Jane Curtin is an American actress and comedian who first rose to fame in 1975 as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. She received an Emmy Award for her work on the series, which included memorable sketches such as "Weekend Update" and "The Coneheads." After leaving the show in 1980, Curtin appeared in a few feature films and made her Broadway debut in a 1981 revival of George Bernard Shaw's Candida. In 1984 she starred alongside Susan Saint James in the family sitcom Kate & Allie, earning two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and in 1996 she starred in another successful comedy series, 3rd Rock from the Sun. Throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s, Curtin has consistently appeared in a variety of roles on television, in film and onstage. Curtin lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter.
'Saturday Night Live'
Actress Jane Curtin was born on September 6, 1947, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A gifted performer, Curtin has appeared on television, the stage and the big screen in a career that has spanned more than three decades. After dropping out of college to pursue an acting career, joining a comedy group and marrying television producer Patrick Lynch, in 1975 Curtin rose to fame as a member of the inaugural class of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live along with the likes of Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.
Among Curtin's most memorable roles on the show were as co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment opposite Aykroyd and as a mother alien in the "Conehead" family sketches. In 1978 Curtin earned an Emmy Award for her individual work on the series, and another in 1979 as a part of the cast.
Early Film and Stage Career
After leaving Saturday Night Live in 1980, Jane Curtin appeared in a few feature films, including How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) with Susan Saint James and The Coneheads (1983), which was based on one of her popular Saturday Night Live skits. Curtin also made her Broadway debut in 1981, in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Candida.
After briefly turning to family life when she gave birth to her daughter, Tess, in 1983, Curtin reunited with Susan Saint James in 1984 and proved that she was in fact ready for prime time, co-starring in the popular family sitcom, Kate & Allie. She played Allie Lowell, an organized, reserved homemaker and mother who divorces her doctor husband after discovering his infidelity and moves in with her best friend, Kate McArdle, played by Saint James. The two divorced women help each other out as they raise their children in McArdle's New York City home.
Funny and genuine, the show struck a chord with both viewers and critics alike. For her work on the show, Curtin won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series—in 1984 and in 1985—and she was nominated for the same award again in 1987. The show ran for five years, ending in 1989.
Jane Curtin's next successful comedy series was 3rd Rock from the Sun. Debuting in 1996, the Emmy Award–winning show focused on a group of aliens who have disguised themselves as an American family in order to study Earth. Curtin was cast in a supporting role as a human college professor who works with one of the aliens, played by John Lithgow, and becomes involved with him during the show's run. Third Rock from the Sun's final episode aired in May 2001.
An Ongoing Career
Since the early 2000s, Jane Curtin has appeared in a variety of roles on television, in films and onstage. She returned to Broadway in a revival of the comedy Noises Off in 2001 and alongside legendary actor Paul Newman in the classic drama Our Town in 2002. In 2004, she appeared in the first of several made-for-television fantasy/adventure movies in the Librarian series, which also star Noah Wyle and Bob Newhart, and in 2006, she took on the role of the mentally unstable mother in the short-lived sitcom Crumbs with William Devane and Fred Savage. On the big screen Curtin has appeared in the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man and in the 2013 comedy The Heat.
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