American actress and singer Vicki Lewis is best known to sitcom fans for portraying Dave Foley's secretary on the popular sitcom “NewsRadio” (NBC, 1995-1999) and as Nora Bernstein-Flynn Quinn on “Three Sisters” (NBC, 2001-2002). She has also played recurring roles on “Home Improvement” (1992), “Seinfeld” (1994), “’Til Death” (2008) and “Sonny with a Chance” (2009-2010) and made one episode appearances on “Murphy Brown,” “Caroline in the City,” “The Huntress,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “Bones” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” among other series. Lewis has acted in box office hits like “Mousehunt” (1997), “Godzilla” (1998) and “Finding Nemo” (2003). Other film credits include “I'll Do Anything” (1994), “Breakfast of Champions” (1999), “Pushing Tin” (1999), “Out of Omaha” (2007) and “The Ugly Truth” (2009). Apart from “Finding Nemo,” Lewis voiced characters for “Mission Hill,” “Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures,” “Justice League Heroes,” “King of the Hill,” “Phineas and Ferb” and “An Extremely Goofy Movie.” On stage, Lewis appeared in the Broadway musicals “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up,” “Damn Yankees” and “City of Angels,” among other plays. She released her first solo album, “East of Midnight,” in May 2010.
Lewis had a long term relationship with actor Nick Nolte (born February 8, 1941). They met while filming “I'll Do Anything” in 1993 and began living together the following year. Their romance ended after having been together almost 10 years. She is now married to sound engineer Philip G. Allen and resides in Los Angeles, California.
Childhood and Family:
The daughter of Marlene, a nursing administrator, and Jim Lewis, an air traffic supervisor, Vicky Lewis was born on March 17, 1960, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a younger sister named Denise Lewis (born in 1964). Vicky graduated from Anderson High School in Cincinnati in 1978. She went on to attend the University of Cincinnati, where she studied musical theatre. After getting her diploma from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, she moved to New York and began her career on stage.
Vicky married Philip G. Allen on December 21, 2008.
Sonny with a Chance
Vicki Lewis originally wanted to become a dancer but instead was a musical theatre major at college. After completing her diploma, she headed to New York and got work in various musicals and comedies. In 1982, she costarred with Russ Thacker, Maureen Moore, Don Stitt and Jason Graae in the Broadway musical “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up,” which was directed by Mike Nussbaum. The production opened on May 27, 1982, at the Alvin Theatre. She went on to play Peppermint Patty on the off-Broadway production of “Snoopy! The Musical” (1982-1983), opposite David Garrison and Terry Kerwin, before returning to Broadway in 1985 when she was cast in the musical “The Wind in the Willows,” opposite Nathan Lane. She also made her television acting debut with the role of Diane Kaplan in a “CBS Schoolbreak Special” episode titled “The Day the Senior Class Got Married.” Costars of the production included Paul Dooley, Robin Morse and Steve Monarque.
In 1992, Lewis landed a recurring role on “Home Improvement,” a television sitcom that appeared on ABC from September 1991 to May 1999 that starred Tim Allen. She appeared in the episodes “I'm Scheming of a White Christmas,” “Abandoned Family” and “May the Best Man Win.” It was followed by guest spots in “Murphy Brown” and “Grace Under Fire” (both 1993) before Lewis made the jump to feature films with the supporting role of Millie in James L. Brooks' “I'll Do Anything” (1994), which starred her soon-to-be companion Nick Nolte. Also in 1994, Lewis received a recurring role on the NBC hit sitcom “Seinfeld” (in the episodes “The Secretary” and “The Race”) and guest starred in “Phenom.”
Lewis revisited the stage when she was cast as reporter Gloria Thorpe in a Broadway revival of “Damn Yankees,” opposite Bebe Neuwirth as Lola and Victor Garber as Mr. Applegate. The show premiered on March 3, 1994, at the Marquis Theatre, where it would run for 718 performances. She was reunited with Neuwirth in a concert staging of Rodgers & Hart's “Pal Joey” (1995), where she played Gladys Bumps. The musical starred Patti LuPone and Peter Gallagher.
In 1995, Lewis played Gloria Rasputin in a television film adaptation of “Bye Bye Birdie” (ABC), starring Jason Alexander, Vanessa Williams and Chynna Phillips. Directed by Gene Saks, the drama won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics. She then appeared as Donna in a 1995 episode of “The 5 Mrs. Buchanans” called “Viv'acious” and as Merle Heller in a 1996 episode of “Caroline in the City” named “Caroline and the Cereal.”
However, Lewis did not gain a big break on television until she won the role of Beth on the NBC situation comedy “NewsRadio,” thanks in part to the help of Mr. Brooks, who directed the pilot for the show. She stayed with the show from its premiere on March 21, 1995, until it ended on May 4, 1999. Costars of the series included Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Maura Tierney, Khandi Alexander, Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz.
In 1997, Lewis resumed her film career by taking on the role of April, the self-centered, money-hungry wife of Lars Smuntz (played by Lee Evans), in the comedy “Mousehunt,” by Gore Verbinski. The film grossed nearly $62 million in the domestic market and over $60 million overseas against a budget of $38 million. She next offered the notable portrayal of a paleontologist named Dr. Elsie Chapman in the box office hit “Godzilla” (1998), an action film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich that starred Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo and Hank Azaria. Following a voice guest stint on “Hercules” (1998), she teamed up again with Nick Nolte for “Breakfast of Champions” (1999), which was directed and scripted by Alan Rudolph. The movie received negative reviews from critics and was a flop at the box office. She also costarred with John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie and Jake Weber in the Mike Newell directed drama “Pushing Tin” and provided the voice of Weasel on an episode of “The Wild Thornberrys” called “Lost and Foundation” (both 1999).
Lewis returned to the stage when she portrayed the role of Velma Kelly in the musical “Chicago” in 1999. She would reprise the role on a Broadway revival of “Chicago” in 2001. It was also in 1999 that the actress began her voice role on The WB's animated series “Mission Hill,” created by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The show premiered on September 24, 1999, but was put on hold after two episodes because of low ratings. It was eventually canceled after six episodes but returned to the WB in 2000 and axed after four episodes.
Entering the new millennium, Lewis provided her voice to the animated TV series “King of the Hill” (2000) and the direct to video animated film “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (2000). She also voiced Miss Weeme on two episodes of “Rugrats” (2001-2002) and Deb/Flo on the successful computer animated film “Finding Nemo” (2003). Lewis then played the role of Myrna Factor on the pilot of the US Network series “The Huntress” and returned to series television as a regular in the NBC midseason replacement sitcom “Three Sisters” (2001-2002), where she starred as Nora Bernstein-Flynn Quinn. Costars of the show included Dyan Cannon, Katherine LaNasa and David Alan Basche.
Lewis was relatively quiet for a few years before taking the dual role of Oolie and Donna in a revival production of the musical “City of Angels,” by the Reprise Theatre Company in Los Angeles, California. She was on the show from January to February 2006. She also starred in the musical “Hotel C'est L'amour” at The Blank Theatre Company in Hollywood, CA (also 2006), in a production of the musical play “They're Playing Our Song” at El Portal Theatre in north Hollywood (February-March 2007) and as part of the celebrity cast of Howard Ashman's musical “Dreamstuff,” alongside Eden Espinosa, Fred Willard, David Blue and Luke Macfarlane. On the small screen, Lewis resurfaced in 2007 with guest spots in “Come on Over” and “Grey's Anatomy” and a supporting role in the TV film “The Last Day of Summer,” starring Jansen Panettiere, Jon Kent Ethridge and Eli Vargas. The same year, she costarred with Dave Foley and Lea Thompson in the comedy film “Out of Omaha” (2007), which was written and helmed by Linda Voorhees.
Lewis provided the voice of Molly on the PBS animated series “Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures,” which premiered on January 19, 2008. Her voice could also be heard in the direct to video animated film “Justice League: The New Frontier” and the TV series “Phineas and Ferb” (both 2008). In addition, she had a recurring role in “'Til Death” and a one episode role in “Dirt,” “Ben 10: Alien Force” and “Bones” (all also 2008). In 2009, she guest starred in “Surviving Suburbia” (2 episodes), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (1 episode) and “The Middle.” (1 episode) and appeared in the film “The Ugly Truth,” which starred Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. She also had voice roles in the direct to video films “Wonder Woman” and “Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts” (both 2009).
Lewis began her recurring role of Joy Bitterman on the Disney Channel teen sitcom “Sonny with a Chance” in the March 2009 episode “Cheater Girl.” She has since appeared in several episodes and portrayed Dina Reams in the television film “Den Brother” (2010), starring Hutch Dano, G. Hannelius and Maurice Godin. She also provided the voice of Eve in the animated feature “Alpha and Omega” (2010), which starred the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper and Danny Glover.
In May 2010, Lewis launched her debut solo album, an eclectic rock release called “East of Midnight,” under Betting On the Muse label. The album contains three cover songs and songs written by Lewis.