Columbus Keith Short, Jr. (born September 19, 1982) is an American choreographer, actor, and singer. He choreographed Britney Spears’s Onyx Hotel Tour and worked with Brian Friedman (of So You Think You Can Dance fame). He is best known for his roles in the films Stomp the Yard, Cadillac Records, Armored, and The Losers. He previously starred as a series regular in the ABC drama Scandal, as Harrison Wright. On April 26, 2014, it was announced that Short would leave Scandal after three seasons with the show.
Short was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a family he has described as “musical”. His mother, Janette, has a talent management company. He has two brothers, John Rancipher and Chris Staples. Short relocated to Los Angeles when he was five years old and immediately began working in a youth theater. He attended Marcos De Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona, as well as El Segundo High School and the Orange County High School of the Arts, before leaving to join the Off-Broadway tour of Stomp.
Short’s acting debut came as a dancer in You Got Served and he later appeared in Accepted, starring Justin Long. He then took lead roles in the direct-to-DVD movie Save the Last Dance 2 alongside Izabella Miko and Stomp the Yard. He has also appeared twice in the Disney Channel Original Series That’s So Raven as Trey, a member of the fictional boy band “Boyz n’ Motion”. Other TV appearances include ER and Judging Amy.
In 2006, he appeared in NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as novice show-writer Darius Hawthorne. He was among the presenters at the 2007 NAACP Image Awards.
In 2007, Columbus appeared in the movie This Christmas also starring Chris Brown and Lauren London.
In 2008, Short appeared in the movie Quarantine, co-starring Jay Hernandez and Jennifer Carpenter, and played the part of musician Little Walter in Cadillac Records, with Jeffrey Wright, Beyonce Knowles, and Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. In 2010, he played “Pooch” in the film The Losers, based on the graphic novel, co-starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, and Zoe Saldana, and directed by Sylvain White (Stomp The Yard).
Short was married to Brandi Short, but split from her in 2003. They have one son together. He was married to dancer Tanee McCall in 2005. In September 2013, she filed for divorce, and again filed for divorce in April 2014. They have one daughter, Ayala, together. In 2016 he announced his engagement to Aida Abramayan, who had previously served as his publicist. The couple has a son named Denzel Short who was born in early 2017.
As part of a no-jail plea deal in 2014, Short pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence. Short also avoided jail by pleading no contest to a felony assault charge after throwing a punch at his in-law. Short says he was being taunted and acted in self-defense, and his in-law admitted he had removed his jersey and was prepared to fight Short. In an interview with Access Hollywood Live, Short said that substance abuse, both alcoholism and cocaine use due to the stress of family issues and personal loss, led to his departure from Scandal.