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Julia Sweeney

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 10, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Spokane, Washington, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, director, accountant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This softly pretty comic writer-performer is only one of many women whose talent was largely wasted on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (on which she was featured from 1989-94). Sweeney was best known for her popular recurring character Pat, an annoying, androgynous, bespectacled person whose gender remained a mystery. The character was even the centerpiece of a feature, "It's Pat!" (1994), which was afforded only a regional release before being shunted off to the video shelves.While still working at her day job as an accountant at a film studio, Sweeney began performing with the L.A.-based improv troupe The Groundlings, where she came under the tutelage of Phil Hartman. Sweeney has attributed her success to her background in improvisation which stressed acting and character rather than the delivery of punchlines. In addition to countless sketches on "Saturday Night Live" and its subsequent compilation shows, she utilized her skills in a recurring role on the detective drama "Murphy's Law" (ABC, 1989), a bit part in a dreadful TV remake of "Dinner at Eight" (TNT, 1989), and in guest appearance such as playing Cynthia Stevenson's sister on "Hope and Gloria".Sweeney's feature career, while not dazzling, has...

This softly pretty comic writer-performer is only one of many women whose talent was largely wasted on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (on which she was featured from 1989-94). Sweeney was best known for her popular recurring character Pat, an annoying, androgynous, bespectacled person whose gender remained a mystery. The character was even the centerpiece of a feature, "It's Pat!" (1994), which was afforded only a regional release before being shunted off to the video shelves.

While still working at her day job as an accountant at a film studio, Sweeney began performing with the L.A.-based improv troupe The Groundlings, where she came under the tutelage of Phil Hartman. Sweeney has attributed her success to her background in improvisation which stressed acting and character rather than the delivery of punchlines. In addition to countless sketches on "Saturday Night Live" and its subsequent compilation shows, she utilized her skills in a recurring role on the detective drama "Murphy's Law" (ABC, 1989), a bit part in a dreadful TV remake of "Dinner at Eight" (TNT, 1989), and in guest appearance such as playing Cynthia Stevenson's sister on "Hope and Gloria".

Sweeney's feature career, while not dazzling, has included much more than her starring role as Pat. She started out doing small roles, including playing a receptionist in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990), a nosy neighbor in "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid" (1992) and the school principal in another "SNL"-inspired feature "Coneheads" (1993). Additionally, Sweeney appeared Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994), the Al Franken vehicle "Stuart Saves His Family" (1995) and in support of Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in the rowdy "Vegas Vacation" (1996).

Sweeney's life and career took an unexpected turn in 1995 when her brother Michael died of lymphoma and Sweeney herself was treated for cervical cancer. She turned the experience into a dark, funny one-woman show, "God Said, 'Ha!'", which opened in L.A. in 1996 and later moved to Broadway. The show, which got sterling reviews, was filmed (with Quentin Tarantino as executive producer and Sweeney as director) and released theatrically in 1999. It also became the basis for a recording and a book. The actress used her experiences as the basis for the busted pilot "Jules" before joining the CBS sitcom "George & Leo" in its waning days in 1998.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  God Said, Ha! (1998) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
 Don't Come Knocking (2005) Cast
4.
 Clockstoppers (2002) Zak'S Mother
5.
 Whatever It Takes (2000) Kate Woodman
6.
 Beethoven's 3rd (2000)
7.
 Stuart Little (1999) Mrs Keeper
8.
 Thick As Thieves (1999) Sarah
9.
 God Said, Ha! (1998)
10.
 Meet Wally Sparks (1997) (Cameo Appearance)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked as an accountant at a motion picture studio
:
Joined the Los Angeles based improv group The Groundlings where Phil Hartman became her mentor
1989:
First TV guest shot, "Murphy's Law" (ABC)
1989:
Spent four seasons as an ensemble member on the NBC variety series "Saturday Night Live"
1989:
TV-movie debut, "Dinner at Eight" (TNT)
1990:
Feature acting debut, "Gremlins 2: The New Batch"
1994:
Appeared at the closing ceremonies of The 1994 Gay Games in her Pat persona at NYC's Yankee Stadium
1994:
Feature debut as co-screenwriter, character creator and star, "It's Pat"
1995:
Underwent treatment for cervical cancer while taking care of her dying brother
1996:
Premiered one-woman show "God Said, 'Ha!'", a comic look at her life; after Broadway production, show was filmed, turned into a CD and a book
1998:
Joined cast of the CBS sitcom "George & Leo"
1999:
Feature directorial debut with "God Said, Ha!'"
2000:
Provided voice for the animated series "Baby Blues" (The WB)
2000:
Co-starred in the direct-to-video release "Beethoven's 3rd"
2001:
Had co-starring role in The WB sitcom "Maybe It's Me"
2006:
Cast in Wim Wenders' neo-Western "Don't Come Knocking" written by and starred Sam Shepard
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Washington: Seattle , Washington -

Notes

"I feel really good about 'Satruday Night Live.' I don't wish I was still there, but I'm glad I once was. It takes too much energy to remember the bad stuff, like crying over a skit that didn't get on. What I remember are all the great experiences and wonderful friends." --Julia Sweeney, quoted in THE NEW YORK POST, November 19, 1996

"I used to be spastically ambitious and obsessed with work. Now I'm taking an easier view of things. After all I've been through, life doesn't seem like such a race anymore." --Julia Sweeney, quoted in PEOPLE, August 7, 1995

Sweeney's brother Michael and father Robert made cameo appearances in "It's Pat!" (1994).

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Stephen Hibbert. TV writer. Married c. 1989; divorced in 1994.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Bob Sweeney. Retired federal prosecutor.
mother:
Jeri Sweeney.
brother:
Mike Sweeney. Was box office employee for L.A.'s Groundlings comedy troupe; died of lymphoma April 1, 1995 at age 31.
brother:
Jim Sweeney. Younger.
sister:
Meg Sweeney. Younger; married and lives in Japan.
brother:
Bill Sweeney. Younger.
daughter:
Tara Mulan Sweeney. Chinese; born in 1999; adopted by Sweeney in 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"God Said 'Ha!'" Bantam Books

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