Jodi Marie Marzorati was born on the 10th October 1961, in Rockford, Illinois USA, and is a stage, movie and voice actress as well as a singer. As Jodi Benson, she is most famous for being the trademark voice of several Disney’s characters, such as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” franchise, Thumbelina in “Thumbelina” (1994), Helen of Troy in the “Hercules” TV series, as well as Tour Guide Barbie in “Toy Story 2” (1999) and “Toy Story 3” (2010).
Have you ever wondered how much wealth this Grammy Award-winning actress has accumulated so far? How rich Jodi Benson is? According to sources, it is estimated that the total size of Jodi Benson’s net worth, as of early 2017, is over $5 million, acquired through her career in the movie-making industry which has been active since 1984.
Jodi Benson Net Worth $5 million
After high school, Jodi enrolled at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where she studied law at first. However, later she turned herself towards musical the theater program, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. As an actress she debuted on the stage in 1983, starring in Kenny Ortega‘s Broadway play “Marilyn: An American Fable”, then in 1984, Jodi voice acted in the English language adaptation of the Japanese Sci-Fi animated adventure “Kaze no tani no Naushika” (“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”). These engagements provided the basis for Jodi Benson’s net worth.
During the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s, she continued to regularly appear on the stage in various Broadway productions, and in 1992 Jodi was honored with a Tony Award nomination for her performance in “Crazy For You” musical. Apart from these, she also appeared in several other notable Broadway musicals, such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as well as “Smile” and “Welcome to the Club”. It is certain that all these performances have helped Jodi Benson to dramatically increase her fame and popularity as well as the total size of her wealth.
However, the real breakthrough in Jodi Benson’s professional acting career occurred in 1989, when she was cast for the voice of mermaid princess Ariel in Disney’s animated family movie – “The Little Mermaid”. She reprised her “voice role” in other motion pictures of The Little Mermaid franchise such as the eponymous TV series and several spin-offs, including “The Little Mermaid 2: Return of the Sea” and “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”. Ever since, Jodi has been one of the trademark voices of Disney, and later Pixar, and has voiced several other famous Disney’s characters, such as Thumbelina in “Thumbelina” (1994), Weebo in “Flubber” (1997) as well as Barbie in the second and third sequels in “The Toy Story” movie franchise, and Sam in “Enchanted” (2007). It is certain that these are Jodi’s most notable and memorable roles so far which have helped her to increase her net worth by a large margin.
Apart from all those already mentioned above, Jodi Benson has also voice acted in several video games, such as “Batman Beyond”, “Kingdom Hearts” and its sequel “Kingdom Hearts II” as well as “Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey” and “Disney Magical World 2”. For her extraordinary contribution and dedication to The Walt Disney Company, in 2011 Jodi Benson was rewarded with the Disney Legends Award. Doubtlessly, all these achievements have impacted Jodi Benson’s net worth in a positive manner.
As a singer, Benson was featured on several Disney album releases as well as with various symphony orchestras, with which she has toured the globe, including The Philly Pops with Peter Nero, The National Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch as well as The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and The Boston Pops.
When it comes to her personal life, Jodi Benson has been married since 1984 to a musician, Asleep at the Wheel’s frontman Ray Benson, with whom she has a son and a daughter.
Appeared as part of a cast/crew panel discussion at the premiere of a revival/promotional screening of the 1989 Disney classic The Little Mermaid (1989) at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on September 7th, 2006. [September 2006]
Was actually the first person considered to voice the part of "Belle" in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991), but lost the role to Paige O'Hara. However, she did lend her voice to "Belle" in several episodes of the original Disney cartoon series House of Mouse (2001).
Gave birth to her second child, a daughter called Delaney (2001)
Loves to snow ski, hike, go to the movies, go bowling, read, and travel.
Her favorite scene in The Little Mermaid (1989) is singing the "Part of Your World" reprise upon the rock.
She started majoring in Law at Millikin University, but after one semester she changed her major and became one of the first students in the BFA program for musical theater.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1992 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for "Crazy for You."
(January 8, 1999) Son, Mckinley Benson born
Attended Millikin University in Decatur, IL
Won the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress for playing Florence Vassey in Chess.
Received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical and a Helen Hayes Award nomination for creating the starring role of "Polly Baker" in George Gershwin's "Crazy for You".
Her beautiful singing voice
I think God must have had something in mind for me that was not on my radar when I first started out in New York. Back then, doing animated voices meant your career was done - it was looked down upon.
I have a studio at my house, and there is a sister studio for Disney which is about 45 minutes away, and we haven't dropped a beat. In the art of animation and voiceover work, you can pretty much work from anywhere.
I was very flattered when Disney Junior reached out and invited me to come voice Ariel for this special primetime edition of 'Sofia the First.' As the parent myself, I really appreciate the positive messages that this animated series is trying to put out there.
I grew up with 'Cinderella.' So that was my go-to Disney film, definitely. It was princess-related, and coming from a smaller area in Illinois and wanting to do something greater than myself in Broadway, that was a film that I could really relate to.
For me, I was able to make that statement of faith early on when my career began, so there weren't really a lot of surprises. People around me knew where my husband Ray and I stood as far as my faith went.
My husband has a gift for reaching out to people in need. I always look over and see him connecting to someone who needs to talk or needs some support.
When I do my concerts, you have got to think about everything else; so you have got to think about your gown, your hair, your body, and how you present yourself on stage.
What we try to do at Disney and through Disney character voices is really maintain the integrity of our classic characters at all costs. So Ariel needs to be me for every project, and if there are any other Ariels floating around out there, it's not necessarily Disney.
We had put our son into a little preschool in Los Angeles, and it was just not going well, so we brought him back home. We had every intention of putting him back into a traditional school setting, but we just really couldn't find the right match for him. And then we moved to Georgia and again couldn't find the right match.
Ever since the kids were babies, we have treated them with respect. We are the mom and dad for sure, but we look for opportunities for us to sit down and say, 'How are things going for you? Is there anything that we can do as parents to help you? Let's all come up with a solution together.' We work better as a team.
I am a follower of Jesus. My husband really brought me to the Lord when I was 18 and I am so lucky to have a platform through the studio.
I can't sing, perform, do anything apart from Christ. I have no power or strength of my own.
I love working with talented young performers.
I pretty much came out of the womb singing. I think I sang all the time.
I can only speak for my husband and myself, but we don't feel like we could do any of this parenting without our faith.
All I've been a part of has been thanks to the Disney company: the job, experience, travel, opportunities have come thanks to Disney. Working for Disney was not part of my original plan, but it was part of God's, and it shows that God is still moving.
I was the original voice of Mattel's Barbie for an '80s claymation workout video.
I remember when John Lasseter called me back in the late 1990s to personally invite me to come be the voice of Barbie in 'Toy Story 2.'
I've done a variety of projects in different areas of the entertainment industry.
I think good entertainment makes you feel something... it can be a variety of different feelings.
I am really committed to my faith journey, and I am committed to my family. My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years, and we homeschool our kids. We have a different working-out-of the-box family, but we do make it work, obviously with God's grace, and we are very grateful for that.
Homeschooling has given us some wonderful flexibility and some great life experiences, especially with our son.
I want to live outside of the box, and I definitely don't want to put God in a box, so I want to be able to dream big and kind of let that go of my small-mindedness.
Anything that has to do with Disney and Pixar, I am on board with. That is where my heart and family are. So when they call, I jump.
What I look for in a project or partner is integrity and character; I love the concept of family entertainment and crosses over the generations, where you can sit kids with their grandparents and everyone has a good time. Those are the qualities that I want to bring to viewers.
I was doing a Broadway musical called 'Smile' with Howard Ashman and Marvin Hamlisch in 1984/5 when it abruptly closed. Howard was in the middle of pre-production for 'The Little Mermaid,' so he kindly invited all the girls in our cast to audition for the film.
I love working for Disney! They are my family.
Connecting with the kids is a great joy for me. I love meeting them backstage or at a signing event. I am overwhelmed when I meet kids who struggle with terminal illnesses.
I really like worship music. It settles my soul. Gets me back on track. The lyrics are almost like a prayer, so it's my go-to.
'The Little Mermaid' changed my life.
I have a lot of mermaid stuff. I did start collecting a lot before I had children because I didn't know if I would have a boy or a girl. So I saved everything.
The thing that I enjoy about animation is the fact that it is unbridled, and there are no boundaries; when you are in the room, you don't have to focus on your clothing, make-up, hair, your choreography or your blocking; you really do have total freedom.
I homeschool, so the start of the day is reading Bible scripture, memorization, and prayer.
I think God calls and encourages us to dream big, but sometimes we put God in a box in a very small way, when God wants us to look outside the box.
I am blessed to perform in the studio and on the concert stage.