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Cinderella's Stepmother is the main antagonist of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella.

She was portrayed by Bernadelle Peters.

Biography

Leading her family out on a shopping trip to the market, the Stepmother is soon asked by her daughters, Calliope and Minerva, to choose which one an unusual purple hat looks best on. Smoothly dodging the question, she steps into the hat shop, soon followed by them. Before long, they shove their new purchases into Cinderella's arms, snap at her to keep up, and saunter off throughout the market. However, she loses track of them and meets a kind stranger. Their conversation is interrupted by the Stepmother, who scolds her for talking to a stranger, unaware that he is Prince Christopher in disguise.

On another trip to the market, the Stepmother, Calliope, and Minerva hear that Prince Christopher is giving a ball in order to find a bride. Overjoyed at the news, she is already planning how she will best present Calliope and Minerva to him in the hopes that he will choose one of them. Coming home after their long, yet exciting, day of shopping, she strides inside after Cinderella opens the door for her and immediately starts training Calliope and Minerva to walk delicately with a book balancing on their heads. She can hardly wait to doll them up for the ball, but it has been a long day and they are all tired. As they ascend the stairs to head to bed, Cinderella asks her if she can go to the ball, too, but her stepmother laughs at her and says that she should know her place and be satisfied with it.

On the day of the ball, the Stepmother has her work cut out for her as she does her best to turn Calliope and Minerva into beautiful, respectable ladies of society. Advancing on Minerva first, she laces her corset as tight as it will go, paying no heed to her cries of pain. She then commands her and Calliope to tell her how they plan on impressing Prince Christopher. Minerva says she'll start by batting her eyelashes while Calliope demonstrates her unique curtsy which Minerva tries to copy, but stumbles instead. Their mother, who has grown more and more alarmed, asks Minerva what she will say to Prince Christopher as they dance. She tries to answer her but can't seem to stop nervously scratching herself, much to her mother's annoyance. She pins her arms to her sides as she asks Calliope the same question.

Calliope proudly replies that she will amaze Prince Christopher by laughing infectiously at all his jokes. Her mother and Minerva glance at each other in trepidation before she demonstrates this ability by giggling so hard she snorts. Her mother is horrified and quickly stifles her laughter, begging her not to snort in front of Prince Christopher. She reminds her and Minerva that they must hide their flaws until after the marriage is sealed if they are to have a chance at winning his heart. Cinderella, who has been watching all this in the corner, quietly interjects her thoughts on love to Calliope and Minerva, who find her ideas beautiful. Her incensed stepmother, however, snaps that this isn't about love, but about the business of marriage instead. She warns Calliope and Minerva about the follies of falling in love as she helps them get ready, pointedly ignoring Cinderella. At long last, they head out the door in their finery and set off for the ball, leaving Cinderella behind.

At the ball, the Stepmother, Calliope, and Minerva are waiting in line to dance with Prince Christopher. When an impatient Minerva starts shouting, her scandalized mother quickly covers her mouth. Evidently, however, the Stepmother is growing impatient herself and seeks out Prince Christopher's servant, Lionel. Using her womanly wiles as much as she can, she unsuccessfully attempts to persuade him into favoring Calliope and Minerva. Undeterred, she steers away from other dancers so Calliope and Minerva can get at him sooner, but unfortunately for her, both are taken away from him rather quickly after they both alarm him. Soon after, Cinderella arrives and steals his breath away. Although her stepmother doesn't recognize her, something about her seems very familiar to her and she is determined to find out why. She snatches Lionel into a dance and steers him toward Prince Christopher and Cinderella, shoving his head out of the way so she can see them better. At one point she shoves him so hard he falls to the ground, but she doesn't miss a beat and instead steals a series of dance partners, making a beeline straight for Cinderella, who is talking with Queen Constantina. Cinderella spots her stepmother and escapes into the palace gardens in a panic, leaving her stepmother to stumble right in front of Queen Constantina. After a mortified moment, she ducks away. Later, at midnight, Prince Christopher knocks her right over in his haste to catch the runaway Cinderella.

The Stepmother, Calliope, and Minerva return home after the ball ends. Cinderella opens the door for them, taking their wraps and bags as they tell her slightly-exaggerated tales of the ball, although they grudgingly admit that there was a "princess something-or-other" who also captured Prince Christopher's attention. She mentions her ideas of what it may have been like, and they are so accurate their mother grows suspicious that Cinderella was somehow there. Nevertheless, Cinderella enchants them with her dreams of the ball, even mesmerizing her stepmother for a while. But as she glides down the stairs, eerily echoing the mysterious girl, her stepmother puts two and two together and stops everything, sternly sending Calliope and Minerva off to bed before coldly reminding Cinderella that she is common, born from a common mother and that her father spoiled her with silly dreams that will never come true. She then orders her to clean up the house before turning her back on her.

Meanwhile, Prince Christopher has devised a way to find the mysterious girl by having every single eligible young one try on the glass slipper she left behind until he finds the one whom it fits. His search eventually brings him to Cinderella's house. Her stepmother happily observes as Calliope and Minerva both try it on, but it doesn't fit either of them. As Lionel struggles under the enraged Minerva's headlock, her mother stealthily locks the kitchen doors, where Cinderella is. Wriggling free from Minerva, Lionel asks if there are any other eligible maidens in the house. With a strange glint in her eye, the Stepmother presents her own foot. He believes she is too old, but she snatches the glass slipper from him, slides it onto her foot, and it fits.

But soon the Stepmother's shrieks of triumph turn to ones of pain as she yells that the glass slipper is cutting off her circulation. She insults Lionel until he, Calliope, and Minerva manage to yank it off. Prince Christopher flat-out refuses to believe that the Stepmother is his true love and once again asks her if she's sure there are no other eligible maidens in the house. She, Calliope, and Minerva once again deny the presence of anyone else and quickly and conspicuously attempt to block the kitchen doors. Suspecting that something is afoot, Prince Christopher signals Lionel to open them. He asks the Stepmother for the key, and after they stare each other down he glances away as she very reluctantly reaches into her décolletage to produce it. The doors are opened, revealing nothing but an ordinary kitchen much to her relief. Prince Christopher prepares to leave but is stopped by the Stepmother, who absolutely begs him to take Calliope or Minerva as his bride. She praises Calliope's "charm and elocution" and Minerva's physical strength. Losing patience, he orders the chaos to stop and marches out the door, running right into Cinderella. He places the glass slipper on her foot and it fits perfectly, as her stepmother screams in despair and collapses into Calliope and Minerva's arms.

On the day of Prince Christopher and Cinderella's wedding, her stepfamily is shut outside the palace gates, although that doesn't stop them from trying unsuccessfully to climb over them.

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101 Dalmatians Villains | 2010 Marvel Animated Universe Villains | 20th Century Studios Villains | A Twisted Tale Villains | Air Bud Villains | Aladdin Villains | Alice in Wonderland Villains | Amphibia Villains | Artemis Fowl Villains | Atlantis Villains | Beauty and the Beast Villains | Big Hero 6 Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Villains | Cars Villains | Cinderella Villains | Club Penguin Villains | Darkwing Duck Villains | Descendants Villains | Disney Chills Villains | DuckTales Villains | Fantasia Villains | Fillmore! Villains | Frozen Villains | Gargoyles Villains | Gravity Falls Villains | Halloweentown Villains | Hamilton Villains | Haunted Mansion Villains | Hercules Villains | Incredibles Villains | Kim Possible Villains | Kingdom Hearts Villains | Lilo & Stitch Villains | Little Einsteins Villains | Marvel Animated Movie Universe Villains | Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains | Medfield College Villains | Mighty Ducks Villains | Milo Murphy's Law Villains | Mulan Villains | Muppet Villains | Narnia Villains | Once Upon A Time Villains | Peter Pan Villains | Phineas and Ferb Villains | Pinocchio Villains | Pirates of the Caribbean Villains | Pixar Villains | Pixar Villains | Recess Villains | Robin Hood Villains | Sleeping Beauty Villains | Snow White Villains | Sofia the First Villains | Star Wars Villains | Star vs. the Forces of Evil Villains | Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Villains | Tangled Villains | Tarzan Villains | The Hunchback of Notre Dame Villains | The Jungle Book Villains | The Lion King Villains | The Little Mermaid Villains | The Owl House Villains | The Princess and the Frog Villains | The Proud Family Villains | Toy Story Villains | Treasure Planet Villains | Tron Villains | Wander Over Yonder Villains | Winnie the Pooh Villains | Wreck-It Ralph Villains | X-Men Movie Villains | Yin Yang Yo! Villains | Zootopia Villains

           Cinderella Logo.png Villains

Movies
Cinderella (1950): Lady Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Lucifer
Three Wishes for Cinderella: Stepmother | Dora
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella: Stepmother | Calliope | Minerva
Ever After: A Cinderella Story: Rodmilla de Ghent | Marguerite de Ghent | Pierre le Pieu
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True: Lady Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Pom-Pom | Lucifer
Cinderella III: A Twist in Time: Lady Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Lucifer
Cinderella (2015): Madonna Tremaine | Grand Duke | Drizella Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Lucifer
A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits: Divine

Television
Cinderella Monogatari: Danton | Duke Zaral

Books
So This is Love: Grand Duke | Lady Tremaine

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