You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
"I've spent 20 years in professional theatre where you're always learning something. I think it's nice to be learning so much so quickly about the small frame [of TV] and the size of my performance. It's great to work with people like Marcia Cross and that ['Desperate Housewives'] cast. They're all so skilled. There's a lot to be learned. You're constantly faced with new challenges." Roger Bart
Tony and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actor Roger Bart initially garnered praise for his impressive portrayal of Snoopy in the revised Broadway production of the musical comedy “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (1999). A veteran of the stage, he received another Tony nomination for playing Carmen Ghia in the comedy-musical "The Producers" (2004), and later reprised the role in its feature adaptation in 2005. He returned to "The Producers" on Broadway during 2006-2007, taking the role of the mousy accountant Leo Bloom.
"I love doing stage! I don't need to be doing ‘The Producers.’ I love it! I think it's good for you; as my uncle would say, 'It keeps your chops up.' My home is theatre. I see it as the most challenging, most wonderful, most immediate medium. More than any other, it's really the actor's medium. Television is more a writer's medium; movies, a director's medium." Roger Bart
On the small screen, the talented thespian is recognized by TV viewers for his role of villainous pharmacist George Williams (2005-2006), who became fixated with Marcia Cross' Bree Van de Camp, in the megahit ABC soap "Desperate Housewives." He has also guest starred on the NBC crime/legal drama series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order."
The performer, who sang the Oscar-nominated song "Go the Distance" in the Disney animated feature "Hercules" (1997), could also be seen in the films "The Insider" (1999), "The Stepford Wives" (2004), "Hostel: Part II" (2007), "American Gangster" (2007) and "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" (2008). Next, he will appear in the upcoming films "Doubting Thomas" and "The Midnight Meat Train."
Bart is a proud father of two. He currently divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.
Connecticut-Born, New Jersey-Raised
Childhood and Family:
"I don't feel like a Connecticut-ite; I feel like a Jersey-ite. That's where I spent most of my life." Roger Bart
Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, on September 29, 1962, Roger Bart was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, and later resided in Bernardsville. Son of a chemical engineer and a schoolteacher, Roger has one sister and two brothers. His uncle is Peter Bart, editor-in-chief of “Variety.”
Roger graduated from Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1985 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He has two daughters, Alexandra and Ella Bart. He currently divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.
"I should be able to afford my [older] kid's second year at the University of Pennsylvania. She's having a great time. My little one [born the night of the first ‘Producers’ preview] is four-and-a-half and in her second smash year at Pre-K." Roger Bart
Two years after receiving his BFA degree from Rutgers, Roger Bart made his Broadway debut in 1987 when he was cast as Tom Sawyer in the musical based on Mark Twain's classic 1884 novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," “Big River.” He also did two plays at Off Broadway's Public Theater, “Up Against It” and “Henry IV” (Parts I & II).
In the early 1990s, Bart portrayed Martha's brother Dickon, who claims to converse with animals, in the national tour of the musical "The Secret Garden" (1992), which was based on the 1909 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. He also guest starred on the season premiere of Fox’s sitcom "The George Carlin Show," playing Carlin's long-lost son, and toured in the first of The Who's two full-scale rock operas, "The Who's Tommy" (1994), playing Tommy's cousin Kevin, the "school bully" who bullies Tommy when left at home with him.
Bart subsequently toured in the musical based on the Shepherd Mead's popular 1952 book, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1996), playing Bud Frump, the lazy and nepotism-minded nephew of Mr. Biggley. The following year, he was cast as Jonathan in the New York City premiere of the Alan Menken-Tim Rice’s "King David" (1997), at the Disney's newly-renovated New Amsterdam Theater. He also provided the singing voice of young Hercules in the Disney animated feature about the powerful son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera, "Hercules" (1997), where he performing the Oscar-nominated song "Go the Distance."
From 1997 to 1998, Bart had a featured role as Hermocrates' valet Harlequin in the chamber musical based on the 1732 Pierre de Marivaux play "Le Triomphe de l'Amour," "Triumph of Love," directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Doug Varone. Afterward, he acted in an evening of one-acts, "Fit to Print: Remotely Controlled" (1999), at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York, and had a small role as the Seelbach Hotel manager in director Michael Mann's Oscar-nominated, fact-based drama, "The Insider" (1999), starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.
1999 saw Bart win both Tony and Drama Desk Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Snoopy in the revised Broadway production of the musical comedy based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip "Peanuts," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Despite its critical reviews, the production closed just one week after the Tony broadcast, having played only 14 previews and 149 performances.
“'Charlie Brown' was great and a lot of hard work. There were not many of us on that stage, but we loved it! It's a strange, very melancholy, thing to win a Tony and only do eight shows after that [before closing]. It's such an interesting business. When the Tony came in the mail, I was flat broke and on my way to an audition [for a commercial] to be the voice of a bird. I didn't get it." Roger Bart
Entering the new millennium, Bart was spotted as a guest on NBC’s crime/legal drama series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order." He also portrayed the role of Warren, the heroine's geeky fiancé, in the Encores! concert staging of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," in which he was reunited with "Charlie Brown" co-star and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth, and succeeded playwright-star Mark Setlock in the one-person show "Fully Committed."
Bart earned a Tony and Drama Desk nominations in 2001 for portraying Carmen Ghia, the gay “secretary” to the world's worst director and flamboyant homosexual Roger De Bris' (portrayed by Gary Beach), in the comedy-musical adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1968 film, "The Producers," at the St. James Theatre, in New York City. In 2005 he reprised his role in its feature adaptation that stars Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Uma Thurman. From 2006 to 2007, he returned to "The Producers" on Broadway, this time taking the role of the mousy accountant Leo Bloom.
Meanwhile, Bart also starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick in the Frank Oz-directed dark comedy/science fiction film based on the Ira Levin novel, "The Stepford Wives" (2004), playing Roger Bannister, the live-in gay partner to David Marshall Grant's Jerry Harmon.
On how he got the part in the film, Bart recalled, "Paul Rudnick wrote the part for me. I didn't audition. [Producer] Scott Rudin had seen me [as Carmen] in 'The Producers' and asked if I'd like to do the movie. I almost fell over. It was a big gas, man, hobnobbing with Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler. It had a great cast: Christopher Walken, Glenn Close… I was lucky to have been a part of it."
That same year, from July to October 2004, Bart starred as Xanthias in the Stephen Sondheim musical based on Aristophanes' play, “The Frogs,” which was helmed by Susan Stroman of “The Producers.” He replaced Chris Kattan shortly before the musical opened. The play also stars Nathan Lane as Dionysos.
From 2005 to 2006, TV viewers could catch Bart playing the obsessively creepy pharmacist George Williams, who becomes fixated with Bree Van de Camp (played by Marcia Cross), in ABC's hit soap, "Desperate Housewives." Bart's character became a series regular in the second season.
Talking about his character, Bart admitted, "Playing someone as psychotic as George has been really, really fun. I get these juicy little scenes that are just a tad menacing. It's refreshing; I've been used to a different kind of role.”
He also said, "One of the reasons I was hired is that for the few people who knew me [among TV viewers], the last thing you'd expect is for me to turn horrifying. For the public that doesn't know me, I don't think I look like a menacing, scary person. So it's sort of nice to think that the neighborhood pharmacist who wears the big grin and is sort of affable would turn into such a lunatic. Based on what I've read on the internet, I don't go there anymore; it scares me, if they wanted to make America loathe me, they succeeded."
Recently, moviegoers saw Bart co-star as Stuart in Eli Roth's "Hostel: Part II," the 2007 sequel to the 2005 horror film "Hostel" about a torture ring in Europe, and as a U.S. attorney in Ridley Scott's Academy Award-nominated crime film set in 1970s America, "American Gangster," alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
On stage, he portrayed the title role in Mel Brooks' Broadway musical, "Young Frankenstein," based on the 1974 comedy film of the same name. After tryouts in Seattle, Washington, and four weeks of previews, the musical that was directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman opened on Broadway on November 8, 2007, at the Hilton Theatre to mixed reviews.
Bart recently appeared in the comedy movie "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" (2008; starring John Cho and Kal Penn), the sequel to the 2004 movie "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" directed and written by Jon Hurwitz and Hay Schlossberg. He has also completed his upcoming films projects, "Doubting Thomas," an action-comedy directed by Mark Blutman and starring Forrest Landis and AnnaSophia Robb in which he will play Principal Hampton, and "The Midnight Meat Train," a horror movie helmed by Ryuhei Kitamura based on Clive Barker's 1984 short story of the same name in which he will co-star with Bradley Cooper, Vinnie Jones, Leslie Bibb and Brooke Shields.
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, "Desperate Housewives," 2006
Tony: Best Featured Actor in a Musical, "You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown," 1999
Drama Desk: Best Featured Actor in a Musical, "You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown," 1999