(Joe Gambino’s article appeared in Playbill Online, 2/17; via Pam Green.)

Beauty and the Beast—the tale as old as time—returns to the big screen March 17 starring Emma Watson, but Broadway fans have been completely obsessed with this Disney classic and its titular “Beauty” since it opened on the Great White Way in 1994. Over the course of its 13-year run on Broadway, over 20 actors performed the role of Belle. But what roles had they taken on before the headstrong princess, and where are they now? Be our guest as Playbill looks back on eight of them.

Susan Egan originated the role of bookworm Belle on Broadway in 1994 and was nominated for a Tony Award for her work. After leaving the Broadway production, she reprised her role in Los Angeles in 1995. This actor is no stranger to Disney. In 1997, Egan provided both the singing and speaking voices for Hercules’ Megara. Her most recent Broadway credits include Sally Bowles in the 1998 revival of Cabaret and as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Egan now permanently resides in Los Angeles, where she voices Rose Quartz on Steven Universe. She recently published a blog post detailing her time as Belle on her personal website. Read it here.

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