Jodi Benson

Birth Place: Rockford, IL, USA

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Benson made her debut in the 1983 Kenny Ortega-directed "Marilyn: An American Fable". Other Broadway credits include a starring role in the 1986 Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called "Disneyland". In 1987, Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. She describes the song "Disneyland" at the "Smile" Reunion concert held on September 22, 2014, "This is the first piece of the puzzle of my life, the first step of the journey, so to speak". Benson also sings "Disneyland" on a compilation CD called Unsung Musicals. In 1989, Benson appeared in the Broadway musical, Welcome to the Club, alongside Samuel E. Wright, who performed the voice for Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid.

In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.

In 2004–06, Benson became the host and narrator of the children's Christian home video series called "Baby Faith", created by Integrity Publishers & FamilyTreeMedia.

In 2007, she played the secretary Sam in Disney's live-action/animated film, Enchanted. Benson also played the Queen in a one-night concert version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella at the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in May 2010.

She was at the 2012 SYTA conference singing her signature song "Part of Your World" on August 27, 2012.

Benson has been the guest artist for the Candlelight Processional for five years at Walt Disney World including December 10–13, 2012.

She joined the "2013 Spring Pops" on May 14–15, 2013 as a guest soloist with the Boston Pops.

Benson can be heard on over a dozen recordings. Her animated TV series include the Emmy Award-winning Camp Lazlo for Cartoon Network, The Little Mermaid, Batman Beyond, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, The Wild Thornberrys, Barbie, Hercules: Zero to Hero, P. J. Sparkles, and the series Sofia the First for Disney.

On the concert stage, Benson has performed as a concert soloist with symphonies all over the world, including The Boston Pops, The Philly Pops (conductor: Peter Nero), The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (conductor: John Mauceri), The National Symphony (conductor: Marvin Hamlisch), Cleveland, Dallas, Tokyo, and the San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies. She starred in the Kennedy Center Honors for Ginger Rogers, and in Disney's Premiere in Central Park with Pocahontas, The Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Spectacular and Disney's 100 Years of Magic. Benson is the resident guest soloist for the Walt Disney Company/Disney Cruise Line and ambassador for feature animation.

On June 6, 2016, Benson performed the role of Ariel at the Hollywood Bowl's concert performance of The Little Mermaid. She also made a special appearance in ABC's 2019 live musical spectacular The Little Mermaid Live! Benson was originally going to reprise her role as Sam in the 2022 film Disenchanted, but her scene was cut from the movie. She recently lent her voice to Ariel in the 2022 video game Disney Dreamlight Valley as well as singing as Ariel on various Disney Princess albums of the 2000s. From 1992 to 2011 she was the official voice of Barbie for Mattel and Pixar for projects such as Toy Story and Dance! Workout with Barbie, until the role was taken over by Kate Higgins starting with the series Life in the Dreamhouse.

Jodi Benson Photos


Original Broadway Production, 1992
Polly Baker

Original Broadway Production, 1989
Betty Bursteter

[Regional (US)]
World Premiere, 1988

Original Broadway Production, 1986
Doria Hudson (Contestant: Yuba City)

Doria Hudson

[Regional (US)]
West Coast Revival, 1990

Jodi Benson Movies

[1984]Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Ltelle's Mother

[1989]The Little Mermaid Ariel

[1994]Thumbelina Thumbelina

[1997]Flubber Weebo

[1998]The Mighty Kong Ann Darrow

[1999]Toy Story 2 Tour Guide Barbie, Barbie on Backpack

[2007]Enchanted Sam

[2010]Toy Story 3 Barbie

[2011]The Little Engine That Could Jillian

[2012]Secret of the Wings Healing Fairy

[2018]Ralph Breaks the Internet Ariel

Jodi Benson TV Shows

Hercules Helen of Troy

House of Mouse Ariel, Belle

Sofia the First Queen Emmaline, Ariel

The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Blue Fairy, Wife Alligator, Lady Admirer

The Pirates of Dark Water Tula

Jodi Benson Videos

Jodi Benson News

Roundup: The 2023 Christmas Playlist

Let's round out the holidays and the year with one last Stephen Mosher roundup, shall we?

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld December 11th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is December 11, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Disney100 Documentary to Feature Julie Andrews, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel & More

“Disney 100: A Century of Dreams – A Special Edition of 20/20,” the documentary special event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Disney, will feature interviews with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel, Elton John, Alan Menken, Katy Perry, Jodi Benson, Paige O'Hara, Ariana DeBose, and more.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld December 6th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is December 6, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Jodi Benson Will Lead HELLO, DOLLY! in Florida in Summer 2024

Jodi Benson will lead a production of Hello, Dolly! in Florida next year at Encore! Performing Arts. Learn more about the show and how to get tickets here!

From Copacabana to HARMONY: Learn About Bruce Sussman's Musical Journey

Explore the songwriting career of Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow. From their Grammy-winning hit 'Copacabana' to over 200 songs, delve into their musical achievements and their lasting impact on the music industry.

Jeremy Jordan Adds Third Show at Steppenwolf Theatre; Tickets on Sale Now

Steppenwolf Theatre has announced that Broadway star Jeremy Jordan has added a third performance to his much-anticipated Chicago debut this winter. Get all the details here!

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld October 10th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is  October 10, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Jeremy Jordan to Perform at Steppenwolf Theatre This Winter

Get all the details about Jeremy Jordan's upcoming winter performance at Steppenwolf Theatre, including dates and how to secure your tickets. Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to see the talented performer live on stage.

THE LITTLE MERMAID Sets Digital, DVD & Blu-Ray Release Dates

Find out when you can watch Disney’s The Little Mermaid on digital retailers (Apple TV, Prime Video and Vudu/Fandango), plus on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. Fans can add the film to their collection and access exclusive bonus features including a sing-along version of the film, song breakdowns, bloopers, and exclusive featurettes.

Wake Up With BWW 5/24: Inside the Drama League Awards, Alex Newell on THE VOICE, and More!

Top stories: Watch highlights from inside the 89th Annual Drama League Awards, Alex Newell performs 'Independently Owned' from Shucked on The Voice, and more!

Jodi Benson Defends THE LITTLE MERMAID Lyric Changes For New Film

Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel in the 1989 animated film version of The Little Mermaid, is defending the lyric changes in the upcoming 2023 live action remake. Earlier this year, composer Alan Menken revealed that lyrics in 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' and 'Kiss the Girl' had been updated to reflect a modern day Disney princess.

Review Roundup: Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID Live Action Remake Swims Into Theaters

'The Little Mermaid' stars Halle Bailey (Chloe x Halle, 'The Color Purple') as Ariel; Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs ('Hamilton,' 'Snowpiercer') as the voice of Sebastian; Melissa McCarthy ('Bridesmaids') as Ursula; Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric; and more. Find out what critics thought and read The Little Mermaid reviews now!

PHOTO FLASH: Premiere de LA SIRENITA en Los Ángeles

El próximo 26 de mayo llegará a los cines el remake de acción real de LA SIRENITA, y el pasado lunes 8 de mayo la cinta tuvo su premiere mundial en Los Ángeles, a la que asistieron el equipo y reparto de la película, además de varios invitados especiales atados al legado de la misma.

Video: Original LITTLE MERMAID Star Jodi Benson Praises Halle Bailey at LA Premiere

Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel in Disney's 1989 version of The Little Mermaid, praised the live-action film's star, Halle Bailey, at last night's LA premiere. As the stars of the new film attended the blue carpet event, cameras caught a sweet moment between Benson and Bailey embracing. Watch the video now!

Agent and DGRW Founding Partner Jim Wilhelm Passes Away at 68

Theatrical agent JIM WILHELM passed away early Monday morning, April 24th, 2023 in New York City at the age of 68 after a short, quiet fight with cancer.

Viola Davis, Jeff Daniels, Billy Porter And More Among 2023 Audie Award Finalists

The Audio Publishers Association has announced finalists for the 2023 Audie Awards®, the premier awards program recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. Winners across 26 competitive categories will be revealed at the Audie Awards Gala on March 28. The ceremony will be streamed to the public from Chelsea Piers’ Pier Sixty in NYC. 

Wake Up With BWW 1/24: CAMELOT Casting, Adrienne Warren to Lead ROOM, and More!

Top stories include further casting for Camelot, including Dakin Matthews, Taylor Trensch, and more! Plus, Adrienne Warren will lead Room on Broadway this Spring!

Jodi Benson and Daughter Delaney Benson Will Lead Production of GYPSY in Florida

Jodi Benson will star alongside her daughter, Delaney Benson, in a production of Gypsy in Florida.

Kathryn Gallagher, Max Harwood & More Join BENJAMIN RAUHALA & HIS WEST END BESTIES at Cadogan Hall

Additional West End and Broadway star guests have been announced for BENJAMIN RAUHALA & HIS WEST END BESTIES at the Cadogan Hall on Sunday 5 February at 6.30pm. See how to purchase tickets!


Jodi Benson has appeared on Broadway in 3 shows.

Jodi Benson has not appeared in the West End.

Jodi Benson has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production at the Helen Hayes Awards for her role in "Crazy for You." Additionally, she received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards, also for her performance in "Crazy for You." These nominations highlight Benson's talent and recognition in the Broadway industry.

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