Harry Connick to Play Daddy Warbucks on NBC’s ‘Annie Live!’

Harry Connick Jr. in NBC's Annie Live!

Harry Connick Jr. will play Daddy Warbucks when NBC presents Annie Live! Dec. 2. Sir Oliver Warbucks is described by NBC as “the larger-than-life billionaire who opens his heart and home to little orphan Annie.”

Taraji P. Henson will play Miss Hannigan. 

“Now that the amazing Harry Connick Jr. is set to embody Daddy Warbucks, we look forward to shaping the iconic role to tap Harry’s immense skill set as a multi-talented performer,” said Jen Neal, executive VP, entertainment live events, specials and E! News, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “He and Taraji P. Henson will anchor the rest of the cast and we can’t wait to see their on-stage dynamic in our version of Annie.”

Annie goes back to a comic strip in 1924. The casting search continues for the main character. 

Singer/songwriter Connick’s movie work includes Hope Floats, Dolphin Tale and Independence Day. His TV work includes Will and Grace and American Idol, where he was a judge in 2004-2016. He hosted daytime show Harry, which premiered in 2016 and went for two seasons.  

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play Daddy Warbucks in Annie Live! and working alongside Taraji P. Henson is a dream come true,” Connick said. “I love this show, and its musical message of love and hope couldn't come at a better time.” 

Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski sharing the directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Paul Tazewell will design costumes. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.

“We are thrilled to have Harry Connick Jr. playing Daddy Warbucks. He’s a true entertainer who sings — and dances — with the best of them, and he will bring a completely fresh approach to this character. And he will give Taraji P. Henson‘s Miss Hannigan a run for her money for Annie!” said Greenblatt. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.