Idina Kim Menzel, born Mentzel on May 30, 1971[1], is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is known for originating the role of Elphaba in the hit Broadway musical, Wicked, for her role as Maureen in Rent (musical and movie), the voice of main character Elsa in Frozen (and its sequel) and for her recurring role as Shelby Corcoran on Glee between 2010 and 2013.

Personal life

Menzel was born in Queens, New York (and raised in Syosset, New York)[2] to Helene and Stuart Mentzel (they would divorce when Menzel was 15). She has a younger sister, Cara.[2] Her family is Jewish.[2] Menzel attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, during that time she worked as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer, and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Drama at New York University[1] prior to being cast in Jonathan Larson's rock musical Rent.

Her surname, Mentzel, was changed to Menzel to better reflect how they pronounced the name upon their arrival to America.[1]

Menzel was married to Taye Diggs for ten years before the couple decided to separate in 2013[3]; their divorce was finalized in December 2014.[4] Their son, Walker, was born in September 2009.[5]

Menzel married Aaron Lohr in September 2017.[6]


She originated the role of Elphaba in the hit Broadway musical Wicked (for which she won a Tony Award) along with fellow Glee guest star Kristin Chenoweth as the original Glinda (also known as Galinda). Idina also played the role of Maureen in both the 1996 original Broadway production and 2005 movie musical Rent. Additional theatre credits include the role of Amneris in Elton John's Aida and Kate in the 2000 Off-Broadway production of Lippa's The Wild Party.

Menzel returned to Broadway in Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt's production of If/Then in March 2014. She was announced, in April 2014, to be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her If/Then performance.[7]

Menzel was announced, by The Broadway League, that she will serve as the 2014 Kids' Night on Broadway National Ambassador.[8] The 18th Kids' Night on Broadway took place between February 24 and March 2, 2014.

Menzel voiced a role in the 2013 Disney animated feature Frozen and sang the universally acclaimed "Let It Go". Former Glee co-star Jonathan Groff also voiced a role in the film. On March 2, 2014 she sang "Let It Go" at the Oscars, where the song later won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Frozen won the Award for Best Animated Feature.

Menzel announced, in April 2014, to have a one night only concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York in June.[9]

She released her holiday album, Holiday Wishes, on October 14, 2014.[10]

She will release her new album, "idina.", on Setember 23, 2016.

On Glee


Idina Menzel as Shelby Corcoran, performing Funny Girl.

Menzel appears in twelve episodes on Glee, so far, as a fictional character, Shelby Corcoran. Shelby is the coach of Vocal Adrenaline in Season One, and Rachel Berry’s mother, as well as the adopted mother of Quinn's baby Beth. She was cast after many fans noted how much resemblance there was between Idina and Lea Michele. As for her time on Glee she also got a bit naughty with the opposing showchoirs director Will Schuester as she seems very into him in the end. Menzel returned to Glee for Season 3 for six episodes. She made her comeback appearence in I Am Unicorn, along with her adoptive on-screen daughter, Beth. She later appeared in Season Four in the episode Sweet Dreams.

Covered Songs


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Hercules Circe ("Hercules and the Song of Circe" and voice)
2001 Kissing Jessica Stein Bridesmaid
2002 Just a Kiss Linda uncredited
2003 Late Show with David Letterman Elphaba ("Dakota Fanning/Rocco DiSpirito/Wicked")
2004 Water Jessy Turner
The Tollbooth Raquel Cohen-Flaxman
Rescue Me Carol ("Sanctuary")
2005 Rent Maureen Johnson
Kevin Hill Francine Prescott ("Sacrificial Lambs" and "Losing Isn't Everything")
2006 Ask the Dust Vera Rivkin
2007 Enchanted Nancy Tremaine
2009 Great Performances Florence Vassey ("Chess in Concert")
Private Practice Lisa King ("Do the Right Thing" and "What You Do for Love")
2010 Glee Shelby Corcoran 2010 - 2013 (12 episodes)
The Wonder Pets The Queen of Hearts ("Adventures in Wonderland")
2013 Frozen Elsa, Snow Queen voice
2015 Arthur Dr. Paula voice ("Shelter from the Storm: Part 1 and Part 2")
Frozen Fever Elsa voice and short
2016 Lego Frozen Northern Lights Elsa voice (4 episodes)
2017 Beaches CC Bloom TV movie
Olaf's Frozen Adventure Elsa voice and short
Julie's Greenroom Herself (2 episodes)
2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet Elsa voice
2019 Frozen II Elsa voice
Uncut Gems Dinah Ratner
Rent: Live cameo


  • She is a mezzo-soprano and a belter.
  • All of her parts in her covered songs are sung by Lea Michele who plays her character's biological daughter.
  • Her idol is Barbra Streisand.
  • She's the original Elphaba (Wicked) and Maureen (RENT).
  • She is widely known for her wide vocal range and belting techniques.
  • Before she was on Broadway, she was a wedding and bar mitzvah singer.
  • She's Jewish.
  • She's the original singer of For Good, Popular, Defying Gravity(all aforementioned along with Kristin Chenoweth) and Take Me or Leave Me.
  • She has a Yorkshire Terrier and 2 "Jazz" Cats.
  • She has a son named Walker.
  • Prior to winning the Tony for her performance as Elphaba in Wicked, she had already been nominated for her performance as Maureen in RENT.
  • Her vocal range is E3-C6.
  • She is left handed (as seen in Asian F).
  • She describes her time in RENT "the best time of her life." Source
  • She is particularly close to fellow Film/Original Broadway Cast Member, Adam Pascal. They both grew up together in New York.
  • If/Then is her second time working with Michael Greif; the two previously worked together in RENT.
    • If/Then is also the second time she works with Anthony Rapp, where the two also worked in RENT previously.
  • She was featured in Disney's Enchanted as Nancy.
  • She appeared in the Disney animated movie Frozen with co-star Jonathan Groff. She voiced the character Elsa the Snow Queen, who will be the 13th Disney Princess. Two versions of her song, Let it Go, appeared in the movie: one sung by her character and another covered by Demi Lovato who was also on Glee.
    • Lea Michele also covered Let It Go on Glee as Rachel.
  • Her name was flubbed at the Oscars by John Travolta as "Adele Dazeem".



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