Biographic by Steve McGarry for June 01, 2014
Biographic Steve McGarry Maleficent Although the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale has its origins in 17th-century Europe, the character of the sorceress Maleficent is a fairly recent development. Maleficent was introduced in 1959's animated Disney telling of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale. She was voiced by actress Eleanor Audley, who also provided live-action references for the animators to work from. Audley had previously voiced the character of Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother in the 1950 Walt Disney animated classic "Cinderella." She went on to provide the voice of Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion attractions at the Disney theme parks and worked extensively in TV throughout the 1960s, including taking a leading role on the sitcom "Green Acres." Maleficent is a major character in the "Kingdom Hearts" video game series, which, since it was first introduced in 2002, has sold more than 20 million copies to date. She was also a recurring character on the "House of Mouse" TV show, and is a staple of numerous productions staged at the various Disney resorts and parks. The 2011 fantasy TV drama show "Once Upon a Time" - and subsequent spinoff series "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" - cast Kristin Bauer van Straten as Maleficent. Her other TV credits range from comedies such as "Seinfeld" and "Two and a Half Men" to "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," but fans of the supernatural cable TV hit "True Blood" will know her best as the vampire Pam, co-owner of the Fangtasia vampire bar. The latest incarnation of the "Mistress of All Evil" sees Angelina Jolie take the title role in Disney's big-budget fantasy "Maleficent" - a movie that also features Angelina's daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt as the young Princess Aurora.