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Kathleen Freeman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 February 1919Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 23 August 2001New York City, New York, USA  (lung cancer)
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Kathleen Freeman's introduction to show business came very early in life. Her parents were vaudevillians, and she made her debut at age 2 in their act. Later she attended UCLA with intentions of becoming a pianist, but was bitten by the acting bug and never looked back. She gained experience on stage in various stock and repertory companies, and made her film debut in 1948. One of the most memorable character actresses in recent memory, her stocky build, incredibly expressive face and hearty laugh have kept audiences convulsed for decades, playing a variety of neighborhood gossips, busybodies and eccentrics. Memorable as Sister Mary Stigmata ("The Penguin"), Dan Aykroyd's and John Belushi's nemesis, in The Blues Brothers (1980). She was used as a comic foil by Jerry Lewis in many of his films, always to great advantage. She did much television work, playing in everything from The Dick Van Dyke Show (1960) to Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964) to Hogan's Heroes (1965) to Married with Children (1987), where she was the voice of Peg's monstrous but never-seen mother, Al Bundy's nemesis. She was working on Broadway in a production of "The Full Monty" when she died of lung cancer in 2001.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Trivia (6)

In the 1950s, at The Music Circus (a theater-in-the-round in Sacramento, Calif.) a prop chair collapsed under her weight while she was singing, the musicians stopped playing, and in a dead silence she got up to her knees, spread her arms and sang, "That's why I love the theater".
Graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Was nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role
  • Musical) for "The Full Monty."



Was considered for the role of Alice Nelson in The Brady Bunch (1969).
John Garcia, Executive Director/Producer of "The Column" Awards, created an award in her honor. This is given to individuals who overcome personal, physical, or other major problems in their lives and continue to work in theater, whether behind or in front of the curtain. Whatever obstacles--personal problems, health issues, etc.--were affecting their lives offstage, on stage they give it their all. They are living the theme of what Ms. Freeman always said: "The show must go on".
Gave her final Tony nomination performance for her role as the piano player in Broadway's musical hit "The Full Monty," on August 18th - she passed away five days later. [August 2001]

Personal Quotes (2)

[about how she got started in comedy while a music student playing a bit part in a play at UCLA] A terrible thing happened; I got a laugh.
I think comedy is more powerful than drama in the long run. Comedy is more difficult. It's very easy to make people cry.

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