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Kathy Najimy

Feminist Activist, Producer, Director;
MAKERS Interviewee


Kathy Najimy is internationally known for her activism and her roles in over 25 films including blockbuster hits Sister Act and Sister Act 2 (Hollywood Women’s Discovery of the Year), Hocus Pocus, Rat Race, The Fisher King and the Oscar-winning Pixar filmWALL-E. Audiences enjoyed Kathy for 14 season as Peggy Hill in the Emmy winning Television show King of the Hill, and as Olive opposite Kirstie Alley in NBC’s Veronica’s Closet for 3 seasons. Recent appearances include roles on Inside Amy Schumer, Veep, and Younger.

Najimy filmed My Mother’s Curse with Barbra Streisand, and appears in Lifetime’s project Five, short films exploring breast cancer, directed by Jennifer Aniston. With Mo Gaffney, Kathy wrote and starred in The Kathy and Mo Show—a long running Off-Broadway original feminist play that was later filmed for 2 HBO specials (Obie Award & Ace Awards). Kathy is an award-winning director of several projects both in LA and off-Broadway. On Broadway, Kathy starred in the title role as Mae West in Dirty Blonde (Outer Critics Circle Award).

Kathy is proud to have been named Ms. magazine Woman of the Year. She frequently travels around the country as a keynote speaker for choice, AIDS, women and girls rights and self- esteem, gay and lesbian rights, Arabic pride, body image and animal rights. Kathy has lent her support to a variety of worthy organizations that include: Human Rights Campaign Fund, Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS, the Ms. Foundation, AMFAR, Planned Parenthood, Voters for Choice, and NARAL. For her over 30 years of AIDS activism, Kathy has been honored with the L.A. Shanti’s Founder award as well as the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s Distinguished Achievement award. As a proud Lebanese American, Kathy has been honored with the Arabic Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kathy has posed twice for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals popular campaign, “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur,” and was named PETA’s Humanitarian of the Year. She has performed on Broadway and at Madison Square Garden to benefit V-Day and one of the original performer/supporters of the Vagina Monologues. Kathy has been published in The New York Times, as well as several national magazines. She contributed a chapter to the book The Choices We Made. Kathy is shamefully proud of the gold chip she won as tournament champion of Celebrity Poker Showdown, winning $100,000 for V-Day and also winning another $100,000 for at-risk teen girls as the first champion of Game Show Marathon. She is married to Dan Finnerty and has a glorious daughter, Samia.

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Kathy Najimy
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