||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification, as it includes attribution to IMDb. (February 2010)|
|Born||Donna Paige Helmintoller
May 10, 1956
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, voice actress, painter|
|Awards||Disney Legend (2011)|
Donna Paige O'Hara (born Donna Paige Helmintoller; May 10, 1956) is an American actress, singer, and painter. O'Hara began her career as a Broadway actress in 1983 when she portrayed Ellie May Chipley in the musical Showboat. She made her motion picture debut in Walt Disney Pictures' 1991 animated feature film Beauty and the Beast, in which she voiced the film's heroine, Belle. Following the critical and commercial success of Beauty and the Beast, O'Hara reprised her role as Belle in the film's two direct-to-video followups, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World.
Donna Paige Helmintoller was born on May 10, 1956 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and attended Nova High School in Davie, Florida and Parkway Middle School of The Arts which is also in Florida. She performed in shows with the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre.
O'Hara began acting at the age of four, attending acting classes in her home state of Florida. It wasn't until she was 12-years-old that she developed an interest in singing and enrolled in a performing arts high school. O'Hara cites American actress and singer Judy Garland as one of her idols.
Broadway and stage
O'Hara made her first appearance on the Broadway stage as Ellie May Chipley in the revival of Showboat in 1983 starring Donald O'Connor. She repeated the role for the Houston Grand Opera's 1989 production and continued with them when the show was moved to the Cairo Opera House in Egypt. Continuing her legacy as Ellie, she also sang the part on the 1989 Grammy nominated recording of the musical with Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade and Teresa Stratas, conducted by John McGlinn on the Angel EMI label. Her other American stage credits include the title role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Broadway and national tour) and Ado Annie in a national tour of Oklahoma directed by William Hammerstein.
Internationally, O'Hara has played the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific (Australia).
In April, 2011, O'Hara played the role of Judy Garland in "From Gumm to Garland: JUDY, The Musical" at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona.
Transition to film and Beauty and the Beast
O'Hara also starred as Venus in the BBC's recorded broadcast of the live presentation of Kurt Weill's "One Touch of Venus" and in tribute to her Belle character from Beauty and the Beast, she portrayed Angela, a character in a fictional soap opera, for the Disney live action/traditional 2-D animated movie Enchanted.
As of 2011, O'Hara was replaced as the voice of Belle due to her voice changing significantly over the course of twenty years. However, she still paints Belle for Disney Fine Art and continues to do promotional appearances for Disney.
O'Hara now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Michael Piontek.
O'Hara also signed with Collectors Editions, the publishers of Disney Fine Art, and released a series of paintings entitled "Belles by Belle."
- "Paige O'Hara Pics". All Star Pics. Lucy Media. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Interview With Paige O’Hara, The Voice Of Belle In "Beauty and the Beast"". Disney Dreaming. Unrivaled Media Group, LLC. October 5, 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Benedictus, Leo (April 30, 2012). "How we made: Don Hahn and Paige O'Hara on Beauty and the Beast". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Huver, Scott (May 30, 2012). ""Beauty and the Beast 3D" Gives Original Star Paige O'Hara a Whole New Perspective". NBC New York. NBCUniversal, Inc. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Photo Flash: Lea Salonga, Anika Noni Rose, Paige O'Hara et al. Honored at D23 Expo
- "Belle still tolls for actress O'Hara".
- Brigante, Ricky (July 30, 2013). "Full 2013 D23 Expo schedule revealed with Walt Disney Studios celebs, Imagineering & Parks panels, Marvel meet-and-greets". Inside the Magic. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "New Fantasyland Grand Opening Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. July 30, 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- Disney Fine Art by Collector's Edition
- Paige O'Hara at the Internet Broadway Database
- Paige O'Hara at the Internet Movie Database
- Paige O'Hara at the Disney Legends Website
- Paige O'Hara official website
- Q&A With Paige O'Hara