Emmy Winner Wayne Brady Will Succeed Billy Porter in Broadway's KINKY BOOTS". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  20. Alex Beggs (2 November 2015). "Exclusive: See Wayne Brady Make His Drag Debut in Kinky Boots". Vanity Fair magazine. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  21. "Comic Wayne Brady, Wife Divorcing". People. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  22. "Celebrity Friends of RMHC". McDonald's Corporation.http://wayback.archive.org/web/20151017194508/http://www.rmhc.com/celebrity-friends/
  23. "Wayne Brady Calls 'Bullsh*t' On Bill Maher: 'I Will Beat Your Ass In Public' For Questioning My Black Cred". mediaite.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  24. Herard, Cathy. "Dr Oz: Wayne Brady Stuttering Struggle & Rachael Ray Vocal Cord Cyst". WellBuzz. WellBuzz. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  25. Bueno, Antoinette (3 November 2014). "Wayne Brady Opens Up About His Depression: 'I Had a Complete Breakdown'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  26. "So You Think You Can Dance - 2014 Casting Guide with Call Dates". Retrieved June 19, 2014.
Media offices
Preceded by
Tony Danza
Host of Miss America
Succeeded by
Tom Bergeron
Preceded by
Bob Barker
Host, Daytime Emmy Awards
Succeeded by
Vanessa Marcil
Preceded by
First Host
Host of Don't Forget the Lyrics!
Succeeded by
Mark McGrath
Preceded by
Billy Bush
Host of Let's Make a Deal
Succeeded by
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