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Julia Sweeney

Julia Sweeney

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

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