Actress Kristen Bell has been in some unforgettable hits over the years.
After starring in “Veronica Mars” from 2004 – 2019, she moved on to “The Good Place” from 2016 – 2020. Although she is known for her presence on screen, Bell actually got her start in stage productions at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University.
On Saturday, the “Frozen” voice actress took a moment to pay her respects to the late Stephen Sondheim, who passed away “suddenly” in his home at the age of 91 on Friday, November 26, the day after spending Thanksgiving with his family.
‘Thank You, Mr. Sondheim. For So Many Things’
Bell posted a series of snaps of the late Sondheim working behind the scenes, and even one featuring the pair together wearing matching white shirts.
“Yesterday, we lost the man responsible for the drive behind my entire career,” the actress wrote.
“I have been chasing the melodic intricacies of Steven Sondheim’s work since I was a 13 yr old girl taking voice lessons in Michigan,” she explained.
“I was singing mostly in other languages, when my voice teacher sent me home with the song ‘Green Finch and linnet bird’ from Sweeney Todd,” she added. “The musical complexity paired with the emotional clarity was stunning.”
She then described how she “started losing myself in his Musical theater- and found a deeper understanding of who I was, and wanted to be. Musicals brought me to straight plays, which brought me to film and tv- which brought me here.”
Bell Honors Sondheim For Jumpstarting Her Career
Bell credited Sondheim for her illustrious acting career. As she put it, “Without Stephen Sondheim, my life would have had a different trajectory.”
She added, “He told stories with sound” before naming a few of her favorite works:
“He was responsible for bringing to life A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, West Side Story, Gypsy, and many others.”
Bell then recounted a moment when she tried to make Sondheim proud, writing, “I had the honor of performing ‘A Little Night Music’ twice in my career- at the LA opera house, and at the Kennedy Center in D.C.”
“Mr. Sondheim attended the D.C. production and though it took the focus of every molecule in my body, I managed NOT to corner him backstage with infinite stories of how much his work has effected me. In the end, I didn’t say a word to him. I did what any good student of Sondheim would do. I tried to make him feel it through the music we performed that night.”
She wrapped up the post by saying, “Thank you, Mr. Sondheim. For so many things.”
A small memorial of flowers and candles has been left outside the theater bearing his name on West 43rd Street in New York City.