Jan Hooks

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Jan Hooks
Jan Hooks.jpg
Hooks at the 40th Emmy Awards in 1988
Born Janet Vivian Hooks
April 23, 1957
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Died October 9, 2014 (aged 57)
Woodstock, New York, U.S.[1][2]
Cause of death
Cancer
Occupation Actress, comedian
Years active 1978–2010

Janet Vivian "Jan" Hooks[1] (April 23, 1957 – October 9, 2014) was an American actress and comedian best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, where she was a repertory player from 1986-91, and continued making cameo appearances until 1994. Her subsequent work included a regular role on the final two seasons of Designing Women, a recurring role on 3rd Rock from the Sun and a number of other roles in film and television.

Early life[edit]

Hooks was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, where she attended Canby Lane Elementary School and Towers High School. In 1974 her family relocated to Fort Myers, Florida. She attended the University of West Florida in Pensacola, but did not earn her degree because she fell in love with acting.[3][2]

Career[edit]

She began her career as a member of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings and in an Atlanta nightclub act called The Wits End Players.[3]

From 1978-79, she appeared in Tush on Ted Turner's television station WTCG, which eventually became TBS.[4] She gained notice in the early 1980s on the HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News.[5] Hooks made guest appearances on Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie in the mid-1980s.[6]

Hooks was considered for SNL in 1985, but was passed over by the show's producers in favor of Joan Cusack. After the show's 1985–1986 season was deemed a ratings disaster and put on the chopping block for cancellation, returning producer Lorne Michaels offered Hooks a contract in 1986, along with new recruits Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman, among others. They helped put the show back in the national spotlight. Her characters included Candy Sweeney of "The Sweeney Sisters". She performed notable impressions of Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O'Connor, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Tiring of the stress of performing on a live show, Hooks left SNL in 1991 after being asked by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. Hooks played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons of the show. She appeared in several movies, starred as Dixie Glick in the series Primetime Glick, and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood. She had a recurring role as the trashy Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun, which earned Hooks an Emmy Award nomination. Hooks guest-starred on two Matt Groening-produced cartoons for the FOX Network: six episodes of The Simpsons between 1997 and 2002, as Apu's wife Manjula (although Hooks was later replaced by Tress MacNeille),[7] and in Futurama (in the episode "Bendless Love" as the voice of a female robot named Angleyne).[8] She appeared in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo and made a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie Batman Returns as Jen, the Penguin's image consultant during his campaign to become Mayor of Gotham City. She made two appearances on 30 Rock in 2010 playing Jenna Maroney's mother, Verna. She guest starred in a 2013 episode of The Cleveland Show called "Mr. and Mrs. Brown" in her last role.[8]

Death[edit]

Hooks died on October 9, 2014 in her home in Woodstock, New York at the age of 57.[3][1] She had been stricken with cancer before her death[9] and was interred in Cedartown, Georgia.[2]

Saturday Night Live aired a tribute for Hooks in the third episode of its 40th season on October 11, 2014, reprising a skit she had filmed in 1988 with Phil Hartman.[10] The clip, "Love is a Dream", was the same one that had concluded the show's special tribute episode to Hartman after his death in 1998. Guest host Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig introduced the tribute.[10] Earlier in the evening, the show's prime time SNL Vintage spinoff aired a 1990 episode, hosted by Alec Baldwin, which featured two of Hooks' most famous comedic sketches: "Brenda the Waitress", and one in which she played Greta Garbo.[1]

The Simpsons episode "Super Franchise Me" memorialized her on October 12, 2014, with her longtime character Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon honored during the credits.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure Tina
1986 Wildcats Stephanie Needham
1987 Funland Shelly Willingham
1992 Batman Returns Jen
1993 Coneheads Gladys Johnson
1993 A Dangerous Woman Makeup Girl
1998 Simon Birch Miss Leavey
2004 Jiminy Glick in Lalawood Dixie Glick

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Tush Various characters
1983 Prime Times Various characters TV special
1983 The 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour Various characters
1983–1984 Not Necessarily the News Various characters 24 episodes
1984 The Joe Piscopo Special Various characters TV special
1985 Comedy Break Various characters
1986–1994 Saturday Night Live Various characters 102 episodes
1989 Dear John Suzanne Episode: "John's Blind Date"
1991–1993 Designing Women Carlene Frazier Dobber 45 episodes
1992 Frosty Returns Lil TV special
1994 The Martin Short Show Meg Harper Short
1996 The Dana Carvey Show Kathie Lee Gifford Episode: "The Diet Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey"
1996–2000 3rd Rock from the Sun Vicki Dubcek 16 episodes
1997 Hiller and Diller Kate 2 episodes
1997–2002 The Simpsons Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon Voice
6 episodes
2001 Providence Doreen Dunfey Episode 3.10: "The Gun"
2001 Futurama Anglelyne Voice
Episode: "Bendless Love"
2001–2003 Primetime Glick Dixie Glick
2004 Game Over Nadine
2010 30 Rock Verna Maroney 2 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jan Hooks obituary, liteseyfh.com; accessed October 21, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Obituary for Jan Hooks, northwestgeorgianews.com; accessed October 21, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Keepnews, Peter (October 9, 2014). "Jan Hooks of ‘Saturday Night Live’ Fame Is Dead at 57". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' Vet Jan Hooks Dead at 57". NBC News. October 9, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Rothman, Michael (October 9, 2014). "Jan Hooks Dead at 57: Comedian Starred on 'Saturday Night Live' in the 1980's". ABC News. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ Wright, Megh (July 5, 2011). "Saturday Night's Children: Jan Hooks (1986–1991)". Splitsider. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "US comedian Jan Hooks dies aged 57". BBC News. October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jan Hooks at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ Bates, Daniel (October 10, 2014). "SNL star Jan Hooks was battling cancer before her death aged 57, devastated friends reveal". Daily Mail. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "'SNL' Remembers Jan Hooks With Emotional Tribute". The Hollywood Reporter, October 11, 2014.

External links[edit]