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Kristin Chenoweth Biography

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Kristin Chenoweth (born Kristi Dawn Chenoweth on July 24, 1968) is a Tony Award-winning American stage and film actress and singer.

Chenoweth (sometimes referred to as "Cheno" by her fans) is short in stature, at only 4 ft 11 in (150 cm) tall. She has a distinctive speaking voice; in monthly culture magazine FHM's March 2006 issue, she compared her voice to Betty Boop. Her singing voice has a range of four octaves.

Chenoweth was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and was adopted at birth. Chenoweth's ancestry includes one-quarter Cherokee lineage.

She graduated from Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta (Beta Omicron) Sorority. Chenoweth earned a bachelor's degree in musical theater and a master's degree in opera performance. While at OCU, she won the title of "Miss OCU" and went on to win first runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma pageant. She performed at Opryland USA. She won a "most talented up-and-coming singer" award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts; she turned down the scholarship when she auditioned and won a part on an off-Broadway show.

Chenoweth made her Broadway debut in a production of Molière's Scapin starring Bill Irwin, followed in the spring of 1997 by the musical Steel Pier by John Kander and Fred Ebb, for which she won a Theatre World award. The following season, she appeared in the City Center Encores! production of the George and Ira Gershwin musical Strike Up the Band and the Lincoln Center Theater production of William Finn's A New Brain. She has performed several times on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion.

During the 1998–1999 season, she performed the role of Sally in the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown — the originally minor character was expanded substantially with Chenoweth in mind — the production won Chenoweth the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards as the season's Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She then starred in the Broadway comedy Epic Proportions, followed by appearances in ABC's television adaptation of the musical Annie (as Lily St. Regis), and in the leading role of Daisy Gamble in the City Center Encores! production of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
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