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Norbert Leo Butz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Norbert Leo Butz
Butz after a performance of Catch Me If You Can in 2011
Born (1967-01-30) January 30, 1967 (age 57)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active1996–present
(m. 2007)

Norbert Leo Butz (born January 30, 1967) is an American actor and singer. He is best known for his work in Broadway theatre. He is a two-time winner of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and is one of only nine actors ever to have won the award twice.

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  • Tony Awards 2011 Acceptance Speech - Norbert Leo Butz - Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
  • Love, Loss, & Learning With Norbert Leo Butz | New York Live TV
  • Show Clip - Wicked - "Dancing Through Life" - Original Cast
  • Idina Menzel & Norbert Leo Butz at A Broaderway Karaoke Benefit (closer view)


Early and personal life

Butz was born on January 30, 1967, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Elaine (née Bourisaw) and Norbert Butz.[1] He was raised in a middle-class family; his parents are devout Catholics.[2][3] He is the seventh of 11 children and is named after his father.[4] Some of his first theatre roles included playing the male leads at local all-girl high schools, such as Cor Jesu Academy and Nerinx Hall. He graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School. Butz earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Professional Actor Training Program.[5] He would later receive an honorary degree from Webster University in 2013.[6]

The murder of his sister, Teresa Butz, made national news when an assailant stabbed both her and her girlfriend in her Seattle-area home on July 19, 2009.[7][8]

Butz's daughter Georgia Teresa was born on January 2, 2011. Butz has two older daughters, Clara and Maggie Davis, from a previous marriage.[9]


Butz made his Broadway debut as a replacement swing – a type of understudy – in Rent in 1996, after original swing David Driver was let go. Butz ultimately replaced Adam Pascal as Roger in 1997. Additional Broadway credits include Thou Shalt Not (Camille Raquin, 2001–2002), for which he received a Tony Award nomination; Wicked (the original Fiyero, 2003); and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy) for which he received the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, a Drama League Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award. His Off-Broadway credits include The Last Five Years (Jamie), Saved (Fred), and Juno and the Paycock (Jerry Devine), and he has toured as the Emcee in Cabaret and as Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Butz's film roles have included Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five (Pawnbroker), Noon Blue Apples (Howard Philips), and West of Here (Josiah Blackwell).

Butz's projects include the film Dan in Real Life (with Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook), released in October 2007, the world premiere of Is He Dead?, a hitherto unproduced Mark Twain play that opened at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on December 9, 2007, and Fifty Words Off-Broadway with Elizebeth Marvel at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (2008).[10] In January 2008, he appeared as Captain Richard King in the miniseries adaptation of the Lonesome Dove prequel, Comanche Moon.

Starting December 23, 2008, Butz stepped in to replace Jeremy Piven in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow; Piven suddenly and unexpectedly dropped out of the play after he experienced health problems. Butz took over the part until January 13, 2009, when William H. Macy assumed the role for the remainder of the play's run.[11]

Butz taught at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, for the spring semester in 2008 in the drama department.[12][13]

He starred as Rowdy Kaiser in the ABC show The Deep End.

From April to May 9, 2010, he returned to the Broadway stage in ENRON as Jeffrey Skilling.[14] Despite Tony nominations, the play struggled with ticket sales.

Butz starred in the 2011 drama indie film Higher Ground with Vera Farmiga, who also directed it.[15]

Butz originated the role of Carl Hanratty in the musical Catch Me If You Can which played pre-Broadway tryouts at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington, from July 28 through August 14, 2009.[16] Butz played the role of Carl Hanratty in the Broadway production of Catch Me if You Can, which opened on April 10, 2011,[17] and closed in September 2011. For this role he won his second Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical[18] and his second Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.[19]

In April 2012, Butz appeared as himself in one episode of the NBC musical drama Smash. Butz played Hal Wilner in Greetings from Tim Buckley, a film on Tim and Jeff Buckley, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[20][21]

From November 29, 2012 to January 6, 2013, Butz appeared on Broadway in Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts, opposite Katie Holmes, Jayne Houdyshell, Josh Hamilton, and Judy Greer.

In 2013 he starred in the new Andrew Lippa musical Big Fish, which premiered in Chicago in the spring and opened on Broadway in the Neil Simon Theatre in October, directed by Susan Stroman.[22]

In 2012, he played Uncle Peck in a limited engagement revival of Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive. He also starred in the 2013 film Better Living Through Chemistry. He played Kevin Rayburn in the 2015 Netflix television show Bloodline.

He also starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady as Alfred Doolittle, the father of the leading role, Eliza Doolittle. He earned a nomination for Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the production.

From July 9–28, 2019, he appeared in an original musical collaboration titled TWOHANDER at Feinstein's/54 Below alongside Sherie Rene Scott, with musical director Todd Almond.[23][24] Butz previously shared the stage with Scott in the original productions of the musicals Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Last Five Years.

In 2021, Butz played the role of Craig Maddox in the NBC drama series Debris which is written by J. H. Wyman.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five Pawnbroker
2000 Looking for an Echo Vocals for Anthony Pirelli
2002 Noon Blue Apples Howard Phillips
West of Here Josiah Blackwell
2007 Dan in Real Life Clay Burns
2010 Fair Game Steve
2011 Higher Ground Pastor Bill
2012 Greetings from Tim Buckley Hal Willner
Disconnect Peter
2013 The English Teacher Vice Principal Phil Pelaski
2014 Better Living Through Chemistry Agent Andrew Carp
2019 Luce Dan Towson
Wonder Park Peanut (voice)
Good Posture Neil
2020 Give or Take Ted
2021 Flag Day Doc
2022 Better Nate Than Ever Rex Foster
2023 The Exorcist: Believer Tony
Filming A Complete Unknown Alan Lomax


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit John Fenwick Episode: "Misleader"
2007 Playing Chicken Jake Unsold pilot
2008 Comanche Moon Richard King Episode: "#1.2"
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Archie Beuliss Episode: "In Treatment"
2010 The Deep End Rowdy Kaise 7 episodes
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Larry Lamotte Episode: "Bump and Grind"
2011 The Good Wife Mr. Medina Episode: "Two Courts"
Late Show with David Letterman Carl Hanratty Episode: "Dr. Phil/Chris Hemsworth/Catch Me If You Can"
Blue Bloods Detective Kramer Episode: "Moonlighting"
The Miraculous Year Terry Segal Television film
2012 County Billy Krakowski Unsold pilot
2015–2017 Bloodline Kevin Rayburn Main cast; 33 episodes
2016–2017 Mercy Street Dr. Byron Hale Main cast; 12 episodes
2018 Trust Gordon Getty 3 episodes
The First Matthew Dawes 2 episodes
2019 Fosse/Verdon Paddy Chayefsky Miniseries
Madam Secretary Lochlainn Heeney, Jr. 2 episodes
2021 Debris Craig Maddox Main cast
2022 The Girl from Plainville Conrad "Co" Roy II 8 episodes
2023 Justified: City Primeval Norbert Bryl Main cast


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Rent Roger Davis Broadway
1999-2000 Cabaret The Emcee US Tour
2000 Rent Roger Davis Broadway
2000 Juno and the Paycock Jerry Levine
2001–2002 Thou Shalt Not Camille Raquin Broadway
2002 The Last Five Years Jamie Wellerstein Off-Broadway
Carousel Jigger Craigin Concert
2003 Buicks Bill Abeline
2003–2004 Wicked Fiyero Broadway
2005–2006 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Freddy Benson Broadway & US Tour
2007–2008 Is He Dead? Jean-François Millet Broadway
2008–2009 Speed-the-Plow Bobby Gould Broadway
2008 Fifty Words Adam
2010 Enron Jeffrey Skilling Broadway
2011 Catch Me If You Can Agent Carl Hanratty Broadway
2012 How I Learned to Drive Uncle Peck
2012–2013 Dead Accounts Jack Broadway
2013 Big Fish Edward Bloom Broadway
2017 The Whirligig Michael
2018-2019 My Fair Lady Alfred P. Doolittle Broadway
2023 Cornelia Street Jacob

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2000 Dora Mavor Moore Award Best Leading Actor, Musical Theatre Cabaret Won
2002 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Thou Shalt Not Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical The Last Five Years Nominated
2003 Outstanding Actor in a Play Buicks Nominated
2005 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
2011 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Catch Me if You Can Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
2018 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical My Fair Lady Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
2019 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album[26] Nominated


  • Memory and Mayhem: Live at 54 Below (2013)[27]
  • The Angel Band Project: An Evening With Norbert Leo Butz (2014)
  • Girls Girls Girls: Live at 54 Below (2016)[28]
  • The Long Haul (2019)[29]


  1. ^ "Norbert Leo Butz Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  2. ^ Watkins, Barbara (May 3, 2012). "Eagle Hurst Ranch provides a real family vacation". Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  3. ^ "Norbert Leo Butz and the Root of Evil - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  4. ^ Nancy Rosati. "Spotlight On Norbert Leo Butz". Talkin' Broadway. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  5. ^ Laura Graesser (March 28, 2013). "Norbert Leo Butz Q&A". Ladue News. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  6. ^ "Honorary Degrees at Webster University". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Hetrick, Adam (July 22, 2009). "Catch Me If You Can Previews Cancelled Through July 26". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  8. ^ Green, Jesse (September 22, 2013). "Big Fish Star Norbert Leo Butz on How Tragedy Changed His Life and Career". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Wicked Sweethearts Norbert Leo Butz and Michelle Federer Welcome Baby Girl Georgia". January 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "'Fifty Words' Listing" Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway database, accessed November 20, 2011
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (December 18, 2008). "Jeremy Piven Abruptly Abandons Broadway Play". People. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  12. ^ Robert Wnorowski (30 November 2007). "Broadway performer to teach at Drew". The Acorn. Drew University. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  13. ^ Stacie MacLaughlin (22 February 2008). "Curtain rises for Broadway star's arrival". The Acorn. Drew University. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  14. ^ Diamond, Robert (January 7, 2010). "Tony-Winner Norbert Leo Butz to Star in ENRON on Broadway". BroadwayWorld.
  15. ^ Listing Internet MovieDatabase
  16. ^ Varley, Eddie (March 10, 2009). "Tveit and Butz Reveal 'CATCH ME' Casting, Musical Premieres at Seattle's 5th Ave 7/23-8/14". BroadwayWorld.
  17. ^ Hetrick, Adam (November 10, 2010). "Norbert Leo Butz, Aaron Tveit, Kerry Butler and Tom Wopat Set for Broadway's Catch Me If You Can". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth (May 24, 2011). "Drama Desk Awards Go to Book of Mormon, Normal Heart, War Horse, Sutton Foster, Norbert Leo Butz". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  19. ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 12, 2011). "War Horse, Book of Mormon, Anything Goes, Normal Heart Win 2011 Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  20. ^ "Tony Winners Norbert Leo Butz and Frank Wood Join Penn Badgley in Greetings from Tim Buckley". August 22, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  21. ^ Kurchak, Sarah (August 15, 2012). "TIFF 2012 Adds Greetings From Tim Buckley, Spike Lee's Bad 25 Michael Jackson Doc, Skrillex Soundtrack". Spinner. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  22. ^ Simonson, Robert (September 7, 2012). "PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Sept. 1-7: Hal David, Willy Wonka, Flashdance on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  23. ^ "Sherie Rene Scott & Norbert Leo Butz: TWOHANDER". Feinstein's/54 Below. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  24. ^ Soloski, Alexis (2019-07-08). "They Didn't Speak for Nearly a Decade. Then They Made a Show About It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 18, 2020). "'Debris': Norbert Leo Butz To Co-Star In NBC Sci-Fi Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  26. ^ Milligan, Kaitlin (December 7, 2018). "THE BAND'S VISIT, CAROUSEL & More Nominated for 2019 GRAMMY AWARDS". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  27. ^ "Norbert Leo Butz Shares Memory & Mayhem at CD Signing". January 16, 2013. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  28. ^ Tamanini, Matt (April 8, 2015). "BWW Interview: Norbert Leo Butz Discusses Working with his Idol on Netflix's BLOODLINE, His New Album, More". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  29. ^ Prahl, Amanda (September 23, 2019). "BWW Album Review: Norbert Leo Butz Is In It For THE LONG HAUL". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved 2020-01-20.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 May 2024, at 13:07
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