|Year of Birth:||1918|
|Year of Death:||1970|
Miriam Ruth "Mimi" Benzell (April 6, 1918 – December 23, 1970) was an American soprano who performed with the Metropolitan Opera before establishing herself as a Broadway musical theatre, television, and nightclub performer.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1918 to William and Esther (née Cohn) Benzell; her father was in the furniture business and her paternal grandfather had been a popular singer in Russia before emigrating to the United States. Mimi Benzell and her family moved to New York City, where she attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. She later attended Hunter College for two years and the Marines School of Music. Originally a piano student, the switched to voice under the tutelage of Mine. Olga Eisner.
She was 20 years old when she made her Met debut in a Sunday concert on December 3, 1944. She made her stage debut in Mozart's The Magic Flute on January 5, 1945. Additional Met credits that Benzell compiled include performances in La Bohème, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, Carmen, and Barber of Seville.
In 1961, she appeared in Jerry Herman's first book musical, Milk and Honey, which proved to be her only Broadway production. Benzell performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, then still titled Toast of the Town, eleven times between 1949 and 1955. She appeared as a panelist on both the daytime and primetime editions of the game show To Tell the Truth, and was a guest star on the short-lived DuMont series Off the Record alongside Zero Mostel and Joey Faye. Among her recordings were Roberta and The Vagabond King, both with Alfred Drake.