Family & Companions
Deft comedienne who, two years out of college, began her professional career playing sardonic, chubby Brenda Morgenstern, younger sister to Valerie Harper's title character on the long-running TV sitcom "Rhoda" (1974-78). With her wry, sarcastic delivery, her ethnic, raspy and slightly nasal whine and her self-deprecating humor, Kavner has carved a niche as a likable second banana, playing scrappy underdogs, working women and supportive wives in such films as "Bad Medicine" (1985), "Surrender" (1987) and "Awakenings" (1990), TV-movies like "No Other Love" (1979) and "Revenge of the Stepford Wives" (1980), and, of course, the animated sitcom, "The Simpsons" (1990- ), as the voice of Marge Simpson. A Woody Allen regular, she has acted in five of his films including "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986) and "Shadows and Fog" (1992) and is reputedly the only actress to play both his mother (in "Radio Days" 1987) and his girlfriend (in "New York Stories" 1989).
Kavner got to display her gifts for mimicry and improvisation as a cast regular on "The Tracey Ullman Show" creating such diverse characters as a Soviet circus performer and a bisexual talent agent before she was cast in her first starring role as a funny cosmetics saleswoman and mother turned successful professional comedienne in Nora Ephron's warmhearted domestic comedy "This Is My Life" (1992). Kavner also did well in another prominent role as an extremely, if inadvertently, honest box-office analyst who becomes involved with a film producer (Albert Brooks) in "I'll Do Anything" (1994).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First professional acting work, costarring as Valarie Harper's sister Brenda Morgenstern on TV series, "Rhoda"
Was performing in an Equity waiver theater production in Los Angeles while working days as a typist at UCLA architecture school when David Davis asked her to read for role of Brenda Morgenstern on new TV series, "Rhoda"
TV movie debut in "Katherine" (ABC)
TV debut on ABC Afternoon Playbreak "The Girl Who Couldn't Lose"
Film debut in "National Lampoon Goes to the Movies"
Played a nurse opposite Robin Williams in the film "Awakenings"
Provides the voice of Marge Simpson as well as her two sisters Patty and Selma on "The Simpsons" (Fox)
Starred in the Nora Ephron comedy drama "This Is My Life"
Co-starred in the Woody Allen film "Don't Drink the Water"
Appeared in the comedy "Forget Paris" with Debra Winger and Billy Crystal
Re-teamed with Tracy Ullman on the HBO series "Tracey Takes On..."
Co-starred in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry"
Cast opposite Adam Sandler in the comedy "Click" directed by Frank Coraci
Reprised role of Marge Simpson for "The Simpsons Movie" an animated feature based on the long running Fox series