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Paige O'Hara, a Broadway star, played Belle in Disney's 1991 animated classic 'Beauty and the Beast.'
'The audiences have kept me going,' she said at the company's D23 Expo on Aug. 19, 2012, when she was honored with a Disney Legends Award. 'I lost my mom and my sister in a very short period of time and the fans constantly write to me and encourage me and send me poems and letter and it's just been an amazing friendship that I've had with the fans and it goes back 20 years.'
O'Hara has also worked as a background artist for Disney, painting 'Beauty and the Beast' pictures, and visits children's hospitals.
'I think it's really wonderful that I can go and encourage people and especially with the kids that are sick ... and just the regular kid that says, 'Oh, Belle, you just make my life. I just want to sing like you some day.'
She and actor Robby Benson, who played the Beast and the Prince in 'Beauty and the Beast,' attended the launch of the film's Blu-ray hi-def Diamond Collection edition on Oct. 2, 2010 (watch a video of them here).
'I feel very lucky to be a part of it because it is the kind of film that will be around a long time,' Benson said. 'I've gotten old in time but the Beast isn't so that's good.'
(Pictured: Belle appears in a scene from the 1991 Disney movie 'Beauty and the Beast.' / Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson, who played the Beast and the Prince, talk to OnTheRedCarpet.com at a screening of 'Beauty and the Beast' to mark its new Blu-ray hi-def Diamond Collection edition on Oct. 2, 2010.)
(OTRC Photo / Walt Disney Company)