Kathy Najimy

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Kathy Najimy
Kathy Najimy 2011.jpg
Najimy at the 2011 Bel Air Film Festival
Kathy Ann Najimy

(1957-02-06) February 6, 1957 (age 66)
  • Actress
  • activist
Years active1985–present
(m. 1998)
Children Samia
Website www.kathynajimy.com

Kathy Ann Najimy ( /nəˈɪmi/ nə-JIM-ee; Arabic : كاثي ان نجيمي; born February 6, 1957) [1] is an American actress and activist. She is best known for her roles in the films Soapdish (1991), Sister Act (1992), Hocus Pocus (1993), Hope Floats (1998), The Wedding Planner (2001), Rat Race (2001), and Hocus Pocus 2 (2022), as well as her portrayal of Olive Massery on the NBC sitcom Veronica's Closet (1997–2000) and for voicing Peggy Hill on the animated television series King of the Hill (1997–2010).


She also starred in Disney and Pixar's Academy Award winning film WALL-E (2008), Step Up 3D (2010), The Guilt Trip (2012), Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas (2013), A Christmas Melody (2015), Dumplin' (2018), Music (2021), and Single All the Way (2021).

She was first nationally known for her feminist play The Kathy and Mo Show, which she wrote and performed with Mo Gaffney.

Early life

Najimy was born on February 6, 1957, in San Diego, California, the daughter of Lebanese-American parents Samia (née Massery; 1928–2015) [2] and Fred Najimy, a postal worker. Her mother immigrated from Lebanon to the United States in 1946. [3] She was raised Maronite Catholic [4] and attended Crawford High School. Her father died when she was 14. [5] She is a 1995 graduate of San Diego State University. [6]


Najimy and Mo Gaffney's feminist comedy play The Kathy and Mo Show premiered in 1986 and had three long term New York City runs [7] [8] [9] and generated two HBO specials, Parallel Lives and The Dark Side.

Najimy's film career began in the early 1990s, with a number of offbeat minor roles in The Fisher King , Soapdish , This Is My Life , The Hard Way . Her first major role was as Sister Mary Patrick in the 1992 comedy Sister Act , a role she reprised in 1993 in Sister Act 2 . She also starred in Hocus Pocus as Mary Sanderson, alongside Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, and the 1994 made-for-TV movie In Search of Dr. Seuss as Kathy Lane. In 2000, she played the Stepmother in CinderElmo , a primetime special for Sesame Street . 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 has made four movies with Goldberg (Soapdish, Sister Act 1 and 2, and Rat Race). Najimy starred in Disney and Pixar's Academy Award winning film WALL-E and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas .

From film, Najimy expanded into television roles, including a dramatic recurring role on Chicago Hope , She was part of the cast of Veronica's Closet from 1997 to 2000. She played Wendy Keegan in HBO's Veep for four seasons. She appeared with Ellen DeGeneres in three episodes of her sitcom Ellen , playing a different character each time (including a non-speaking cameo in the iconic "Puppy Episode") and in the TV movie If These Walls Could Talk 2 . Najimy was a series regular season 4 of Unforgettable , season 4 of The Big C, and season 3 of Numbers . She guest starred on That's So Raven , Drop Dead Diva , Desperate Housewives , [10] Ugly Betty , and Franklin & Bash . She starred in TNT's In Search of Dr. Seuss .

Najimy starred as Mae West in the Broadway hit Dirty Blonde . She appeared in V'Day's Vagina Monologues on Broadway [11] and in Nassim Soleimanpour's plays White Rabbit Red Rabbit and Nassim. 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.

Najimy starred as Peggy Hill in Fox's King of the Hill from 1997 to 2010. Her voice is featured in the animated films Brother Bear 2 , The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story , Cats Don't Dance , and Tinkerbell . She has also lent her voice to hundreds of animated television shows and movies, including BoJack Horseman , Rapunzel'sTangled Adventure, American Dad! , Hercules , Pepper Ann , and played a role in the Nightmare Ned video game. In 2003, Najimy provided the voice of Margalo in Stuart Little: The Animated Series , taking over from Melanie Griffith, and in 2000 took over from Madeline Kahn as Mrs. Shapiro in Little Bill . She stars in Disney Junior's reboot of The Rocketeer and Amy Poehler's Duncanville.

Premiering in August 2015, Najimy appeared in Disney's Descendants as the Evil Queen. [12] [13] Later that year, she took part in the successful Christmas TV movie A Christmas Melody starring Mariah Carey, Brennan Elliott, Lacey Chabert and Fina Strazza. It debuted on the Hallmark Channel on December 19, 2015. The film was viewed by 3.95 million people upon its debut. [14] [15]

She appeared in Netflix's 2018 film Dumplin' alongside Jennifer Aniston. [16] Dumplin' was released on December 7, 2018, on the platform. [17]

In 2021, she appeared in musical drama film Music , directed by singer-songwriter Sia. In the United States, it was released in select IMAX theatres for one night on February 10, 2021, [18] and was followed by a premium video on demand release across the country on February 12. [19] [20] The same year, she starred in the Netflix Christmas romantic comedy Single All the Way alongside Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers and Jennifer Coolidge. [21] During its debut week, Single All the Way ranked at number 6 on Netflix's top 10 weekly rankings for English-language films, based on its methodology of measuring a film or TV show by the number of hours it was viewed, with 13.82 million hours watched. [22] It also ranked in the weekly top 10 on Netflix in 42 countries. [23] In the second week of release, it had a viewership of 11.14 million hours and ranked at number 5 on Netflix's chart, while remaining in the top 10 Netflix rankings in 36 countries. [24]

Other work

Najimy is an activist and frequently travels the country to speak on issues of equal rights, safety, and self esteem for women and girls, LGBTQ rights, AIDS awareness, domestic violence, body image, and civil rights. [25] She has spoken at the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, and PFLAG. She was a surrogate speaker for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. [26] In 2004, Najimy was Ms. Magazine 's Woman of the Year [27] and a speaker at the March for Women's Lives. [28] She is an active member of Time's Up. [29]

Najimy has also worked with PETA on a number of animal welfare issues and posed with Todd Oldham for the "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign. [30] PETA gave her their Humanitarian of the Year award in 2000 [31] and their Compassionate Action Award in 2014. [32]

Najimy is a strong advocate for women's health and reproductive rights. She contributed to the groundbreaking book, The Choices We Made, which includes testimonials from women who believe in choice. [33] Najimy is vocal about issues regarding body image among women. In August 2006 she 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, which Najimy called "dangerous" and "irresponsible". [34]

Najimy created and produced the off-Broadway play Gloria: A Life, about the life of activist Gloria Steinem. [35] Starting in 2012, Najimy has been creating, directing, and co-writing personal monologues with actresses including Olivia Wilde, Amy Schumer, Zosia Mamet, Debra Messing, Rosie Perez, and Gabourey Sidibe. The pieces have been performed at Glamour Magazine's live evening of personal monologues titled "These Girls" [36] and at the 2017 and 2018 MAKERS conference. [37] Najimy is currently working on a documentary about the 53% of white women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. [37] She has performed her solo show, Lift Up Your Skirt, at many venues including the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, ICONS at Fire Island, and Feinstein's at The Nikko in San Francisco. [38] She is also currently producing a television series about the women's movement. [39]

Najimy uses her celebrity status to donate money to charities by appearing on game shows. [40] She appeared as a contestant on a celebrity version of The Weakest Link where she won $50,000 for The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. [41] She won the season 6 tournament of Celebrity Poker Showdown , donating the $100,000 to V-Day, an organization that helps stop violence against women and girls. She was also crowned Grand Champion on CBS's Gameshow Marathon in 2006, donating the $100,000 winnings to Girls Best Friend, a charity that helps empower girls. [42] In 2013, Najimy was a contestant on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off on Team Rachael where she was playing for PETA, cooking only vegetarian food. She was eliminated on the Feb 3 episode, reaching third place. [43]

Before she became a known actress, in 1981, Najimy was a contestant on Family Feud, which was used as the finale in Gameshow Marathon. Najimy and her family were winners on both shows. Najimy also appeared on the $25,000 Pyramid as a civilian contestant, on the episode dated July 31, 1985. She claimed, on the Pyramid show, that she also had been on American Bandstand. She returned to the "Pyramid" ( The $100,000 Pyramid ) on the June 26, 2016, episode as a celebrity guest opposite Rosie O'Donnell. [44] She appeared once again in Season 2, Episode 7 on July 23, 2017, to play against Alexandra Wentworth, helping her contestant partner win the $150,000 grand prize. [45] [46]

Personal life

When she was 18, Najimy had an abortion. She advocates for pro-choice. [47] Najimy married actor and singer Dan Finnerty of The Dan Band in August 1998. [48] [49] Gloria Steinem officiated the ceremony. [48] Najimy and Finnerty have one daughter, musician Samia. [50]



1991 The Hard Way Lang's "Girl Friday"
Soapdish Tawny Miller
The Fisher King Crazed Video Customer
1992 Topsy and Bunker: The Cat Killers Marge
This Is My Life AngelaCredited as Kathy Ann Najimy
Sister Act Sister Mary Patrick American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – MTV Movie + TV Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
1993 Hocus Pocus Mary SandersonNominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Sister Mary PatrickNominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1994 It's Pat Tippy
1995 Jeffrey Acolyte
1997 Cats Don't Dance Tillie HippoVoice role
Nevada Ruth
1998 Hope Floats Toni Post
Zack and RebaIvy Simpson
Bride of Chucky Motel Maid
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story ChilVoice role;
2000 Attention Shoppers Penelope
2001 The Wedding Planner Geri
Rat Race Beverly 'Bev' Pear
2005 Bam Bam and Celeste Legba
2006 Say Uncle Maggie ButlerAssociate producer
Brother Bear 2 Aunt TaqqiqVoice role; Direct-to-video
2008 WALL-E MaryVoice role
2008 Tinker Bell The Minister of SummerVoice role
2010 Step Up 3D Mrs. Alexander
2012 BearCity 2: The Proposal Rose
Secret of the Wings The Minster of Summer
Stars in Shorts Sid's Mother
The Guilt Trip Gayle
2013 A Madea Christmas Kim Williams
2016 No Letting Go Dr. Nancy Harris
2017 A Change of Heart Ruthie
Dating My MotherLisa
2018 Dumplin' Ms. Mitchellchuk
2021 Music Evelyn's Mom
Single All the Way Carole
2022 Hocus Pocus 2 Mary Sanderson


1985 The $25,000 Pyramid Herself (contestant)Celebrity Guests: Constance McCashin & LeVar Burton [51]
Walls of Glass
1991The Kathy & Mo Show: Parallel LivesHerselfTelevision special; also writer
CableACE Award for Performance in a Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney ) (1993)
Nominated – CableACE Award for Writing an Entertainment Special (shared with Mo Gaffney ) (1993)
1994 In Search of Dr. Seuss Kathy LaneTelevision movie
Ellen Theresa / Lorna Irons / Woman in Gay Bar3 episodes: "So Funny" (Season 2) / "Go Girlz" (Season 3) / "The Puppy Episode, Part 2" (Season 4)
ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter Dr. Jane FemusShort
She TVAlso writer (1 episode)
1994-1996 Duckman Some PeopleSome Episodes
1995The Kathy & Mo Show: The Dark SideHerselfTelevision special; also writer
CableACE Award for Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney, Paula Mazur & Dean Parisot ) (1995)
CableACE Award for Performance in a Comedy Special (shared with Mo Gaffney ) (1995)
1996 Adventures from the Book of Virtues The Old Woman (voice)Episode: "Self-Discipline"
Chicago Hope Dr. Barbara 'Bix' KonstadtRecurring role; 3 episodes
Nominated – Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Recurring Player (1996)
1997 Early Edition PsychicEpisode: "Psychic"
ShantayToyota CarterShort
1997–1999 Hey Arnold Madame Blanche (voice)2 episodes
1997–2000 Veronica's Closet Olive Massery67 episodes
OFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series (1998)
OFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1998)
1997–2010 King of the Hill Peggy Hill (voice)258 episodes
Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production (2001)
OFTA Television Award for Best Voice-Over Performance (2001)
Nominated – Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production (1998)
Nominated – OFTA Television Award for Best Voice-Over Performance (1998, 2004, 2005)
1998–1999 Hercules Thespis the Muse (voice)2 episodes
1998–2000 Pepper Ann Coach Doogan / Margot LaSandre / Additional voices5 episodes
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Ostrich #1 / Sand Grouse (voices)Episode: "Have Yourself a Thornberry Little Christmas"
The Sissy DucklingMother Duck #1 (voice)Television film
CinderElmo StepmotherTelevision movie
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 DoctorTelevision movie; segment: "2000"
Leaving PeoriaDr. Beatrice AlbrightShort
2000–2003 Little Bill Mrs. Judith Shapiro (voice)3 episodes; succeeded Madeline Kahn, the original voice of Mrs. Shapiro, shortly after her death in 1999.
2001–2003 Oswald Bingette Bunny (voice)4 episodes
2001 The Legend of Tarzan Dania (voice)Episode: "Tarzan and the Rift"
2002 The Scream Team MariahTelevision movie
2003 The Mummy Calliope / Aglaophone #2 (voices)Episode: "The Enemy of My Enemy"
Stuart Little Margalo (voice)Episode: "The Meatloaf Bandit"
Ozzy & Drix Loretta Epstein (voice)Episode: "The Dream Factory"
2004 Higglytown Heroes Photographer Hero (voice)Episode: "The Legend of Higgsquatch"
Rocket Power Patsy (voice)Episode: "Sammy's Fortune"
2005 Wayside Mrs. Peri Jewls (voice)Television movie
Getting Played Dr. Heidi Z. KlemmerTelevision movie
Balto III: Wings of Change Dipsy (voice)Video
2006 Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! Sunny St. Cloud (voice)Video
Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers Blue Parrot Betty (voice)Video
Rugrats Goosey (voice)1 episode
That's So Raven Lora StelladoraEpisode: "The Dress Is Always Greener"
2006–2007 Numb3rs Dr. Mildred Finch9 episodes
2007 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody PrincipalEpisode: "First Day of High School"
2008 Tinker Bell Minister of Summer (voice)Video
2009 Drop Dead Diva Claire PorterEpisode: "The Magic Bullet"
Desperate Housewives Detective Denise LaperaEpisode: "Careful the Things You Say"
2010 Ugly Betty Dr. Jayne FrankelEpisode: "Million Dollar Smile"
RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (Guest Judge)Episode: "Country Queens"
2011 Mr. Sunshine MyrnaEpisode: "Employee of the Year"
Five RockyTelevision movie
Deck the HallsMary Higg
2011–2012 Make It or Break It Sheila / Sheila Baboyon / Kelly's Mom5 episodes
2012 Men at Work Sasha RyanEpisode: "Heterotextual Male"
How to Fall in LoveKimTelevision movie
2013 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off HerselfSeason 2 participant (Team Rachael)
The Big C Therapist4 episodes
2014–2015 Inside Amy Schumer Herself2 episodes
2014–2019 Veep Wendy Keegan10 episodes
2015–2021 Younger Denise Heller8 episodes
2015–2016 Unforgettable Sandra RussoSeries regular, 10 episodes
2015 A Christmas Melody SarahHallmark television movie
Descendants The Evil Queen Grimhilde Television movie
Difficult People Carol DonatoEpisode: "The Children's Menu"
2016 Harvey Beaks Hanzi / Angry Bride4 episodes
The Jamz Dan4 episodes
Also consulting producer
2016–2017 Graves Sylvia Miller4 episodes
2016–2018 The $100,000 Pyramid Herself (celebrity guest)5 episodes
2017 Elementary Rayna CarnoEpisode: "Rekt in Real Life"
BoJack Horseman Marcy Jerominek (voice)Episode: "Commence Fracking"
The President Show Ivana Trump Episode: "I Came Up with Christmas: A President Show Christmas"
2018 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Mother Maud (voice)Episode: "Freebird"
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend HerselfEpisode: "I Am Ashamed"
2019 The Good Fight Judge Gayle EnoEpisode: "The One Where Diane and Liz Topple Democracy"
Good Witch [52] WillowEpisode: "The Road Trip"
American Dad! Cheryl (voice)Episode: "Pride Before the Fail"
The Rocketeer Sareena Second (voice)Main role
2020–present Duncanville Mayor, Additional voicesRecurring role
2020 Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mayor Mira (voice)Episode: "Raph's Ride-Along/Donnie vs. Witch Town"
Robot Chicken Mary Sanderson (voice)Episode: "Ghandi Mulholland in: Plastic Doesn't Get Cancer"
Elena of Avalor Peaches (voice)Episode: "Heart of The Jaguar"
2021 The Morning Show Sylvia PortmanEpisode: "My Least Favorite Year"
2022 Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy in Space TempBot, Fighter (voice)Episode: "Who Would Want This?"

Video games

2022Warped Kart RacersPeggy Hill

Music videos

2021"Gummy Bear" Ginger Minj [53]


1986The Further Adventures of Kathy and MoPerformerOff-Broadway
Also author
1989The Kathy & Mo Show: Parallel LivesOff-Broadway
Also playwright
2000 Dirty Blonde Various charactersBroadway
2004Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest HitsPerformerOff-Broadway
Also playwright
2016 White Rabbit Red Rabbit PerformerOff-Broadway
2018 Nassim

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