Kathy Ann Najimy (born February 6, 1957) is an American actress, most notable as Olive Massery on the television series Veronica's Closet, Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act and the voice of Peggy Hill on the animated television series King of the Hill. Prior to her film work, she was best known for two off-Broadway shows with Mo Gaffney working as the duo Kathy and Mo. One of the shows became an HBO comedy special and garnered Najimy her first nationwide fan base.
Najimy was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of Lebanese American parents Samia (née Massery) and Fred Najimy, a postal worker. She was raised Catholic and attended Crawford High School.
Najimy's film career began in the early 1990s with a number of off-beat minor roles, but her first major role was in the 1992 comedy Sister Act, in the role of Sister Mary Patrick. She reprised this role in 1993 in Sister Act 2. She also starred in Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters. In 1997, she lent her voice to Warner Bros. Family Entertainment as Tilly the Hippo in the little-known film Cats Don't Dance, alongside actors Scott Bakula, Jasmine Guy, John Rhys-Davies and Don Knotts. In 1998, she made a cameo in Bride of Chucky as the maid who discovers Diane and Russ' bodies. In 2001 she co-starred in the hit comedy film Rat Race alongside John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Lovitz and Seth Green. She guest starred in That's So Raven. She has done four movies with Goldberg, (Soapdish, Sister Act 1 and 2, and Rat Race).
From film, Najimy expanded into television roles, including a dramatic recurring role on Chicago Hope. Najimy was part of the cast of Veronica's Closet from 1997 to 2000. She co-created and starred in the hit off-broadway show and HBO specials "Kathy & Mo", with friend and actress Mo Gaffney. She garnered rave reviews for her performance as Mae West in the Broadway hit Dirty Blonde. She currently portrays the pushy Dr. Mildred Finch on NUMB3RS.
She is the co-creator and director of the musical revue Back to Bacharach and David, which ran in New York City in 1992 and 1993, and which she directed again in Los Angeles in April 2009. She was also in Drop Dead Diva.
In March 2010, she appeared in the Ugly Betty episode "Million Dollar Smile", portraying Betty's new orthodontist, Dr. Frankel.
Najimy, an outspoken feminist, is also noted as an activist for human rights and gay rights. She uses her celebrity status to donate money to charities by appearing on game shows. She appeared as a contestant on a celebrity version of The Weakest Link where she won $50,000 (beating Anthony Anderson) for The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. She has appeared three times on Celebrity Poker Showdown and won the season six tournament, donating the $100,000 to V-Day, an organization that help stop violence against women and girls. She was also crowned Grand Champion on CBS' Gameshow Marathon in 2006, donating the $100,000 winnings to Girls Best Friend, a charity that helps empower girls.
In 1981 she was a contestant on Family Feud, which was used as the finale in Gameshow Marathon. Najimy and her family were winners on both shows. In the 1981 Feud episode they won by 230 points, and in the Marathon version they scored 202 points to give Najimy the win.
Najimy is also very vocal about issues regarding weight and body imaging among females. In August 2006 Najimy voiced her opinions over a remark made by Heidi Klum on the television series Project Runway after Klum said one model's outfit made her look plus sized.
In 2005, she was chosen by Ms. Magazine as Woman of the Year. She signed the "We Had Abortions" petition which appears in the October 2006 issue of the magazine. The petition contains signatures of over 5,000 women declaring that they had had an abortion and were "unashamed of the choice they made." Najimy, having determined that she was not in a position to be an adequate parent at the time, had had her own abortion in 1975, at the age of 18, when she had discovered that she was pregnant after she had broken up with the father.
Najimy married comedic actor/singer Dan Finnerty in August 1998; they have one daughter.
|Walls of Glass||1985|
|The Hard Way||1991||Lang's "Girl Friday"|
|The Fisher King||1991||A crazed video customer|
|Sister Act||1992||Sister Mary Patrick|
|Topsy and Bunker: The Cat Killers||1992||Marge|
|This Is My Life||1992||Angela (credited as Kathy Ann Najimy)|
|Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit||1993||Sister Mary Patrick|
|Hocus Pocus||1993||Mary Sanderson|
|In Search of Dr. Seuss||1994||(TV movie) Kathy Lane|
|King of the Hill||1997–2010||(TV) Peggy Hill|
|Cats Don't Dance||1997||Tillie Hippo|
|Hercules||1998||(TV, 1 episode) Thespis the Muse|
|Bride of Chucky||1998||Tabby, Motel Maid|
|Zack and Reba||1998||Mrs. Simpson|
|Hope Floats||1998||Toni Post|
|The Wild Thornberrys||1999||(TV, 1 episode) Ostrich|
|If These Walls Could Talk 2||2000||The doctor in the made-for-TV movie's "2000" segment|
|Leaving Peoria||2000||Dr. Albright|
|Little Bill||2000||Script error Mrs. Shapiro|
|Rat Race||2001||Beverly 'Bev' Pear|
|The Wedding Planner||2001||Geri|
|The Scream Team||2002||Mariah|
|Wayside||2005||(TV, pilot episode) Mrs. Jewls|
|Getting Played||2005||Dr. Heidi Z. Klemmer|
|Balto III: Wings Of Change||2005||Dipsy|
|Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!||2006||Sunny St. Cloud|
|That's So Raven||2006||(TV, 1 episode) Lora Stelladora|
|Numb3rs||2006–2007||(TV series) Dr. Mildred Finch|
|The Suite Life of Zack & Cody||2007||(TV, 1 episode) Principal|
|Tinker Bell||2008||Minister of Summer|
|Desperate Housewives||2009||(TV, 1 episode) Detective Denise Lapera|
|Oswald||2002||(TV series) Bingette Bunny|
|American Dad!||2010–present||(TV) Barbara "Barb" Hanson|
|Drop Dead Diva||2010||(TV) Teri Polo|
|Ice Age: Continental Drift||2012||Unknown character|
- ↑ http://muskogeephoenix.com/entertainment/x2129020351/Celebrity-Birthdays-February-6?keyword=secondarystory
- ↑ Kathy Najimy Biography (1957-)
- ↑ LEBWA - Lebanese Women's Awakening
- ↑ Angela Bonavoglia: Fearless on Abortion - Living on The Huffington Post
- ↑ Adam Bryant (30 June 2009). "Kathy Najimy to Guest on Desperate Housewives". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- ↑ David Crary (October 3, 2006). "Women Sign "We Had Abortions" Petition". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- ↑ "Speech given by Kathy Najimy at Planned Parenthood Annual Luncheon, January 17, 2003". Retrieved 2008-07-24.
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