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SUSAN EGAN (Lin) plays the tough-minded older girl of the bathhouse, who teaches Chihiro the rules for survival in the harsh new world she finds herself in. Quick-witted and acerbic, Lin can be soft-spoken and deferential one moment, tough and no-nonsense the next.

"This is the first time I've been the voice of a character for a feature that's already been animated," Egan says. "But I have to say I really enjoyed it. I love the boundaries and the parameters, having to start here and end here and get all these things in the middle. And the animation is beautiful. When I was doing ‘Hercules' there was no finished film to look at, only some sketches of my character. With this project I was inspired by the final animation, which is just gorgeous."

Egan isn't worried about being able to bring her own interpretation to a character that was previously voiced by another actor. "Even though the movie's been a huge success in Japan with a different woman playing Lin, there's a lot of room for different choices in the characterization. It's not just a matter of translating the movie, it's also translating the culture so Americans can relate to this Japanese sensibility. My Lin is definitely more down and dirty, more streetwise, with lots of humor and sarcasm.

Egan adds, "The themes in this movie are actually similar to those of Disney animated films. There's a young hero and heroine, a hardship is presented to them, they struggle through, grow up, become courageous. Chihiro is very much like Belle. All these stories come from the mythologies of our cultures. ‘Beauty and the Beast' is a fairy tale that traveled all through Europe before it came to the United States. Here we've got another spirit world, but it's very foreign to us. I think it's incredibly refreshing to have our Grimms' Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Andersen, and then see this and have the same lessons told in such a completely different way."

Egan provided the voice of Megara in Disney's "Hercules" (1997), lending her exquisite singing voice and acting talent to the Classical-era Barbara Stanwyck-esque beauty determined to push Hercules' buttons. Egan also gave a singing voice to the tough and bluesy Angel in Disney's "Lady and the Tramp II." In addition, she has led such films as Fine Line Feature's "Man of the Century" (1998), the shorts "The Disappearing Girl Trick" (2001) and "Falling In Love" (2002), and the Disney Channel's latest original, "Gotta Kick It Up" (2002). Egan won critical acclaim on Broadway as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret," in "Triumph of Love" and "State Fair," and most notably as the original Belle in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," garnering Tony and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. She has also starred alongside Carol Burnett in "Putting It Together" at the Taper, Tommy Tune in the national tour of "Bye, Bye Birdie," and reprised her role as Belle for the Los Angeles premiere of "Beauty and the Beast." In the last three years, Egan has performed in concert with dozens of symphony orchestras across the country including two engagements at the Hollywood Bowl.

On television, Egan just completed two seasons as Mary Campbell on the WB's "Nikki," and has appeared on "NYPD Blue," "Arliss," "Party of Five," "Drew Carey," "Almost Perfect," "Partners," "All My Children," "Loving," and "Great Performances: Rodgers and Hart."

Egan's debut solo CD of Broadway hits "Susan Egan, So Far…" on JAY records was released in March of 2002 to high critical praise. She can also be heard on over thirty recordings of original cast albums, Broadway collections, and film soundtracks.

Egan was just named Artistic Director of the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California, where she was once a student.

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