Funny Women

by cobalt_s | created - 19 Apr 2011 | updated - 11 Jun 2011 | Public

My favorite funny women.

1. Lucille Ball

Actress | I Love Lucy

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...

2. Carol Burnett

Actress | Annie

The entertainment world has enjoyed a five-decade love affair with comedienne/singer Carol Burnett. A peerless sketch performer and delightful, self-effacing personality who rightfully succeeded Lucille Ball as the carrot-topped "Queen of Television Comedy," it was Burnett's traumatic childhood that...

3. Andrea Martin

Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Andrea Martin was born on January 15, 1947 in Portland, Maine, USA as Andrea Louise Martin. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) and SCTV Network (1981).

4. Catherine O'Hara

Actress | Best in Show

Born March 4, 1954 in Ontario, Canada. Attended Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute. Began career with starring on television series SCTV (1976). Notable films roles include: the over-dramatic and self-centered Delia Deetz in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988), Kate McCallister, Macaulay Culkin's ...

5. Bea Arthur

Actress | The Golden Girls

Actress-comedienne Bea Arthur was born on May 13, 1922 in New York City to a Jewish family. She grew up in Maryland, where her parents ran a dress shop. At 12 years old, she was the tallest girl in her school at 5'9". She earned the title "wittiest" girl in her school, and Bea's dream was to be in ...

6. Jennifer Saunders

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders was born July 6th 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK. She attended Central School of Speech and Drama where she met her comedy partner Dawn French. Like many of the early 80s groundbreaking "alternative" comedians she began her career as comedienne/actress/writer with Dawn French ...

7. Phyllis Diller

Actress | A Bug's Life

The indefatigable nonagenarian finally put out an autobiography in 2005 and entitled it "Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse", which pretty much says it all when recalling the misfit life and career of the fabulous, one-of-a-kind Phyllis Diller. It may inspire all those bored, discouraged and/or ...

8. Joan Rivers

Actress | Spaceballs

Joan Rivers was born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She was a writer and actress, known for Spaceballs (1987), Iron Man Three (2013) and Rabbit Test (1978). She was married to Edgar Rosenberg and James Bennat Sanger. She died on September 4, ...

9. Rosalind Russell

Actress | Auntie Mame

The middle of seven children, she was named after the S.S. Rosalind at the suggestion of her father, a successful lawyer. After receiving a Catholic school education, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, having convinced her mother that she intended to teach acting. In 1934...

10. Mary Tyler Moore

Actress | Ordinary People

Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a clerk. Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants, and her father was of English, Irish, and German descent. Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her ...

11. Valerie Harper

Actress | Mary Tyler Moore

Making people laugh is only one facet of Valerie Harper's career, which extends from the stage to television and feature films. A native of Suffern, New York -- "I was born to suffer" -- Harper began her career as a dancer with the corps de ballet at Radio City Hall during its spectacular heyday. ...

12. Elizabeth Montgomery

Actress | Bewitched

Elizabeth Montgomery was born into show business. Her parents were screen actor Robert Montgomery and Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen. Elizabeth graduated from the Spence School in New York City and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After three years' intensive training, she made ...

13. Maya Rudolph

Actress | Bridesmaids

Maya Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida, on July 27th, 1972, to Dick Rudolph, a music producer, and soul singer Minnie Riperton. Her mother was African-American and her father is Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Lithuania, Russia, Germany, and Hungary). In 1973, Maya, her parents, and her...

14. Kristen Wiig

Actress | Bridesmaids

Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York, to Laurie J. (Johnston), an artist, and Jon J. Wiig, a lake marina manager. She is of Norwegian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before ...

15. Gilda Radner

Actress | Saturday Night Live

Gilda Radner was one of the great comic geniuses of the 20th century, ranked up with Lucille Ball and other comedy legends of the highest caliber. She was born on June 28, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan, the younger of two children of Henrietta (Dworkin), a legal secretary, and Herman Radner, a ...

16. Sandra Bernhard

Actress | The King of Comedy

Love her or hate her, this comic diva is a one-of-a-kind, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners artiste. Racy, confrontational, offensive, cynical, off-putting and angst-ridden to a T, this flinty stand-up from Flint, Michigan was born on June 6, 1955, the daughter of Jerome Bernhard, a proctologist, and...

17. Janeane Garofalo

Actress | Ratatouille

Janeane, the petite woman with the acerbic wit, was born in Newton, New Jersey, in 1964, to Joan, a secretary, and Carmine Garofalo, an Exxon executive. She is of Italian and Irish descent. Janeane had many jobs before breaking into show biz. She worked as a bike messenger, a shoe salesperson, ...

18. Roseanne Barr

Producer | Roseanne

Roseanne Barr, one of America's funniest comedians, has another side that not many people have seen. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. During her teenage years, she worked as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. She married Bill Pentland and they had three children together. They remained ...

19. Madeline Kahn

Actress | Paper Moon

Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera...

20. Rue McClanahan

Actress | The Golden Girls

A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family (1971) and later Maude (1972). For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family (1983) until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden ...

21. Whoopi Goldberg

Actress | Ghost

Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in...

22. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage ...

23. Betty White

Actress | The Proposal

Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess (Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive. She is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent.

Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom Mary Tyler Moore (1970) and the ...

24. Suzanne Somers

Actress | Three's Company

Suzanne Somers is the third of four children born to Frank and Marion Mahoney. Her father worked loading beer onto boxcars, and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up living in constant fear of being hurt or even killed at the hands of her verbally and physically abusive alcoholic father. She was ...

25. Goldie Hawn

Actress | The First Wives Club

Goldie Jeanne Hawn was born on November 21, 1945 in Washington D.C. to Laura Hawn (née Steinhoff), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Rut Hawn, a band musician. She has a sister, Patti Hawn, and a brother, Edward, who died in infancy before her birth. She was raised in the Jewish religion. Her ...

26. Bette Midler

Soundtrack | The First Wives Club

Multi Grammy Award-winning singer/comedienne/author Bette Midler has also proven herself to be a very capable actress in a string of both dramatic and comedic roles. Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 1, 1945. She is the daughter of Ruth (Schindel), a seamstress, and Fred Midler, a ...

27. Joanna Lumley

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Joanna Lumley was born on 1 May, 1946 in Kashmir, India, to British parents, Thya Beatrice Rose (Weir) and James Rutherford Lumley. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted.

An aspiring actress, she first came ...

28. Tracee Ellis Ross

Actress | Girlfriends

Tracee Ellis Ross was born on October 29, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Tracee Joy Silberstein. She is an actress and producer, known for Girlfriends (2000), Black-ish (2014) and Reed Between the Lines (2011).

29. Jan Hooks

Actress | Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Jan Hooks is better remembered for her five-year run on Saturday Night Live (1975) (1986-91) on the series she impersonated actress ranging from Bette Davis, to Ann-Margret, to Sally Kellerman, to Jodie Foster. After she left the show, she was proposed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean ...