Tituss Burgess has been cast in NBC’s Annie Live! … joining ensemble cast


Tituss Burgess has been cast in NBC’s Annie Live! … joining ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson, Harry Connick Jr. and Nicole Scherzinger


Tituss Burgess is set to join the cast of NBC’s Annie Live!

The 42-year-old entertainer is the latest addition to an ensemble cast that features Taraji P. Henson as Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. playing Daddy Warbucks and Nicole Scherzinger playing Grace.

The Athens, Georgia native will portray the role of Rooster, who is Hannigan’s scoundrel brother.

The latest: Tituss Burgess, 42, is set to join the cast of NBC’s Annie Live! as the latest addition to an ensemble cast that features Taraji P. Henson, Harry Connick Jr. and Nicole Scherzinger. He was snapped last week in LA 

‘I’ve always wanted to be a villain,’ Burgess, a six-time Emmy nominee, said in a statement.

The casting of the character Annie has yet to be named, amid a nationwide search for a child star for the coveted role. Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron, and Alex Rudzinsky are executive producers of the latest incarnation of Annie, which was first seen on Broadway in 1977.

Burgess, best known for playing Titus Andromedon on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, has amassed a number of screen and musical credits over the course of his career.

In recent years, he’s worked on the animated musical show Central Park, and plays Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, the director of Aretha Franklin’s church choir in the forthcoming Franklin biopic Respect.

Details: The Athens, Georgia native will portray the role of Rooster, who is Hannigan's scoundrel brother

Details: The Athens, Georgia native will portray the role of Rooster, who is Hannigan’s scoundrel brother

Burgess, a six-time Emmy nominee, said in a statement, 'I've always wanted to be a villain'

Burgess, a six-time Emmy nominee, said in a statement, ‘I’ve always wanted to be a villain’

Surging: The actor plays Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, the director of Aretha Franklin's church choir in the forthcoming Franklin biopic Respect, alongside Jennifer Hudson

Surging: The actor plays Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, the director of Aretha Franklin’s church choir in the forthcoming Franklin biopic Respect, alongside Jennifer Hudson

Speaking last year with Washington, D.C.’s Metro Weekly, he called the film ‘a beautifully written piece and … directed so brilliantly by Liesl Tommy.’

Burgess said he ‘was afforded the opportunity to play the role and it was kismet, if you will, because my first day of filming was Reverend Dr. James Cleveland’s birthday, December 5. It was almost like having his blessing.’

Burgess, who is openly gay, told the outlet about ‘the similarities’ between he and Cleveland ‘have nothing to do with my sexuality.

‘He’s a writer, I’m a writer,’ Burgess said. ‘He was a choir conductor, I conducted a choir when I was 12. He’s a man of faith, I am still very much a man of faith, and I have reconciled my own sexuality with my maker.

‘And he mentored Aretha Franklin, I love Aretha Franklin … so it was an easy fit in my book. And, once I was in hair and makeup, we look surprisingly similar.’

Annie Live! is set to air on NBC December 2.

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