Actress and comedian Cheri Oteri emerged from obscurity into the proverbial limelight in the mid-'90s. 1995 brought with it the performer's definitive breakthrough; that year, Oteri -- then a member of the L.A. comedy troupe The Groundlings -- was tapped by Saturday Night Live to join its regular cast of players. She remained with SNL for five years, and cultivated an enthusiastic response for such recurring bits as impersonations of Ross Perot and Debbie Reynolds. Oteri transitioned to film roles around 2000, coincident with her Saturday Night Live departure; as a cinematic performer, she specialized in richly comic characterizations in gag-laden farces such as Scary Movie (2000), Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003), and Shrek the Third (2007). In 2006, Oteri teamed up with Donnie Darko wunderkind Richard Kelly for that helmer's epic dystopian comedy Southland Tales.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Grew up in Upper Darby, PA, which is also the hometown of SNL alum Tina Fey.
- Moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to better acquaint herself with the music industry; worked for A&M Records from 1990 to '94, where she quickly developed a reputation for making her coworkers laugh and was encouraged to try her hand at comedy.
- Became a member of Los Angeles's famed improvisational company the Groundlings, where she first caught the eye of SNL boss Lorne Michaels.
- Became a cast member of NBC's popular sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live in 1995.
- First major feature-film role was in the 1999 comic caper Inspector Gadget.
- Debuted her voice-over talents in the 2006 computer-animated flick The Ant Bully.