Family & Companions
Best remembered as LaVerne, the deadpan, unemotional nurse to Dr. Weston on the NBC sitcom "Empty Nest" (1988-95) Park Overall has made a virtue of her honey-dipped Southern drawl and astute comic timing. The daughter of a college professor, she spent part of her youth at British boarding schools, and then played around during much of her college life--at her mother's school--that it took her six years to earn a degree. Yet, when she was ready for a career, it all fell into place. Overall won a small part in the low-budget "Body Passion" (1983), then followed the cameraperson, Richard Schlaeger, back to New York where, after several hard years, she was cast to replace the original actress as Rowena, the sympathetic prostitute, in Neil Simon's Broadway comedy "Biloxi Blues." The next year, Overall was brought to Hollywood by NBC to star in the unsold pilot "The Line," then was tapped by Mike Nichols to reprise her stage role in the 1988 feature adaptation of "Biloxi Blues."
When they were casting "Empty Nest," NBC and Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions remembered Overall from the unsold pilot and signed her as the hyper-efficient nurse LaVerne. The sitcom role led to work in numerous TV-movies, notably as the lesbian lover of a serial killer in "Overkill: The Aileen Wournos Story" (CBS, 1992) and as Kirsten Dunst's mother in "Fifteen and Pregnant" (Lifetime, 1998). Overall also found the occasional big screen role in such films as "Kindergarten Cop" (1990) and "Undercover Blues" (1993).
Cast (Feature Film)
Feature acting debut, "Body Passion"
Made Broadway debut in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues"; played a hooker named Rowena
Made unsold pilot, "The Line" (NBC)
Had regular role of LaVerne on the NBC sitcom "Empty Nest"
Reprised role of Rowena in Mike Nichols' feature "Biloxi Blues"
Co-starred in "Overkill: The Aileen Wournos Story" (CBS)
Played Kirsten Dunst's mother in the Lifetime TV-movie "Fifteen and Pregnant"
Starred in the proposed midseason replacement sitcom "With Kate"; show pulled before it aired and later shown as a summer series in 1999 under the title "Katie Joplin"
Headlined the independent film "Sparkler", offering a fine lead performance as a sweet-natured, somewhat naive woman whose life is changed by three teenaged boys