Kristin Neubauer – Distinguished Artist Award

A Racine native, Kristin Neubauer attended Prairie School from 5th through 12th grade. Not yet realizing her passion for the stage, Kristin actively participated in soccer and field hockey. After Prairie, she attended Washington University in St. Louis, later transferring to the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Still not finding what she was seeking, she ventured to Hollywood as an aspiring actress full of tenacity and motivation; eventually her career took off, and she hasn’t looked back.

“I chose a very different path than I explored at Prairie. But something was nurtured apparently in other ways that helped me be an individual. I suspect the small classrooms and individual attention to each subject helped our minds experiment with other possible futures.” -Kristin

Using Bauer as her professional name, Kristin’s move to Los Angeles proved fortuitous when she was hired to portray flight attendant Maggie Reynolds on the FOX comedy The Crew. In 1996, Kristin appeared in one of her most memorable guest roles as “Man Hands” Gillian, Jerry’s girlfriend on Seinfeld. She has played other series characters throughout the years — including Geneva Renault, the secretary of a high-tech agency on the action drama Total Security; Candy Cooper in the CBS family show That’s Life; and the sexy softball mom Belinda Slypich on the NBC comedy Hidden Hills. In 2008, Alan Ball tapped her to co-manage the vampire bar Fangtasia with formidable Viking Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) on HBO’s original drama True Blood. Kristin is presently portraying Maleficent on ABC’s hit series Once Upon a Time.

In addition to Kristin’s graduation, the Neubauer family legacy lives on at Prairie through her sister Jill ‘78 and nieces and nephew Katherine ‘06, Greta ‘10 and Sam ‘13.