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Jane Curtin (1947)

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  Summary  

Jane Therese Curtin is an American actress and comedienne. She is commonly referred to as Queen of the Deadpan.

First coming to prominence as an original cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1975, she went on to win back-to-back Emmy Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on the 1980s sitcom Kate & Allie portraying the role of Allison "Allie" Lowell. Curtin later starred in the hit series 3rd Rock from the Sun portraying the role of Dr. Mary Albright. She recreated her SNL character for the film The Coneheads and more recently appeared in The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines.

  Biography  

 early life
Curtin was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Mary Constance (née Farrell) and John Joseph Curtin, who owned an insurance agency. She was raised Roman Catholic. Curtin is a cousin of actress and writer Valerie Curtin.

 career
Curtin holds an associate degree from Elizabeth Seton Junior College in New York City. Curtin lives in Connecticut with her husband, Patrick Francis Lynch, the television producer. The couple have one daughter, Tess Curtin Lynch. She has served as a U.S. Committee National Ambassador for UNICEF. In 1968, Curtin decided to pursue comedy as a career and dropped out of college. She joined a comedy group, "The Proposition", and performed with them until 1972. She starred in Pretzels, an off-Broadway play written by Curtin and Fred Grandy, in 1974.

One of the original "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" for NBC's Saturday Night Live , Curtin remained on the show through the 1979–1980 season. As she was a practicing Catholic at the time and married, she rarely participated in SNL's notorious backstage party scene.

 Saturday Night Live
Curtin is famous as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live . On this show, and mirroring her own low-key real life, she frequently played straight-woman characters, often as a foil to John Belushi and Gilda Radner.

Curtin anchored SNL's "Weekend Update" segment in 1976–77, and was paired with Dan Aykroyd in 1977–78 and Bill Murray in 1978-80.

As a TV anchorwoman, Curtin played as a foil to John Belushi, who often gave a rambling and out-of-control "commentary" on events of the day. During these sketches, she timidly tried to get Belushi to come to the point, which would only make him angrier. In the most well-known sketch, Belushi gave a rambling account of his Irish friend's troubles to demonstrate there was no such thing as "the luck of the Irish".

Curtin's newscaster also introduced baseball expert Chico Escuela , a heavily-accented Dominican, who started his sketches by saying, "Thank you, Hane", before repeating his famous catchphrase, "Baseball been bery, bery good to me!"

In a parody of the "Point-Counterpoint" segment of the news program 60 Minutes, Curtin portrayed a controlled liberal viewpoint vs. Dan Aykroyd, who prototyped the right-wing view, albeit with an over-the-top "attack" journalist slant. Curtin presented the liberal "Point" portion first. Then Aykroyd presented the "Counterpoint" portion, sometimes beginning with the statement, "Jane, you ignorant slut," to which she replied, "Dan, you pompous ass."

Curtin is also well known for her role in the Conehead sketches as "Prymaat Conehead" , and as "Enid Loopner" .

 Later television work
Unlike many of her fellow SNL cast members who ventured successfully into film, Curtin chose to stay in television. Her film appearances have been sporadic. To date, she has starred in two long-running television sitcoms. First, in Kate & Allie (1984–89), with Susan Saint James, she played a single mother named "Allie Lowell" and twice won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

She later joined the cast of 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996–2001) playing a human, Dr. Mary Albright, opposite the alien family, composed of John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. As with SNL, her mostly strait-laced character was often confounded by the zany and whimsical antics of the Solomon family.

Curtin also starred with Fred Savage in the ABC sitcom Crumbs, which debuted in January 2006 and was canceled in May of that year. She also guest-starred on Gary Unmarried as Connie, Allison's mother.

In 1994, Curtin narrated the documentary television series Understanding.

 Film
In 1993, Curtin and Dan Aykroyd were reunited in Coneheads, a full-length motion picture based on their popular SNL characters. They also appeared together as the voices of a pair of wasps in the film Antz. In 2009, she played Paul Rudd and Andy Samberg's mother in I Love You, Man.

 Other work
Curtin has also performed on Broadway on occasion. She first appeared on the Great White Way as Miss Prosperine Garrett in the play Candida in 1981. She later went on to be a replacement actress in two other plays: Love Letters and Noises Off, and was in the 2002 revival of Our Town, which received huge press attention as Paul Newman returned to the Broadway stage after several decades away.

She also has narrated several audio books, including Carl Hiaasen's novel Nature Girl.

On May 7, 2010, Curtin placed second in the Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational, winning $250,000 for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Michael McKean won the tournament, while Cheech Marin came in third.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jane Curtin", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.