Jane Curtin

Active - 1979 - Present  |   Born - Sep 6, 1947 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Sandy Lawson

Famed for (and lucky enough to be) one of Saturday Night Live's original Not Ready for Primetime Players, Jane Curtin made her debut in 1975 among such heavies as John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner. Together they formed the sketch comedy troupe that wrote a new chapter in American comedy. Curtin is different from many of her famous SNL cohorts in that she left the show without being easily identified with a single character. Audiences loved her as Mrs. Conehead and as the co-anchor of Weekend Update with Dan Akroyd, but Curtin remained as understated as someone could be with a two-foot cone on her head.

After her two Emmy nominations from Saturday Night Live, Curtin went on to star in a number of other series. In the 1980s, viewers empathized with her as Allie Lowell in Kate and Allie (for which she won back-to-back Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmys in 1984 and 1985); in the 1990s, she kept audiences in stitches with her wacky characterization of Dr. Mary Albright, the anthropologist love interest of John Lithgow on 3rd Rock From the Sun. As the 2000's unfolded, Curtin would remain active in a vareity of roles, appearing most notably in comedies like I Love You, Man and on TV series like the crime drama Unforgettable.

Movie Highlights

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  • Got her show-business start with an improv group called the Proposition.
  • Auditioned for the ABC variety show Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell; beat out Mimi Kennedy for a slot on NBC's SNL.
  • Had been the only female anchor of SNL's Weekend Update until Tina Fey took the gig in 2000.
  • Made her movie debut in the 1980 comedy How to Beat the High Cost of Living with future Kate & Allie costar Susan Saint James.
  • Reunited with SNL costar Dan Aykroyd in 1993's Coneheads and 1998's Antz.
  • Performed in the 2002 Broadway revival of Our Town alongside Paul Newman.
  • Is active in fund-raising for UNICEF. She served as the celebrity chairperson for 1987's National UNICEF Day, and in 1994, as a national ambassador for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. In 2010, she was a finalist in the Jeopardy Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational and won $250,000 on behalf of UNICEF.