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Kate McKinnon is an American actress best known as a cast member on the television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
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Kate McKinnon was born in Sea Cliff, New York, on January 6, 1984. She graduated from Columbia University, where she studied theater. McKinnon appeared on the Big Gay Sketch Show for several years before joining the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player in 2012. She has also performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade and written several one-woman shows. She is openly gay.
Kate McKinnon Berthold was born on January 6, 1984, in Sea Cliff, New York, and grew up on Long Island. McKinnon gravitated to music as a child, playing the piano, guitar and cello. A film and theater buff, she enjoyed dressing in costume and performing in dance recitals and plays. She also excelled academically. After graduating from high school, McKinnon studied theater at Columbia University in New York City.
McKinnon, who is openly gay, got her big break in television as part of the cast of the Logo network's Big Gay Sketch Show. The audition process involved several grueling rounds in front of producer Rosie O'Donnell, who winnowed the field from thousands to just 16. McKinnon joined the cast in 2006, where she remained for the show's full run. One of her more memorable characters on the program was Fitzwilliam, a British boy who wishes to be a girl.
In April 2012, McKinnon joined the cast of the popular television show Saturday Night Live as a featured player; she was one of several actresses hired to fill the void left by the departure of Kristen Wiig, a breakout star who left the show to pursue a movie career. In May 2013, McKinnon played Wiig's mother on an episode of SNL. Among her most popular impressions are Ellen DeGeneres, Ann Romney, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Shakira. McKinnon is one of only a few gay players in SNL history, and is the first gay woman to be cast on the program since Danitra Vance in the 1980s.
Since joining the cast of SNL, McKinnon has appeared in a number of other stage and screen productions. She has also worked as a voice actress, appearing in animated series such as Ugly Americans and The Venture Brothers; regularly performed sketch comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City; and contributed to the 2010 web series Vag Magazine. Additionally, she has performed a number of one-woman shows, including Kate McKinnon on Ice, Disenchanted and Best Actress.
McKinnon's promise has been publicly recognized. In 2009, the comedic actress received a Logo NewNowNext Award for best rising comic. The following year, she was nominated for the ECNY Emerging Comic Award.
In 2013, McKinnon was cast in the feature film Life Partners, starring Leighton Meester. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014.
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Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Meyers, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon and Kristen Wiig.
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