Idina Kim Menzel (born Mentzel on May 30, 1971) is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She rose to prominence for her performance as Maureen Johnson in the Broadway musical Rent, a role which she reprised for the 2005 feature film adaptation. In 2004 she won the Tony Award for originating the role of Elphaba in the Broadway blockbuster Wicked. Menzel was born in Queens, New York City, New York. Her mother, Helene, is a therapist, and her father, Stuart Mentzel, worked as a pajama salesman. She has a younger sister, Cara. Her family is Jewish; her grandparents immigrated from Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
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