Sally and Glinda
"Not everyone is going to like what you do or what you have to offer; however, if you can't see yourself doing anything else, and you have the drive and ambition, get the training and go for it." Kristin Chenoweth.
Stage actress Kristin Chenoweth garnered critical acclaim for her Tony-winning performance as Sally Brown in a revival of “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (1999) and Tony-nominating role as Glinda in the musical “Wicked” (2004). The Broadway star then starred in films like Bewitched (2005), The Pink Panther (2006), RV (2006), and will be seen in the soon to-be released Stranger than Fiction and Running with Scissors. Her upcoming big screen projects include Deck the Halls, Rapunzel (voice), Untitled Kristin Chenoweth/Dusty Springfield Project, and Asphalt Beach. TV viewers can catch her playing deputy press secretary Annabeth Schott (2004-present) on NBC’s political drama “The West Wing.”
The multitalented entertainer with a honey voice, who is trained in singing opera, released her debut solo recording entitled “Let Yourself Go” in 2002. She released the follow-up album, “As I Am,” in April 2005.
"I used to want to be tall, and then I thought, 'If I were tall, then people would say I was pretty and not cute.' And then I realized that there are worse things than being called cute. They could say I was a bitch, which would be terrible in my book. So I've decided that this height ain't so bad." Kristin Chenoweth (on being 4' 11'' tall).
The diminutive 4' 11'' blonde (she is a natural brunette), whose trademark is wearing the color pink, appeared on the cover of FHM's March 2006 issue. She has also appeared in a series of television commercials for Old Navy in late 2005 to early 2006. In 1998, she became engaged to actor Marc Kudisch (born September 22, 1966), but they separated in 2001. She also dated violinist Joshua Bell (met in summer 2001) and writer Aaron Sorkin.
Childhood and Family:
"I was a spiritual kid." Kristin Chenoweth.
Born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, on July 24, 1968, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth was adopted at birth, but she has information about her biological family and has one-quarter Cherokee ancestry. She studied at Sequoyah Middle School and Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where she graduated in 1986. She then attended Oklahoma City University and graduated in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in musical theater and a master's degree in opera performance. While studying at the university, she won the Miss Oklahoma City University title and was a runner-up in the 1991 Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta (Beta Omicron) Sorority.
Kristin Chenoweth, nicknamed Cheno, has a dog named Maddie, named after actress Madeline Kahn.
As I Am
"I'm constantly learning, and that is the greatest gift of life in my opinion -- to always be learning and growing." Kristin Chenoweth.
An aspiring singer, Kristin Chenoweth found her passion in vocal while performing at church. At age 7, she began recording her singing voice on a portable tape recorder and at 12, she sang in front of the entire Southern Baptist church. Teen Kristin later won a "most talented up-and-coming singer" award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts. But she declined the scholarship as she won a part on an off-Broadway show.
After Kristin landed on her first show, “Animal Crackers,” debuted in 1993 at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, she decided to abandon studies and pursue theatrical career. She worked at various regional companies before making her Broadway debut in 1997, supporting Bill Irwin in a revival of Moliere's "Scapin.” The next year, she originated the role of the rube Precious McGuire, in the Kander and Ebb musical set at a dance marathon in Atlantic City in 1933, "Steel Pier.” She also appeared in the City Center Encores! production of the George and Ira Gershwin musical “Strike Up the Band” and played multiple roles in the Lincoln Center Theater production of "A New Brain,” an Off-Broadway autobiographical musical by William Finn.
Kristin’s breakthrough stage work arrived in 1998, when she played Sally Brown in the revised version of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," a musical comedy based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip Peanuts. The role eventually won her Broadway's 1999 Tony Award as Best Actress. And while accepting the award, Kristin said "I've never changed my clothes so fast in my life" because she had to quickly change out of costume as her award was presented immediately following a musical number she performed in.
Following her first success, Kristin went to star as Louise, the love interest to two brothers (played by Alan Tudyk and Jeremy Davidson), in the Broadway comedy set in the 1930's, “Epic Proportions,” and starred as the quirky Daisy Gamble in the City Center Encores! production of the musical "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever." She also played the nefarious Lily St. Regis on ABC version of the musical Annie (alongside Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Alan Cumming and Alicia Morton) and had a supporting role on the miniseries "Paramour,” a period sitcom produced by American Movie Classics (AMC).
In 2001, Kristin starred her own short-lived NBC comedy series "Kristin" as an Oklahoman working as the assistant to a property tycoon while building a career on Broadway. Afterward, she signed to play Brenda Blethyn's daughter in the CBS pilot "Seven Roses" and guest starred on a November 2001 episode of NBC's critically acclaimed sitcom "Frasier," playing Portia, the client-stealing junior agent. She also had a supporting role in the indie feature Topa Topa Bluffs (2002), and beginning in 2003, she played a recurring role as Miss Noodle on the PBS children's series "Sesame Street."
Kristin returned to Broadway in October 2003, with the musical “Wicked,” about the early years of the witches of Oz. For her performance as the most powerful sorceress of Oz, the beautiful and ambitious Glinda, Kristin was nominated for a Tony as Best Leading Actress in a Musical, but lost to co-star Idina Menzel (as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West). That same year, she starred as Marian Paroo, the local librarian who became the love interest of Matthew Broderick’s Harold Hill, in the ABC adaptation of Meredith Willson's classic musical The Music Man. In May 2004, Kristin played Cunegonde in "Candide," a semi-staged concert production based on Voltaire’s novelette, with the New York Philharmonic.
2005 saw Kristin appeared in Nora Ephron’s 2005 film version of the classic television series, Bewitched, playing Maria Kelly, Nicole Kidman's character's best friend and the nosey neighbor. Kristin got the role after Kidman was impressed by her charisma and stage presence during her “Wicked” performance, and the film star reportedly requested to Ephron to cast Kristin in the film.
In the sixth season (2004–2005) of the NBC’s political drama “The West Wing,” Kristin had a recurring role as White House's media consultant/deputy press secretary Annabeth Schott. She later became a main cast member in the show's seventh and last season (2005 - 2006), in which her character became a campaign staff member.
During her stint in “The West Wing,” Kristin could be seen in Shawn Levy's mystery comedy loosely based on the 1964 Peter Sellers original film, The Pink Panther (2006; with Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno and Beyoncé Knowles) and in Barry Sonnenfeld's adventure comedy RV (2006; starring Robin Williams). She will soon appear in Marc Forster's supernatural comedy set to be released on 10 November 2006, Stranger Than Fiction (starring Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah), and Ryan Murphy's semi-autobiographical film based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors (set for an October 2006 release; starring Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow). She is also set to play a role in John Whitesell's family comedy set during the holiday season, Deck the Halls (opposite Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick), Glen Keane's animated movie Rapunzel (Kristin will lend her voice to the title role), an untitled biopic of Dusty Springfield by writer-director Jessica Sharzer, and Peter Spears' musical Asphalt Beach (alongside Parker Posey).
Back on stage, Kristin will return to Broadway in December 2006 to star in a revival of "The Apple Tree," three one-act musicals based on short stories by Mark Twain, Frank R. Stockton and Jules Feiffer. The Roundabout Theatre Company production, helmed by Gary Griffin, will open December 14, 2006, at Studio 54.
While busy acting, Kristin continues her initial interest: singing. She released her debut solo recording, Let Yourself Go, in 2002. It is a collection of old standards from the 1930s and '40s composed by the likes of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Kurt Weil, Jule Styne, Jerome Kern and others. Her next release, As I Am, hit the music stores in 2005. The album is a mixture of hymns and contemporary Christian music, with arrangements that sound similar to adult contemporary.
"I think the songs reflect the way I feel, what I believe. 'There Will Never Be Another,' for instance, is an Amy Grant song I've always liked because it's about having all the things you've hoped for, and realizing that the most important thing you've got is faith. 'Word of God Speak' is exactly how I feel when I'm alone or in a crowd. It's about being by yourself, and really listening, realizing you don't need anything else." Kristin Chenoweth (on album As I Am).
Outer Critics Circle: Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” 1999
Clarence Derwent: “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” 1999
Drama Desk: Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” 1999
Tony: Featured Actress in a Musical, “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” 1999
Joseph Jefferson Award: Actress in a Supporting Role (non-resident), “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” 1999
Theater World Award: “Steel Pier,” 1997