Paige O'Hara (born Donna Paige Helmintoller; May 10, 1956) is an American actress, singer, and painter best known for her signature role as Belle in Disney's highly successful animated film, Beauty and the Beast.
O'Hara was critically acclaimed for both her speaking and singing voice in the film, and also for the unique tone she brought to Belle (said to be of a Judy Garland-like quality) which captured her personality. According to Beauty and the Beast filmmakers, O'Hara's voice had a similar tone to that of Wizard of Oz star, Judy Garland, which partially won her the role.
O'Hara reprised her role as Belle in two of the film's sequels, The Enchanted Christmas in 1997, and Belle's Magical World in 1998. However, she is substituted by Little Mermaid star, Jodi Benson, in the House of Mouse television series, and Lynsey McLeod in the live-action television spin-off, Sing Me a Story with Belle. O'Hara and McLeod do, however, co-star in the Beauty and the Beast direct-to-video midquel, Belle's Tales of Friendship, with O'Hara voicing the animated version of Belle, and McLeod portraying the live-action version, she also had a cameo in Enchanted, as a character in a soap opera that Edward saw on TV.
In August 2011, O'Hara finally became a Disney Legend.
As of January 2012, she was replaced as the voice of Belle due to her voice changing significantly over the course of twenty years, though she still paints Belle for Disney Fine Art. Julie Nathanson assumed the role beginning with Kinect Disneyland Adventures.