Getty Images
Getty Images

Who Was Idina Menzel Named After? The Broadway Star Changed Her Last Name When She Rose to Fame

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
May 30, 2022
10:15 A.M.

Idina Menzel has captivated the world with her fantastic performances on Broadway, in films, and television. A woman of seemingly limitless talent, the multi-hyphenate star has recently stepped into another role.


Idina is making a huge splash in the world of fashion design! She has launched Encore, a size-inclusive and easy-to-wear clothing line that transitions effortlessly from one activity to the next.

The 51-year-old actress shared that her inspiration for the clothing line started from a napkin drawing. Part of her collection is the "Swing romper," a versatile outfit staple inspired by the understudies on Broadway.

Idina Menzel performs onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 9, 2020 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Idina Menzel performs onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 9, 2020 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


The fashion design neophyte was born Idina Kim Mentzel in New York City on May 30, 1971, to parents Stuart and Helene. When she began her acting career, she decided to slightly change her last name.


The Broadway actress only took out the letter "T" from her original family name so that her last name reads "Menzel." She made this adjustment to keep people from mispronouncing her last name.


Idina's decision to change her last name seemed to have helped her to break into theatre and, eventually, Hollywood. In 1996, she rose to stardom as Maureen in the critically acclaimed Broadway musical "Rent."

She gained more prominence after playing Elphaba in the Broadway production of "Wicked" in 2003. She then became a household name after playing Queen Elsa in the "Frozen" sequels in 2013 and 2019.



Although she made a change to her last name, the talented actress remains proud of her first name, which according to her, is of Israeli and Hebrew origins. The "Cinderella" star said of her name:

"It's an Israeli name, a Hebrew name, it means gentle. I can be gentle, it depends who you ask."

"Ih-DEE-nah men-ZELL" is how the actress pronounces her name. Idina said she was named after her late great-grandmother Ida. In the Jewish religion, Idina explained, children are named based on the first letter of a deceased loved one's name.



Despite Idina's effort to change her name for more precise pronunciation, some people, including Hollywood celebrities, still fail to say her name correctly. One celebrity who infamously pronounced Idina's name wrong was John Travolta.

In 2014, Travolta introduced Idina with a different name during the live Oscars ceremony. The "Grease" actor mistakenly called Idina "Adele Dazeem."


Idina has no bitter emotions over the iconic error, which became a popular topic on the internet. She said she was baffled by Travolta's mistake, but she played it cool on stage.

As soon as the orchestra began to play, Idina was able to recover from the awkward situation. Instead of being disappointed, she laughed it off and said it was the best thing that had ever happened to her.

Idina joked about how she deserved to have her name mispronounced by a Hollywood great. "So it was like, 'Oh my God, I finally made it this big,'" she said.

To make up for putting her in an embarrassing situation, Idina said that Travolta was kind enough to send her a pleasant email and flowers following the blunder.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Liam Neeson's Grown-Up Sons – One Changed His Name to Honor Their Late Mom Whom He Thinks of Every Day

November 04, 2023

Meg Ryan's Looks Have Changed since She Disappeared after Divorce – Now She's a Single Mom of 2

November 08, 2023

Jane Birkin's Family: She Had 3 Daughters from 3 Men in the Film Industry

July 18, 2023

‘Total Garbage,’ Music Teacher Mocks Immigrant Student’s Song, Hears It on Radio Later – Story of the Day

October 26, 2023

After Wife's Death, Widower Finds Out They've Been Divorced for More than 20 Years – Story of the Day

November 03, 2023

‘I Miss Him': Eva Marie Saint on Late Spouse of 65 Years Who Took Care of Their Kids So She Wouldn’t Turn Down a Role

September 10, 2023

This Woman Slept on the Floor of Intense Care to Be near Her Hollywood Star Husband - They Wed in 15 Minutes & Made It to 61 Years Together

November 03, 2023

Ben Mendelsohn's Wife: Inside the Actor's Only Marriage to Emma Forrest and His Previous Relationships

July 30, 2023

‘Benson’ Star Inga Swenson Has Died - Her Husband of 70 Years Was by Her Side

July 30, 2023

Mariska Hargitay's Sister Followed in Their Mom's Footsteps – She's Beautiful & Keeps a Low Profile at 72

October 11, 2023

Liam Neeson Had to 'Pull the Plug' When His Wife Became Brain Dead – He Still Mourns Her 14 Years after Emotional Farewell

July 27, 2023

Ann Jillian Admires Her Grandkid with Husband of 46 Years – He Helped Her Fight Cancer & Raise ‘Miracle’ Son

July 25, 2023

This Ex Child Star & Hands-On Dad Was a Money-Making Machine for His Abusive Father Who Hid His Millions from Him

October 26, 2023

Georg Stanford Brown & Tyne Daly Raised 3 Kids despite Racial Backlash — Pics of Their Daughters

October 24, 2023