Ann Risley (born September 30, 1949) is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member of the TV series Saturday Night Live for the 12 episodes of the 1980–1981 season. These 12 broadcasts were the first episodes after producer Lorne Michaels left the show. She is a member of SAG, AFTRA, Equity, and an independent actor's equity.
Born Anna Risley in Madison, Wisconsin, she was spotted by Woody Allen in a theatre production of his material and encouraged her to pursue an acting career in New York. Risley was cast in small parts in Allen's films Annie Hall, Manhattan and Stardust Memories. Before joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, she had a cameo on the show in 1976 as a psychiatrist's patient.
She was cast for Saturday Night Live by Jean Doumanian, who had previously been the show's guest-booker, then associate producer. After 12 episodes, Doumanian was let go and replaced by Dick Ebersol, who fired Gilbert Gottfried, Charles Rocket, and Risley from the cast before his first episode. In a 1999 article in People, Risley was quoted as saying her SNL experience was "horrible".
Prior to (and after) Saturday Night Live, Risley had roles in nine feature films, including Honky Tonk Freeway and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
She appeared in starring roles in two television pilots (Off Campus and Night After Night), was a five-week guest star on the daytime soap The Doctors, and appeared in five made-for-TV movies, including The Young Riders and Telling Secrets. No longer a screen actor, Ann (who now goes by the name of Anna) continues to run her own acting/improv studio in Tucson, Arizona.
Celebrity impersonations on SNL
Feature film (speaking roles)
- Annie Hall as Susan (dir. by Woody Allen) (1977)
- Oliver's Story as Jane (dir. by John Korty) (1978)
- Manhattan as Mrs. Finch (dir. by Woody Allen) (1979)
- Simon as Pam (dir. by Marshall Brickman) (1980)
- Stardust Memories as Nurse (dir. by Woody Allen) (1980)
- Honky Tonk Freeway as Patricia (dir. by John Schlesinger) (1981)
- Rich and Famous as Merideth (dir. by George Cukor) (1981)
- Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean as Martha (dir. by Robert Altman) (1982)
- Desert Bloom as Mrs. Muratore (dir. by Eugene Corr) (1986)
- Saturday Night Live (one year) – Cast member – 1980-81 Season, NBC (N.Y.C.)
- Off Campus (sitcom pilot) – Bonnie (starring role) – CBS (N.Y.C.)
- Night After Night (sitcom pilot) – Anne (starring role) – MTM/CBS (L.A.)
- The Doctors (soap, 5 wk guest star) – Hermione (with Alec Baldwin) – NBC (N.Y.C.)
- The Young Riders (3 episodes) – Clerk/Wife (with Josh Brolin) – ABC series (Tucson, AZ)
Movies for television
- Telling Secrets – Sally DeVries (with Cybill Shepherd) – ABC miniseries (Scottsdale, AZ)
- Four Eyes and Six-Guns – Madame of Whore House (with Patricia Clarkson) – TNT film (Tucson, AZ)
- El Diablo – Judith – HBO film (Tucson, AZ)
- Sunstroke – Secretary – TNT film (Phoenix, AZ)
Selected stage roles
- Come Back to the Five and Dime – Martha (and substitute for lead actresses Karen Black and Sandy Dennis – Broadway (NYC)
- A Little Family Business – role of Connie (Angela Lansbury's daughter) – Ahmanson Theatre (L.A.) and Broadway (NYC)
- A History of the American Film – (substitute for all 4 female leads) – Arena Stage (Wash. DC)
- Uncommon Women – Rita-Huntington Theatre (Boston, Mass.)
- Spoon River Anthology – 16 roles – San Francisco Tour (CA)
- The Importance of Being Earnest – Cecily
- Private Lives – Amanda
- The Owl and the Pussycat – Doris
- Lovers (Winners) – Maggie
- Same Time Next Year – Doris
- BAI – University of Wisconsin – Theatre Communications
- Various individual workshops in N.Y.C. and San Francisco
- Clifford Terry (February 22, 1981). "'The struggle to keep Saturday Night Live'". Chicago Tribune. p. 31. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
- "SNL Transcripts", snltranscripts.jt.org; accessed June 11, 2017.
- Ames Carlin, Peter; Gliatto, Tom; Scott Gregory, Sophfronia; A. Lipton, Michael (October 4, 1999). "SketchArtists". People. 52 (13).
- "Professional Training, Classes, & Private Study in Tucson, Arizona". The Studio for Actors. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- "Episodes | 11.15.1980 #4". SNL Archives. 1980-11-15. Retrieved 2017-06-11.