Paige O'Hara

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Paige O'Hara
O'Hara in 2019
Paige O'Hara

  • Actress
  • singer
  • painter
Years active1975–present
Lew Resseguie
(m. 1980, divorced)
Michael Piontek
(m. 1990)
AwardsDisney Legend (2011) Edit this at Wikidata

Paige O'Hara is an American actress, singer, and painter. O'Hara began her career as a Broadway actress in 1975 when she portrayed Della in The Gift of the Magi. In 1991, she made her motion picture debut in Disney's 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 follow-ups, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) and Belle's Magical World (1998), and for cameo appearances in Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) and Once Upon a Studio (2023).

Early life[edit]

O'Hara began acting at the age of four, attending acting classes in her home state of Florida.[1] It was not until she was 12 years old that she developed an interest in singing and enrolled in a performing arts high school.[1] O'Hara cites American actress and singer Judy Garland as one of her idols.[2]


Broadway and stage[edit]

O'Hara made her first appearance on the Broadway stage as Della in The Gift of the Magi in 1975. She was later play 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. In 1995, she joined the Broadway production of Les Misérables, where she played the role of Fantine.

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[edit]

A longtime fan of Walt Disney Pictures,[2] O'Hara auditioned for Beauty and the Beast at the age of 35[3] after reading about the film in The New York Times.[1]

In Season 2 of The Legend of Prince Valiant (which starred her Beauty and the Beast co-star Robby Benson), O'Hara had a recurring role as Princess Aleta (who was later promoted to queen). Benson's character Prince Valiant fell in love with Aleta at first sight.

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 Disney's 2007 live-action/traditional 2-D animated film Enchanted.

For her work as Belle, O'Hara was honored with a Disney Legend Award on August 19, 2011.[4]

O'Hara was replaced by Julie Nathanson as the official voice of Belle in 2011, since her voice has aged over time.[5] Despite this, she still paints Belle for Disney Fine Art and also continues to do promotional appearances for Disney.[5][6][7] In 2016, O'Hara appeared at numerous special screenings of Beauty and the Beast in honor of the film's 25th anniversary.[8][9] O'Hara reprised the role of Belle in the 2018 film Ralph Breaks the Internet.[10] She appeared as a librarian in the TV special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.[11] In 2023, O'Hara returned as the voice of Belle again in the short Once Upon a Studio.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In May 1980, O'Hara married actor Lew Resseguie (May 3, 1932 - June 30, 2019).[13][14] They met in 1979 while performing in Fiorello! at Paper Mill Playhouse.[15][16] They later divorced.

O'Hara is married to actor, Michael Piontek.[17][18][19] They wed in 1990.[20]

She is a Catholic.[17][21]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Beauty and the Beast Belle (voice) Nominated — Grammy Award for Album of the Year
1997 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
1998 Belle's Magical World Nominated — Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production
1999 Belle's Tales of Friendship
2001 Legend of the Candy Cane Jane Aubrey (voice)
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse Belle (voice) Direct-to-video
2004 Sing Along Songs: Disney Princess: Once Upon a Dream
2005 Disney Princess Party: Volume Two
2007 Enchanted Angela
2016 Always Belle Herself Documentary
2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet Belle (voice)
2023 Once Upon a Studio Short film[12]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Legend of Prince Valiant Princess Aleta / Queen Aleta (voices) 9 episodes
1995 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Girls (voice) Episode: "Felix in Nightdrop Land/Shocking Story", uncredited
1996 Adventures from the Book of Virtues The Princess / June Washington (voice) Episode: "Honesty"
2002 Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe In Santa Nicole (voice) Television film
2022 Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration Bookseller TV special

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Disney's Beauty and the Beast Magical Ballroom Belle (voice)
2005 Kingdom Hearts II English version
2007 Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+
Disney Princess: Magical Jewels
Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey


Year Title Role Notes
1975 The Gift of the Magi Della [22]
1979 Fiorello! Marie [23]
1980 Naughty Marietta Lizette [24]
1980 Paint Your Wagon Jennifer Rumson [24]
1983 Showboat Ellie May Chipley
1984 The Unsinkable Molly Brown Molly Brown [25]
1985 Oh, Boy! Jacky [26]
1985 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Alice Nutting / Edwin Drood
1986 Oklahoma! Ado Annie
1988 Mack and Mabel performer [27]
1989 Sitting Pretty performer [28]
1990 Anything Goes Reno Sweeney [29]
1990 The Cat and the Fiddle Angie Sheridan [30]
1991 Evita Eva Perón [24]
1992 Tiger Lady Winnie Ruth Judd [31]
1995 Les Misérables Fantine [32]
1995 South Pacific Nellie Forbush [33]
1996 Peter Pan Peter Pan [34][35]
1996 Evita Eva Perón [36]
2002 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Narrator [37]
2014 Menopause The Musical performer [38]


  • Jerry Herman: Mack and Mabel in Concert (Live at the Theatre Royal), conducted by David Firman, First Night Records, 1988[39]
  • Jerome Kern: Show Boat, conducted by John McGlinn, EMI, 1988
  • Loving You: Paige O'Hara Sings Jerry Herman, conducted by Dennis Buck, Varèse Sarabande, 1995[40]
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein: South Pacific, conducted by John Owen Edwards, Jay Records, 1996[41]
  • Paige O'Hara: Dream With Me, Intersound, 1998[42]


  1. ^ a b c "Interview With Paige O'Hara, The Voice Of Belle In "Beauty and the Beast"". Disney Dreaming. Unrivaled Media Group, LLC. October 5, 2010. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ 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 November 16, 2012.
  4. ^ BWW News Desk. "Photo Flash: Lea Salonga, Anika Noni Rose, Paige O'Hara et al. Honored at D23 Expo". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Belle still tolls for actress O'Hara". 17 July 2023.
  6. ^ 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 July 31, 2013.
  7. ^ "New Fantasyland Grand Opening Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. July 30, 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. ^ Mallenbaum, Carly (May 10, 2016). "8 things you never knew about 'Beauty and the Beast'". USA Today. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  9. ^ McGovern, Joe (August 16, 2016). "Beauty and the Beast getting special 25th anniversary screening ahead of New York Film Festival". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  10. ^ Holmes, Adam (July 14, 2017). "Wreck-It Ralph 2 Is Bringing The Original Disney Princesses Back". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Johnson, Zach (December 12, 2022). "First Look: See Paige O'Hara, Richard White, and Alan Menken's Cameos in Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration". D23. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  12. ^ a b @Attractions (September 10, 2023). "We just saw a new animated short at #DestinationD23 called Once Upon a Studio featuring tons of characters from past Disney Animated films. It was so good, the creators got a one minute standing ovation when it ended" (Tweet). Retrieved September 15, 2023 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press 07 Aug 1980, page Page 45". Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  14. ^ "Lew Resseguie – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  15. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press 07 Aug 1980, page Page 45". Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  16. ^ "Fiorello! (Paper Mill Playhouse Production, 1979) | Ovrtur". Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  17. ^ a b "Paige O'Hara, voice of 'Belle,' recalls magic of 'Beauty and the Beast'". Catholic Philly. 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Review-Journal, Carol Cling Las Vegas (21 April 2013). "More than 20 years after 'Beauty and the Beast,' Paige O'Hara still remembered as voice of Disney princess - Las Vegas Review-Journal". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  19. ^ Review-Journal, Carol Cling Las Vegas (19 March 2016). "Voice of Disney's Belle didn't expect to fall in love with Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  20. ^ "Paige O'Hara – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved 2023-08-19.
  21. ^ Paige O'Hara is feeling blessed. September 4, 2016 · Public My true heroine, Mother Teresa is now in sainthood. St Teresa who was an angel on earth, is now a saint in heaven. What a glorious celebration.
  22. ^ Barnes, Clive (2 December 1975). "Stage: 'Gift of the Magi' Is in Season". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  23. ^ Catinella, Joseph (19 November 1979). "'Fiorello!' Shines at Paper Mill". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  24. ^ a b c "Artist Database: Paige O'Hara". Pittsburgh CLO. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  25. ^ Klein, Alvin (20 May 1984). "THEATER IN REVIEW; FINE LEADING MAN IN 'MOLLY BROWN'". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  26. ^ Rockwell, John (26 January 1985). "STAGE: KERN'S 'OH, BOY!' CELEBRATES A CENTENNIAL". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  27. ^ Ruhlmann, William (1988). Mack & Mabel: in Concert (1988 London Cast Recording). First Night Records. Retrieved 7 March 2024. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  28. ^ Holden, Stephen (17 April 1989). "Reviews/Music; A Jerome Kern Musical, With Bons Mots Included". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  29. ^ Klein, Alvin (8 April 1990). "THEATER; 'Anything Goes,' in Elmsford". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  30. ^ Holland, Bernard (20 April 1990). "Reviews/Music; The Glory of Wit and a Tune: A Reminder". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  31. ^ Everett, todd (6 July 1992). "Tiger Lady". Variety. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  32. ^ Paige O'Hara Answers Members Questions Playbill, January 22, 1996
  33. ^ "Goulet still working Magic". Akron Beacon Journal. 3 August 1995. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  34. ^ 'Music Tells a Tale' a Genial Family Treat Los Angeles Times, July 1, 1996
  35. ^ 10 Things We Learned from Paige O'Hara During WDFM's Happily Ever After Hours Laughing Place, May 16, 2020
  36. ^ "Past Seasons". Cherry County Playhouse. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  37. ^ "Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat / lyrics by Tim Rice ; music by Andrew Lloyd Webber ; [presented by] the American Musical Theatre of San Jose ; director, Marc Jacobs". ArchiveGrid. OCLC, Inc. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  38. ^ Burke, Anne (23 March 2014). "Menopause the Musical". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  39. ^ "Jerry Herman – Mack & Mabel In Concert (1988, Gatefold, Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  40. ^ "Paige O'Hara - Loving You - Paige O'Hara Sings Jerry Herman". Discogs. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  41. ^ "South Pacific". Jay Records. Retrieved 7 March 2024.
  42. ^ "Paige O'Hara – Dream With Me (1998, CD)". Discogs. Retrieved 7 March 2024.

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