Billy Porter

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Tony, Grammy & Emmy-Award Winning Actor

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Billy Porter: Biography at a Glance

  • Billy Porter is a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award-winning actor, singer, director, composer and playwright.
  • In 2019, he received the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his starring role in FX’s hit series Pose.
  • Porter made history by becoming the first openly gay man of color to win the category.
  • He won the 2013 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his groundbreaking performance as “Lola” in Kinky Boots. Other Broadway acting credits include Miss SaigonFive Guys Named MoeGreaseSmokey Joe’s Café, the 20th Anniversary Broadway concert of Dreamgirls and the highly-acclaimed Shuffle Along.
  • Porter’s other film and television credits include The Humbling, The Broken Hearts Club, Intern, NoelShake Rattle & Roll, Another WorldTwistedLaw & OrderLaw & Order: SVUThe Big C, The Oprah Winfrey ShowA Very Rosie Christmas, and The Tonight Show among others.



Billy Porter is an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA. He currently stars as ‘Pray Tell’, in the FX series Pose,” for which he has received an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series in addition to Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations. 

On television, Porter recently appeared in Baz Luhrman’s “The Get Down,” starring Justice Smith, Shameik Moore and Herizen Guardiola. In addition to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Big C,” "Law & Order,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story”,” as well as a season long recur on “American Horror Story: Apolcalypse.” Under the direction of Barry Levinson, Porter co-starred in The Humbling, alongside Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig. His other film credits include Noel, The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, Intern, Anastasia and Twisted.

A veteran of the theatre, Porter originated the role of ‘Lola’ in the smash hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Other Broadway acting credits include the Tony nominated Broadway musical, Shuffle Along, directed by George C. Wolfe. Miss SaigonFive Guys Named MoeGreaseSmokey Joe’s Café and Dreamgirls (20th Anniversary Broadway Concert and LA Ovation Award). Off Broadway and regional credits include Angels in America (Signature Theater), Romance In Hard TimesThe Merchant of VeniceHouse of Lear and Radiant Baby (The New York Shakespeare Festival), Birdie Blue (Second Stage), Angels in America (1st NY revival, Signature Theatre), Going Native (The Long Wharf), Jelly’s Last Jam (Alliance), Topdog/Underdog (City Theatre), King Lear (Exit, Pursued By A Bear), Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World (original cast), Jesus Christ SuperstarAntigoneA Chorus Line and Chicago. His one-man show, Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am, debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh and was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award. Porter was also named “Pittsburgh’s Performer of the Year 2003-2004” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

As a recording artist, Porter’s newest album, The Soul of Richard Rodgers, was released on Sony Masterworks. His solo albums include his first CD, Untitled, on A&M records and his sophomore album, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul - LIVE. Additionally, Billy’s Back on Broadway was released in 2014. Featuring ten classics made famous on the Great White Way that focus on inspiration, empowerment and hope, the album’s title (and cover art) is a nod to Sammy Davis, Jr.’s recording Sammy’s Back on Broadway.

His most recent single Love Yourself premiered as #1 on Billboard's Club/Dance Songs Chart. 

As a director, Porter’s work includes Dan McCabe's The Purists as well as the revivals of George C. Wolf’s plays, The Colored Museum and Top Dog/Underdog at the prestigious Huntington Theater. Porter also has directed a critically acclaimed recreation of The Wiz and conceived a musical revue entitled Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder, which starred Chaka Khan and ran at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas in the spring of 2002. Additionally, Porter conceived and directed Being Alive, which made its world premiere in the summer of 2007 at The Westport Country Playhouse and immediately transferred to The Philadelphia Theatre Company, inaugurating their new Suzanne Roberts Theatre. His additional directing credits include Twilight In ManchegoOnce On This Island (NAACP Theatre Award Winner), The Soul of Richard RodgersFive Guys Named Moe, Altar BoyzRENT (Associate Director: Off-Broadway Revival) and Wicked Summer Nights Concert Series. Porter made his London directorial debut in the fall of 2009 with Olivier Award Nominee Patina Miller at Live in the Delfont Room. Primary Stages presented the highly successful World Premiere of While I Yet Live, which he wrote, that played at the off Broadway Duke Theater.

Porter is also a graduate of The Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University’s School Of Drama, where he has directed productions of Company and Letters From ‘Nam. Additionally, Porter has received an honorary doctorate from Washington & Jefferson College as well as Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Porter will next be seen co-starring with Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Selma Hayak in Paramount Pictures feature film “Like A Boss.”

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