Julia Duffy

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Julia Duffy
Julia Duffy The Doctors 1975.JPG
Duffy as Penny Davis, 1975.
Born Julia Margaret Hinds
(1951-06-27) June 27, 1951 (age 63)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Jerry Lacy (1984-present); 2 children

Julia Duffy (born Julia Margaret Hinds; June 27, 1951) is an American actress, best known for playing Stephanie Vanderkellen on the sitcom Newhart (1983-90). For this role, she received seven Emmy Award nominations (no wins) and a 1988 Golden Globe Award nomination. It also won her three Viewers for Quality Television Awards. Her other TV roles include Season 1 of the sitcom Baby Talk (1991), Season 6 of the sitcom Designing Women (1991-92) and a recurring role in the drama series Shameless (2011-13).


Duffy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her early career included parts in soap operas such as One Life to Live, The Doctors and Love of Life. Duffy also appeared in movies such as Night Warning (1981) and Cutter's Way (1981). She made an appearance on the television sitcom Cheers during the show's first season in 1982; she had been considered for the role of Diane Chambers.[1]

In 1983, she played Princess Ariel Baaldorf in the medieval spoof Wizards and Warriors, which had a short run on the CBS television network.

Duffy joined the cast of the television series Newhart in its second season (she made an appearance in the 14th episode of the 1st season), playing the part of Dick Loudon's (played by Bob Newhart) self-infatuated preppy maid Stephanie Vanderkellen. It is probably her most popular role and one she played for seven seasons. She earned Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role every year from 1984 through 1990. She also received a Golden Globe nomination and won three Viewers For Quality Television Awards for her work. Julia was actually pregnant during several episodes of Newhart. To hide it, she wore baggy clothes and stood behind furniture.[2]

After the end of Newhart, Duffy briefly starred in the sitcom Baby Talk alongside George Clooney.[3] (She worked again with Clooney some years later in the Coen Brothers' comedy Intolerable Cruelty). She then joined Designing Women, essentially replacing Delta Burke who was let go after quarrels with producers. Duffy played the newly created role of Allison Sugarbaker. Duffy's season was the show's highest-rated, due in large part to these highly public quarrels between Delta Burke and the show's producers; and, the producers chose not to have her return for what would be its final year as there was strong audience aversion to the negative aspects of Duffy's character.[4][5]

From 1993-95, Duffy played Barb Ballantine on the short-lived comedy series The Mommies. Duffy played Lindsay Mercer, one of the failed buyers of Winfred-Lauder and the ex-wife of "Lord Mercer" on The Drew Carey Show. She has a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh as Linda Hayfer, a high school English teacher who despises Drake. She appeared on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as the rich mother of Jason, a boy who goes on a date with Maddie Fitzpatrick (Ashley Tisdale).

She made a brief appearance in the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP as the owner of a stage that LuLu wanted to rent, she also had an obsession with Elvis Presley saying that his spirit lived on in that building, but it was really rats.

On September 19, 2014 Julia appeared on Ken Reid (comedian)'s TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.

Personal life[edit]

Jerry Lacy and Duffy in 2014

Duffy graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1972. She has been married since 1984 to actor Jerry Lacy, co-star of Dark Shadows and Love of Life, and has 2 children, Kerry Kathleen and Daniel. They live in Los Angeles.


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Love of Life Geri Braylee
1973-1978 The Doctors Penny Davis
1977 One Life to Live Karen Wolek Episode: "#1.7659"
1979 The Love Boat Sandy 2 episodes
1980 Battle Beyond the Stars Mol
1981 Lou Grant Charlene Episode: "Rape"
1982 Cheers Rebecca Prout Season 1, Episode 6, 1982
1982 Voyagers! Nellie Bly Episode: "Jack's Back"
1983-1990 Newhart Stephanie Vanderkellen 163 episodes
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series (1986–88)
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Leading Female in a Comedy Series
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1984–90)
1982 Blue and the Gray, TheThe Blue and the Gray Mary Hale 3 episodes
1983 Simon & Simon Jody Carmichael Episode: "Room 3502"
1983 Wizards and Warriors Princess Ariel 8 episodes
1984 The Love Boat Paula Episode: "The Last Heist"
1985 Hotel Arlene Greenspan Episode: "Hearts and Minds"
1991 Baby Talk Maggie Campbell 12 episodes
1991-1992 Designing Women Allison Sugarbaker 23 episodes
1993-1995 Mommies, TheThe Mommies Barb Ballantine 28 episodes
1996 Pinky and the Brain Delilah Episode: "A Little Off the Top"
1997 Social Studies Frances Harman 6 episodes
1999 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Lucy Kraft Episode: "Mrs. Kraft"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Lorraine Kay Episode: "The Roast"
2001-2002 Reba Mrs. Hodge 4 episodes
2002 The Drew Carey Show Lindsay Mercer Episode: "Rich Woman, Poor Man"
2003 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Jessica's Mom
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Sarah Sorkin
2004-2006 Drake & Josh Mrs. Hayfer 4 episodes
2005 CSI: NY Millie Hanford Episode: "Recycling"
2005 Suite Life of Zack & Cody, TheThe Suite Life of Zack & Cody Martha Harrington Episode: "Maddie Checks In"
2006 7th Heaven Mrs. Porter Episode: "Got MLK?"
2008 Wizards of Waverly Place Mrs. Angela Episode: "Credit Check"
2008 Together Again for the First Time Audrey Wolders Frobisher Television film
2008 7 Things to Do Before I'm 30 Vanessa Madisen Television film
2010 Melissa & Joey Myrna Sherwood Episode: "A Fright in the Attic"
2010 La Grêve de Noël Robert Iscove Television film
2011-2013 Shameless Candace Lishman 4 episodes
2012 The League Kevin and Taco's mom Episode: "The Breastalyzer"
2014-2015 Looking Patrick's mother, Dana Murray two episodes
2014 Anger Management Phyllis Episode: "Charlie Gets Date Rated"
2014 Camp X-Ray Betty Cole Limited Release
2014 Suburgatory Emmaline Episode: "The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth"


  1. ^ Meade, Peter (29 April 1984). "We'll Cry In Our Beers As Sam, Diane Split". Spartanburg Herald-Journal TV Update. p. 85. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ Salas, Randy A. (28 February 2008). "'Newhart' is home to Julia Duffy". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  3. ^ Zurawik, David (8 Marcy 1991). "Julia Duffy is a mom it's hard to feel sorry for". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-11.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "20 TV Shows That Replaced a Star". Entertainment Weekly. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  5. ^ Carter, Bill (November 4, 1991). "Television Gets on the Bandwagon Of the Thomas-Hill Contretemps". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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