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Kathy Najimy

Kathy Najimy

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Also Known As: Kathy Ann Najimy Died:
Born: February 6, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Diego, California, USA Profession: actor, playwright, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A dark-haired, vivacious comic character actress with stage experience, Kathy Najimy began her film career playing small, outlandish roles such as a crazed video store customer in Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (1991) and the all-seeing costume mistress in daytime-TV satire "Soapdish" (1991). Her breakout came with her scene-stealing turn as the rotund, maniacally sunny-spirited Sister Mary Patrick in the unexpectedly popular "Sister Act" (1992). She followed this up with her role as the obsequious, ever-hungry Mary Sanderson, one of a trio of witches accidentally reincarnated, in the Disney comedy "Hocus Pocus" (1993) before recreating her religious role in the inevitable sequel, "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993). For the sequel, she reportedly demanded and received a million-dollar paycheck. Oddly, other feature film roles did not follow and she was almost entirely off the big screen until Paul Rudnick's romantic comedy-drama "Jeffrey" (1995), in what amounted to a cameo, and "Nevada" (1997), a contemporary Western about a town seemingly populated only by women. Although she remained a steady presence as a character actress in both television and film, Najimy settled into working most...

A dark-haired, vivacious comic character actress with stage experience, Kathy Najimy began her film career playing small, outlandish roles such as a crazed video store customer in Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (1991) and the all-seeing costume mistress in daytime-TV satire "Soapdish" (1991). Her breakout came with her scene-stealing turn as the rotund, maniacally sunny-spirited Sister Mary Patrick in the unexpectedly popular "Sister Act" (1992). She followed this up with her role as the obsequious, ever-hungry Mary Sanderson, one of a trio of witches accidentally reincarnated, in the Disney comedy "Hocus Pocus" (1993) before recreating her religious role in the inevitable sequel, "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (1993). For the sequel, she reportedly demanded and received a million-dollar paycheck. Oddly, other feature film roles did not follow and she was almost entirely off the big screen until Paul Rudnick's romantic comedy-drama "Jeffrey" (1995), in what amounted to a cameo, and "Nevada" (1997), a contemporary Western about a town seemingly populated only by women. Although she remained a steady presence as a character actress in both television and film, Najimy settled into working most often as a voice actress, most notably as suburban Texas wife and mother Peggy Hill on Mike Judge's long-running animated comedy "King of the Hill" (Fox 1997-2010) and in Pixar's ecological fable "WALL-E" (2008).

Najimy's TV career began as an extension of her stage work as one-half of the comedy duo Kathy & Mo, opposite Mo Gaffney, whose tall, angular form was the opposite of the short, zaftig Najimy. Both of the pair's Obie-winning off-Broadway revues were turned into cable comedy specials, "The Kathy & Mo Show: Parallel Lives" (HBO 1991) and "The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark Side" (HBO 1995). Gaffney and Najimy produced, wrote and co-starred in the shows, which were tinged with feminist and Catholic humor. The pair portrayed a variety of characters ranging from teenagers to elderly women to angels. Gaffney also adopted male personae, ranging from a macho date to a gay bartender.

Najimy shed some 100 pounds before she re-appeared on the small screen in 1996 in the recurring role of Dr Barbara Konstadt, a physician struggling with manic-depression, on the medical drama "Chicago Hope" (CBS 1994-2000). The following year, she provided the voice of Hank Hill's schoolteacher wife, Peggy, in Mike Judge's affectionate look at modern Texas suburbia, "King of the Hill." After giving birth to a daughter in December 1996, Najimy reteamed with her "Nevada" co-star Kirstie Alley for the sitcom "Veronica's Closet" (NBC 1997-2000), in which she played Olive Massery, the best friend and co-worker of Alley's lingerie-company owner Veronica Chase. The sitcom received only middling reviews, although Najimy was frequently praised as its standout performer, and was canceled in the midst of its third season.

After starring on Broadway as Mae West in the biographical musical "Dirty Blonde," Najimy returned to the big screen with key roles in the Jennifer Lopez-starring romantic comedy "The Wedding Planner" (2001) and Jerry Zucker's madcap road trip comedy "Rat Race" (2001). Her voiceover work continued, including the preschool-oriented series "Oswald" (Nicktoons 2001-03), on which she voiced the recurring role of Bingette Bunny. While staying busy with guest shots on various TV cartoons, she co-starred opposite writer-director Peter Paige as a nosy neighborhood activist in the indie comedy "Say Uncle" (2005) and appeared in Margaret Cho's "Bam Bam and Celeste" (2005), and provided the voice of Axiom crewmember Mary in the Pixar fable "WALL-E" (2008).

Returning to network television, Najimy began a recurring role as Dr. Mildred Finch on the procedural drama "Numb3rs" (CBS 2005-2010) in 2007, followed by stints on the teen-oriented Olympics-training drama "Make It Or Break It" (ABC Family 2009-2012) and Laura Linney's black-humored comedy-drama "The Big C" (Showtime 2010-13). She alternated her TV work with film appearances including supporting roles in the teen dance drama sequel "Step Up 3D" (2010), Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand's family comedy "The Guilt Trip" (2012), and Tyler Perry's holiday comedy-drama "A Madea Christmas" (2013). Najimy joined the supporting cast of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' critically-acclaimed political comedy "Veep" (HBO 2012- ) in the show's third season as political reporter Wendy Keegan, the wife of communications director Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Clutter (2013)
3.
4.
 Kingdom Come (2012)
5.
 BearCity 2 (2012)
6.
 Stars In Shorts (2012)
7.
 Guilt Trip, The (2012)
8.
 Deck the Halls (2011)
9.
 WALL-E (2008)
10.
 Getting Played (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Member of the feminist theater group Sisters On Stage; performed one-woman show "It's My Party"
:
Served as resident director of the New Image Teen Theater
1988:
Debuted "The Kathy and Mo Show" off-Broadway, co-written and co-starring Maureen 'Mo' Gaffney
1991:
Made film debut in "The Hard Way"
1991:
TV debut, the HBO comedy special based on their off-Broadway show "The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives"
1992:
Landed breathrough film role as joyful nun Sister Mary Patrick opposite Whoopi Goldberg in "Sister Act"
1993:
Reprised role of Sister Mary Patrick in "Sister Act 2"
1993:
First leading role in a film, "Hocus Pocus"
1995:
Co-wrote and co-starred in HBO special "The Kathy and Mo Show: The Dark Side"
1996:
Played recurring role on CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"
1997:
Provided voice of Peggy Hill for animated Fox series "King of the Hill"
1997:
Played supporting role opposite Kirstie Alley on NBC's "Veronica's Closet"
2000:
Assumed lead role as Mae West in Broadway hit "Dirty Blonde"
2001:
Played Jennifer Lopez's boss in "The Wedding Planner"
2001:
Co-starred as part of an ensemble in the comedy "Rat Race"
2004:
Returned to stage opposite Mo Gaffney in "Afterbirth: Kathy and Mo's Greatest Hits"
2006:
Starred in Peter Paige's feature directorial debut "Say Uncle"
2006:
Joined cast of "Numbers" (CBS) in recurring role as Dr. Mildred Finch
2008:
Lent voice to Pixar animated film "WALL-E"
2010:
Guest starred on ABC's "Ugly Betty" as the orthodontist tasked with removing Betty┬┐s (America Ferrera) trademark braces
2011:
Landed recurring role on ABC Family series "Make It or Break It"
2012:
Featured opposite Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen in "The Guilt Trip"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Najimy has said that she based her character in "Sister Act" on TV host Mary Hart of "Entertainment Tonight".

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Boswell. Composer, musician. Had nine-year relationship in the 1980s and 90s.
husband:
Dan Finnerty. Actor. Featured in "Stomp"; born c. 1970; married on August 8, 1998.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Najimy. Postal worker. Died c. 1971; Lebanese immigrant to USA.
mother:
Samia Najimy. Lebanese immigrant to USA.
sister:
Ramona Najimy. Born in 1950.
sister:
Elaine Najimy. Born in 1953.
brother:
Thomas Paul Najimy. Born in 1954.
daughter:
Samia Najimy Finnerty. Born on December 12, 1996.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Choices We Made" Random House

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