(See also: Caroline's biography on Wikipedia)
Caroline Ann O'Connor was born in Oldham, Lancashire England to Irish parents, and subsequently moved to Sydney, Australia. Caroline started singing almost before she could speak and at age 10 was crowned Australian Irish Dance Champion.
Her earliest stage experience included imitations of Ethel Merman that she performed for her dog, but soon Caroline set her sites on a more discerning audience and packed her bags to return to the UK to train at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London.
Afterwards, Caroline came back to Oz and the Australian Opera Ballet. While in a production there she met Anthony Warlow (Australian musical theatre star) who told her she had too much personality for her ballet slippers and pointed her to the musicals.
It turned out to be inspired advice. As the graphical timeline and long list of major awards below illustrate, Caroline has enjoyed great acclaim for stepping into the shoes of the likes of Edith Piaf, Judy Garland and - to her dog's delight - Ethel Merman, as well as headline roles in many of the world's best-loved musicals. See photos, videos and read more about Caroline's favourite roles here.
Career timeline: (click to enlarge)
Awards:Full list of Caroline O'Connors awards
Caroline frequently contributes her talent to charity performances.
Caroline and her husband, musician Barrie Shaw, live in Sydney, London and New York.
As Velma Kelly in "Chicago", Caroline won the celebrated Mo Award for Female Musical Theatre Performer of the Year and a Green Room Award.
In 2002 Caroline made her Broadway debut, reprising her award-winning role as Velma Kelly in "Chicago", where her successful season was extended.
Mabel in "Mack & Mabel" for which she received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Musical
Caroline has performed with the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, and in 1995 performed for Her Majesty The Queen in a Royal Variety Performance.
Her Australian productions include the one woman play "Bombshells" written especially for Caroline by acclaimed playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. She has since filmed Bombshells for ABC Television and toured the play to sell out performances at the Edinburgh Festival (where she won the coveted Fringe First Award), London’s West End at the Arts Theatre (for which she received her second Laurence Olivier Award nomination), and at the World Stage Festival in Toronto, Canada.
Man of La Mancha, Piaf (for which she won three Australian theatre awards), Oklahoma and concert productions of Funny Girl and Mack and Mabel.
Her own show "From Stage to Screen" has been presented at the Sydney Opera House and was filmed for Australian television.
Caroline’s film work includes the featured role of Nini Legs in the Air in Baz Luhrmann’s film "Moulin Rouge", and as Ethel Merman in the Cole Porter biopic "De-Lovely".
Caroline has recorded four solo CDs and has featured on numerous cast recordings and compilations. Listen and/or buy online here.