57 (passed away Oct. 9th, 2014)
Apr. 23rd, 1957
Decatur, Georgia, USA
Jan Hooks' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Hooks was born and grew up in Decatur, Georgia, east of Atlanta, where she attended Canby Lane Elementary School and Towers High School. She began her career as a member of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings and in an Atlanta nightclub act called The Wits End Players. From 1978 to 1979, Hooks appeared in Tush on Ted Turner's television station WTCG, which eventually became TBS. She gained notice in the early 1980s on the HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News. Hooks made guest appearances on Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie in the mid-1980s.
Hooks was considered for SNL in 1985, 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, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Tiring of the stress of performing on a live show, 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 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. Hooks guest-starred on two Matt Groening-produced cartoons for the FOX Network: The Simpsons, as Apu's wife, Manjula (although Hooks was later replaced by Tress MacNeille), and in Futurama (in the episode "Bendless Love" as the voice of a female robot named Angleyne). She appeared in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo and made a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie Batman Returns as Jen, the Penguin's image consultant during his campaign to become Mayor of Gotham City. Her last roles were two appearances on 30 Rock in 2010 playing Jenna Maroney's mother, Verna.
Hooks died on October 9, 2014, in Manhattan at age 57 from an undisclosed illness.
- Originally turned down for a regular spot on _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv) in 1985 because they thought at age 28, she was too old; they hired her the next year, when she was 29.
- Was formerly part of the improv group the Groundlings.
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