Some of the best comedy actresses across the years. They can make you laugh, but often that's not all. Alphabetically.
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
The scintillating, sultry-eyed blonde (formerly a redhead) star of screen, TV and award-winning stage went on to become best known, however, for her sensual delivery pitching cigars in taunting 60s ads and commercials with her Mae West
ian come-on line, "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?" This...
Pamela Adlon comes from an acting family and began her career in television in 1983. She has appeared in many popular TV shows, including as a voice actress in a number of animated TV series including, most famously, King of the Hill
for which she won an Emmy for her role as Bobby Hill.
Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935, in England. Her mother, Barbara Ward (Morris), and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, discovered her freakish but undeniably lovely four-octave singing voice and immediately got her a singing career. She performed in music halls throughout her childhood and teens...
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...
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 offered her the same minor roles...
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...
This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled during her seven years' stint in silent films. That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice, which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving, much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna Greene in upstate New York...
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...
Singing funny girl Kaye Ballard was born to perform...and perform she has in a career now broaching seven decades. With a strong comedy background and tunnel mouth to rival Martha Raye
, the broad and bouncy trouper has drawn laughs on the musical stage, in night clubs, in recordings and on TV. As the archetypal over-emotive...
Her early work, beginning at age 15, included milkmaid, nurse, chorus girl, dance hostess and a vaudeville rope-twirling act in which she was known as "Texas Binnie Barnes." Her acting debut, with Charles Laughton
, was in 1929 in Silver Tassie; her film debut was the English movie Night in Montmartre
. She did 26 comedy shorts with Stanley Lupino
Kristen Anne Bell (born 1980) is an American actress and singer. She was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, and is the daughter of Lorelei (Frygier), a nurse, and Tom Bell, a television news director. Her ancestry is Polish (mother) and German, English, Irish, and Scottish (father). Kristen found her talent in entertainment at an early age...
One cool, eternally classy lady, Candice Bergen was elegantly poised for trendy "ice princess" stardom when she first arrived on the 60s screen, but she gradually reshaped that débutante image in the 70s both on- and off-camera. A staunch, outspoken feminist with a decisive edge, she went on to take a sizable portion of these contradicting qualities to film and, most particularly, to late 80s TV...
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 his wife Jeanette...
Born Barbara Lillian Combes, she attended Los Angeles Junior College in the mid-1930s and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a model. In 1945, she received a contract from MGM, and she appeared in several films during the late 1940s and 1950s, sometimes without screen credit. In the 1950s...
With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a stock company when she was 17...
Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixillated motherly types during the 1930's. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon
, who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because he seemed like 'such a nice young man'...
Character actress Shirley Booth could play everything in all facets of show business, whether it was a smart-mouthed cashier on radio's "Duffy's Tavern", the sassy maid on TV's Hazel
or the pathetic woman in Come Back, Little Sheba
. For those who only know her through her sitcom, it might be hard to believe she was a seasoned theatrical veteran...
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock
(née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was the internationally famous clown, Billy Burke, and she would spend most of her early years touring Europe before the family settled in London. In 1903, she appeared on the stage as an actress and came to America in 1907 to star opposite John Drew in "My Wife"...
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...
Ruth Buzzi was Born July 24, 1936 in South County (Westerly), Rhode Island to Rena Pauline and Angelo Peter Buzzi, a nationally recognized stone sculptor. She Raised in Wequetequock, Connecticut, and attended Stonington High School. She Gained experience as a cheerleader performing before crowds at athletic events...
The possessor of one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, and about as sweet as Tupelo honey both on-and-off camera, character actress Spring Byington was seldom called upon to play callous or unsympathetic (she did once play a half-crazed housekeeper in Dragonwyck
). Although playing the part of Mrs...
Amanda Laura Bynes was born on April 3, 1986, in Thousand Oaks, California, the youngest of three children of Lynn (Organ), a dental assistant, and Richard Bynes, a dentist. Her father is of Lithuanian, Irish, and Polish descent, and her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from Toronto. Amanda became interested in acting and performing from the age of three...
Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher. She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll
, when she was 15 years old. Since then, Rose has appeared in a variety of Australian televisions shows including Heartbreak High
Tisha Campbell's first TV appearance was at the age of 8, on episode #006 of the PBS show The Big Blue Marble
. The show featured stories on the life and culture of children from around the world. In her segment, Tisha was shown playing with her brother, going to school with her mother who was also her voice coach, and singing at a jazz concert in New York's Greenwich Village.
Mary Margaret Cass was born May 21, 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts. After three years in the Cambridge Latin School drama club without one speaking part, she moved to New York, where she worked as a secretary, telephone operator, advertising solicitor and model. She joined a USO troupe that took her to Australia for seven months...
Carol Channing was born January 31, 1921, at Seattle, Washington, the daughter of a prominent newspaper editor, who was very active in the Christian Science movement. She attended high school in San Francisco and later worked as a model in Los Angeles. She attended prestigious Bennington College in...
Kristin Chenoweth is an American stage, screen and television actress, though, depending on who you ask, Cheno fans may disagree on what her most famous roles are. Since Chenoweth began her career, she has been credited with roles in musicals and plays on and off-Broadway, on various television shows and can be seen in movies on television and the big screen...
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean...
It came as no surprise to film aficionados when, in 1999, Entertainment Weekly named Jill Clayburgh on its list of Hollywood's 25 Greatest Actresses. For decades, she delivered stellar performances in a wide variety of roles. Jill Clayburgh was born in 1944 in New York City, into a wealthy family, the daughter of Julia Louise (Dorr)...
Imogene Coca is best remembered for playing opposite Sid Caesar
in the live 90-minute Your Show of Shows
, which ran every Saturday night in regular season on NBC from February 1950 to June 1954. Their repertoire of comedy acts included the very memorable, hilarious, timeless and irreconcilable married couple Charlie and Doris Hickenlooper...
One of the brightest film stars to grace the screen was born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903, in Saint Mandé, France where her father owned a bakery at 57, rue de la République (now Avenue Général de Gaulle). The family moved to the United States when she was three. As Claudette grew up...
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...
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...
Jane Therese Curtin was born September 6th, 1947. Years later, a 27-year-old Jane Curtin auditioned for a comedy variety show. which turned out to be the the thing that would first expose her to fame, Saturday Night Live
. Jane won the audition against Mimi Kennedy
, a tough competitor. Also in the same year (1975), she married Patrick Lynch
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh
and Tony Curtis
. She got her big break at acting in 1978 when she won the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween
. After that, she became famous for roles in movies like Trading Places
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...
Intriguing, inspiring, and never less than interesting -- key adjectives in describing the career of Beverly D'Angelo, which has well passed the three-decade mark. Perhaps deserving better movies than she generally found herself in, she nevertheless was always an object of fascination and the one to watch...
Widely popular comedienne appeared in some movies and on radio in the 40s and on early television. She starred in the popular television series, I Married Joan
, with Jim Backus
as her husband and her real-life daughter, Beverly Wills
as her sister. Joan died of a sudden heart attack in 1961. Two years later, a fire tragically claimed the lives of her mother, daughter and two grandsons.
One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Von Kapplehoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz), a housewife, and William Joseph Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choir master. Her grandparents were all German immigrants. She had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born and Paul, a few years older...
Yvonne De Carlo
Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite...
Sandra Dee was born Alexandria Zuck on April 23, 1942 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Mary (Cymboliak) and John Zuck. She was of Carpatho-Rusyn descent. Her mother envisioned a show business career for her daughter and would often lie about her age in order to get Sandy where she wanted to go. For example...
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...
A tall, strikingly attractive blue-eyed natural blonde, Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and an Anglo-German mother. Self described as "adventurous, independent and a tough kid," Cameron left home at 16 and for the next 5 years lived in such varied locales as Japan...
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 directionless...
Rachel Dratch grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in Drama and Psychology, she moved out to Chicago, where she studied with Del Close
at Improvolympic. She was on the house team, "Victim's Family", with Adam McKay
. Rachel went on to tour with the Second City Touring Company and eventually advanced to the Second City Mainstage...
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...
Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on the vaudeville circuit...
Patty Duke was born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, to Frances Margaret (McMahon), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke, a cab driver and handyman. She is of Irish, and one eighth German, descent. Her acting career began when she was introduced to her brother Ray Duke
Margaret Dumont would probably consider it a tragedy that she is best-known for her performances as the ultimate straight woman in seven of the Marx Brothers' films (including most of their best). By all accounts she never understood their jokes (offscreen and on), which is of course a major reason why she's so funny...
Barbara Eden was born as Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, went on and become one of America's most endearing and enduring actresses. A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. Eden would go on to study at San Francisco's City College as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre...
Jenna Elfman was born in Los Angeles, California, and began her career appearing in commercials. She studied with Milton Katselas
, the renowned acting teacher. She then began appearing in TV shows before landing the role of Dharma in the hit ABC television show Dharma & Greg
. Her first starring role in a film was in Krippendorf's Tribe
was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday, 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...
Mia Farrow was born in Los Angeles, California, to director John Farrow
and actress and Tarzan-girl Maureen O'Sullivan
. Her father was Australian-born (of English descent) and her mother was Irish-born (of Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry). Farrow debuted at the movies in 1959 in very small roles...
America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006-10). Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy...
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...
Sally Margaret Field was born in 1946 in Pasadena, California, to actress Margaret Field
(née Morlan) and salesman Richard Dryden Field. Her parents divorced in 1950 and her mother then married stuntman Jock Mahoney
, and they had a daughter, Princess O'Mahoney
. She also has a brother, Richard Field. Sally attended Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California...
Emmy-nominated actress Jenna Fischer, known for playing the character of receptionist Pam Beesley in The Office
, was born Regina Marie Fischer on March 7, 1974 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is the daughter of Anne (Miller), a teacher, and James E. Fischer, a plastic engineer. Her ancestry includes German...
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, waitress and temp secretary...
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...
She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman
Whether portraying a glum, withering wallflower, a drab and dowdy housewife, a klutzy maid or a cynical gossip, eccentric character comedienne Alice Ghostley had the ability to draw laughs from the skimpiest of material with a simple fret or whine. Making a name for herself on the Tony-winning Broadway stage...
One of stage, screen, radio and TV's most delightful, inimitable eccentrics, Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold was born the daughter of an upscale Austrian financier and English homemaker. She made her stage debut in 1908, thus beginning a long, commanding presence in London playing everything from Jessica...
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...
Her quivery, high-pitched, Southern-cracked tones were once described as sounding like "a Tweetie Pie cartoon bird strangling on peanut butter." Just the absurdity of that description fits comedienne Dody Goodman to a tee. One did not know what to make of her, but she could certainly induce laughter with a mere perplexed look...
Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957 in New York City, to then model/future actress Tippi Hedren
and former child actor turned advertising executive Peter Griffith
. Her parents' marriage ended in 1961 and Tippi brought Melanie to Los Angeles to get a new start. Tippi caught the eye of the great director Alfred Hitchcock
Kathy Griffin was raised in the near-west Chicago suburbs, in an Irish-American family. She has three older brothers and an older sister. When her parents retired to California, Kathy moved west with them after graduating from Oak Park River Forest High School and began trying to break into show business...
Actress-dancer-director Jasmine Guy has enjoyed a diverse career in television, theatre and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Jasmine starred on Broadway in the original productions of Beehive and Leader of the Pack, and reprised hit productions of 'Grease'...
Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to Ruby, a teacher, and Odie Hall, a contractor. She graduated from Fordham University in 1992, and went on to earn a master's degree in journalism from New York University before shifting to an acting career. In 1997 at age 26, she began appearing in commercials...
Margaret Hamilton was Born December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jennie and Walter Hamilton. She later attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and practiced acting doing children's theater while a Junior League of Cleveland member. Margaret had already built her resume with several performances in film before she came to her most memorable and astronomically successful role...
Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress veteran...
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. She gradually moved into acting...
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway
, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway
, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real
Goldie Jeanne Hawn was born 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 mother was Jewish and the daughter of Hungarian immigrants...
Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl
(née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the family moved to New Canaan...
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch baroness; Audrey's father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian descent, and worked in business...
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead...
Rejected by the Yale Drama School, Judy began in the theater as a backstage operator for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater. She made her stage debut when she joined Betty Comden
and Adolph Green
in a cabaret group called the Revuers. Working their way up through the circuit, the group was hired by 20th Century Fox to appear in the film Greenwich Village
Traylor Howard was born and raised in Orlando. She attended Lake Highland Preparatory School, and while there, appeared in a Juicy Fruit gum commercial. Howard graduated from Lake Highland Preparatory School in 1984. Howard then went on to graduate from Florida State University with a degree in communications and advertising and a minor in English.
Josephine Sherwood changed her name after marrying stage actor Shelly Hull
in 1910. She studied drama at Radcliffe College -- much to the dismay of her parents -- and first worked on the stage in a stock company in Boston. Her husband died in 1919, aged 35, of Spanish influenza. Josephine left the...
A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Drama, Ruth Hussey's first show-business job was as a fashion commentator on a local radio station. She journeyed to New York City, where she was signed as a model by the world-famous Powers agency. She obtained some stage roles with touring companies and was noticed by MGM...
Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, to prima ballerina Enrica "Ricki" (Soma) and director and actor John Huston
. Her mother, who was from New York, was of Italian descent, and her father had English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Huston spent most of her childhood overseas...
Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing
. Entertainment Weekly magazine describes Janney's screen presence as "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive"...
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...