BRAND-NEW SECOND EDITION
In the second edition of Mimi Kennedy's (Mom, Dharma & Greg, Homefront, Midnight in Paris) long out-of-print memoir, the acclaimed actress reveals the complex and inescapable forces that pushed her onto the stage even as a child. In a new preface, Mimi shares news of an upcoming memoir chronicling the latter half of her life.
Kennedy's acting career began at 12-years old in a community theater production of Agatha Christie's "Spider's Web." Her first professional job was on a summer stock tour with TV legend Sid Caesar in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." After graduating from Smith College with a degree in Theatre Arts, Mimi held the usual day jobs as she tried to establish her career as an actress. Eventually, she made her way to Broadway, but not before being cast in an Andy Warhol play – "because Andy likes your face" – and dropping out for hilarious reasons detailed in this telling. Her debut on 45th Street at the Royale Theater was as Jan, a Pink Lady in the original Broadway run of Grease.
This led to beating out 250 peers to star with Debbie Allen and Ellen Foley in "3 Girls 3," a new musical variety show about overnight success. Thus began her long TV career, starting when sitcom was king and excess was the norm in Hollywood. Her first comedy sketches were with Carol Burnett and Bob Hope. She went on to "The Big Show" where her fellow players were Dean Martin, Monty Python's Graham Chapman, and Sid Caesar, who was so happy to see her again that he demanded she be written into all his sketches. Long-running sitcoms like "Dharma & Greg" and "MOM" sealed her presence in the sitcom world as iconic characters Abby Finkelstein, Dharma's hippie mother, and Marjorie, veteran 12-step sponsor to Allison Janney and Anna Faris' characters. In between were movies like "Midnight In Paris" and "In The Loop."
She explains, early in the narrative, that she memorized the Baltimore Catechism in Catholic grade school and absorbed its doctrines with fervor: "I was raised to go to heaven. That was the main thing. Life was just a means to an end, and that end was death, which sent you to heaven, where you really belonged. But to get to heaven you had to die sin-free." This doctrine conflicted with the real-life desire to be an actress, for "the stage, when I found it, was a blessed relief… Emotion was real onstage, passion was real, but taking action caused nothing more real to happen than the delightful effect of applause."