An attractive blonde singer-actress, Lauren Kennedy began her career as a toddler when, at age five, she was tapped to appear in a local production of "Carousel" in her native North Carolina. Encouraged by her parents, she spent seven years studying at the North Carolina Theatre's Summer Arts Theatre School, eventually landing major roles in the NCT productions of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (1987), "Peter Pan" (1988), "Evita" (1993) and "Chess" (1994). After graduating high school in 1991, Kennedy enrolled at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music but her studies were cut short when a an agent spotted her and arranged for an audition for the 1993 American premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Boulevard". She was cast as a Marilyn Monroe-type in the ensemble and landed the understudy job to Alice Ripley who had the ingenue role of Betty Schaefer. When the production transferred to Broadway in 1994, Kennedy went along as well and was eventually tapped to display her lovely soprano voice as Betty in the show's first national tour.