Married... with Children
“It was never about sort of being famous. I just wanted to be good at what I did.” Katey Sagal
After enjoying a successful career as a backup singer for such favorites as Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John and Molly Hatchet, four-time Golden Globe-nominated American actress and singer Katey Sagal became a household name playing the candid mother Peg Bundy on the long-running Fox series “Married…With Children” (1987-1997). The coveted role brought the versatile actress her Golden Globe nominations and widespread popularity. She is also well-known for playing the voice role of Turanga Leela on the cartoon series “Futurama” (1999-2003) and as Cate Hennessey, wife of Paul (played by John Ritter) on the critically acclaimed comedy series “8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter” (2002-2005), for which she won a 2005 Prism Award. Other TV series in which she has acted in include the short-lived series “Tucker” (2000) and “Imagine That” (2002), “That 70s Show,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Lost,” “The Shield” “Boston Legal” and “The Winner.” On the movie front, the tall, stunning brunette has had roles in such projects as “Maid to Order” (1987), “The Good Mother” (1988), “Trail of Tears” (1995), “Smart House” (1999), “Dropping Out” (2000), “Three Wise Guys” (2005, TV) and “I'm Reed Fish” (2006). Sagal has released two albums, “Well” (1994) and “Room” (2004).
As for private life, Sagal has been married three times. She was married to bass player Freddie Beckmeier from 1978 to 1981 and photographer/musician Jack White from 1993 to 2000, with whom she has two children, Sarah and Jackson. She and current husband, writer/producer Kurt Sutter, whom she married in 2004, welcomed their first daughter, Esmé, in 2007. The baby was carried by a surrogate mother. On being an older mother, she said, “My thing about having another child was, time's-a-wasting! I thought about being an older parent and what that means for another child, but I was somewhat of an older parent when I had Sarah and Jackson in my late 30s. I have an enormous family with many cousins and Esmé has an older brother and sister, so I felt it was okay to do this.”
Sagal was once romantically involved with bassist Gene Simmons of KISS.
Childhood and Family:
Catherine Louise Sagal, who would later be famous as Katey Sagal, was born on January 19, 1954, in Hollywood, California. Her father is the late director Boris Sagal, an Ukrainian Jewish immigrant best recalled for his work on 1960s TV drama “The Twilight Zone” and her mother is the late Sara Zwilling, one of Hollywood’s first female assistant directors, as well as a singer and ex-beauty queen who died in 1975 of heart disease. Katey is the older sister of actor Joe Sagal (born in 1957) and twin actresses Jean and Liz Sagal (born in 1961). Along with her siblings, Katey grew up in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, studying acting and singing.
At age 24, in 1978, Katey married bass player Freddie Beckmeier, but the marriage later ended in divorce in 1981. She then married musician/photographer Jack White on November 26, 1993, in Nashville, Tennessee. Before the marriage, in 1991, Katey lost a baby after having an emergency caesarean section in her 7th month of pregnancy. The couple finally had a daughter named Sarah Grace White on August 7, 1994, and a son named Jackson James White on March 1, 1996. However, Katey filed for divorce in 2000. Engaged in 2003, she married her present husband, writer-producer Kurt Sutter, on October 2, 2004, in a private ceremony at their home in Los Feliz, California. The couple welcomed a daughter named Esmé Louise Sutter on January 10, 2007, with the help of a surrogate mother.
8 Simple Rules
Katey Sagal started singing when she was only five years old. In 1973, she spent a year touring with a musical production of Shakespeare's “Two Gentleman of Verona.” Upon returning to Los Angeles, Sagal found out that her mother was in the advanced phase of heart disease and when her mother passed away, the girl supported herself by working as a singing waitress at The Great American Food and Beverage Company. It was there that Sagal and her four colleagues decided to form a band called The Group with No Name. With the help of KISS bassist Gene Simmon, an old classmate of one of her band members, the group was introduced to music executive Neil Bogart who then signed them to his Casablanca Records.
By the time the group released their first and only album in 1976 called “Moon Over Brooklyn,” Sagal had landed gigs on a few television films, including NBC's “The Dream Makers” (1975), which was produced and directed by her father, Boris Sagal. However, she chose to focus on her musical career and although The Group with No Name broke up after releasing their album, Sagal successfully impressed Simmons, who hired her as a backup vocalist on his first self-titled solo project, which was launched in 1978 at the height of KISS prominence. She also sang backup for artists like Bob Dylan, Tanya Tucker, Etta James, Molly Hatchet, Olivia Newton-John and Bette Midler. It was with Midler that Sagal enjoyed the exposure of a major international tour when she was recruited as one of The Harlettes for the actress/singer’s 1978 tour. She left The Harlettes before Midler's 1979 “Divine Madness” tour, but later rejoined them for the 1982/83 “De Tour.” In addition to supporting Midler on tours, Sagal also recorded a song with Midler in the studio titled “Soda And A Souvenir,” which was included in Midler’s 1983 “No Frills” album.
Sagal resumed her acting career in 1985. Following a praised stage performance in “The Beautiful Lady,” she returned to television to play the wisecracking, chain-smoking co-worker in the CBS sitcom “Mary” (1985), starring Mary Tyler Moore. The show, however, only had a short life. The role led to her being cast as the Bon Bon-eating housewife Peggy “Peg” Bundy on the sitcom “Married... with Children” (1987-1997). Sagal focused her career almost exclusively on the series for its ten-year run, although she managed to appear in the movies “Maid to Order” (1987) and “The Good Mother” (1988) and such TV films as “Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme” (1990) and “Trail of Tears” (1995), as well as in an episode of HBO's “Tales from the Crypt” (1990). Her work paid off when the role brought the actress four consecutive Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical from 1990 to 1994.
1994 also found Sagal launch her debut solo album titled “Well.” It marked her first recorded material since performing lead vocals on the song “Loose Cannons,” which was penned for the 1990 film of the same name.
Following the demise of “Married...with Children,” Sagal provided the voice of Flo Spinelli on three episodes of the children's cartoon “Recess” (1997-1999) and took on roles in the television films “Mr. Headmistress” (Disney, 1998), “Chance of a Lifetime” (CBS, 1998), “God’s New Plan” (CBS,1999) and “Smart House” (Disney, 1999). She returned to voice acting in 1999 when she supplied the voice of Edna Hyde in three episodes of the popular Fox sitcom “That 70s Show.” Still in 1999, she added to her credits the voice of Turanga Leela in the science fiction animation comedy series “Futurama,” which was created by Matt Groening, who also created “The Simpsons.” Although the show built a cult following, it was axed after four seasons.
Sagal made a cameo appearance in the comedy film “Dropping Out” (2000) before returning to series TV as a regular on the NBC short-lived sitcom “Tucker” (2000), playing Claire Wennick. In 2002, she costarred as Barb Thompson on the Hank Azaria sitcom “Imagine That” (NBC), but it was canceled after two airings. Sagal did not score her next TV victory until she won the role of Cate Hennessey on the ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter” in 2002, opposite her “Chance of a Lifetime” co-star John Ritter. The series was an instant hit on ABC until the death of Ritter in 2003. The series was canceled in 2005 after its third season, the same year Sagal picked up a Prism for Best Performance in a Comedy Series for her work on the critically acclaimed series. A year before, in 2004, the multi-talented artist released her sophomore album, “Room.”
After the cancellation of “8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter,” Sagal worked in ABC Family’s “Campus Confidential” and USA’s “Three Wise Guys” (both 2005). She also made guest appearances in such shows as CBS' “Ghost Whisperer,” the ABC cult drama “Lost” and the Emmy-winning series “The Shield” (all 2005). The following year, Sagal hosted “Nick at Nite's The Search For The Funniest Mom In America 2” and played a recurring role as Barbara Little on five episodes of the ABC legal drama “Boston Legal.” She also had a supporting role in the independent film “I'm Reed Fish,” a comedy starring Jay Baruchel and Alexis Bledel.
In 2007, Sagal guest starred in the season finale of “The Winner.” Next, she returned as Leela for the full-length animated feature “Futurama: Bender's Big Score” (2007) and will reprise the role for the upcoming “Futurama: Bender's Game,” “Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs” and “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” (all 2008).
Sagal will portray Jack's mother on the live-action adventure “Jack and the Beanstalk” (2008), directed by Gary J. Tunnicliffe. The upcoming film also stars Chevy Chase, Christopher Lloyd, James Earl Jones and Adair Tishler.
Prism: Performance in a Comedy Series, “8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” 2005