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Jan Hooks
Jan Hooks
Jan Hooks

Born

Janet Vivian Hooks
April 23, 1957
Decatur, Georgia

Died

October 9, 2014 (aged 57)
Woodstock, New York

Occupation

Actress, comedian

Years Active

1980–2013

Janet Vivian Hooks (April 23, 1957 – October 9, 2014) was an American actress and comedian, known for her role as Vicki Dubcek in 3rd Rock from the Sun. Other well known roles included Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and The Simpsons

BiographyEdit

Hooks was born in Decatur, Georgia on April 23, 1957 and attended Canby Lane Elementary School and Towers High School until 1974 when her family relocated to Fort Myers, Florida due to her father's work. At this point, Hooks attended Cypress Lake High School and made her stage debut in a high school play and graduated in 1975. She attended Edison State College where she majored in Theatre, but opted to leave before completion, to pursue acting full time.

From 1980 to 1981, she appeared in Tush on Ted Turner's television station WTBS, which eventually became TBS. She gained attention in the early 1980s on the HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News and made guest appearances on Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie in the mid-1980s.

In 1985, Hooks was considered for SNL , but was passed over by the show's producers in favor of Joan Cusack. After the show's 1985–1986 season was deemed a ratings disaster and put on the chopping block for cancellation, returning producer Lorne Michaels offered Hooks a contract in 1986, along with new recruits Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman, among others. They helped put the show back in the national spotlight. Her characters included Candy Sweeney of "The Sweeney Sisters". She performed notable impressions of Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O'Connor, Drew Barrymore, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer and Hillary Clinton.

Hooks left SNL in 1991 after being asked by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. Hooks played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons of the show. She continued to make occasional appearances on SNL through 1994, usually playing Hillary Clinton.

According to a 2014 Grantland article about her career and death, Hooks' combination of anxiety about acting and generally laid back approach to seeking out work led to her often turning down both prestigious auditions and lucrative acting roles. Tina Fey commented after her death that she was angry that Hooks didn't have a more successful career (Fey compared Hooks to Rob Schneider in noting Hooks was a bigger star than him on SNL and should have at least had his level of success) but another friend stated that Hooks didn't have doors slammed in her face and often made no efforts to seek out work. She appeared in several movies, starred as Dixie Glick in the series Primetime Glick, and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood. She had a recurring role as the trashy Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun, which earned Hooks an Emmy Award nomination.

FilmographyEdit

Below is a selected filmography. For a full filmography click here

FilmEdit

  • 1985 - Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (Tina)
  • 1992 - Batman Returns (Jen)
  • 1993 - Coneheads (Gladys Johnson)
  • 2004 - Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (Dixie Glick)

TelevisionEdit

  • 1983–1984 - Not Necessarily the News (Various characters)
  • 1986–1994 - Saturday Night Live (Various characters)
  • 1991–1993 - Designing Women (Carlene Frazier Dobber)
  • 1996–2000 - 3rd Rock from the Sun (Vicki Dubcek)
  • 1997–2002 - The Simpsons (Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon)
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