On July 24th, 1968, Kristin Dawn Chenoweth was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She was adopted by Junie Smith Chenoweth and Jerry Morris Chenoweth, who both worked as chemical engineers when she was five. She has acknowledged being a quarter Cherokee. She later met her biological mother, whose uncle had noticed Chenoweth on a talk show a decade earlier and commented how similar they looked.
She began singing gospel hymns in nearby churches at a young age, displaying an early passion for music and performing. She performed at the Southern Baptist Convention when she was twelve, singing the Evie song “Four Feet Eleven,” which corresponds to her height. She participated actively in the drama department as a student at Broken Arrow High School. Following graduation, she enrolled in Oklahoma City College, a small private Christian university.
She competed in beauty pageants while a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, winning Miss Oklahoma City University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre in 1990 and left the university to pursue a master’s. She finished her master’s degree in opera performance in 1992 after finishing as the second runner-up for Miss Oklahoma in 1991.
How Was Kristin Chenoweth’s Early Career?
While completing her master’s degree, she acted at The Lyric theater in Oklahoma City, and she periodically traveled to appear at smaller theaters. She played parts in “Gone with the Wing,” Promises, and “The King and I” in her early theater career. The Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions awarded her the distinction of “Most Promising Up-and-Coming Singer” in 1992. Along with the title, the award also included a full scholarship to Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts.
She traveled to New York City to assist a friend with a move before the start of her classes and went to an audition for “Animal Crackers” at the Paper Mills Playhouse. She made the decision to decline the scholarship after being offered the part and relocated to New York to pursue a career in musical theater.
She spent the 1990s performing in Off-Broadway and regional productions of “Babes in Arms,” “Phantom,” “The Fantasticks,” and “Box Office of the Damned,” among other plays. She made her Broadway debut in 1997 with a part in the show “Steel Pier,” for which she won a Theatre World Award.
She starred as the younger sister of the titular character in the Broadway revival of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” in 1999. For her performance, she received the Tony and Drama Desk awards. She also made her television debut in 1999, appearing in the children’s show “The Wonderful World of Disney” and playing a part in the miniseries “Paramour.” She rose to fame in 2003 thanks to her portrayal of Glinda in the Broadway production of “Wicked.”
How Did Kristin Chenoweth Start His Film Career?
Chenoweth continued to perform in theatrical musicals throughout the 2000s while shifting to acting in television and movies. She starred in the 2001 television show “Kristin,” which was canceled after only one season. She made her acting debut in the following year’s “Topa Topa Bluffs,” directed by Oscar winner Eric Simonson. She gained recognition from general audiences in 2005 thanks to a supporting role in “Bewitched,” which she shared with Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, and Michael Kaine.
Chenoweth received a prize for “Outstanding Supporting Actress Performance in a Film” at the 2006 First Americans in the Arts Awards, despite receiving negative reviews and performing only mediocrely at the box office. Razzie Award nominations were received by her co-stars. She resumed her career in movies with a supporting part in the 2006 family-friendly comedy “RV” and a role in the comedy-mystery “Pink Panther,” the ninth episode of the franchise and starring Steve Martin.
She appeared in minor roles in three other movies that were released that year, including “Running with Scissors,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” and “Deck the Halls.” Alongside Reese Witherspoon, she co-starred in the 2008 film “Four Christmases,” The following year, she made an appearance in the independent thriller “Into Temptation.”
She was developing her television career while performing minor roles in feature films. She played a recurring character on the well-known political drama series “The West Wing” from 2004 to 2006, then from 2007 to 2009, she starred prominently in the comedy-drama series “Pushing Daisies.” She garnered two Screen Actors Guild Award nods for her role on the latter show, together with the cast of “West Wing,” and two Emmy Award nominations
. Alongside Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, she co-starred in the animated comedy series “Sit Down, Shut Up” in 2009. Later that same year, she started playing the recurring character April Rhodes on the teen musical drama “Glee.” She made an appearance in the fourth season of “The Good Wife,” a political drama, in 2012 but had to leave because to set injuries. She appeared in the Starz program “American Gods” in 2017 and the second season of the bizarre comedy “Trial & Error” in 2018.