Ruthie Henshall is a British singer, dancer, and actress.
Ruthie Henshall, featured on the poster for the West End musical production of Peggy Sue Got Married
She was born on March 7, 1967, in Bromly, Kent, England. Henshall's early ambition was to be a ballet dancer, but she lacked the necessary physique. At the age of nineteen, after studying at the Laine Theatre Arts drama school in Epsom, she earned her first professional credit in a provincial production of A Chorus Line. She made her mark in London's West End in the late 1980s and early 1990s, appearing in Cats, Miss Saigon (graduating from the chorus to the second female lead), and Les MisÚrables as Fantine. Her first starring role came in the 1993 trans-Atlantic transfer of the Broadway smash Crazy for You, with a score by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, opening at the Prince Edward Theatre coincidentally at a time she was linked with Edward as a "very good friend" (the two having met when he was working as a production assistant for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Company). Her performance earned her the first of four Olivier Award nominations.
In 1994, Henshall starred in She Loves Me, winning the Olivier as Best Actress in a Musical. That same year, she performed a concert of Gershwin songs at London's Royal Festival Hall. She recreated her role of Fantine for the 10th Anniversary Concert performance of Les Miz at the Royal Albert Hall in October 1995. In 1996, she took on the role of Nancy in producer Cameron Mackintosh's hit revival of Oliver! at the famed London Palladium. From 1997-1998, Henshall starred as Roxie Hart in the West End revival of Chicago.
Henshall was cast in the title role of the stage musical adaptation of the Francis Ford Coppola film Peggy Sue Got Married, which opened in London in August 2001 to mixed reviews. Although it closed after a run of just eight weeks, she was once again nominated for an Olivier for her performance.
Henshall has appeared at the Chichester Festival, has toured Britain in the revue The Magnificent Musicals, and has performed in Hey, Mr. Producer, a celebration of the works of Cameron Mackintosh. Her solo recordings include The Ruthie Henshall Album, Pilgrim, and Love Is Here to Stay, a collection of Gershwin tunes.
Henshall's Broadway credits include Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together and The Vagina Monologues. Her first feature film, a musical version of A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer, aired on NBC in the United States in November 2004 and was released as a commercial attraction to theaters in the UK and Europe.