Wayne Brady to Co-Parent Ex-Wife and Her Partner’s Newborn Baby Boy: ‘Honored to Be in His Life’
Wayne Brady and ex-wife Mandie Taketa are also parents to 18-year-old daughter Maile
Wayne Brady to Co-Parent Ex-Wife and Her Partner’s Newborn Baby Boy: ‘Honored to Be in His Life’
Wayne Brady is expanding on his role as dad.
Last month, the 49-year-old actor announced on Instagram that his ex-wife Mandie Taketa and her boyfriend Jason Fordham welcomed a baby boy via adoption, whom he would be co-parenting along with the couple.
Get push notifications with news, features and more.
“He’s gonna call me Duncle (Daddy/Uncle) because I plan on being around and doing all that stuff,” Brady, who is also the baby’s godfather, shared in an Instagram video.
“Hey y’all, meet Sunny! I love this little man already. They say it takes a village to raise a child and they’re right! The village of @mandietaketa, myself, and @jasonmichaelfordham raised @theofficialmailebrady,” the TV host captioned the video. “All children will know is love if that’s what you show them. I’m honored to be in his life as his ‘Duncle’ and I love Mandie and Jason for including me in their journey.”
Brady and Taketa are also parents to 18-year-old daughter Maile.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
wayne brady Credit: wayne brady/ instagram
Taketa announced the exciting news of the new addition on her Instagram, writing that she and Fordham “expanded our blended family” and welcomed “birth mom, Ana” and son “Sundance-Isamu.”
“Ana, thank you for making me a mommy again along with you. Thank you for blessing Jason with the gift of fatherhood, making Maile a big sister, & Wayne a godfather. He’s going to spoil Sunny like crazy!” she added.
Earlier this month, Brady shared a sweet series of photos with his godson both dressed in Versace.
Wayne Brady Will Coparent Ex-Wife Mandie Taketa’s Newborn Son
Baby love! Wayne Brady will help his ex-wife Mandie Taketa coparent her newborn son.
The Let’s Make a Deal host, 49, took to Instagram last month to share the happy news that Taketa, 45, and her partner, Jason Fordham, welcomed a son via adoption. Brady also announced that he will have a hand in raising the little guy.
“Hey y’all, meet Sunny! I love this little man already,” he wrote at the time alongside a video of him holding the tiny newborn, whose full name is Sundance-Isamu. “They say it takes a village to raise a child and they’re right!”
That village includes him, his ex and her boyfriend, the Whose Line Is It Anyway? alum went on to explain. “All children will know is love if that’s what you show them,” he continued. “I’m honored to be in his life as his ‘Duncle’ and I love Mandie and Jason for including me in their journey.”
Brady and Taketa separated in April 2006 after seven years of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in 2008. Despite their split, the How I Met Your Mother alum and actress have stayed close through the years as they continue to coparent their 18-year-old daughter, Maile.
In November 2019, Brady told Us Weekly that the secret to successful coparenting is “time and knowing when to let things go for the greater good.” It helped, he added, that the dancer is “the most amazing woman in the world and one of the most amazing moms, I think, that has ever walked the planet.”
The Broadway actor told Us, “Our daughter’s proof of that and the fact that she slaps me into shape. She’s the reason I think that I’ve had the success I have.”
The Masked Singer season 2 champ spent the early days of the coronavirus pandemic living with Taketa and Fordham. While some may have thought that would be awkward, he told Us in December 2020, “It’s, like, every other day.”
Brady still calls his ex his “best friend,” he continued, telling Us, “She’s my family and her boyfriend is part of that family. So who else would I spend this time with? … I’m very fortunate that we have that type of relationship.”
After welcoming their new baby, Taketa and Fordham shared a video via Instagram that documented their journey to becoming new parents, which started in March. “We’ve expanded our blended family,” she wrote on September 19, adding that Brady, who is the little boy’s godfather, is “going to spoil Sunny like crazy!”
Before Taketa, Brady was married to Diana Lasso from 1993 to 1995.
5 Messages Wayne Brady Has for Freestyle Love Supreme’s Broadway Audiences
Nearly two years to the day after making its Broadway debut, Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip-hop improv show conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is returning to the Booth Theatre October 7-January 12, 2022 to join in the celebration of Broadway’s reawakening. Just like last time, the production’s regulars will welcome guest performers at each show, and Wayne Brady, once again, was more than happy to nab some of those slots.
The multi-hyphenate performer has plenty to keep him busy without a Broadway schedule, but, in his own words, “How could I not want to have fun with my friends and bring improv to Broadway?” Freestyle Love Supreme is a one-of-a-kind Broadway experience, and to enjoy it to its fullest extent, here are a few pieces of information Brady thinks audiences should know from the start.
Wayne Brady will be a guest performer with Broadway’s Freestyle Love Supreme at the Booth Theatre.
(© Tricia Baron)
- Improv is improv.
If you’re an improv aficionado who’s used to consuming your comedy fare in scrappy basement theaters at haphazard late-night hours, do not fret. Freestyle Love Supreme is the same dish, just served at a cozier establishment. “If you’re in the Groundlings, Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, Who’s Line…, my own touring show— the art is the art. What makes it different is the format. This format is something unlike Broadway has ever used.” When you remember that the production slated to take over the Booth Theatre after Freestyle Love Supreme’s first Broadway run was a revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, that point is put into stark relief. If anything, this could be your one chance to do as much shouting in a Broadway theater as Martha and George.
- Don’t be shy!
When a show calls for participation, audiences tend to tread lightly. After all, if you’ve ever been heckled by a comedian, or mocked by a magician, or molested by a Cabaret Emcee, you know the risks. Brady, however, would like you to shed all your past participatory traumas and arrive willing to share your personal stories without reservation. “Come with an open mind,” he says. “Come with an open mind and just know, especially in a show like Freestyle Love Supreme, ‘love’ is there in the title for a reason. We love doing the show. We love the audience. We are never there to make the audience feel bad or stupid.”
Brady performing with Aneesa Folds, Arthur Lewis, and Daveed Diggs in Freestyle Love Supreme.
(© Joan Marcus)
- Brady’s work for the Broadway community does not end when the curtain comes down.
Freestyle Love Supreme marks Brady’s third Broadway credit, following his 2004 turn as Billy Flynn in Chicago and his 2015 and 2018 runs as Lola in Kinky Boots. He of course also performed the role of Aaron Burr in the Chicago run of Hamilton in 2017, and you may have seen him sing the role of Django in the viral TikTok musical Ratatouille last winter. Though he considers himself a relative Broadway newcomer, the Drama League acknowledged his contributions to the community with an invitation to join its National Advisory Council, and it plans to honor him at the organization’s annual fall benefit on October 18. As a member of the Advisory Council, as well as the Broadway community at large, Brady says he hopes to move the needle in terms of inclusive, representative, and fresh storytelling. “I don’t need to see another Oklahoma! Nothing against Oklahoma!,” says Brady, commenting on the fears of those who would rather resist moving away from old traditions. But that very project is how he characterizes his work. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted since I was a kid — to see stories of people who looked like me. All of our stories.”
Brady (right) onstage with Chris Sullivan and Daveed Diggs.
(© Joan Marcus)
- Phoning it in is not an option.
There are no lines to memorize or character traits to sculpt for a performance of Freestyle Love Supreme. But that doesn’t mean Brady can simply roll out of bed and hop onstage. “At the end of doing any type of improvisational show, especially an improvisational musical, I find that I am weary because of all the mental expenditure,” Brady explains. “You always have to be listening. In any improvisational piece, you have to be completely ready at a moment’s notice to change.” He acknowledges that listening is key to any scripted show as well — and gives a special nod to the physical challenges Aaron Burr and Lola uniquely presented (“Doing Kinky Boots…oh my God, I couldn’t even think about going out. I had to ice my feet and sleep.") However, there is no wiggle room in terms of not being present and 100 percent engaged during a Freestyle Love Supreme show. “You can’t check out during an improv show,” he says. What happens when you press him to think if there has been even a single moment in his improv career when he may have let his mind wander? He misses no beats before declaring, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not.”
- He’s having a blast.
Brady was inducted into the Freestyle family several years ago when he played Lin-Manuel Miranda’s boss in a sitcom pilot that centered around the improv group. “It has never been seen by the general public, but it’s great,” says Brady. So performing with the members of FLS is more like a reunion than a job to him. “Doing something with those guys, it’s just having fun with your friends. The fun that you’re having just happens to be a great show.” The last missing piece, Brady says, is the audience. “You can do all the press and rehearsal — but it’s not real until you can hear the audience. That’s when we’ll know we’re back.”
Tituss Burgess, Telly Leung, Andre De Shields & More to Honor Wayne Brady at LIGHT THE LIGHTS! Benefit
The Drama League has revealed a slate of artists who will be participating in the organization’s benefit event, Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration, on October 18, 2021, at The Players (16 Gramercy Park South). Honoring Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominee Wayne Brady, the event will be hosted by Grammy Award-winner Kandi Burruss and will feature performances by Broadway stars Tituss Burgess, André De Shields, Telly Leung, Bonnie Milligan, and one more to be announced; additional artists speaking at the event include Josh Bergasse, Brenda Braxton, and Jerry Mitchell, with a special video message from Chita Rivera.
The Drama League is also delighted to announce the winners of the TikTok songwriting challenge. The contest, launched earlier this month, challenged composers to post an original Broadway-style “Anthem for the Future of Theatre” on TikTok - a platform that has been instrumental in uplifting emerging theatre professionals during the pandemic. The winning composers/lyricists are Deborah Abramson & Amanda Yesnowitz, Nico Juber & Selena Seballo, Jordan Li-Smith, Paulie Pecorella & Sean McCabe, and Alec Powell. Each songwriting team won $250, and the five winning Anthems will be performed at the benefit by one of the evening’s performers.
The creative team behind the evening’s program at Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration includes The Drama League’s Artistic Line Producer Ali Skye Bennet, Director Ben Villegas Randle, Music Director David Evans, Production Manager Alberto Ruiz, Lighting Designer Jenn Burkhardt, Stage Manager Rachel Gross, Assistant Stage Manager Veronica Lee, Producing Assistant Latrice Smith, and Social Media Strategist Molly Barson. The onstage musicians include David Evans (piano), Michael Blanco (bass), Greg Skaff (guitar), and Joe Nero (percussion); prior to the main program, guests will be treated to the musical stylings of pianist Eliza Randall.
“I am a proud sponsor of The Drama League’s Light the Lights benefit,” says Board President Bonnie Comley, Founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, “because I am passionate about supporting the growth of their Directors Project programs, which provide directors with opportunities and access not available anywhere else. I believe Directors are essential to storytelling and when we invest in their career growth, we help strengthen the entire theatre community.”
For tickets to the Benefit or ad space in the digital journal, call 212.244.9494 ext 111 or email email@example.com. Tickets can be purchased, and contributions made, through dramaleague.org/benefit as well.
Light the Lights! A Drama League Celebration is supported by Sceneworks Studios, the 2021 Benefit Sponsor, and BroadwayHD, the Venue Sponsor. The event is co-chaired by Drama League Board Members Mary C. Jain and Joe Pizza. Leadership support is also provided by the benefit’s Vice Chairs Bonnie Comley & Stewart F. Lane, John Gore Organization, and Stan Ponte & John Metzner. The Benefit Committee includes CBS, City National Bank, EY, Lakeview Productions, Nederlander Organization, and Talu Productions.
A major portion of every ticket purchased is tax-deductible. All proceeds from The Drama League’s Light the Lights benefit support The Directors Project and The Drama League’s mission to provide a life-long artistic home for directors.
For more information visit: www.dramaleague.org
‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Sneak Peek: Wayne Brady & Alison Sweeney Star in a Soap Opera (VIDEO)
Let’s Make a Deal is partnering with Stand Up 2 Cancer for the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Special on Monday, October 4, and TV Insider has an exclusive sneak peek of host Wayne Brady acting out a scene that should be a bit familiar to him for a contestant.
The Bold and the Beautiful actor is joined by special guest, actress, and SU2C ambassador Alison Sweeney (Days of Our Lives) to act out a soap opera scene as a clue for Kristie. “Pay close attention to the scene that we do,” Brady says the contestant before turning to announcer Jonathan Mangum. “Can you give us something to base this scene on?” He suggests a holiday.
After they move over to the stage for their performance, all that’s left is to have a little “daytime drama theme music” playing and to get a name for the soap opera. Then, after Brady and Sweeney act out a scene from Who’s That Coming In? (on CBS, of course), the host turns to the contestant and asks, “What did you get from this scene? What did you hear?”
See Also Ask Matt: When the Emmys Become the Streamys Plus, thoughts on ‘NCIS: Hawai’i,’ questions about Michael K. Williams' series ‘Hap and Leonard,’ ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ and more.
Watch the clip above to see the scene (and who works the title of the soap opera into the dialogue) as well as the contestant’s response.
This special is designed to bring awareness to breast cancer research with an audience full of thrivers and survivors. Sweeney joins the show to help celebrate these courageous women and men with a life changing $20,000 Mega Money Monday giveaway, breathtaking games, winning moments, and inspiring stories.
Let’s Make a Deal Breast Cancer Awareness Special, Monday, October 4, CBS