Kathy Najimy

Kathy Najimy
Born Kathy Ann Najimy
(1957-02-06) February 6, 1957
San Diego, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dan Finnerty (m. 1995)
Children 1
Website www.kathynajimy.com

Kathy Ann Najimy (Arabic: كاثي آن نجيمي, born February 6, 1957)[1] is an American actress and comedian, best known as Olive Massery on the television series Veronica's Closet, Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act, Mary Sanderson in Disney's Halloween comedy-horror film Hocus Pocus, 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.

Early life

Najimy was born on February 6, 1957 in San Diego, California, the daughter of Lebanese American parents Samia (née Massery) and Fred Najimy, a postal worker.[2][3] She was raised Roman Catholic[4] and attended Crawford High School.[5]


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 film Cats Don't Dance, alongside actors Scott Bakula, Jasmine Guy, John Rhys-Davies and Don Knotts, and has also played a role on the Nightmare Ned video game. In 1998, she made a cameo in Bride of Chucky as the maid who discovers Diane and Russ' bodies. In 1999, 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 guest starred in That's So Raven. She has made 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 appeared as Mae West in the Broadway hit Dirty Blonde. She also portrayed Dr. Mildred Finch on Numb3rs. Najimy also provided the voice of the drama teacher, Miss Thespius, in the 1998 Disney show Hercules: The Animated Series.

In 2003, Najimy provided the voice of Margalo in Stuart Little: The Animated Series, taking over from Melanie Griffith. 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 also appeared in Drop Dead Diva. In October 2009, Najimy played a police officer investigating an attack on Wisteria Lane on an episode of Desperate Housewives.[6] In March 2010, she appeared in the Ugly Betty episode "Million Dollar Smile", portraying Betty's new orthodontist, Dr. Frankel. In July 2011, Najimy appeared in TNT's Franklin and Bash episode "Bangover", playing a judge. Premiering in August 2015, Najimy appeared in Disney's Descendants as the Evil Queen. In the movie, she makes references to her previous role as Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus. [7]

Other work

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 helps 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. She's 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.[8] In 2013, she 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.[9] PETA awarded her their Compassionate Action Award in 2014.[10]

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 also appeared on the $25,000 Pyramid as a civilian contestant, on the episode dated July 31, 1985. Her celebrity partners were Constance McCashin and LeVar Burton. She failed to win the bonus round, although she did win a Commodore 64 computer. She returned to the "Pyramid" (The $100,000 Pyramid) on the June 26, 2016, episode as a celebrity guest opposite Rosie O'Donnell.

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.[11] 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.[12]

Personal life

Najimy married comedic actor/singer Dan Finnerty on August 8, 1995, and together they have one daughter named Samia born in 1996.[13]


Year Work Character Notes
1985 Walls of Glass
1991 Soapdish Tawny Miller
1991 The Hard Way Lang's "Girl Friday"
1991 The Fisher King A crazed video customer
1992 Sister Act Sister Mary Patrick
1992 Topsy and Bunker: The Cat Killers Marge
1992 This Is My Life Angela Credited as Kathy Ann Najimy
1993 Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Sister Mary Patrick
1993 Hocus Pocus Mary Sanderson
1994 In Search of Dr. Seuss Kathy Lane TV movie
1994 It's Pat Tippy
1995 ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter Dr. Feemus Attraction now closed
1995 Jeffrey Acolyte
19972000 Veronica's Closet Olive Massery TV series
19972010 King of the Hill Peggy Hill Voice
TV series
1997 Cats Don't Dance Tillie Hippo
1997 Shantay Toyota Carter
1997 Nevada Ruth
1997 Early Edition Psychic TV series Episode: "Psychic"
1997 Pepper Ann Coach Doogan/Margot LaSandre Voice TV Series
1998 Hercules Thespis the Muse Voice TV series
1998 Bride of Chucky Tabby, Motel Maid
1998 Zack and Reba Mrs. Simpson
1998 Hope Floats Toni Post
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Ostrich TV series
1999 CinderElmo Elmo's Stepmother Television film
2000 Attention Shoppers Penelope
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 The doctor in the made-for-TV movie's "2000" segment
2000 Leaving Peoria Dr. Albright
2000 Little Bill Mrs. Shapiro
2001 Rat Race Beverly 'Bev' Pear
2001 The Wedding Planner Geri
2002 Oswald Bingette Bunny TV series
2002 The Scream Team Mariah
2003 Stuart Little: The Animated Series Margalo Voice
2005 Wayside Mrs. Jewls Pilot episode
2005 Getting Played Dr. Heidi Z. Klemmer
2005 Balto III: Wings of Change Dipsy Voice
2006 Say Uncle Maggie
2006 Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! Sunny St. Cloud Voice
2006 That's So Raven Lora Stelladora One episode
2006 Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers Blue Parrot Betty Voice
20062007 Numb3rs Dr. Mildred Finch
2007 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Principal One episode
2008 WALL-E Mary Voice
2008 Tinker Bell Minister of Summer Voice
2009 Desperate Housewives Detective Denise Lapera One episode
2010 Ugly Betty Dr. Frankel
2010present American Dad! Barbara "Barb" Hanson Voice
TV series
2010 Drop Dead Diva One episode
2010 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself (Guest Judge)
2010 Step Up 3 Moose's Mom
2011 Mr. Sunshine TV series
2011 Five TV movie
20112012 Make It or Break It Sheila TV series
2012 Men at Work Sasha Ryan One episode
2012 How to Fall in Love Kim
2012 Stars in Shorts Sid's Mother
2012 BearCity 2: The Proposal Rose
2012 The Guilt Trip Gayle
2013 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Herself Season 2 participant (Team Rachael)
2013 A Madea Christmas Kim
2013 The Big C
2014 Inside Amy Schumer Therapist
2014 Veep Wendy
2015—2016 Younger Denise Heller 2 episodes
2015 Descendants The Evil Queen Grimhilde
2016 The $100,000 Pyramid Herself (celebrity guest) Season 1, 2 episodes: Kathy Najimy vs. Rosie O'Donnell


  1. Anonymous. "Celebrity Birthdays - February 6 » Entertainment » MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK". Muskogeephoenix.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  2. "Kathy Najimy Biography (1957-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  3. LEBWA - Lebanese Women's Awakening Archived September 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Bonavoglia, Angela (November 17, 2011). "Fearless on Abortion". Huffington Post.
  5. "1975 Crawford High Yearbook". classmates.com.
  6. Adam Bryant (30 June 2009). "Kathy Najimy to Guest on Desperate Housewives". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  7. http://www.laughingplace.com/w/articles/2015/07/27/7-27-descendants-dcom-review/
  8. "in May 2014, she posed in an ad in the San Diego airport bashing the locally favorite Sea World. The ad featured an outdated photograph depicting the actor as much younger than her current age. Naked for a Cause," 101.9 Fox, accessed 20 September 2012.
  9. Erdos, Joseph (3 February 2013). "Interview With the Latest Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Castoff — A Double Elimination". Food Network. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  10. Madeleine Marr, "Rock the Night Away at Jingle Ball," The Miami Herald, 10 October 2014.
  11. David Crary (October 3, 2006). "Women Sign "We Had Abortions" Petition". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
  12. "Speech given by Kathy Najimy at Planned Parenthood Annual Luncheon, January 17, 2003". Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  13. "Kathy Najimy Official Website". Kathynajimy.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.

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