Julia Duffy

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Julia Duffy
Julia Duffy The Doctors 1975.JPG
Duffy on The Doctors in 1975
Julia Margaret Hinds

(1951-06-27) June 27, 1951 (age 68)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Years active1972–present
Jerry Lacy
(m. 1984)

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 and a 1988 Golden Globe Award nomination. The role also won three Viewers for Quality Television awards for her, as well as five American Comedy Awards nominations. She is also notable for playing the original Maggie Campbell on Baby Talk (1991) and Allison Sugarbaker on Designing Women (1991–92).

Early life and career[edit]

Duffy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1951, the daughter of Joseph Hinds and Mary Duffy.[1] 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. Initially, she had been considered for the role of Diane Chambers, the sitcom's female lead.[2]

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

After being an unfamiliar actress in prime time, Duffy joined the main cast of the sitcom Newhart during its second season in 1983 as the Stratford Inn's self-infatuated, upper-class maid. She had initially made an appearance in the 14th episode of the first season of the series, playing the part of then-maid Leslie Vanderkellen's cousin. It is perhaps 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 and five American Comedy Awards nominations for her work. Julia was actually pregnant during several episodes of Newhart. To hide it, she wore baggy clothes and stood behind furniture.[3] She remains close to Newhart.

After the end of Newhart in 1990, Duffy briefly starred in the sitcom Baby Talk alongside George Clooney, but asked to be released after Clooney walked off the troubled set. The new producers accommodated her, allowing her to then join the cast of Designing Women. Baby Talk was then retooled and Duffy was replaced by Mary Page Keller.[4] She worked again with Clooney some years later in the Coen Brothers' comedy Intolerable Cruelty. In 1991, she joined the cast of Designing Women, essentially replacing Delta Burke, the show's breakout star, who was fired after quarrels with producers. Duffy played Allison Sugarbaker, Burke and Dixie Carter's previously unseen cousin on the show. Duffy's tenure on the sitcom's sixth season turned out to be the highest-rated season in the show's history, partly because of the highly publicized cast additions of Duffy and Jan Hooks. However, because of conflicting ideas about her character, she was amicably released from her contract, thus leading her to be replaced by Judith Ivey.[5][6]

From 1993 to 1995, 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.

In recent years, she has been seen in recurring roles on HBO's Looking and Showtime's Shameless, as well as Scream Queens, Key and Peele, and other guest roles. She has been very active in the theatre, appearing in five plays in seven years-Little Foxes and The Heiress at the Pasadena Playhouse, boom with Furious Theatre, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, for which she received an IRNE Award Nomination for best supporting actress in a drama, and most recently in Sex and Education at the Laguna Playhouse in April 2016. She next appeared on stage in Rancho Viejo at Playwright's Horizons in fall of 2016. She has written a book, Bad Auditions, published by Smith and Kraus, which was to be released in 2017.

On September 19, 2014, Duffy appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.

Personal life[edit]

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 two children, Kerry Kathleen and the late 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 two episodes: "Alaska Wedding Cruise" (parts 1 & 2)
1980 Battle Beyond the Stars Mol
1981 Cutter's Way Young Girl
1981 Lou Grant Charlene Episode: "Rape"
1982 Night Warning Julia
1982 Cheers Rebecca Prout Season one, episode six, 1982
1982 Voyagers! Nellie Bly Episode: "Jack's Back"
1982 The Blue and the Gray Mary Hale three episodes
1982 Wacko Mary Graves
1983 Simon & Simon Jody Carmichael Episode: "Room 3502"
1983 Wizards and Warriors Princess Ariel eight episodes
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)
1984 The Love Boat Paula Episode: "The Last Heist"
1985 Hotel Arlene Greenspan Episode: "Hearts and Minds"
1989 The Cover Girl and the Cop, or Beauty & Denise Jackie Flanders Television film
1990 The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage Myrna Foley Television film
1990 Menu for Murder Susan Television film
1991 Baby Talk Maggie Campbell 12 episodes
1991–1992 Designing Women Allison Sugarbaker 23 episodes
1993–1995 The Mommies Barb Ballantine 28 episodes
1996 Pinky and the Brain Delilah Episode: "A Little Off the Top"
1997 Social Studies Frances Harman six episodes
1997 Pepper Ann Aunt Fanny
1998 Grace Under Fire Bev two episodes
1999 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Lucy Kraft Episode: "Mrs. Kraft"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Lorraine Kay Episode: "The Roast"
2001–2002 Reba Mrs. Hodge four episodes
2002 The Drew Carey Show Lindsay Mercer Episode: "Rich Woman, Poor Man"
2003 Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure Charlotte Voice cameo
2003 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Jessica's Mom
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Sarah Sorkin
2004–2006 Drake & Josh Mrs. Hayfer four episodes, and "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh" (cameo)
2005 CSI: NY Millie Hanford Episode: "Recycling"
2005 The 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 four episodes
2012 The League Martha MacArthur Episode: "The Breastalyzer"
2014–2015 Looking 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"
2015 Scream Queens Bunny Radwell Episode: "Thanksgiving"
2015 All She Wishes Grace
2016 Hitting the Breaks Abigail Dochard Episode: "Safe House"
2017 Adoptable Sarah Steinberg two episodes
2017 American Housewife Amanda Otto Episode: "Family Secrets"
2018 The Cool Kids Francine Episode: "Thanksgiving at Murray's"
2019 Grand-Daddy Day Care Bonnie completed
2019 Fair Market Value Isabel completed


  1. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/77/Julia-Duffy.html
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Salas, Randy A. (28 February 2008). "'Newhart' is home to Julia Duffy". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  4. ^ Zurawik, David (8 March 1991). "Julia Duffy is a mom it's hard to feel sorry for". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  5. ^ "20 TV Shows That Replaced a Star". Entertainment Weekly. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  6. ^ Carter, Bill (November 4, 1991). "Television Gets on the Bandwagon Of the Thomas-Hill Contretemps". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2008.

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