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Jane Curtin  

Original Cast Member of Saturday Night Live; Famed Comedienne

A gifted performer, Curtin has appeared on television, the stage and the big screen in a career that has spanned more than three decades. She first rose to fame in 1975 as a member of the inaugural class of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live along with the likes of Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.

She co-anchored the show's "Weekend Update" segment with Aykroyd and appeared as a mother alien in the conehead family sketches. Curtin earned an Emmy Award for her individual work on the series in 1978 and as a part of the cast the next year.

After leaving Saturday Night Live in 1980, Jane Curtin appeared in a few feature films, including "How to Beat the High Cost of Living" with Susan Saint James and "The Coneheads," based on the popular Saturday Night Live skits. She also made her Broadway debut in 1981 in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's "Candida."

Reuniting with Saint James in 1984, Curtin proved that she was ready for prime time, co-starring in the family sitcom, "Kate & Allie." She played Allie Lowell, an organized, reserved homemaker and mother who divorces her doctor husband after discovering his infidelity and moves in with her best friend Kate McArdle, played by Saint James. The two divorced women help each other out as they raise their children in McArdle's New York City home.

Funny and genuine, the show struck a cord with viewers and critics. Curtin won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series -- in 1984 and in 1985 -- and was nominated for the same award in 1987. The show ran for five years, ending in 1989.

Jane Curtin's next successful comedy series was "3rd Rock from the Sun." Debuting in 1996, it focused on a group of aliens disguising themselves as an American family in order to study Earth. Curtin had a supporting role as a human college professor who works with one of the aliens played by John Lithgow and becomes involved with him during the show's run. The show ended in 2001.

Since then, Jane Curtin has continued to perform. She returned to Broadway in a revival of the comedy "Noises Off" in 2001 and the classic drama "Our Town" in 2002. In 2006, she took on the role of the mentally unstable mother in the short-lived sitcom "Crumbs" with William Devane and Fred Savage.

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