Photo of Nikki Blonsky Nikki Blonsky

A plus-sized triple threat who was working at an ice cream parlor when she was handpicked to make her professional debut in an all-star movie musical, Nikki Blonsky was born Nov. 9, 1988, in Great Neck, N.Y. She trained in music and drama while attending Great Neck South High School.

At 16, Blonsky auditioned for the role of barrier-breaking teen Tracy Turnblad -- a girl who leads the charge for integration in 1960s Baltimore -- in the Broadway production of "Hairspray." She didn't get the part, but a year later she answered an online casting call and landed the role as a virtual unknown in the film version of the musical.

Blonsky's spirited portrayal earned the newcomer a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics Choice Award. She has also appeared in the made-for-TV movie Queen Sized (2008), playing an overweight teen who campaigns to be her high school's homecoming queen.

Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray


2007 PG

Set in 1962, this colorful adaptation of the Tony-winning musical follows ambitious plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad, who tries to integrate a racially divided Baltimore one Watusi at a time.

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