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Jodi Benson

Jodi and Ray Benson with son McKinley and daughter Delaney
Born Jodi Marie Marzorati
October 10, 1961 (1961-10-10) (age 48)
Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Voice actress/Singer
Years active 1984—present
Spouse(s) Ray Benson

Jodi Benson (born October 10, 1961) is an American voice actress and soprano singer. She is best known for providing the speaking voice as well as the singing voice of Disney's Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. In 2002 and 2006, she reprised the role of Ariel in the English versions of the Kingdom Hearts series.

Contents

Personal life

Benson was born Jodi Marie Marzorati in Rockford, Illinois. She attended Sacred Hearts elementary and middle school, Boylan Catholic High School and Millikin University, and currently lives in north Georgia with her husband Ray Benson, both of whom are Christians, and their son McKinley and daughter Delaney.[1]

Voice and screen acting

Benson has become well-known in popular culture for providing the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She even parodied this later when she provided the voice for the character of Ann Darrow in The Mighty Kong - Ann sang and swam through the water with her hair flowing about her in an Ariel-like way.[2] She also provided the voice for a character called Aquagirl in a two-part episode of Batman Beyond.[3] In an interview with Christians in Cinema, Benson said that winning the role of Ariel was God-ordained. She has also said that she never gets tired of singing her signature song, "Part of Your World".

Benson has also done voice-overs in video games. She played Ariel again in the video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. She was also in Grandia II where she was the American voice actress for Millenia. From its premiere in 2005 to its end in 2008, Benson did voice work for the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network animated series, Camp Lazlo, as the characters Patsy Smiles, Scoutmistress Jane Doe and Almondine the Owl. She also voiced Professor Owl.

Benson played Cloe in The Save-Ums in 2007 and had a small role as "Sam" in Disney's Enchanted as a tribute to Ariel.

In non-Disney films, Benson was a voice actress for Don Bluth's version of Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, voicing the title character. She performed many songs in this film, including a duet with Gary Imhoff in "Let Me Be Your Wings".

On The 1998 VHS of The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson appeared as herself during the intro and before and after the previews, telling two CGI fish named Gil and Phil about upcoming releases (at the time) from Disney such as Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, Mulan, Lady and the Tramp on video, A Bug's Life, and Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC.

Broadway

Benson's Broadway credits include a role in the short-lived Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called "Disneyland." Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. Benson also sings "Disneyland" on a compilation CD called Unsung Musicals. In 1989, Benson appeared in another short-lived musical, Welcome to the Club, alongside Samuel E. Wright, who did the voice for Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid.

In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.

Filmography

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Other

Discography

  • 1990 The Little Mermaid Soundtrack
  • 1991 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible I
  • 1992 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible II
  • 1992 The Little Mermaid: Splash hits
  • 1992 Crazy for You Cast Recording
  • 1993 The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea
  • 1994 Unsung Musicals
  • 1994 Thumbelina Soundtrack
  • 1995 Songs of Guideposts Junction
  • 1996 Hollywood Christmas (Various artists)
  • 2000 The Little Mermaid II (soundtrack)
  • 2004 Disney Princess Music Hits
  • 2005 Disney Princess Christmas Of Enchantment
  • 2005 Disney Princess Tea Party

References

External links


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