In the second edition of Mimi Kennedy's (Mom, Dharma & Greg, Homefront, Midnight in Paris) long out-of-print memoir, the acclaimed actress reveals the complex and inescapable forces that pushed her onto the stage even as a child. In a new preface, Mimi shares news of an upcoming memoir chronicling the latter half of her life. Kennedy's acting career began at 12-years old in a community theater production of Agatha Christie's "Spider's Web." Her first professional job was on a summer stock tour with TV legend Sid Caesar in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." After graduating from Smith College with a degree in Theatre Arts, Mimi held the usual day jobs as she tried to establish her career as an actress. Eventually, she made her way to Broadway, but not before being cast in an Andy Warhol play – "because Andy likes your face" – and dropping out for hilarious reasons detailed in this telling. Her debut on 45th Street at the Royale Theater was as Jan, a Pink Lady in the original Broadway run of Grease. This led to beating out 250 peers to star with Debbie Allen and Ellen Foley in "3 Girls 3," a new musical variety show about overnight success. Thus began her long TV career, starting when sitcom was king and excess was the norm in Hollywood. Her first comedy sketches were with Carol Burnett and Bob Hope. She went on to "The Big Show" where her fellow players were Dean Martin, Monty Python's Graham Chapman, and Sid Caesar, who was so happy to see her again that he demanded she be written into all his sketches. Long-running sitcoms like "Dharma & Greg" and "MOM" sealed her presence in the sitcom world as iconic characters Abby Finkelstein, Dharma's hippie mother, and Marjorie, veteran 12-step sponsor to Allison Janney and Anna Faris' characters. In between were movies like "Midnight In Paris" and "In The Loop." She explains, early in the narrative, that she memorized the Baltimore Catechism in Catholic grade school and absorbed its doctrines with fervor: "I was raised to go to heaven. That was the main thing. Life was just a means to an end, and that end was death, which sent you to heaven, where you really belonged. But to get to heaven you had to die sin-free." This doctrine conflicted with the real-life desire to be an actress, for "the stage, when I found it, was a blessed relief… Emotion was real onstage, passion was real, but taking action caused nothing more real to happen than the delightful effect of applause."
About the Author
Mimi Kennedy is an actress with five decades experience on stage and screen. She started at age 12 in Community Theater in Rochester, New York, got her first professional job in summer stock with TV legend Sid Caesar, made her Broadway debut in the original run of Grease, and enjoyed long runs in the world of sitcom as the iconic characters Abby Finkelstein, the hippie mother in Dharma & Greg, and Marjorie, the veteran 12-step sponsor to Allison Janney in Mom. In between were movies like Midnight In Paris and In The Loop. In the course of her story, she shows us that being an actor and storyteller is a fruitful way to develop as a human being. We are all spirits behind the masks of our individuality, here on earth to learn, to love, and to share the joy that is meant for us. "That's why we've taken to the stage."
Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein called this mid-life autobiography "one of the great theatrical memoirs."
Mimi currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband of four decades – her 1966 Perfect Computer Matchmate, Larry Dilg. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.