Jodi Benson is an American actress, voice actress, and singer best known for her role in Disney’s The Little Mermaid where she provided both the speaking and the singing voice of Princess Ariel.
She is also the voice behind Toy Story’s Barbie in the movies Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, as well as in the Toy Story Toon: Hawaiian Vacation.
Jodi Benson’s Early Life
Jodi Benson was born Jodi Marie Marzorati on October 10, 1961 in Rockford Illinois.
During her elementary and middle school years, she attended the St. James Elementary and Middle School, before moving on to Boylan Catholic High School for her secondary education.
She attended the Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois for college, where she later on became the one of the first students to study under the BFA program for musical theater.
Jodi Benson’s Personal Life
Jodi Benson married Rey Benson in May 19, 1984, and they have two children together — McKinley, who was born in January of 1999, and Delaney, who was born in 2001.
Jodi Benson’s Early Career
Before taking on the lead role of Princess Ariel in the Disney classic hit The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson only had one role credited to her name: 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind animated film.
Jodi Benson’s Movies and TV Shows
Shortly after The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson went on to play countless other voice roles in mostly animated Disney movies and TV shows. Among these roles are Thumbelina, Weebo of Flubber, Ann Darrow of The Mighty Kong, Helen of Troy for the Hercules TV series, Aquagirl of Batman Beyond, and Asenath of Joseph: King of Dreams.
She also later on reprised her role as Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, before taking on other roles like The Blue Fairy of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Linda of the Powerpuff Girls, Anita of 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure, Princess Judith of Ben 10: Alien Force, as well as Barbie in Toy Story 2 and 3.
Jodi Benson’s Role in Video Games
Apart from the countless voice roles she’s played in both animated movies and TV shows, Jodi Benson also lent her to voice numerous popular video games, including A Bug’s Life, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge, Kingdom Hearts I and II, Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, as well as Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure.
Facts About Jodi Benson
Jodi Benson likes going to the movies, traveling, bowling, reading, and skiing.
Jodi Benson was actually the first actress who was considered for the lead role of Belle in another of Disney’s hit animated film, Beauty and the Beast, but lost the role to Paige O’Hara due to unknown reasons.
Despite losing the role on the fairy tale’s animated film version, however, Jodi Benson went on to play the voice of Belle in Disney’s House of Mouse Cartoon series.
Jodi Benson appeared in Disney’s 2007 live-action feature film Enchanted, where she played the role of Sam, the secretary of actor Patrick Dempsey’s character.
Jodi Benson’s Musical Plays
Apart from her very successful voice acting career, Jodi Benson has also enjoyed an equally successful career in stage acting.
She starred in countless musical stage plays both in the U.S. and internationally.
The most notable plays she was part of include Crazy for You, Smile, Welcome to the Club, Marilyn: An American Musical, My One and Only, Babes in Arms, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, as well as Chess, where she played the role of Florence Vassey.
Jodi Benson’s Awards
In the 2001 Annie Awards, Jodi Benson was nominated for an Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production Award for her role in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure, in which she played the voice of “Lady”.
In 2011, she was nominated for an Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Female Focus Award for Best Animated Female for her role in Toy Story 3 as Barbie.
For her role as Polly Baker in the award-winning Broadway musical ‘Crazy for You’, Jodi Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, as well as a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
She also received the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress for her role in Chess as Florence Vassey.
Jodi Benson’s Net Worth
Jodi Benson’s net worth is currently estimated at $5 million.
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