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Menzel — best known for originating the roles of Elphaba in Wicked and Maureen in Rent — has done, including film, appearances on other television programs and even releasing solo albums.
Here are five things you may not have known about Menzel:
1. She made her feature debut in 2001’s Kissing Jessica Stein: As a bridesmaid, Menzel starred alongside Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen in the indie romantic comedy directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. Though her role wasn’t major, the actress would next appear in Just a Kiss as Linda with her husband Taye Diggs, released the following year. She has also starred in 2004’s The Tollbooth, 2006’s Ask the Dust and 2007’s Enchanted.
2. She’s appeared in numerous projects with her husband: Beginning with the original Broadway production of Rent (where they first met), Menzel and Diggs have joined forces on several film and TV projects. The couple appeared in 2002 film Just a Kiss and in the 2005 big-screen adaptation of the seminal Broadway musical Rent. On the television side, Menzel guest starred as Francine in Diggs’ UPN series Kevin Hill in 2005 and appeared as Lisa in ABC’s Private Practice in 2009.
3. She wanted to guest star on Glee, and got it: “I know that she would love to guest star on Glee,” Menzel’s husband said in an interview at the time. As far as Menzel’s uncanny resemblance to Glee’s Lea Michele: “We knew that existed far, far before the TV world did,” Diggs said of Menzel and Michele’s past Broadway history.
4. She’s a supporter of theater: In 2010, Menzel founded A BroaderWay Foundation with Diggs in order to support young people in the arts. The foundation sponsors camps, theater workshops, educational programs and also gives scholarships to see and experience professional shows.
5. She’s released three solo albums, not including seven cast recordings: As a singer, Menzel has put out three studio albums: 1998’s Still I Can’t Be Still, 2004’s Here and 2008’s I Stand, which peaked at No. 58 on the U.S. charts and No. 54 in the U.K. That doesn’t include the numerous cast recordings (and soundtracks) she is featured on, including Rent, Wicked, the Off-Broadway production The Wild Party and See What I Wanna See.
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