'Beauty And The Beast' Stars: Where Are They Now?
Possibly Disney's crowning jewel in the company's "renaissance" -- the period from the late '80s to the late '90s that produced wildly popular and widely acclaimed animated flicks that became classics -- "Beauty and the Beast" is being released on DVD and Blu-ray in a combo pack on October 5.
The combo pack includes all kinds of goodies and extras: fully-restored footage (it's the first time it'll be in high def), a sing-along mode, games, a virtual tour of the castle, deleted scenes (including a never-before-seen one), and more.
Until last year's "Up," 1991's "Beauty and the Beast" was the only animated movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. With such critical chops, as well as being an inexorable part of millions of childhoods, we wondered -- what are the stars of this beloved classic up to nowadays?
Paige O'Hara (Belle) -- The sweet voice of Belle returned for the "Beauty and the Beast" straight-to-video sequels, and also appeared on "Kingdom Hearts," the popular role-playing video game franchise that features the wide pantheon of Disney characters (as did most of her castmates). She also appeared in the musical movie "Enchanted" in 2007, along with three other Disney actresses: Jodi Benson (Ariel), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas) and the legendary Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins). She's no stranger to Broadway, having performed in Les Mis from 1987 to 2003. Currently, she can be seen in "Menopause: The Musical" in Vegas.
Robby Benson (Beast) -- The main man, Beast himself, is now a professor at NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, whose extensive list of notable alumni includes Debra Messing, Daniel Dae Kim (who can be seen on this season's reboot of "Hawaii Five-0"), Michael C. Hall and more. (Lady Gaga attended, but didn't graduate.) Benson appeared in "American Dreams" in 2003 and has continued some voice and acting. On top of academic and versatile performer, he also directs, and has directed episodes of "Ellen," "Friends" and "8 Simple Rules."
Richard White (Gaston) -- This dude and his bass voice pretty much disappeared from the public eye. White reprised his Gaston role for a few episodes of the Saturday morning cartoon "House of Mouse" in the early 2000s.
Jerry Orbach (Lumière) -- Unfortunately, the great actor passed away in 2004, but left behind a legacy. He starred as Briscoe in "Law & Order" for 12 years, and won a Tony in the '60s for "Promises, Promises," a production based on Billy Wilder's iconic "The Apartment." Wilder also contributed his talents to the stage inspiration, along with Neil Simon and Burt Bacharach. Orbach has countless other film and stage credits under his belt, performing both on Broadway and the West End in London.
David Ogden Stiers (Cogsworth) -- This "M*A*S*H" star and accomplished conductor has continued a steady stream of work into the 2000s. Like his "Beauty and the Beast" pals, he's lent his voice to some video games. His recent movie credits include 2005's "Hoodwinked!," a take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, and he'll also appear in the upcoming sequel. You also heard him in "Lilo & Stitch," "Spirited Away," and others. He was also a regular on "The Dead Zone," and appeared on "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," "Frasier," "Arli$$," "Touched by an Angel" and others.
Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts) -- Probably one of the most accomplished and beloved actresses in history, Miss Lansbury will be 85 years young next month. She's won five Tonys and six Golden Globes and was nominated for 3 Oscars and 18 Emmys. She appeared in Broadway's "Deuce" in 2007, and just finished a show called "A Little Night Music" last June (she was nominated for Tonys for both). Her most recent Tony was in 2008 for "Blithe Spirit." She played Jessica on "Murder, She Wrote" for a whopping 12 seasons, an eternity by today's scripted drama standards.
The "Beauty and the Beast" DVD/Blu-ray combo pack retails for $39.99 and is available for a limited time.