Ann Risley

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Ann Risley
Born (1949-09-30) September 30, 1949 (age 67)
Madison, Wisconsin
Residence Tucson, Arizona
Occupation Actor
Acting Coach
Known for Saturday Night Live, 1980-81
Acting Coach, 1984-present

Anna "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.[citation needed]

Risley was born in Madison, Wisconsin. Woody Allen spotted her in a theatre production of his material and encouraged her to pursue an acting career in New York.[1] 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.[2]

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".[3]

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.[4]

Celebrity impersonations on SNL[edit]

Feature film (speaking roles)[edit]


  • 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[edit]

  • 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)


  • Come Back to the Five and Dime – Martha, also S/B Karen Black, Sandy Dennis – Broadway (N.Y.C.)
  • A Little Family Business – role of Connie (Angela Lansbury's daughter) – Ahmanson Theatre (L.A.) and Broadway (N.Y.C.)
  • A History of the American Film – S/B 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

(some 30 other plays)[citation needed]


  • BAI – University of Wisconsin – Theatre Communications
  • Various individual workshops in N.Y.C. and San Francisco[citation needed]


  1. ^ Clifford Terry (February 22, 1981). "'The struggle to keep Saturday Night Live'". Chicago Tribune. p. 31. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ "SNL Transcripts"
  3. ^ Ames Carlin, Peter; Gliatto, Tom; Scott Gregory, Sophfronia; A. Lipton, Michael (October 4, 1999). "Sketch Artists". People. 52 (13). 
  4. ^ Risley, Anna, "The Studio for Actors (website)"
  5. ^ "SNL Archives"

External links[edit]