A native of Cleveland, Dick Latessa has been active on and off Broadway for the past forty years in both musicals and stage plays. He made his Broadway debut in the role of Giovanni Pastora in the 1968 musical, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, by Paul Nassau and Oscar Brand, but did not win his first Tony® – for Best Featured Actor in a Musical – until 2003 in the role of Wilbur Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical adaptation of Hairspray.
Latessa has divided his time between stage and small screen. In 1970, he originated the role of Major-Domo in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and then appeared in a string of Neil Simon stage plays before performing in his next musical, the ill-fated Strouse and Schwartz vehicle, Rags, which ran for only four performances before closing in 1986. In 1991, he originated the role of Clem Rogers in The Will Rogers Follies, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
Dick Latessa later appeared in a number of musical revivals on Broadway, including Ross and Adler’s Damn Yankees (1994), Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996), and was a replacement for Herr Schultz in the 1998 revival of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret.
More recently, Latessa has appeared off Broadway, in the New York City Center “Encore!” revival production of Music in the Air, by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. He is now enjoying great success on Broadway as Dr. Dreyfuss in the revival of Promises, Promises with Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes, which opened on April 25, 2010.