Douglas Sills

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Douglas Sills
Douglas Howard Sills

(1960-07-05) July 5, 1960 (age 59)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan

Douglas Howard Sills (born July 5, 1960) is an American actor.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sills was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Rhoda (Nemeth) and Archie Sills,[2][3] and grew up in the suburb of Franklin, in a Jewish household.[4] He was friends (and did amateur theatrics and films) with both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.[1] Sills attended Cranbrook School, from which he graduated in 1978, and the University of Michigan where he majored in music. He then continued his education at the American Conservatory Theater in California.


During the 1990s, Sills built a solid reputation as a stage character actor, especially in the professional theaters of southern California. He also performed in several national tours, including Into the Woods and The Secret Garden, which would also feature future Broadway stars as James Stacy Barbour and Audra McDonald. He met his partner, Todd, in 1994 while touring with The Secret Garden.[5] His first Broadway role, however, came when composer Frank Wildhorn and lyricist Nan Knighton approached him in hopes of finding a male lead for their new musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Before this audition, Sills told his agent not to send him to any more auditions because he planned to attend law school. With a score in the 99th percentile on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Sills hoped to attend Stanford Law School. However, being a fan of the movie as a child, Sills decided to give acting one more chance and was offered the lead as Sir Percy Blakeney.[6]

Douglas Sills opened in his first Broadway show on November 9, 1997. Continuing the role in three other versions of the show, Sills received a Tony Award nomination. He portrayed the foppish hero in SP 1.0 (The Original Broadway Production, starring Terrence Mann, Christine Andreas & Gilles Chiason), SP 2.0 (Revised Broadway Production, starring Rachel York & Rex Smith), and for several months in the National Tour (4.0).[7][8] Although rumored as the title role of Wildhorn's Dracula, the Musical, Sills opted out (despite doing a recording demo), and rather Tom Hewitt portrayed the gothic character at the premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2001.[citation needed] He played Orin Scrivello, and several other roles in the 2003 Broadway revival cast of Little Shop of Horrors.[9]

In 2004, Sills joined the Broadway-bound Chicago production of Monty Python's Spamalot.[10] However, before the production began, Sills left on his own account due to reported "major script changes."[11] In early 2005, production plans were announced for Wildhorn's new musical Cyrano de Bergerac, from the same team that helped launch his career with The Scarlet Pimpernel.[12] The title role was written specifically for Sills,[13] however, producers dropped plans for the show in spring 2006 without explanation. A studio-concept recording was planned, starring Sills, Linda Eder and Rob Evan, but plans also quickly fell through.

In 2009, Sills starred opposite Kristin Chenoweth at the Encores! New York City Center production of Music in the Air, a long-forgotten Kern-Hamerstein musical from the 1930s. The concert-style version ran February 5 through February 8.[14] Sills assumed the role of Gomez Addams in the national tour of The Addams Family in September 2011 until the company's closing on December 30, 2012.[15]

From March 27 to April 12, 2013, Sills took on the role of Jack in Long Wharf Theatre's production of William Mastrosimone's Ride the Tiger.[16]

Sills played Walter Burns in La Jolla Playhouse's production of His Girl Friday from May 28 to June 30, 2013.[17]

Sills appeared on Broadway beginning in April 2015, playing an aging orchestra conductor in the comedy Living on Love, written by Joe DiPietro, starring Renee Fleming, Jerry O'Connell and Anna Chlumsky.[18]

He appears in the new musical Dave at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., starting in July 2018, in the role of Chief of Staff Bob Alexander. The musical has music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and the book by Benjamin and Thomas Meehan and is based on the 1993 film Dave.[19]


  1. ^ a b Blank, Matthew. "CUE & A: Tony-Nominated My Favorite Year Star Douglas Sills on Jerry Orbach, Talking to Animals and His Hebrew Name" Playbill, December 2, 2014
  2. ^ "Douglas Sills"
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Douglas Sills" Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Sam Whiting (2 April 2000). "Master of Disguise: 'Pimpernel' star could have been mistaken for a lawyer, or 'just' a singer". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  7. ^ Ernio Hernandez (19 November 2004). "Douglas Sills Leaves Upcoming Broadway Musical Monty Python's Spamalot". Playbill. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Ernio Hernandez (5 February 2009). "PHOTO CALL: There Is Music in the Air at City Center". Playbill. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Ernio Hernandez (15 July 2009). "Three Knights and a Lady Join Monty Python's Spamalot Round Table". Playbill. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Andrew Gans (14 August 2003). "Frank Wildhorn Penning New Cyrano Musical for Pimpernel Star". Playbill. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Andrew Gans (8 July 2003). "Be a Dentist: Douglas Sills Offered Role of Orin in Broadway Little Shop". Playbill. Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ Kenneth Jones (22 December 1999). "Douglas Sills Will Buckle His Swash For Scarlet Pimpernel Tour in 2000". Playbill. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ Kenneth Jones (20 February 2009). "Douglas Sills Swashbuckles Into Pimpernel Tour Feb. 20 in CT". Playbill. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ Robert Simonson (31 January 2005). "Frank Wildhorn's Cyrano to Play London in Spring 2006". Playbill. Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 2011-12-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Andrew Adler (20 September 2011). "'Addams Family' creative team comes to New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  16. ^ " 'Ride the Tiger' ", March 1, 2013
  17. ^ "Patrick Kerr, Mary Beth Peil and More Set for La Jolla Playhouse's 'His Girl Friday'; Full Cast Announced!", April 16, 2013
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: Renée Fleming Plays Against Type in ‘Living on Love’" The New York Times, April 20, 2015
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew. "World Premiere of 'Dave' Musical, Starring Drew Gehling and Mamie Parris, Opens at Arena Stage July 27" Playbill, July 27, 2018

External links[edit]