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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Every Princess Has a Royal Villain Rapunzel's Villain Donna Murphy
Princess Has a Royal Villain
Donna Murphy (born March 7, 1958) is an American
stage, film, television actress and singer. Murphy has won two Tony Awards for Best
Actress in a Musical for her roles in Passion as Fosca and in The King and I as
Anna Leonowens. She received three more Tony Award nominations for Best Actress
in a Musical for her performances in Wonderful Town as Ruth Sherwood, LoveMusik
as Lotte Lenya and The People in the Picture as Raisel/Bubbie.
She is known, most recently, for her role as Mother
Gothel in the animated Disney film Tangled (2010), Anij, Captain Jean-Luc
Picard's love interest, in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and her numerous
stage roles in musical theatre.
Murphy, the eldest of seven children, was born in Corona,
Queens, New York, the daughter of Lucinda (nee Fink) and Robert Murphy, an
aerospace engineer. Murphy is of Irish, French, German, and Czech ancestry. Her
family moved to Hauppauge, Long Island, New York. At age three, she asked for voice
lessons, and she put on shows as a child in Hauppauge. She later moved to Topsfield,
Massachusetts and graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in 1977.
Murphy has been married to actor and singer Shawn Elliott
since 1990. She is the stepmother of Elliott's two daughters. In 2005, they
adopted a daughter from Guatemala, Darmia Hope.
Murphy dropped out of the New York University drama
program in her sophomore year when she was cast to understudy the three backup
singers in the 1979 Broadway musical They’re Playing Our Song. In a 2007
interview, Murphy explained, "At the end of my sophomore year, I took a
leave of absence. I needed to audition without cutting classes." She also
studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.
She appeared in many Off-Broadway productions, including
the musical Francis in 1981 at the York Theatre at St. Peter's, The
Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1985 at the Public Theater's Delacorte Theatre, Birds
of Paradise in 1987 (Promenade Theatre), Privates on Parade (Roundabout Theatre)
in 1989, the musical Song of Singapore in 1991, the Michael John La
Chiusa musical Hello Again at the Lincoln Center Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in
1993, Twelve Dreams at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in 1995, and Helen
at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival in 2002.
On Broadway, after They're Playing Our Song
(1979), she was an understudy in the musical/opera The Human Comedy in April
1984 and played various roles in The Mystery of Edwin Drood from 1985 to 1987.
She also played Audrey in Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's Little Shop of
Horrors. In 1994, she played the role of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim's and
James Lapine’s Passion, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical
for her performance. A year later she appeared in Lapine's revival, Twelve
Dreams. In 1996, she played Anna Leonowens in the revival of The King and I
alongside Lou Diamond Philips. The role earned her a second Tony Award for Best
Actress in a Musical. She appeared as Ruth Sherwood in a revival of Wonderful
Town from 2003 to 2005 (having previously performed in the New York City Center
Encores! 2000 staged concert of that musical), and was nominated for the Tony
Award, Best Actress in a Musical and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding
Actress in a Musical. In 2007, she appeared in LoveMusik as Lotte Lenya,
opposite Michael Cerveris as Kurt Weill, receiving nominations for Tony and
Drama Desk Awards. She appeared in the 2007 New York City Center Encores!
staged concert of Follies as Phyllis. She is appearing in the Roundabout
Theatre production of a new musical, The People in the Picture, which opened on
April 28, 2011 and is closing on June 19, 2011. She was nominated for a 2011
Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in the production.
Murphy's film roles include Kathleen, Vera Farmiga's
sister in Higher Ground (2011) and Mother Gothel in the animated musical film
Tangled (2010). She played Anij, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's love interest, in Star
Trek: Insurrection (1998), Scarlett Johansson's mother in The Nanny Diaries and
Rosalie Octavius, wife of Dr. Otto Octavius, the film's villain, in Spider-Man
2 (2004). She appeared in the film Center Stage as a ballet teacher in 2000 and
in Darren Aronofsky's 2006 film The Fountain as Betty, a surgical research
On television, Murphy has appeared in the NBC soap opera
Another World from 1989 through 1991 as District Attorney Morgan Graves. She
has also had roles in a number of television series. She played a recurring
character in Liberty! The Revolution (as Abigail Adams) (1997), Murder One
(1995–1996), Law & Order as Carla Tyrell in a recurring role (2000), Hack
(2002–2003) and Trust Me (2009).