Nora Dunn
Birth Date:
April 29, 1952
Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
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SNL's Pat Stevens


Comedic actress Nora Dunn got her start with the famous Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago before making it big in the mid '80s when she joined NBC's late night hit “Saturday Night Live” (1975). During her five-year stint on the show, Dunn impressed audiences as talk show host Pat Stevens and one-half of the Vegas-style Sweeney Sisters act, along with Jan Hooks. She left “SNL” in 1990 after boycotting an episode hosted by controversial comic Andrew Dice Clay.

Meanwhile, this pretty, sharp-featured actress has also appeared in such films as "Working Girl" (1988), "Miami Blues" (1990), "Born Yesterday" (1993), "The Thin Pink Line" (1998), "Bulworth" (1998), "Air Bud: Golden Receiver" (1998), "Three Kings" (1999), "What Planet Are You From?" (2000), "Heartbreakers" (2001), "Zoolander" (2001), "The Hebrew Hammer" (2003), "Bruce Almighty" (2003), "Runaway Jury" (2003), "Laws of Attraction" (2004), and "Southland Tales" (2006). She will next be seen in the upcoming action/comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, "Pineapple Express," and in a yet-untitled David Lee Miller teen coming-of-age romantic film, alongside David Carradine and Mariel Hemingway.

On television, Dun played the recurring roles of Norma Lear (1993-1996), Alex's (played by Swoosie Kurtz) TV producer, on the NBC drama "Sisters," and Dr. Reynolds (1996-1999) on the CBS sitcom starring Fran Drescher, "The Nanny." In 2006, she co-starred as opportunistic real estate agent Michelle Graybar on the ABC Family's science fiction series, "Three Moons Over Milford."

Dunn also performs her critically acclaimed one-woman show in theaters around the country. She recently completed a screenplay that she will direct and is the author of a book, "Nobody's Rib."

Chicago Native

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of Margaret, who served as vice president of The Senior Center in Bothell, WA. and John Dunn (died in 1986), a musician and poet, Nora Dunn was born on April 29, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. She is the older sister of character actor Kevin Dunn (born on February 26, 1956).

Dunn studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1970 to 1972 and Chicago's Academy of Fine Arts. She also went to St Mary's Academy, in Belleville, IL. and studied acting at San Francisco City College.

From 1987 to 1995 Dunn was married to Ray Hutcherson. Her present husband is Sean McGarry.

Three Moons Over Milford


Sharpening her craft in her hometown's Roxy cabaret theater, Nora Dunn would work with defectors from the famous Second City Comedy Troupe, where she was discovered while visiting “Saturday Night Live” (1975) casting directors.

Dunn subsequently moved east to join the SNL cast in 1984. During her five-year stint on the NBC late night hit, she entertained audiences with her memorable characters.

Dunn made her film debut in Mike Nichols' Academy Award-winning romantic drama comedy "Working Girl" (1988), starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and Sigourney Weaver). She followed it up with Savage Steve Holland's romantic comedy film "How I Got Into College" (1989; starring Lara Flynn Boyle, Anthony Edwards, and Corey Parker) and George Armitage's film based on the novel by Charles Willeford, "Miami Blues" (1990; starring Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Fred Ward).

In 1990, after boycotting an episode hosted by controversial comic Andrew Dice Clay, Dunn left “Saturday Night Live.” She then appeared in Bonnie Palef's 30-minute short film "Walking the Dog" (1991), Lewis Gilbert's musical-comedy film starring Liza Minnelli, "Stepping Out" (1991), and writer/director John Sayles' Academy Award-nominated drama "Passion Fish" (1992; starring Mary McDonnell and Alfre Woodard). She also guest starred in an episode of FOX’s sitcom starring Chris Elliott, "Get a Life," and ABC’s legal drama "Civil Wars."

From 1993 to 1996 Dunn played the recurring role of Norma Lear on the NBC drama "Sisters." During this time, she also appeared in the made-for-television movies "Basic Values: Sex, Shock & Censorship in the 90's" (1993) and "Shake, Rattle and Rock!" (1994; starring Renée Zellweger).

She was also cast in Luis Mandoki's remake of the 1950 film based on a play by Garson Kanin, "Born Yesterday" (1993; starring Melanie Griffith, John Goodman, and Don Johnson), Charles Shyer's romantic comedy "I Love Trouble" (1994; starring Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts), and as Sheriff Alice Stanley in Stacy Title's dark political satire, "The Last Supper" (1995; starring Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, Annabeth Gish, Jonathan Penner, and Courtney B. Vance).

Dunn then played Dr. Reynolds on multiple episodes of the CBS sitcom starring Fran Drescher, "The Nanny." She played the character from 1996 to 1999, during which time she also guest-starred in the CBS sitcom starring Cybill Shepherd, "Cybill," the animated TV series "Extreme Ghostbusters," CBS’ Emmy Award-winning sitcom starring Ray Romano, "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS’ sitcom starring Judd Hirsch and Bob Newhart, "George & Leo," Kids WB cartoon series "Pinky and the Brain" and "Histeria!," FOX’s hit sci-fi drama "The X Files," and Nickelodeon's animated series "The Wild Thornberrys." She also wrote and performed in the stage show "Small Prey" in 1997.

On the wide screen, Nora could be seen in Joe Dietl and Michael Irpino's "The Thin Pink Line" (1998; with Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and Mike Myers), Warren Beatty's Academy Award-nominated drama/comedy "Bulworth" (1998; with Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino, and Isaiah Washington), and Richard Martin's family movie "Air Bud: Golden Receiver" (1998; alongside Tim Conway, Dick Martin, Kevin Zegers, Cynthia Stevenson, and Gregory Harrison).

She also appeared in the 1999 films "Drop Dead Gorgeous," Michael Patrick Jann's dark comedy starring Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Denise Richards, and Kirsten Dunst, and "Three Kings," David O. Russell's action movie set in post-Gulf War Iraq starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze. Additionally, Dunn starred in the short films "Swap Meet" and "Demo Reel: A Tragedy in 10 Minutes" (both in 1999).

Entering the new millennium, Dunn acted in Mike Nichols' comedy film starring Garry Shandling and Annette Bening, "What Planet Are You From?" She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the family drama series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and FOX/Comedy Central's Emmy Award-winning animated sitcom "Futurama."

Dunn next appeared in the films "Heartbreakers" (2001), David Mirkin's caper-romantic comedy starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Gene Hackman, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" (2001), Sam Weisman's comedy loosely based on the book of the same name by Donald Westlake and starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito, and "Zoolander," a comedy directed, written and starred in by Ben Stiller.

She was also in the Disney live-action movie "Max Keeble's Big Move" (2001), in which she played Robert Carradine's wife and the title role's (played by Alex D. Linz) mother, "Cherish" (2002) and "Storm Watch" (2002).

Meanwhile, TV audiences could catch her in the TV movie "Charlie's Wish" (2001), an episode of the short-lived sci-fi series "The Chronicle," HBO’s sitcom starring Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and the series "The Outer Limits."

2003 saw Dunn in Mark Rucker's film adaptation of Charles Busch's comedic play, "Die, Mommie, Die," "The Hebrew Hammer," and "Bruce Almighty," Tom Shadyac's comedy starring Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, and Jennifer Aniston. She was also cast in Carl Franklin's thriller film featuring Denzel Washington, "Out of Time," and Gary Fleder's drama/thriller film starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz, "Runaway Jury."

On television, she starred in the comedic TV movie "Knee High P.I.," an episode of NBC’s sitcom "Just Shoot Me!" and CBS’ drama "CSI: Miami."

Dunn continued to add to her resume roles in the films "November" (2004), "Paper Cut" (2004), and "Laws of Attraction" (2004), a romantic comedy directed by Peter Howitt starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore. She also co-starred in Shane Edelman's romantic comedy "Love for Rent" (2005), David Beaird's movie "The Civilization of Maxwell Bright" (2005), and Jane Anderson's "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" (2005), starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Laura Dern.

Additionally, she appeared in the television movies "See Arnold Run" (2005) and "Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution" (2005). She also guest-starred in an episode of "Wild Card," the short-lived drama "LAX," and FOX’s sitcom "Stacked."

In 2006, Dunn starred as Michelle Graybar on the ABC Family science fiction series "Three Moons Over Milford." During this time, she was spotted as a guest in an episode of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning series "Entourage" and NBC’s legal drama series "Law & Order."

She was also cast in Finn Taylor's romantic comedy starring Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder, "The Darwin Awards," "National Lampoon's Pucked," and Richard Kelly's comedy "Southland Tales.”

Dunn was recently seen in two episodes of CBS’ legal drama starring James Woods, "Shark," and in an episode of ABC's Golden Globe, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning legal drama comedy "Boston Legal."

She has completed her new movie, "Pineapple Express," an action/comedy directed by David Gordon Green that stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, and is now working on a yet-untitled David Lee Miller teen coming-of-age romantic film in which she will team up with David Carradine and Mariel Hemingway.


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