If you look Anthony Rapp up in Google, the site immediately suggests a search for Kevin Spacey. This has the cruel effect of making Rapp known more for some of the worst events in his life. He deserves to be known for more than blowing the whistle on Spacey for sexual assault. Let’s learn more about the Broadway legend.
The Spacey Story
Let’s get this out of the way first. In 2017, Rapp spoke out about Spacey attempting to molest him. Rapp alleges that Spacey placed him on a bed and made unwanted sexual advances. Rapp was 14 years old at the time. Over the last few years, the two have been locked in litigation, and Spacey’s career has effectively been over. To distill Rapp’s career down to this incident is just plain wrong, as it acts as if he’s just a figure in the orbit of his alleged abuser. Rapp is so much more.
Rapp is an actor, writer, activist, and Broadway legend. His Broadway career began in 1981 when he starred in a musical based on The Little Prince. He’s worked regularly on stage ever since, including as Charlie Brown in 1999’s You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also brought the character of Lucas to life in If/Then, first on Broadway then on tour.
Rapp’s most beloved role is that of Mark Cohen in Rent. He was part of the show’s original 1996 cast alongside Taye Diggs, Adam Pascal, and Idina Menzel. The play was a cultural phenomenon and became a cultural touchstone for the AIDS crisis. Rapp has returned to the play numerous times in the last few decades and starred in the divisive film adaptation.
The connection to Rent is so strong that it led Rapp to write a book. In 2006, he published a memoir entitled Without You about Rent, his mother, and his life. He turned the book into a one-man show.
Films And TV As Well
The stage is just one platform for Rapp. He made his film debut in Chris Columbus’ Adventures in Babysitting in 1987. He’s gotten steady work ever since, with some highlights including an iconic roll in Dazed and Confused, along with Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zelleweger, and many more. He also played an important role in the Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind alongside Russell Crowe.
What’s He Up To Now?
On top of movies and television, Rapp is also a television star. He appeared in the musical episode of Psych and had a few turns on various versions of Law & Order. These roles pale in comparison to his role as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery. He’s the first openly gay character in the history of Star Trek. This is fitting, for Rapp’s been a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for decades.