Laura Benanti

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Laura Benanti

Born

7/15/1979, Kinnelon, New Jersey, USA

Birth Name

Laura Benanti

Gender

Female
  • Seth Morris, Suzy Nakamura, Julie White,...
  • Laura Benanti in Go On
  • Laura Benanti as Carol-Lynne on The Play...
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

Biography

EDIT

Laura was born in New York City to a family of mixed European heritage. Her mother, Linda Wonneberger,was a former actress and a skilled voice coach. Laura's father, Martin Vidnovic, was a Broadway stage actor and singer.

While completing school at Kinnelon High School, Laura worked in high…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Laura's biological father is stage actor Martin Vidnovic, who was divorced from Laura's mother early in her life. Laura's step father is Sal Benanti, who is a psycotherapist.

    • Laura has a butterfly tattoo on her lower back. In most stage performances, a make-up artist has to cover it up.

    • Laura was married to Chris Barron, who is the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. After their marriage was dissolved, Laura married actor Steve Pasquale.

    • Laura fractured her neck during a 2002 performance of the play Into the Woods.

    • Laura has one younger sister named Mariel.

    • Laura graduated from Kinnelon High School in New Jersey in 1997.

    • Laura won a Tony for her starring role in the musical "Gypsy". She had previously been nominated for a Tony for her part in "Swing!". Laura's mother Linda Benanti, a former Broadway performer herself, is her voice coach.

    • Laura's nickname is La-La.

    • Laura Benanti appears as Julia Sullivan in the Broadway musical version of "The Wedding Singer". The show opened April 27, 2006.

    • While appearing in the musical, "Swing", Benanti succumbed to the pressures and demands. Concluding she was "fat", she dropped 25 lbs by eating next to nothing and working out constantly. When her hair began falling out (quite typical for people with e.d.'s) it proved to be significant in her resulting pursuit of a more healthy lifestyle.

  • Quotes

    • Laura: (on critics of The Playboy Club) I'm tired of people judging before they've seen it. That exhausts me in general. The notion that people feel like they can speak so strongly and openly about something they've never even seen is frustrating. And it's been a little difficult to do the work in that environment because you're in a constant state of defensiveness. I feel defensive of the work instead of open, which is a frustrating place to come from as an artist.

    • Laura: (on her wedding with Steve Pasquale) We're both performers and used to being the center of attention, but we didn't want our wedding to be about that. We wanted it to be a celebration for our friends and family

    • Laura: I wish I could have gone to school, and I certainly recommend it to other people. I've learned from the best, but I missed out on being with people my own age, the socializing that goes along with that life.

    • Laura: (on her step-father Sal) He taught me to embrace myself for who I am, and to cultivate my being a very emotional person toward a positive place. He also taught me concern and empathy for people beyond myself rather than giving in to the narcissism that comes with being an actor.

    • Laura: (on growing up) Also, when I got to be about 11 ½, the other girls didn't want to play dress up and pretend anymore. I started to keep that other part to myself. There was a lot of singing show tunes into the mirror in my room.

    • Laura: (on Antonio Banderas) I love Antonio! He's a great guy. We have a goofy, brotherly/sisterly relationship. Everyone thinks of Antonio as this sex symbol, but he's really just the cutest boy in the world.

    • Laura: (on her accident that nearly paralyzed her) It puts things in perspective. You learn who your friends are; you realize the importance of family. I was 18 when I did Sound of Music. My life started to get very linear; I started to get tunnel vision. {The injury} opened my eyes as to how I wanted to be as a human being.

    • Laura: (about her time after she fractured her neck) Unfortunately, the producers of the show were really unkind to me. When questioned for comment, they would not say that I had injured myself, but basically said, 'Oh, it's a shame that Laura misses so many shows.' There was a lot of gossip. It was very hurtful; it was really a horrible time.

    • Laura: I think the most beautiful acting comes from true emotion and true understanding, and how you can affect people in the audience and yourself.

    • Laura: (on her early Broadway experience) No, it was OK. You grow a lot in those years. I didn't really have a college experience so that was really my time to grow and learn. I wasn't itching to go on necessarily. For those two weeks it was wonderful, because I was able to really focus myself and do it. But I don't think I would have been prepared to just do Maria at eighteen.

    • Laura Benanti: Sometimes I'll get jaded and think, 'I'm not going to that rehearsal' or whatever, and I have to make myself stop and say, 'You're 20 years old. And you're not working at Dennys. Calm down!'

    • Laura Benanti: I knew that I wanted to live in a dressing room and literally have no life. I'm like the dorkiest 20 year old I've ever met in my life. I don't go out. I don't party. I steam when I get home. I can't even eat cheese because I'll get phlegm. I'm a total freak and I love it!

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