|Benjamin Augustus Vereen was born on October 10, 1946, in Miami, Florida. When he was young, his family moved to Brooklyn, New York.
After attending the High School for the Performing Arts, Vereen starred in Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Pippin before reaching a nationwide audience as "Chicken George" in the popular miniseries Roots in 1977.
On June 9, 1992, Vereen was critically injured when he was struck by a car driven by producer and composer David Foster near Vareen's home in Malibu, California.
Less than a year later, Vereen made a triumphant return to Broadway in Jelly's Last Jam.