Funniest women

On tv and movies
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1.
Carol Burnett
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 set the stage for her comedy...
 
2.
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 grandparents...
 
3.
Betty White
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 and the ditzy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls...
 
4.
Bea Arthur
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 show business...
 
5.
Martha Plimpton
Actress, Raising Hope
She has show biz in her blood. Martha Plimpton was born November 16, 1970, in New York City to two actors: Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton. Martha began her career at age 8, when her mom had a friend of hers, composer Elizabeth Swados, enroll her in an actors' workshop. At age 10, she got a small part in Rollover, and also made a series of Calvin Klein commercials...
 
6.
Whoopi Goldberg
Self, The View
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 a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway...
 
7.
Kathy Bates
Actress, Titanic
Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as Irish...
 
8.
Madeline Kahn
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 singer and starred in several campus productions...
 
9.
Barbra Streisand
Actress, Funny Girl
Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...
 
10.
Mo'Nique
Actress, Precious
Monique received a standing ovation when she stepped on stage for the first time in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, giving her confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After numerous stand-up performances, she took a leap forward with one of the starring roles in The Parkers. ...
 
11.
Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, to Opal Marguerite (Catledge), a homemaker, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a part-time sporting goods company representative and farmer with a 250 acre farm. She is the youngest of seven children. Her parents encouraged her talent at an early age, and her first acting part was as Helen Keller in a fifth-grade play...
 
12.
Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon has become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents on television and the silver screen. Shannon spent six seasons as a member of the repertory company on Saturday Night Live (1995 - 2010), primarily known for the eclectic characters she created, such as Mary Katherine Gallagher and Sally O'Malley...
 
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 older brother...
 
14.
Kristen Wiig
Actress, The Martian
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 settling in Rochester...
 
15.
Melissa McCarthy
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, a farmer. McCarthy began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked on her acting skills at The Actors Studio and appeared in many stage productions in the city before moving to Los Angeles in the late-1990s...
 
16.
Teri Garr
Teri Garr can claim a career in show business by birthright. She was born in Lakewood, Ohio, the daughter of Eddie Garr (born Edward Leo Gonnoud), a Broadway stage and film actor, and Phyllis Garr (née Emma Schmotzer), a dancer. Her maternal grandparents were Austrian, and her father was of Irish descent...
 
17.
Anna Faris
Actress, Mom
Anna Faris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday, November 29th, 1976, to Karen (Bathurst), a special education teacher, and Jack Faris, a sociologist. Her ancestry includes English, German, Scottish, French, Dutch, and Welsh. Anna started acting very young but not professionally. She loved...
 
18.
Jane Lynch
Actress, Glee
 
19.
Jennifer Coolidge
Actress, 2 Broke Girls
Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler's mom in American Pie. She was born on August 28, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Gretchen (Knauff) and Paul Constant Coolidge, a plastics manufacturer. Young Coolidge was dreaming of becoming a singer...
 
20.
Tina Fey
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish, and English ancestry...
 
21.
Amy Poehler
Actress, Inside Out
Amy Meredith Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to high school teachers Eileen Frances (Milmore) and William Grinstead Poehler. Her brother is comedian Greg Poehler. She is of Irish (from her mother) and English, German, and Portuguese (from her father) descent. Amy was first involved with sketch comedy when she joined the group My Mother's Flea Bag when she was attending Boston College...
 
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24.
Kathy Najimy
Kathy Najimy was born and raised in San Diego, California. She is the daughter of Samia (Massery) and Fred Najimy, a postal worker, both of Lebanese ancestry. Kathy attended Crawford High School, and began her film career in the early 1990s, with several minor roles. Kathy got her breakthrough screen role as "Sister Mary Patrick" in Sister Act...
 
25.
Joan Cusack
Actress, Working Girl
Actress Joan Cusack was born in New York City, New York, and is the daughter of Nancy (née Carolan) and Dick Cusack. Her father was an advertising executive, writer and actor, and her mother was a math teacher. Her siblings - Susie Cusack, John Cusack, Ann Cusack and Bill Cusack also act. Her family is of Irish descent...
 
26.
Rosie O'Donnell
Self, The View
Rosie O'Donnell was born into an Irish-American family in Commack, Long Island. She is the middle of 5 children, and is the daughter of Roseann Teresa (Murtha) and Edward Joseph O'Donnell, an electrical engineer for the defense industry. Her mother died when she was ten. She said that she watched TV nearly 24 hours a day...
 
27.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Actress, Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, to Judith (LeFever), a special needs tutor and author, and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, a billionaire businessman. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she spent her childhood in Washington, D.C., and New York. She met her husband, Brad Hall, while in college...
 
28.
Jane Krakowski
Actress, 30 Rock
Jane Krakowski was born in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, to Barbara (Benoit), a college theater instructor, and Edward Krajkowski, a chemical engineer. Her father is of Polish descent and her mother is of French-Canadian, Scottish, and half Polish ancestry. Jane was the winner of the 2003 Tony Award for her stunning and sultry portrayal of "Carla"...
 
29.
Lucy Liu
Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts...
 
30.
Vanessa Williams
Actress, Eraser
Vanessa Lynn Williams was born in Millwood, New York, to Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr., both music teachers. Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with a promise to "see you on Broadway"...
 
31.
Ellen DeGeneres
Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb. She is the daughter of Betty DeGeneres (née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. Her brother is musician and producer Vance DeGeneres. Her parents divorced when she was sixteen years old...
 
32.
Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, to record producer/executive Robert William Applegate and singer-actress Nancy Priddy. Her parents split-up shortly after her birth. She has two half-siblings from her father's re-marriage - Alisa (b. 10 October 1977) & Kyle (b. 15 July 1981)...
 
33.
Bette Midler
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 painter...
 
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35.
Alex Borstein
Actress, MADtv
 
36.
Stephnie Weir
Actress, MADtv
Stephnie Weir was raised in Texas and attended Odessa Junior College studying theater and broadcasting. Following that she went on to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, were she studied anthropology and women's studies. As she expanded on her creative talents in Chicago, Ms. Weir performed at the Second City's Main Stage...
 
37.
Gilda Radner
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 businessman...
 
38.
Rue McClanahan
A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family and later Maude. For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden Girls. She hit her comedic stride as a sharp tongued oversexed Southern belle on The Golden Girls.
 
39.
Jennifer Saunders
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 at "The Comedy Store" in London...
 
40.
Catherine O'Hara
Born March 4, 1954 in Ontario, Canada. Attended Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute. Began career with starring on television series SCTV. Notable films roles include: the over-dramatic and self-centered Delia Deetz in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, Kate McCallister, Macaulay Culkin's on-screen mother in Home Alone and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York...
 
41.
Parker Posey
Parker Posey was born 2 months premature in Baltimore, Maryland, to Lynda (Patton) and Chris Posey. The family moved to Monroe, La. and then Laurel, Mississippi, where Chris became owner of Laurel's own Posey Chevrolet. Parker attended high school at R. H. Watkins High School in Laurel, Mississippi...
 
42.
Courteney Cox
Actress, Friends
Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, into an affluent Southern family. She is the daughter of Courteney (Bass) and Richard Lewis Cox (1930-2001), a businessman. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard, Jr...
 
43.
Shelley Long
Actress, Cheers
Shelley Lee Long was born at 7:15 am on Tuesday, August 23, 1949 in Indian Village, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, the only child of Ivadine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Leland Long, a teacher who had previously worked in the rubber industry. Shelley attended school at Kekionga Junior High for grades 6-9 and at South Side High School for grades 10-12...
 
44.
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi was born and raised in Geelong, Australia. Originally born Amanda Rogers, at 15 she changed her name to Portia, saying that it was the most daring thing she had ever done up until that point. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Melbourne, and studied law...
 
45.
Jessica Walter
Actress, Archer
A graduate of New York's High School of the Performing Arts and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, Walter's extensive theater credits include productions both on- and off-Broadway. On Broadway, she has appeared in Peter Ustinov's "Photo Finish" (which earned her the Clarence Derwent Award as Most Promising Newcomer)...
 
46.
Debra Messing
Messing was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the daughter of Jewish American parents, Sandra (née Simons), who has worked as a professional singer, banker, travel and real estate agent, and Brian Messing, a sales executive for a jewelry manufacturer. When Messing was three, she moved with her parents and her older brother...
 
47.
Megan Mullally
Actress, Will & Grace
Megan is an only child born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Martha, was a model, and her father, Carter Mullally Jr., was a contract player for Paramount. Megan first entered Northwestern University intending to study acting, but switched to English literature. However, she still ended up starring in several campus musicals...
 
48.
Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin was born September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, to Lillie Mae (Ford) and Guy Tomlin, who moved to Michigan from Paducah, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Her mother was a nurse's aide and her father was a factory worker. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1957, and later enrolled at Wayne State University...
 
49.
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946, one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Parton (née Owens). Dolly grew up on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12, she was appearing on Knoxville TV and, at 13, she was already recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry...
 
50.
Cloris Leachman
Actress, The Croods
The record-breaking actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa to Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman and the former Cloris Wallace. Her father's family owned a lumber company, Leachman Lumber Co. She is of Czech (from her maternal grandmother) and English descent...
 
51.
Goldie Hawn
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...
 
52.
Liza Minnelli
Actress, Cabaret
Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. She was practically raised at MGM studios while her parents worked long hours there and she made her film debut at fourteen months of age in the movie In the Good Old Summertime. Her parents divorced in 1951 and...
 
53.
Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes has been called one of the funniest stand-up comics by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand-up has sent her career in many different areas. She was recently seen in Comedy Central's Wanda Does It, where she tried various non-showbiz jobs...
 
54.
Penny Marshall
Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall in the Bronx, New York, on October 15, 1943. The Libra is 5' 6 1/2", with brown hair and green eyes. She is the daughter of Marjorie (Ward), a tap dance teacher, and Anthony "Tony" Marshall, an industrial film director. She is the younger sister of filmmakers Garry Marshall and Ronny Hallin...
 
55.
Katherine Helmond
Katherine Marie Helmond was born on July 5, 1929, in Galveston, Texas. She was raised by her mother, Thelma Malone, and her grandmother; they were Irish Catholics. Young Katherine attended Catholic school, and appeared in numerous school plays and pageants. She took a job at a local theater while still in high school...
 
56.
Elizabeth Montgomery
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 her...
 
57.
Delta Burke
Delta Burke is best known for her portrayal as Suzanne Sugarbaker in CBS' Designing Women, which ran for *seven* seasons and for which she received two Emmy nominations for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. When a teenager she represented Florida in the Miss America Pageant, and won a talent scholarship...
 
58.
Beth Grant
Raised in the South, Beth Grant moved frequently as a child and enjoys claiming several towns and cities in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina as home. She was a Page in the North Carolina Senate, attended the North Carolina Governor's School for Gifted and Talented students, and received a governor's appointment at the age of nineteen...
 
59.
Jean Smart
Seattle native Jean Smart was born on September 13, 1951. Attending the University of Washington after high school, she received her BA degree in fine arts. Her first professional season was with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she performed in "Much Ado About Nothing," among others. During this...
 
60.
Fran Drescher
Writer, The Nanny
Francine Joy Drescher was born on September 30th, 1957 in Flushing, Queens, New York to Mort Drescher and Sylvia Drescher. Fran, as she is called, attended Hillcrest High school in New York with another now-famous name, Ray Romano. She was a studious girl and was quite popular. In fact, at age fifteen...
 
61.
Selma Blair
One of our most exciting and versatile actresses, Selma Blair first gained attention for her performance in Cruel Intentions, a youthful retelling of the classic novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses". Selma was born in Southfield, Michigan, to Molly Ann (Cooke), a judge, and Elliot I. Beitner, a lawyer. She had a Jewish upbringing...
 
62.
Rue McClanahan
A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family and later Maude. For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden Girls. She hit her comedic stride as a sharp tongued oversexed Southern belle on The Golden Girls.
 
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64.
Michelle Visage
Producer, The Bodyguard
Michelle was on VH1 for 2 years hosting live coverage of events as: The Grammy Awards, the Los Angeles premiere of Paramount's Grease (anniversary re-release), Universal's Blues Brothers 2000, and The Viewer's Choice Awards to name a few. She's been a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race on the LOGO Network since it's 3rd season...
 
66.
Joanna Cassidy
Actress, Blade Runner
The very lovely, vivacious and smart-looking Joanna Cassidy was born in Camden, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Haddonfield, a borough located in Camden County. She grew up in a creative environment as the daughter and granddaughter of artists. At an early age she engaged in painting and sculpture and went on to major in art at Syracuse University in New York...
 
67.
Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. 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 to fame as a model in London's swinging 1960s, where she was photographed by the greats...
 
68.
Julia Sawalha
Actress, Chicken Run
Julia Sawalha has made many film and television appearances since her debut role as Lynda Day on Press Gang, though she has always said that the character that resembles her real-life personality most is Lynda. Since her 5 years on "Press Gang" where she worked opposite her real-life love (at the time) Dexter Fletcher...
 
69.
Rebel Wilson
Rebel Wilson was born in Sydney, Australia. She trained at the Australian Theatre for Young People and at Second City in the US. After a successful stage and television career in Australia, this writer/actress/producer now focuses on feature film projects in the United States and is perhaps most known for her breakthrough roles in the films Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect.
 
71.
Tracey Ullman
Actress, Corpse Bride
Tracey Ullman (born Trace Ullman) is a multiple award-winning television, stage and film actress who performs as a comedian, singer, dancer, as well as works as a screenwriter, producer, director, author, and businesswoman. She holds dual British and American citizenship. Ullman's early appearances...
 
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74.
Constance Wu
Constance Wu was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where she grew up performing in the local community theatre scene. At 16, she moved to New York to study at the famed Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and she's been busy ever since. While in New York, she worked in classical theatre and quickly transitioned to film work...
 
75.
Anita Morris
Anita Rose Morris was born on March 14, 1943 in Durham, North Carolina, to Eloise (Chappell), who worked in the theater, and James Badgett Morris, a doctor. Among her many roles, the most prominent film role was as Carol Dodsworth in Ruthless People, and for her sensual performance as Carla in the musical "Nine" opposite Raul Julia...
 
76.
Jennifer Aniston
Actress, Friends
Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek, and her mother was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian descent. Jennifer spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City where her parents divorced when she was nine...
 
77.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker was born March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio, to Barbra Forste (née Keck), a teacher who ran a nursery school, and Stephen Parker, a journalist. Her parents divorced, and her mother later remarried to Paul Forste and had four more children, bringing the total to eight. Sarah now had 3 full siblings and 4 half siblings...
 
78.
Glenn Close
Six time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Mary Hester "Bettine" (Moore) and William Taliaferro Close (William Close), a prominent doctor. Both of her parents were from upper-class northeastern families. Glenn...
 
79.
Lisa Kudrow
Hardly the dumb blonde of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Lisa was born in Encino, California on July 30, 1963. Her mother, Nedra S. (Stern), worked as a travel agent, and her father, Lee N. Kudrow, is a physician. Her parents are both from Jewish families (from Belarus, Russia, and Hungary). Lisa was raised in Tarzana and played varsity-level tennis in high school and college...
 
80.
Ellen Greene
The energetic Brooklyn-born Ellen Greene had already made a name for herself with a prolific career in both singing and stage before she made her film debut in Paul Mazursky's Next Stop, Greenwich Village. Having already performed the role of Audrey in the musical comedy "Little Shop of Horrors" (1982). She reprised the role in Frank Oz's film adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors...
 
81.
Swoosie Kurtz
Actress, Sisters
Swoosie is the only child of author Margo and Frank Kurtz. As her father was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, she moved often during her school years, living in eight different states. At the University of Southern California she majored in drama; later she attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art...