Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth
Amy Sussman / Invision/AP

Stars

Live: North side of the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actress
Born Kristi Dawn Chenoweth on July 24, 1968 in Broken Arrow, Okla.

There's nothing small about Kristin Chenoweth's range as a performer, though she's often described as diminutive for her slightly-less-than-5-foot-tall frame.

She's earned the nickname "pint-sized powerhouse" for her big Broadway voice and a multitasking career that spans live theater, solo albums, concert tours, movies and television projects.

Chenoweth, a native of Broken Arrow, Okla., won a Tony Award for playing the sardonic Sally Brown in the Broadway musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," and an Emmy for her supporting role in the high-concept dramedy "Pushing Daisies."

"I just keep looking for ways to make myself a better artist," she told the L.A. Times in 2012. "That's all I care about."

She headlined her own short-lived sitcom on NBC called "Kristin," whose creator, John Markus, described her star quality as a mix of "optimism, a vulnerability, a ferocity, a feminine quality, a gentleness and a humor," that adds up to "a performer the likes of whom we haven't seen in 20 years," according to a 2001 Times profile of the triple threat.

Singing came first for Chenoweth, who joined her church choir as a child and by age 7 was performing as a soloist. She studied musical theater and opera, funding part of her education at Oklahoma City University with winnings from beauty pageants.

Her first professional audition happened on a lark while helping a friend move to New York, and the turning-point event kicked off a string of stage roles that would stretch for years and include "Steel Pier," "Epic Proportions" and "Charlie Brown."

Chenoweth may be best known for originating the role of Glinda in the massive hit "Wicked." The part, which was written with her in mind, earned her a Tony nod. Though the musical is more than a dozen years old, Chenoweth said she understands why it still resonates.

"Young women and people who consider themselves misfits love this show," she told The Times. "They relate to it."

Her concerts over the years demonstrate her eclectic taste and varied skills, during which she's performed an array of pieces, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's modern classics, opera arias and country tunes.

And if her voice seems omnipresent — she's called it "a Marilyn Monroe voice, Jessica Rabbit voice, Betty Boop voice" — that's because she often lends it to animated projects such as "Rio 2," "BoJack Horseman" and "American Dad."

She's appeared in the flesh in a variety of films, including "Four Christmases" and "You Again," and TV series that show both her comedy and drama chops, such as "The West Wing," "GCB," Disney Channel's "Descendants" and "Glee," for which she snagged two Emmy nominations.

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