Chuck Cooper
Born (1954-11-08) November 8, 1954 (age 69)
(m. 2009)
Children3, including Lilli Cooper
AwardsTony Award (1997), Antonyo Lifetime Achievement Award (2020)

Chuck Cooper (born November 8, 1954) is an American actor. He won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as the pimp Memphis in The Life.


Cooper made his Broadway debut in 1983 in the musical Amen Corner, playing the role of Brother Boxer.[1][2] He was an understudy in the original Broadway casts of his next three shows: Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (he eventually took over the role of Adam), Passion, and Getting Away with Murder.

Cooper won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as the pimp Memphis in the 1997 Broadway production of the musical The Life.

Cooper has also appeared in Chicago as Billy Flynn, Caroline, or Change as the dual role of The Bus and The Dryer, and Finian's Rainbow as Bill Rawkins, as well as benefit performances of Hair and A Wonderful Life. In February 2010 he was the narrator in the U.S. premiere of Seven Scenes from Hamlet, by the Spanish composer Benet Casablancas, at the Miller Theatre in Manhattan.[3]

In 2015, Cooper appeared on Broadway as the slave Thomas in the new musical Amazing Grace, at the Nederlander Theatre.[4] The musical is about John Newton, the redeemed slave-trader who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace". In 2021, he returned for the Broadway debut production of Alice Childress's 1955 play Trouble in Mind, at Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre.[5] For this performance, he has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Personal life

Cooper has three children—Eddie, Alex, and Lilli—from his first marriage.[6] His son Eddie has performed on television and on stage.[7] In May 2009, Cooper and playwright Deborah Brevoort were married in Carmel, New York, after almost ten years of dating.[8] Their initial meeting and eventual engagement were covered in a New York Times website video.[9]


  1. ^ "Chuck Cooper Bio & Resume". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  2. ^ "Playbill News: Chuck Cooper Appears in Free Opera in Eden Concert Jan. 7". Archived from the original on January 10, 2008.
  3. ^ "Miller Theatre at Columbia University". July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Amazing Grace on the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ Green, Jesse (November 19, 2021). "Review: 'Trouble in Mind,' 66 Years Late and Still On Time". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  6. ^ "It's an Actor's Life for Broadway Papa Chuck Cooper and His Kids Eddie and Lilli | TheaterMania".
  7. ^ "Eddie Cooper Replaces His Dad Chuck Cooper in Little Shop of Horrors, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Ellen Greene".
  8. ^ "Deborah Brevoort and Chuck Cooper". The New York Times. May 30, 2009.
  9. ^ Monteleone, Michele (May 31, 2009). "Vows: Chuck and Deborah - Video Library - The New York Times". The New York Times.