Kathy Najimy

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Kathy Najimy
Kathy Najimy.jpg
Najimy in August 2007
BornKathy Ann Najimy
(1957-02-06) February 6, 1957 (age 61)
San Diego, California, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1985–present
Known forVeronica's Closet
King of the Hill
Spouse(s)
Dan Finnerty (m. 1998)
Children1
Websitewww.kathynajimy.com

Kathy Ann Najimy (/nəˈɪmi/ nə-JIM-ee; born February 6, 1957)[1] is an American actress. She is best known for voicing Peggy Hill on the animated television series King of the Hill (1997–2010), and for her roles in the films Sister Act (1992) and Hocus Pocus (1993), as well as her portrayal of Olive Massery on the NBC sitcom Veronica's Closet (1997–2000). Prior to achieving wider recognition, she was known for her professional partnership with Mo Gaffney, working as the duo "Kathy and Mo".

Early life[edit]

Najimy was born on February 6, 1957 in San Diego, California, the daughter of Lebanese American parents Samia (née Massery) and Fred Najimy, a postal worker.[2][3] She was raised Maronite Catholic[4] and attended Crawford High School.[5]

Career[edit]

Najimy's film career began in the early 1990s, with a number of off-beat minor roles, but her first major role was in the 1992 comedy Sister Act, in the role of Sister Mary Patrick. She reprised this role in 1993 in Sister Act 2. She also starred in Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters. She appeared with Ellen Degeneres in three episodes of her sitcom Ellen, playing a different character each time (including a non-speaking cameo in the iconic "Puppy Episode") and in the TV movie If These Walls Could Talk 2. In 1997, she lent her voice to Warner Bros. Family Entertainment as Tilly the Hippo in the film Cats Don't Dance, alongside actors Scott Bakula, Jasmine Guy, John Rhys-Davies and Don Knotts, and has also played a role on the Nightmare Ned video game. In 1998, she made a cameo in Bride of Chucky as the maid who discovers Diane's and Russ's bodies. In 1999, she played the Stepmother in CinderElmo, a primetime special for Sesame Street. In 2001, she co-starred in the hit comedy film Rat Race alongside John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Lovitz and Seth Green. She guest starred in That's So Raven. She has made four movies with Goldberg (Soapdish, Sister Act 1 and 2, and Rat Race).

From film, Najimy expanded into television roles, including a dramatic recurring role on Chicago Hope. Najimy was part of the cast of Veronica's Closet from 1997 to 2000. She co-created and starred in the hit Off-Broadway show and HBO specials "Kathy & Mo", with friend and actress Mo Gaffney. She appeared as Mae West in the Broadway hit Dirty Blonde. She also portrayed Dr. Mildred Finch on Numbers. Najimy also provided the voice of the drama teacher, Miss Thespius, in the 1998 Disney show Hercules: The Animated Series.

In 2003, Najimy provided the voice of Margalo in Stuart Little: The Animated Series, taking over from Melanie Griffith. She is the co-creator and director of the musical revue Back to Bacharach and David, which ran in New York City in 1992 and 1993, and which she directed again in Los Angeles in April 2009. She also appeared in Drop Dead Diva. In October 2009, Najimy played a police officer investigating an attack on Wisteria Lane on an episode of Desperate Housewives.[6] In March 2010, she appeared in the Ugly Betty episode "Million Dollar Smile", portraying Betty's new orthodontist, Dr. Frankel. In July 2011, Najimy appeared in TNT's Franklin and Bash episode "Bangover", playing a judge. Premiering in August 2015, Najimy appeared in Disney's Descendants as the Evil Queen. In the movie, she makes references to her previous role as Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus.[7]

Other work[edit]

Najimy, an outspoken feminist, is also noted as an activist for human rights and gay rights. She uses her celebrity status to donate money to charities by appearing on game shows. She appeared as a contestant on a celebrity version of The Weakest Link where she won $50,000 (beating Anthony Anderson) for The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. She has appeared three times on Celebrity Poker Showdown and won the season six tournament, donating the $100,000 to V-Day, an organization that helps stop violence against women and girls. She was also crowned Grand Champion on CBS's Gameshow Marathon in 2006, donating the $100,000 winnings to Girls Best Friend, a charity that helps empower girls.[citation needed] She's also worked with PETA on a number of animal welfare issues and posed with Todd Oldham for the "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign.[8] In 2013, she was a contestant on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off on Team Rachael where she was playing for PETA, cooking only vegetarian food. She was eliminated on the Feb. 3 episode, reaching third place.[9] PETA awarded her their Compassionate Action Award in 2014.[10]

In 1981, she was a contestant on Family Feud, which was used as the finale in Gameshow Marathon. Najimy and her family were winners on both shows. In the 1981 Feud episode they won by 230 points, and in the Marathon version they scored 202 points to give Najimy the win. Najimy also appeared on the $25,000 Pyramid as a civilian contestant, on the episode dated July 31, 1985. Her celebrity partners were Constance McCashin and LeVar Burton. She failed to reach the bonus round, although she did win a Commodore 64 computer. She claimed, on the Pyramid show, that she also had been on American Bandstand. She returned to the "Pyramid" (The $100,000 Pyramid) on the June 26, 2016, episode as a celebrity guest opposite Rosie O'Donnell.[11] She appeared once again in Season 2, Episode 7 on July 23, 2017 to play against Alexandra Wentworth, helping her contestant partner win the $150,000 grand prize.[12][13]

Najimy is also very vocal about issues regarding weight and body imaging among females. In August 2006 Najimy voiced her opinions over a remark made by Heidi Klum on the television series Project Runway after Klum said one model's outfit made her look plus sized.[14]

Personal life[edit]

In August 1998, Najimy married actor/singer Dan Finnerty.[15][16] Gloria Steinem officiated the ceremony.[15] Najimy and Finnerty have one daughter, named Samia,[17] born in 1996.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Hard Way Lang's "Girl Friday"
1991 Soapdish Tawny Miller
1991 The Fisher King Crazed Video Customer
1992 Topsy and Bunker: The Cat Killers Marge
1992 This Is My Life Angela Credited as Kathy Ann Najimy
1992 Sister Act Sister Mary Patrick American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – MTV Movie + TV Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
1993 Hocus Pocus Mary Sanderson Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993 Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Sister Mary Patrick Nominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1994 It's Pat Tippy
1995 Jeffrey Acolyte
1997 Cats Don't Dance Tillie Hippo (voice)
1997 Nevada Ruth
1998 Hope Floats Toni Post
1998 Zack and Reba Mrs. Simpson
1998 Bride of Chucky Tabby, Motel Maid
1998 The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story Chil (voice) Direct-to-video
2000 Attention Shoppers Penelope
2001 The Wedding Planner Geri
2001 Rat Race Beverly 'Bev' Pear
2006 Say Uncle Maggie Butler
2006 Brother Bear 2 Aunt Taqqiq (voice) Direct-to-video
2008 WALL-E Mary (voice)
2010 Step Up 3D Moose's Mom
2012 BearCity 2: The Proposal Rose
2012 The Guilt Trip Gayle
2013 A Madea Christmas Kim
2015 Descendants The Evil Queen Grimhilde
2016 No Letting Go Dr. Nancy Harris
2017 A Change of Heart Ruthie
2017 Dating My Mother Lisa

Television[edit]

Year Work Role Notes
1985 The $25,000 Pyramid Herself (contestant) Celebrity Guests: Constance McCashin & LeVar Burton[18]
1985 Walls of Glass
1991 The Kathy & Mo Show: Parallel Lives Herself Television Special
CableACE Award for Performance in a Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney) (1993)
Nominated – CableACE Award for Writing an Entertainment Special (shared with Mo Gaffney) (1993)
1994 In Search of Dr. Seuss Kathy Lane Television movie
1994 Ellen Theresa / Lorna Irons / Woman in Gay Bar 3 Episodes: "So Funny" (Season 2) / "Go Girlz" (Season 3) / "The Puppy Episode, Part 2" (Season 4)
1994 ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter Dr. Femus Short
1995 The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark Side Herself Television Special
CableACE Award for Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney, Paula Mazur & Dean Parisot) (1995)
CableACE Award for Performance in a Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney) (1995)
1996 Adventures from the Book of Virtues The Old Woman (voice) 1 episode
1996 Chicago Hope Dr. Barbara 'Bix' Konstadt recurring role; 3 episodes
Nominated – Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Recurring Player (1996)
1997–1999 Hey Arnold Madame Blanche (voice) 2 episodes
1997–2000 Veronica's Closet Olive Massery 67 episodes
OFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series (1998)
OFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1998)
1997–2010 King of the Hill Peggy Hill (voice) 258 episodes
Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production (2001)
OFTA Television Award for Best Voice-Over Performance (2001)
Nominated – Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production (1998)
Nominated – OFTA Television Award for Best Voice-Over Performance (1998, 2004, 2005)
1997 Early Edition Psychic Episode: "Psychic"
1997 Shantay Toyota Carter Short
1998–1999 Hercules Thespis the Muse (voice) 2 episodes
1998–2000 Pepper Ann Coach Doogan / Margot LaSandre (voice) / Additional Voices 5 episodes
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Ostrich #1 / Sand Grouse (voices) Episode: "Have Yourself a Thornberry Little Christmas"
1999 The Sissy Duckling Mother Duck #1 (voice) Television film
1999 CinderElmo Elmo's Stepmother Television movie
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 The doctor in the made-for-TV movie's "2000" segment Television movie
2000 Leaving Peoria Dr. Albright Short
2000–2001 Little Bill Mrs. Shapiro (voice) 2 episodes; succeeded Madeline Kahn, the original voice of Mrs. Shapiro, shortly after her death in 1999.
2001–2003 Oswald Bingette Bunny (voice) 4 episodes
2001 The Legend of Tarzan Dania (voice) 1 episode
2002 The Scream Team Mariah Television movie
2003 The Mummy Calliope / Aglaophone #2 (voices) 1 episode
2003 Stuart Little: The Animated Series Margalo (voice) Episode: "The Meatloaf Bandit"
2003 Ozzy & Drix Loretta Epstein (voice) 1 episode
2004 Higglytown Heroes Photographer Hero (voice) 1 episode
2004 Rocket Power Patsy (voice) 1 episode
2005 Wayside Mrs. Jewls (voice) Television movie
2005 Getting Played Dr. Heidi Z. Klemmer Television movie
2005 Balto III: Wings of Change Dipsy (voice) Video
2006 Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! Sunny St. Cloud (voice) Video
2006 Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers Blue Parrot Betty (voice) Video
2006 Rugrats Goosey (voice) 1 episode
2006 That's So Raven Lora Stelladora Episode: "The Dress Is Always Greener"
2006–2007 Numbers Dr. Mildred Finch 9 episodes
2007 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Principal Episode: "First Day of High School"
2008 Tinker Bell Minister of Summer (voice) Video
2009 Drop Dead Diva Claire Porter Episode: "The Magic Bullet"
2009 Desperate Housewives Detective Denise Lapera Episode: "Careful the Things You Say"
2010 Ugly Betty Dr. Frankel Episode: "Million Dollar Smile"
2010–present American Dad! Barbara "Barb" Hanson (voice)
2010 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (Guest Judge) Episode: "Country Queens"
2011 Mr. Sunshine Myrna Episode: "Employee of the Year"
2011 Five Rocky Television movie
2011–2012 Make It or Break It Sheila / Sheila Baboyon / Kelly's Mom 5 episodes
2012 Men at Work Sasha Ryan Episode: "Heterotextual Male"
2012 How to Fall in Love Kim Television movie
2012 Stars in Shorts Sid's Mother
2013 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Herself Season 2 participant (Team Rachael)
2013 The Big C Therapist 4 episodes
2014–2015 Inside Amy Schumer Herself 2 episodes
2014–present Veep Wendy Keegan 10 episodes
2015–present Younger Denise Heller 5 episodes
2015–2016 Unforgettable Sandra Russo Series regular, 10 episodes
2015 A Christmas Melody Sarah Hallmark television movie
2015 Difficult People Carol Donato Episode: "The Children's Menu"
2016 Harvey Beaks Hanzi / Angry Bride 4 episodes
2016–2017 Graves Sylvia Miller 4 episodes
2016–2018 The $100,000 Pyramid Herself (celebrity guest) 5 episodes
2017 Elementary Rayna Carno Episode: "Rekt in Real Life"
2017 BoJack Horseman Marcie (voice) Episode: "Commence Fracking"
2017 The President Show Ivana Trump Episode: "I Came Up with Christmas: A President Show Christmas"
2018 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Mother (voice) Episode: "Freebird"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anonymous. "Celebrity Birthdays - February 6 » Entertainment » MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK". Muskogeephoenix.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  2. ^ "Kathy Najimy Biography (1957-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  3. ^ LEBWA - Lebanese Women's Awakening Archived September 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Bonavoglia, Angela (November 17, 2011). "Fearless on Abortion". Huffington Post.
  5. ^ "1975 Crawford High Yearbook". classmates.com.
  6. ^ Adam Bryant (30 June 2009). "Kathy Najimy to Guest on Desperate Housewives". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  8. ^ "in May 2014, she posed in an ad in the San Diego airport bashing the locally favorite Sea World. The ad featured an outdated photograph depicting the actor as much younger than her current age. Naked for a Cause," 101.9 Fox, accessed 20 September 2012. Archived 2009-10-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Erdos, Joseph (3 February 2013). "Interview With the Latest Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Castoff — A Double Elimination". Food Network. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  10. ^ Madeleine Marr, "Rock the Night Away at Jingle Ball," The Miami Herald, 10 October 2014.
  11. ^ "S1 E01 Sherri Shepherd vs Anthony Anderson and Rosie O'Donnell vs Kathy Najimy". ABC. June 26, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "S2 E07 Ali Wentworth vs. Kathy Najimy and Cobie Smulders vs. Ryan Eggold". ABC. July 23, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "The $100,000 Pyramid: Kathy Najimy and Alex Gershman Win It All". YouTube.com. July 24, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Najimy Says Auf Wiedersehen to "Project Runway"". TMZ. August 24, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Gordon, Miryam (February 4, 2011). "SWC guest Kathy Najimy funny, fierce, and warm". Seattle Gay News. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  16. ^ Speers, W. (August 13, 1988). "Newsmakers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 24, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Kathy Najimy Official Website". Kathynajimy.com. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  18. ^ "Kathy Najimy on Pyramid". Gameshowforum.org. Retrieved 2017-03-02.

External links[edit]