Idina Menzel

 

Date Of Birth

May 30, 1971
 

Biography

Idina Menzel began performing as a singer in weddings and bar mitzvahs at age 15, when her parents divorced. The job sustained her as she studied at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, where she eventually received a BFA in Drama.

Menzel received her big break in 1995, when she made her Broadway debut in the musical Rent. Originating the role of Maureen Johnson earned her a Tony nomination. Her next major stage appearance was in 2003, alongside Kristin Chenoweth in the musical Wicked; this earned her a Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Other notable stage roles include stints in Summer of '42 and Aida. In between her stage work Menzel released three albums, the first being 1998's Still I Can't Be Still. Her 2008 album, I Stand, is her most successful; it features a version of the iconic Wicked song, "Defying Gravity".

She also appeared in several on-screen projects, notably in the film adaptation of Rent and the Disney flick Enchanted. Her television work include recurring roles in Private Practice (where she appeared alongside husband Taye Diggs) and Glee, where she appeared as rival glee club head Shelby Corcoran. She nabbed the role after fans pointed out the similarity between her and series lead Lea Michele; her character later turned out to be the biological mother of Michele's Rachel Berry.

Menzel married her Rent co-star Taye Diggs in 2003. The two have a son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, who was born in 2009.
 

Place of Birth

Queens, New York, NY
 

Birth Name

Idina Kim Mentzel
 

Gender

Female
 

Fun Facts

- Idina's original last name is Mentzel; her parents decided to change it to Menzel to better reflect how they pronounced the name upon their arrival to America.
 

Awards

- Tony Award, Best Actress in a Musical, 2004 (for Wicked)
 

Filmography

FILM:
- Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
- The Tollbooth (2004)
- Water (2004)
- Rent (2005)
- Ask the Rust (2006)
- Enchanted (2007)

TELEVISION:
- Kevin Hill (recurring, 2005)
- Private Practice (recurring, 2009)
- Glee (recurring, 2010)
 

Nickname

None
 

Height

5'4"
 

Quotes

None