Jan Hooks

Active - 1984 - 2004  |   Born - Apr 23, 1957 in Decatur, Georgia, United States  |   Died - Oct 9, 2014   |   Genres - Comedy

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Born in Georgia, comedian Jan Hooks perfected her exaggerated Southern accent and carved a niche for herself satirizing the eccentric wives of prominent politicians and public figures. After making her film debut as Tina, the Alamo tour guide in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Starting in 1986, she created over-the-top characterizations for Nancy Reagan, Kitty Dukakis, Ivana Trump, Tammy Faye Bakker, and Hillary Clinton. She left the show in 1991 and put her Southern accent permanently on display for Designing Women as Carlene, the naïve sister of Charlene (Jean Smart). Movie roles were usually small yet quirky, like the image consultant in Batman Returns or the driving student in Coneheads. In 1994, she joined a team of hard-working comedians at the The Martin Short Show, who she would later work with on the Comedy Central program Primetime Glick. She was ideal for the role of Dixie Glick, the wife of the 300-pound celebrity talk show host Jiminy Glick (Martin Short). While making regular appearances as Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock From the Sun and as Apu's wife Manjula on The Simpsons, she reprised her role of Dixie Glick for the feature-length movie La La Wood in 2003. In 2010, she played Jenna Maroney's mother on 30 Rock. Hooks passed away in 2014, at age 57.

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Factsheet

  • Acted in regional theater before joining the New Wits End Players, a three-person comedy team in Atlanta.
  • Honed her craft with the Groundlings comedy troupe in L.A.
  • Auditioned for Saturday Night Live in 1985, but—at age 28—was initially deemed too old. A year later, after a lackluster season for the series led to major cast changes, she was asked to join the cast. 
  • During her five years with SNL she became known for her portrayals of lounge singer Candy Sweeney, Tammy Faye Baker, Nancy Reagan and Ivana Trump.
  • Suffered extreme stage fight during her SNL days. Fellow castmate and friend Phil Hartman helped her through it.