In The CW's All American he plays Coach Bily Baker, a football coach from Beverly Hills High who lures Spencer James - a star athlete and student from South Central Los Angeles onto his school's team. The series is inspired by the life of the former N.F.L. linebacker Spencer Paysinger. Off the screen, Taye Diggs is a father to son Walker Nathaniel Diggs.
Find out what makes Taye Diggs tick.
1. He landed up on TV out of frustration
After breaking into the industry with his role as Angela Bassett's dream man in How Stella Got her Groove back, Taye decided to move full time onto the small screen. "I wasn’t getting good material in film," he told Entertainment Weekly. He has also had the opportunity to work behind the scenes as a producer.
2. His looks weren't always appreciated
In primary school, his classmates called "beady-eyed". That's when he started taking modern dance classes and lifted weights to fill his slim physique and boost his self-esteem. He was also insecure about the colour of his skin. "I was called all sorts of names, like Black Toast and Black Dot," he told People. "I didn't think I was handsome."
3. He loves to dance and sing
After getting his degree in musical theatre, Taye landed his first Broadway role in a 1994 production titled Carousel. He also participated in the original cast of the 1996 Rent and helped to make it the success it was.
4. He's always wanted a role that would force him to train
Although Taye Diggs only has a light background in football, he's always wanted a role which would push him to practice the sports. "And for a cat at my age, coaching fits perfectly, because from watching these practices there’s no way I could get in those pads and do what these kids do," he told People.
Catch Taye Diggs as Coach Billy Baker on All American every Thursday at 20:30 only on 1Magic, DStv Channel 103.