Jane Therese Curtin (b. 6 September 1947 in Wellesley, Massachusetts) is an Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe winning American actress and comedienne. Curtin is well known for being one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Curtin was also in the Saturday Night Live inspired movie The Coneheads.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Career[edit | edit source]
She holds an associate degree from Elizabeth Seton Junior College in New York City. Curtin lives in Connecticut with her husband, Patrick Lynch. The couple have one daughter, Tess 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 (1975), Curtin remained on the show through the 1979–1980 season. As she was a practicing Catholic at the time and married, she did not participate in SNL's notorious backstage party scene.
Saturday Night Live[edit | edit source]
Jane Curtin is famous as one of the original cast members of SNL. On this show, and mirroring her own low-key real life, she often played straight-woman characters, seemingly driven to frustration by the antics of her wackier castmates including John Belushi and Gilda Radner.
As a TV anchorwoman, Jane played as a foil to John Belushi, who would often give a rambling and out of control "commentary" on events of the day. During these sketches, Jane would timidly try to get Belushi to come to the point which would only make him angrier. In the most noted sketch, Belushi gave a rambling account of his Irish friend's troubles to demonstrate that there was no such thing as "the luck of the Irish".
Gilda Radner, in her persona of Roseanne Roseannadanna, would present an ethnic face to Jane's Anglo-Saxon self-control and as such annoy Jane with personal remarks. In one famous sketch, the ever-earthy Roseanne asked Jane (in her newscaster role) whether her breasts were of identical size. Jane's newscaster character lost control and exposed her bra to Roseanne, spouting "Check for yourself, Roseanne!"
Jane's newscaster would also introduce baseball expert Chico Escuela (Garrett Morris), a heavily-accented Dominican, who would start 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", Politically Correct viewpoint (referencing Shana Alexander) vs. Dan Aykroyd, who (referencing James J. Kilpatrick) prototyped the right-wing view, albeit with an over the top "attack" journalist slant. Curtin would present the liberal "Point" portion first, then Aykroyd would present the "Counterpoint" portion, sometimes beginning with the statement, "Jane, you ignorant slut."
Later television career[edit | edit source]
Unlike many of her SNL cast members who ventured often 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, with Susan Saint James (1984–89), she played a single mother named "Allie Lowell."
In 1993, Jane 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 (a reference to W.A.S.P.s, hence the choice of actors) in the film Antz.
In 1994, Curtin narrated the documentary television series Understanding.
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 starred with Fred Savage in the ABC sitcom Crumbs, which debuted in January 2006 and was canceled in May of that year.
Broadway[edit | edit source]
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.
Curtin has a cousin in the industry, actress and writer Valerie Curtin.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Mike's Mondo Video Mr. Mike's Mondo Video (1979)
- to Beat the High Co$t of Living How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980)
- and Stiggs O.C. and Stiggs (1987)
- Coneheads (1993)
- Antz (1998) (voice)
- Fortune Geraldine's Fortune (2004)
- Librarian: Quest for the Spear The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004)
- Lobster Brooklyn Lobster (2005)
- Shaggy Dog The Shaggy Dog (2006)
- Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006)
- Love You, Man I Love You, Man (2009)
- Don't Know How She Does It (2011)
Characters/Impressions[edit | edit source]
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Audrey Peart Dickman
- Betty Widette
- Emma Lou Snyder
- Enid Loopner
- Iris de Flaminio
- Joan Face
- Miss Hathaway
- Prymaat Conehead
- Vesna Shegula
Impressions[edit | edit source]
- Anita Bryant
- Ann Landers
- Betty Ford
- Betty Grable
- Catherine Campbell
- Cheryl Ladd
- Dolly Parton
- Elanor Roosevelt
- Grace Kelly
- Helen Hayes
- Jihan Sadat
- Joan Crawford
- Joan Kennedy
- Maureen Dean
- Nancy Reagan
- Pat Nixon
- Phyllis George
- Rose Marie
- Rula Lenska
- Sandra Good
- Vanessa Redgrave
|Weekend Update Anchor
(1976 - 1977)
Herself with Dan Aykroyd
|Weekend Update Anchor with Dan Aykroyd
(1977 - 1978)
Herself with Bill Murray
Herself with Dan Aykroyd
|Weekend Update Anchor with Bill Murray
(1978 - 1980)