These actresses have across the board talent. In this list, I'm focusing on their comedic skills. (And the actresses are listed in no particular order.)
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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
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)...
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
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"...
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...
Molly Shannon has successfully become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents on television and the silver screen. Shannon was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to Mary Margaret (Keating), a teacher, and James Francis Shannon, a sales manager. Her parents were both of Irish descent. She earned a BFA in drama from New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts...
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...
Raven-Symoné Pearman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Lydia (Gaulden) and Christopher Pearman. At a young age, she moved to New York. While there Raven signed with the Ford Modeling Agency. They sent her out on a audition for a movie called Ghost Dad
, which also starred the legendary Bill Cosby
Anneliese van der Pol
Anneliese was born in Naaldwijk, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands on September 23,1984 and moved to the United States when she was a young child. Her mother named her after the late Holocaust refugee Anne Frank
. A graduate of the Musical Theater Program at The Orange County High School of the Arts...
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Performer, writer, producer and director T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (Ta-Kee-ah Kristle Kee-Mah) is back on the Hollywood scene. Ten years after 'Tonya Baxter' mysteriously moved to London to study law, the actress who embodied the quirky character, loved by Disney fans worldwide, is acting steadily once again...
Suzanne Pleshette achieved television immortality in her role as Bob Newhart
's wife in the 1970s classic situation comedy, The Bob Newhart Show
. For her role as "Emily Hartley", wife of psychologist "Bob Hartley" (played by Bob Newhart
), Pleshette was nominated for the Emmy Award twice, in 1977 and 1978...
Some might have easily doled out the phrase "laughing on the outside, crying on the inside" to describe funny lady Marcia Wallace and her many uphill battles, in both life and career, over the past three-and-a-half decades, but the carrot-cropped comedienne, with the ever-toothy smile, remains optimistic to this day as she forges on...
She was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence, Kansas, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge
. Their next move, to Albuquerque, New Mexico brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her the money she needed to study under Eva Le Gallienne
in New York...
Laura San Giacomo
Laura San Giacomo was born November 14, 1962 in West Orange, New Jersey, to MaryJo and John San Giacomo. She was raised in the nearby city of Denville. She went to Morris Knolls High School in Denville, where she got the acting bug and had the lead in several school plays. Laura got a Fine Arts degree...
Comic actress and voice specialist Yeardley Smith has made a virtue out of her odd looks, small figure and distinctive, child-like nasal tones. Lending vocal life to the animated role of "Lisa Simpson" - the intelligent, caring, saxophone-droning, vegetarian member of the Simpson family - has been her bread-and-butter job for over 20 years...
The actress Wendie Malick was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1950 and attended Ohio Wesleyan University, from which she graduated in 1972. The 5-foot, 10-inch beauty was a Wilhelmina model in the 1970s, giving it up to go to work for Buffalo-area Congressman Jack Kemp
. She quickly left Washington, DC, behind to act in the theater...
One of four sisters, Jenny McCarthy was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, the second oldest daughter of Linda (Loheit), a courtroom custodian, and Daniel McCarthy, a steel mill foreman. She has Irish (father) and Croatian, German, and Polish (mother) ancestry. She was educated at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School...
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was born on January 23, 1974, in Long Beach, California, USA, to Frank Thiessen, a park designer, and Robyn Ernest, a homemaker. She grew up in Long Beach with her parents and her brothers, professional cyclist Todd (born August 1, 1968) and Schyler (born May 10, 1977). When Tiffani was 8...
Sasha Feline Barrese is the daughter of actress and model Katherine Barrese
. Katherine was a model when she gave birth to baby Sasha. The two lived in Maui, Hawaii and soon moved to Paris, France. There, Katherine continued to model and take Sasha to work with her. Sasha got a lot of early modeling experience by going to the photo shoots with her mom...
Rebecca Alie Romijn was born on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker. Her mother was American-born, with Dutch and English ancestry, and was a teacher of English. Rebecca attended Berkeley High School where her nickname was the "Jolly Blond Giant"...
Emily Procter is a native of Raleigh, N.C. who attended East Carolina University. "I tried to get in the theatre department", she says, "but it was full." After graduation, however, she moved to Los Angeles and landed a number of small roles in films such as Jerry Maguire
. "Then I got the chance to audition for The West Wing
and I got the part", she says.
Kristin Bauer van Straten
Kristin grew up in Wisconsin playing sports, riding horses, and shooting guns. Her father was an avid horseman and gun collector and her mother a housewife involved in charities. Kristin moved to Los Angeles and began acting in 1994 after studying fine arts in St. Louis, Boston and New York. She still studies drawing and painting...
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...
Kali Hawk was a child prodigy, beginning high school at the age of 12, and gaining acceptance to prestigious New York arts university SUNY Purchase before she was 16 years old. While in a play on campus, she was introduced to a friend's agent and began doing commercials and plays in Manhattan's Lower East Side theatre district...
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)...
Ellie Kemper, born Elizabeth Claire Kemper on May 2, 1980, is an American actress, comedian, and writer. She is best-known for her role as "Erin Hannon" in the NBC series, The Office
, as well as her supporting roles in the films, Bridesmaids
and 21 Jump Street
). She plays the title role in the Netflix comedy series...
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
Melanie Hutsell was born in Maryville, Tennessee, right at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains near Dollywood. She was shy as a little girl, but would slowly come out of her shell as the years went by. When Melanie was asked by her Freshman English teacher to perform a soliloquy from "Romeo and Juliet"...
Mary grew up in the small beach community of Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Mary graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she earned her BFA in acting, and was also awarded the Stella Adler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. Mary made her Broadway debut in "Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me" in 2006...
Kristina was born and raised in Bloomfield, NJ. She attended Emerson college in Boston, MA with an acting scholarship, but dropped out after her freshman year to move to NYC and study with legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen. Kristina has appeared in dozens of commercials and television shows over the years...
Mo Collins was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She attended Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, honing her improvisation and sketch-writing skills. After many theater productions, dozens of commercials and two films, including Jingle All the Way
, she moved to LA. Within a year, she landed her big break on MADtv
. Mo is currently (2010) living with her 15 year old son in Los Angeles.
Nicole Sullivan grew up doing theatre in NYC, then went on to study theatre at Northwestern University. After moving to LA, her career started in 1995 when she got cast on "MADtv" (1995)_. Nicole then joined the cast of The King of Queens
for 5 seasons, playing opposite Jerry Stiller
. She became a regular...
Mary Tyler Moore
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 childhood was troubled...
Rose Marie is a legend of show business with a career stretching over 80 years since her debut as her self in a Vitaphone musical short that appeared on the bill with The Jazz Singer
at its premiere in 1927. According to Rose Marie, when she approached Al Jolson
at The Wintergarden Theater in New York on the night of the premiere that made movie history and told him...
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...
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
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
Jessica Lundy made her film debut in the film Bright Lights, Big City
, and soon appeared in Vampire's Kiss
, 0094824, and many others. She also starred as Gloria Utz on the NBC sitcom Hope & Gloria
. She attended NYU and began her career writing and acting in comedy shows working with a group in many New York City cabarets and clubs...
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...
Born in Brooklyn New York. Started working professionally at age 3 1/2 as a John Robert Powers Model in New York City. Joined Screen Actors Guild as a junior member.
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
Mimi Kennedy began her acting career on stage opposite famed TV comedian Sid Caesar
. Her theater credits also include her work as Jan in both the national tour and the original Broadway production of "Grease". Work on television has been plentiful for Kennedy following her leading role on the critically acclaimed series...
Originally groomed for the theater, Sullivan worked at the National Repertory Theatre in Washington D.C. before landing a role in Broadway opposite Dustin Hoffman
in "Jimmy Shine". Sullivan continued appearing in theater while working on Falcon Crest
in the 1980s. In the 1960s, Susan played "Lenore Curtin" on Another World
for four years...
Shae D'lyn is the daughter of stage actor Michael Shelle
and writer Peggy Sherertz and lives primarily in New York and Los Angeles. She graduated cum laude from "The Special Scholars Program" at The University of Virginia and then attended a post-graduate two-year theater program in New York, earning a professional degree in Theater Arts from Circle in the Square...
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...
Raised in a working-class Ohio town, Danielle Nicolet moved with her family to southern California to train in gymnastics. She competed through her teenage years, but finally admitted that acting was her dream. She has always played unpredictable characters, whether they be dramatic or comedic. Early on she appeared most notably in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1
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...
Eydie Gorme was born in New York on August 16, 1928 to Sephardic Jewish parents. Her father, Nessim Garmezano, was a tailor, from Sicily, who changed his last name when he arrived in the United States. Gorme began singing straight out of high school, with various big bands. But her big break came after she auditioned for...
Bernadette Peters was born Bernadette Lazzara on February 28, 1948 in Queens, New York City. Peters is one of the most critically-acclaimed Broadway performers, having received nominations for seven Tony Awards, winning two, and eight Drama Desk Awards, winning three. Four of the Broadway cast albums on which she has starred have won Grammy Awards...
Famed actress, comedian, singer, and dancer Vicki Lawrence has appeared in television shows, and in nightclubs. Her career included shows with such popular actors as Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, and Tim Conway. Lawrence was born Vicki Ann Axelrad in Inglewood, California, to Ann Alene (Loyd) and Howard Axelrad...
A sparkling, entertaining, highly energetic presence ever since her early days (from age 4) as a singing and tap dancing child vaudevillian, Nanette Fabray (born Ruby Fabares in San Diego) was once billed as "Baby Nanette" and working with the top headliners of the era, notably Ben Turpin
, in the Los Angeles area...
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...
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 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...
Jo Anne Worley
This tall (with piled-on jet-black hair), attractive, tunnel-mouthed comedienne is a one-of-a-kind commodity and certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to entertaining. Unapologetically, she adores the center stage...and vice versa -- the stage loves her. Like several of her Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
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...
Trained in music and dance, tiny-framed, pixie-like Judy Carne was born Joyce Botterill in Northampton, England in 1939, the daughter of a grocer. Trained in dance, she appeared in music revues as a teenager and changed her name at the advice of a dance teacher. Slowly building up a career on British TV...
A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show
, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin
, Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway singing ingénue to respected film and television character actress within a decade's time...
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 diagnosed with dyslexia when she was young...
Joyce Anne DeWitt was born the second oldest of four to parents Paul and Norma DeWitt on April 23, 1949 in Wheeling, West Virginia but grew up in Indiana. Joyce began taking acting lessons when she was in high school. Although her father was hardly thrilled at his daughter's ambition, she persuaded him to let her major in theater in college...
Audra Lindley was born in Los Angeles, California, to a show-business family--her father, Bert Lindley
, was a stage and film actor. She got her early start in Hollywood by being a stand-in, which eventually progressed to stunt work. After a while, however, she found stunt work not to her liking and went to New York in her mid-20s to take her talent to the stage...
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...
Amazingly, newcomer Cobie Smulders never gave much thought to acting. She was born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and an English mother. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several school productions...
Charlene Amoia grew up in Buffalo, New York, relocating to Las Vegas at the age of 15. She would later move to Los Angeles to pursue her love of acting. Amoia enjoyed a successful modeling career, and appeared in many commercials, before she landed a part on popular soap "Port Charles". The part on the daytime drama led to guest appearances in the likes of "Joey"...
Jennifer Marie Morrison was born in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest child of teachers David and Judy Morrison. She was raised in Arlington Heights, IL, with a younger sister and brother. She attended the same school her parents taught at, Prospect High School. As a child, she did some work as a model...
Suzie Plakson (born June 3, 1958) is an American actress, singer, writer and artist. Born in Buffalo, New York, she grew up in Kingston, Pennsylvania and went to college at Northwestern University. She began her career on the stage/theater, and played four characters opposite Anthony Newley
in a revival tour of "Stop the World...