Benanti learning from unusual past

March 23, 2008 at 4:14 PM

NEW YORK, March 23 (UPI) -- Broadway performer Laura Benanti says she has learned from her time spent in the New York stage industry, including from a neck-breaking performance.

Benanti, who has recovered from the severe neck injury she received while performing "Into the Wild" in 2002, says the experiences she has endured have only served to educate her, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

"I'm grateful," she said. "I'm not glad I broke my neck, but it did inform me. Had I experienced all these wonderful blessings and fortunate experiences, I don't know if I would have appreciated them as much if I hadn't had some of the crap on the other side."

While Benanti was accused of poor acting after leaving "The Violet Hour" and lost out on stage time due to her medical leave from a Broadway production of "The Wedding Singer," she has persevered.

The actress is now starring on the ABC series "Eli Stone" as a love interest of the title character and is to appear in a production of "Gypsy" on Broadway, the newspaper said.

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