Devotees of HBO will have little trouble pinpointing actress Susie Essman; she made one of her most indelible impressions as the brassy, bossy, acid-mouthed Susie Greene, wife of Larry David's manager Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), on the quirky sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. Essman grew up in Mount Vernon, NY, as the daughter of two prosperous Jewish parents: an internist father and a college professor mother who taught Russian at nearby Sarah Lawrence College. She began her career as a stand-up comedian and entered films courtesy of the Tom Hanks/Sally Field seriocomedy Punchline (1988) (as -- fittingly -- a comedian), but hit her stride with Curb, which debuted in 2002. Essman subsequently participated in director Penn Jillette's monologue-heavy raunchfest The Aristocrats (2005) and hosted the Bravo network's competition-themed reality series Better Half (2007), before voicing a cat in the family-oriented animated comedy Bolt (2008). In 2010 she appeared in Kevin Smith's action comedy Cop Out.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- First regular TV role came with Baby Boom (1988-89), an adaptation of the 1987 Diane Keaton feature.
- Began her stand-up career in Manhattan, along with then-fledgling comedians Chris Rock, Mario Cantone and Colin Quinn.
- Early big-screen roles included Tom Hanks comedy Punchline (1988) and kiddie sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991).
- Cast without an audition in Larry David's improvisational sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm after David watched her perform at the Friar's Club Roast of Jerry Stiller.
- Appeared in an off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues in 2000.
- Hosted Bravo's reality-competition series Better Half, in which couples try to teach their mates how to do their jobs.
- Does not eat meat.