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Birth Name: Julia Anne Sweeney.
Born: October 10, 1959 Spokane, Washington, USA.
Height: 5' 8" (1.73 m).
-Stephen Hibbert (? - 1993) (divorced).
Julia Sweeney biography (bio):
Julia Sweeney is an American actress and comedian who lives in Hollywood, California. She is best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, especially as the androgynous character "Pat." She is also well known for her critically acclaimed 1996 one-woman monologue, God Said, Ha! in which she addressed her experience of surviving cancer. A film version of the show was released in 1998. More recently, she has consulted on the shows Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, has appeared as a guest star in several TV shows, and has written and performed two other monologues, In the Family Way and Letting Go of God, the latter explaining her renunciation of the Christian faith.
She is the daughter of Robert M. Sweeney (who made an appearance in her movie It's Pat as a priest) and Geri Sweeney. The oldest in a family of five children raised in Spokane, Washington, Sweeney quickly found a talent for imitating voices and characters. Despite successful appearances in high school plays, she decided to put acting aside while she pursued her economic studies at the University of Washington.
After graduation, Sweeney headed south to Los Angeles to work as an accountant for Columbia Pictures. The job did not materialize, and on the radio show This American Life, she describes supporting herself by working as an assistant bartender and embezzling thousands from her employer, mostly by selling drinks and not passing on the cash payments she received. While in Los Angeles, she decided on a whim to sign up for classes with the improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. It only took one class to convince her that acting was her true calling. Steadily auditioning, she continued to develop her characters with the troupe such as "Mea," the character that inspired the play Mea's Big Apology, which won the Best Written Play Award from ''L.A. Weekly'' in 1988 and has been developed by Sweeney into a screenplay, and "Pat," an androgynous person whose gender mystified others. At a Groundlings performance, she was discovered by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and tapped for the late-night show, with which she stayed for four seasons.
Sweeney spun one of her most popular characters into the feature film It's Pat, and after leaving Saturday Night Live, moved back to Los Angeles. The film was a flop at the box office, but still has a cult following.
Within a matter of months, after moving back to L.A., Sweeney's brother was diagnosed with cancer, and so was she. Her experiences led her to write and star in God Said, Ha!, developed at LA's alternative comedy show, "Un-Cabaret". Miramax released the film version of the show in 1998, produced by Quentin Tarantino. The film version of the play earned the Golden Space Needle Award, while Sweeney's recording earned her a Grammy nomination for best comedy album. It was released on DVD in 2003.
Film and stage roles:
Sweeney has also appeared on the big screen in Pulp Fiction, Clockstoppers, Whatever It Takes, and Stuart Little. A veteran of live television, Sweeney made her mark on primetime television as a series regular on George & Leo and Maybe It's Me and she guest starred on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Hope & Gloria, Mad About You, and According to Jim. In 2004, Sweeney co-starred in two episodes of Frasier and had a guest part on Sex and the City. She served as a consultant on Sex and the City for its last three seasons. She also consulted briefly on Desperate Housewives season two.
Among Sweeney's more recent stage work is the one-woman show In the Family Way, which started on stage in NYC in early 2003 at the Ars Nova Theatre, and has since migrated to the Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. In the Family Way chronicles the adoption of her daughter, Tara Mulan Sweeney, from China, which she is adapting as a pilot for Warner Bros.
Sweeney's 1993 impression of Chelsea Clinton caused somewhat of a stir when Hillary Clinton found it offensive and sent an angry letter to Studio 8H. Sweeney was a featured player on SNL from 1990-91 and a cast member from then until 1994.
Sweeney recently filmed her one-woman show Letting Go of God? and is in post-production with a possible Winter 2007 release date.
Sweeney is an atheist, something she brought to light in a one-woman show entitled Letting Go of God. In it, she discusses her Catholic upbringing, early religious ideology, and the life events and internal search that led her to believe that the universe can function on its own without a deity to preside over it.
She began performing the show live in Los Angeles. In May 2006, she performed the piece in Austin, Texas, at The Paramount Theatre. The Austin show was followed by a half-hour discussion between Sweeney and Ira Glass (host of This American Life). An excerpt of the show subsequently appeared on This American Life in an episode entitled Godless America. Letting Go of God was released on CD in 2006, and was filmed live on stage in May of 2007 (release date t.b.a., pending postproduction).
In 2006, Sweeney was awarded the Richard Dawkins Award and the American Humanist Association's "Humanist Pioneer" award, and joined the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America. She also does commercials for the Freedom From Religion Foundation on Air America Radio.