Idina Menzel is an American actress, singer, and songwriter.
Let’s find out some intriguing facts about her!
1. Idina Kim Mentzel was born on May 30, 1971.
2. Her birthplace is varyingly reported as either Queens or Syosset.
3. She grew up in Syosset, the daughter of Helene, a therapist, and Stuart Mentzel, a pajama salesman.
4. She has a younger sister named Cara. Menzel’s family is Jewish, and her grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe.
5. Menzel attended Syosset High School.
6. When Menzel was 15 years old, her parents divorced and she began working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer, a job which she continued throughout her time at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama.
7. Idina changed the spelling of her surname to Menzel to better reflect the pronunciation the Mentzel family had adopted in America.
8. She was friends with actor Adam Pascal before they worked together in Rent.
9. Menzel rose to prominence when she originated the role of Maureen Johnson in the Broadway musical Rent. Her performance earned her a Tony Award nomination in 1996.
10. She reprised the role in the musical’s 2005 film adaptation. In 2003, Menzel originated the role of Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
11. Menzel returned to Broadway as Elizabeth Vaughan in the 2014 musical If/Then, which earned her a third Tony Award nomination.
12. Additionally, Menzel is known for portraying the role of Shelby Corcoran on the musical dramedy TV series Glee from 2010 to 2013 as well as portraying Nancy Tremaine in the 2007 Disney film Enchanted and being the voice of Queen Elsa in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2013 film Frozen, in which she sang the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning song “Let It Go”. The song reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Menzel the first Tony Award-winning actress to reach the top 10.
13. She ultimately won a Grammy award for the film’s soundtrack. Her album Holiday Wishes was released in 2014 and reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it her highest charting album to date.
14. Menzel married actor Taye Diggs on January 11, 2003. They met in 1995 during the original production of Rent, in which Diggs portrayed the role of Benjamin Coffin III, the landlord.
15. On September 2, 2009, she gave birth to their son, Walker Nathaniel Diggs. In late 2013, it was reported that Menzel and Diggs had separated after ten years of marriage.
16. Their divorce was finalized on December 3, 2014.
17. Her cousin is film critic Scott Menzel.
18. Menzel began dating actor Aaron Lohr and they appeared together in April 2015 at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
19. In August 2015, Menzel and Lohr bought a home located in Encino, Los Angeles, California.
20. They both starred in the 2005 film adaptation of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical Rent as well as the Off-Broadway musical See What I Wanna See. On September 23, 2016, Menzel announced that she is engaged to Lohr, via her Twitter account.
21. Menzel identifies as a feminist, saying “I love that I play all of these strong women. But they’re not just strong— they’re women who have a really deep vulnerability and need to go through a journey in order to harness their power.”
22. Menzel was an honorary chair of the Imperial Court of New York’s Annual Charity Coronation Ball, Night of A Thousand Gowns on March 21, 2009.
23. Other honorary chairs for the evening’s charity event included Elton John, Patti LuPone, John Cameron Mitchell, Joan Rivers, and Robin Strasser.