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Debra Jo Rupp

Debra Jo Rupp

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 24, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Glendale, California, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Petite and relentlessly perky actress Debra Jo Rupp became one of the most familiar faces on television with roles that capitalized on her matronly, yet frequently madcap, persona. After garnering strong notices in several performances on and off-Broadway in the late-1980s, she began racking up steady appearances on series such as "Kate & Allie" (CBS, 1984-89), as well as in major feature films, including the Tom Hanks comedy "Big" (1988). Although regular cast work on a successful series initially eluded her, Rupp gained recognition with memorable recurring roles on hit comedies such as "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98) and "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). She at last found a stable home on a long-running series when she joined the ensemble cast of the comedy "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Surrounded by a talented cast of veteran actors and fresh faces, Rupp played the standard sitcom mom with a wonderfully manic twist in a show that lovingly looked back at a kinder, gentler decade. The actress maintained her profile on TV and film after "That '70s Show" finished its run, although her regular role on the sitcom "Better with You" (ABC, 2010-11) failed to become the next hit series she had hoped for. Whether...

Petite and relentlessly perky actress Debra Jo Rupp became one of the most familiar faces on television with roles that capitalized on her matronly, yet frequently madcap, persona. After garnering strong notices in several performances on and off-Broadway in the late-1980s, she began racking up steady appearances on series such as "Kate & Allie" (CBS, 1984-89), as well as in major feature films, including the Tom Hanks comedy "Big" (1988). Although regular cast work on a successful series initially eluded her, Rupp gained recognition with memorable recurring roles on hit comedies such as "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98) and "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). She at last found a stable home on a long-running series when she joined the ensemble cast of the comedy "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Surrounded by a talented cast of veteran actors and fresh faces, Rupp played the standard sitcom mom with a wonderfully manic twist in a show that lovingly looked back at a kinder, gentler decade. The actress maintained her profile on TV and film after "That '70s Show" finished its run, although her regular role on the sitcom "Better with You" (ABC, 2010-11) failed to become the next hit series she had hoped for. Whether she was playing an inept talent manager, the "older woman" in a May/December romance, or the high-strung mother of a promiscuous 1970s-era teen, Rupp brought undeniable energy and impeccable comic timing to every character she inhabited.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Garfield (2004) Voice Of Mom Rat
3.
 Disney's Teacher's Pet (2004) Voice Of Mrs Helperman
4.
 Senseless (1998) Denise Witherspoon
5.
 Clockwatchers (1997) Barbara
6.
 Sgt. Bilko (1996) Mrs Hall
7.
 Reasons of the Heart (1996) Viv Rushton
10.
 Odd Couple: Together Again, The (1993) Hotel Manager
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Boxford, Massachusetts
:
Moved to New York City
:
Appeared on "All My Children" (ABC)
1987:
Guest starred on "Kate & Allie" (CBS) and "Spenser: For Hire" (ABC)
1988:
Appeared in episodes of "The Equalizer" (CBS) and "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" (NBC)
1988:
Made feature debut in Penny Marshall's "Big"
1989:
Had supporting role in the TV-movie "Mothers, Daughters and Lovers"
1990:
Starred as Mae in the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", starring Kathleen Turner
:
Appeared in the Los Angeles stage production "A Girl's Guide to Chaos"
1991:
Had a recurring role on the ABC comedy series "Davis Rules"
1992:
Was featured in the fact-based TV-movie "A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story"
1993:
Had a recurring role as Sister Mary Incarnata on the ABC sitcom "Phenom"
1994:
Acted in two "NBC Friday Night Mystery" movies, "MacShayne: Winner Takes All" and "MacShayne: Final Roll of the Dice"
1995:
Appeared on the Hollywood stage in "Broken Bones", a one-act play presented as part of "Act One '95 Evening B"
1995:
Played Jerry's manager on "Seinfeld"
1995:
Was a regular on the short-lived CBS sitcoms "The Office" and "If Not for You"
1995:
Had a recurring role on the ABC sitcom "The Jeff Foxworthy Show"
1996:
Played the wife of Dan Aykroyd's oblivious character in "Sgt. Bilko"
1997:
Featured in the office-set independent film "Clockwatchers", featuring Lisa Kudrow
:
Had a recurring role on the popular sitcom "Friends" as Alice, the sister-in-law of Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and the mother of the triplets Phoebe carried
1998:
Appeared in the Penelope Spheeris comedy "Senseless"
1998:
Played Eric Foreman's overprotective mother Kitty in a regular co-starring role on "That '70s Show" (Fox)
2004:
Voiced Mrs Helperman in "Disney's Teacher's Pet: The Movie"
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Notes

Debra Jo Rupp on her role in "That 70s Show": "Kitty, in the very, very beginning, mostly in the pilot, was a little bit of an idiot. And I love to play that, I love to do that, it comes quite naturally.

"But I can't imagine doing that for a really long period of time. And . . . all of a sudden she became the glue holding things together, and I was really, really happy to see that because in my own family that's exactly what happened.

"My father lost his job, and my mother had to keep everything together. And it's just a great thing for me to be able to do, to get my teeth into." --quoted in The Winnipeg Sun, August 2, 1999

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