Born in 1955 and raised in Euclid, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), as a young girl she studied piano and took voice lessons and performed with the Cleveland Symphony Children's Choir. Attending Russell H. Erwine Elementary and Shore Junior High School, she graduated from Euclid High School in 1973.
A Chicago-based theatre actress, Resnik is the 1992 winner of the Sarah Siddons Award. She appeared three times on the television show Cupid, and had a support role in the motion pictures Backdraft and Little Big Top, an independent film. In 1993 Resnik appeared in the Off-Broadway musical version of Wings as Amy the "sympathetic therapist".
She has toured in several musicals. She played the role of "Fantine" in the 3rd National US Tour of Les Miserables in 1988. She played Mrs. Meers in the US tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2003 and in 2006 was Muriel in the US tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In March 2007 Resnik toured in the musical Man of La Mancha in the part of Aldonza, also known as Dulcinea.
In the 2001 Ravinia Festival (Illinois) concert version of Sweeney Todd Resnik played the beggar woman. In 2002 she appeared in A Little Night Music in concert at the Ravinia Festival as Countess Charlotte Malcolm. She played the roles of Escalante/Aldonza/Dulcinea in the production of Man of LaMancha at the Court Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, from September 29, 2005 to November 13, 2005. The reviewer wrote "one of Chicago’s favorites, Hollis Resnik as Aldonza/Dulcinea (hers is a different interpretation of the role, and she is dynamite)."
Resnik starred as the two middle-aged Edies in the Mid-west premiere of Grey Gardens in suburban Chicago's Northlight Theatre, Skokie, Illinois (under the direction of artistic director BJ Jones) from November 12, 2008 through December 21, 2008, in which she was called "splendid" by the talkinbroadway.com reviewer. She played Velma Von Tussle in the musical Hairspray at the Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, Illinois in 2009. She played the role of "Old Woman" in the Goodman Theatre's production of Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide in September and October 2010. The chicagonow.com reviewer wrote that "Resnik is hilarious as a half-buttock survivor of her own misfortune. Her 'I Am Easily Assimilated' musical number is easily one of the best songs in the show." She starred as Margaret in the Arena Stage (Washington, DC) production of The Light in the Piazza in 2010. The Washington Post reviewer wrote of her performance "Resnik projects soulful vulnerability, a sense that this stifled woman needs as much protection as she seeks to bestow." She will play Mother Superior in the touring version of Sister Act.
- "Article: Hollis Resnik, Cleveland Symphony Children's Choir (article preview) Chicago Sun-Times (highbeam.com), June 3, 1991
- "Interview with Hollis Resnik" talkinbroadway.com, October 7, 2002
- Simon, John (22 March 1993). "From high fliers to loe depths". New York. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "'Wings' 1993" Internet Off-Broadway Database listing, accessed February 22, 2011
- "Make Someone Happy" cdbaby.com, accessed February 22, 2011
- "Credits, Hollis Resnik" broadwayworld.com, accessed February 22, 2011
- Christiansen, Richard.Sweeney Todd' sublime at Ravinia"Chicago Tribune, August 27, 2001
- "LuPone, Hearn, Caldwell & Ramirez Set for Chicago 'Little Night Music'" playbill.com, April 22, 2002
- "'Man of LaMancha' listing, 2005" courttheatre.org, accessed February 23, 2011
- Bresloff, Alan."'Man of La Mancha' Packs a Poignant Punch" epochtimes.com, November 6, 2005
- Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam.Hollis Resnik Will Be Two Edies in Chicago Grey Gardens playbill.com, July 10, 2008
- Green Richard."Review:'Grey Gardens', Northlight Theatre" talkinbroadway.com, December 6, 2008
- "'Hairspray' at Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire" theatreinchicago.com, accessed February 22, 2011
- "'Candide" production details" goodmantheatre.org
- Walsh, Katy.Review "Candide": Zimmerman's Amazing Race Is An Optimistic Blur!" chicagonow.com, September 28, 2010
- Marks, Peter."Peter Marks reviews the Arena Stage's 'Light in the Piazza'"Washington Post, March 15, 2010