Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Laraine Newman (born March 2, 1952) is an American comedian, actress, voice artist, and writer who was part of the original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live.Newman was born on March 2, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, the granddaughter of a cattle rancher from Arizona. Her family is Jewish. She is the youngest of four children and a twin (brother Paul). Her sister, Tracy Newman, is an Emmy Award-winning television writer. Newman attended Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California and graduated from there in 1970. Newman married actor-writer-director Chad Einbinder born 1963 in 1991. They have two daughters, Lena (born 1991) and Hannah (born 1995).
Newman took her first Improvisational theatre classes when she was 15. After finishing high school she auditioned for four acting schools in England including Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Bristol Old Vic. She was not accepted after the second round of auditions for all four schools, so she went to Paris to study mime with Marcel Marceau for a year.
By the age of 19, Newman returned to the United States, and moved to Los Angeles, where she did a brief stint at a secretarial school. Committed to continue performing, she became a founding member of the pioneering comedy improvisational group The Groundlings. At the same time, Newman was working for a rock band booking agent. typing up contracts.
Newman states Eve Arden, Madeline Kahn and Richard Pryor as her first major influences. “They led me into my life of comedy, they led me into understanding ‘The Art of Play.’", Newman said.
At age 22, her work as founder and original member of The Groundlings got Newman hired by Lorne Michaels for a Lily Tomlin special. A year later she became an original cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live, appearing on the show from its inception in 1975 through 1980.
During her five years on SNL she became a close friend of co-star Gilda Radner (although there was also a degree of rivalry between them). The instant success of SNL propelled her to stardom very quickly. Newman recalled being stopped in New York City by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the street to introduce themselves to her.
Newman admittes that she was “never a good improviser,” but when in character, like an angry Jewish poet, a flight attendant, an eccentric chef or a British groupie, she was “free.”
Commenting on her early experieneces during Saturday Night Live she said:
“When I first performed (my characters) and the audience responded, I felt like crying, I mean the idea that what I saw — what other people saw — (meant) I wasn’t so alone in my perspective. I hope this doesn’t sound too overblown, but it really did feel like a Communion.”
However, by her own account, she was unhappy for much of her time with the show—she disliked living in New York. During her years on SNL Newman had developed serious eating disorders as well as a heroin addiction. She spent so much time in her dressing room playing Solitaire that for Christmas 1979, castmate Radner gave her a deck of playing cards with a picture of Laraine on the face of each card.
She's best known for her roles as Connie Conehead and Sherry. Newman decided not to repeat her characters. Therefore, less signature characters are reminded, in opposite to some of her other fellow cast members on SNL, like Dan Aykroyd or Chevy Chase. Still she created many important SNL characters and helped as part of the whole esemble cast, to shape the early years of NBC's Saturday Night Live
Newman states when asked about her favorite Saturday Night Live character:
" ...my favorite character that I created at Saturday Night Live, which, I think, only pleased me and no one else, was Lina Wertmuller."
She sang in the "Chevy's Girls" sketch in episode 2 of season 2 alongside Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin.
Newman's post-SNL film career has been in both leading and supporting roles, as well as a voice artist on television and features.
Prior to leaving SNL Newman already took other roles. 1978 she appeared in American Hot Wax. A year later she did a cameo in Mr. Mike's Mondo Video.
Newman continued to appear in film and television productions during the 1980s. Among these were Wholly Moses, Voltar The Invincible and Invaders from Mars. She also had a small role in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980). In 1986 she starred in the syndicated B-movie comedy series, The Canned Film Festival, playing the lead role as Laraine the usherette. Additionally, she made appearances on such programs as Laverne & Shirley, as Donut Rooter in Devo's We're All Devo VHS, St. Elsewhere, E.T. and Friends (1983), in which she reprised her role as Connie Conehead, Steve Martin's Best Show Ever (1981) and Amazing Stories.
In the 90s, she had roles in Problem Child 2 and in the 1993 film Coneheads. Newman further appeared in episodes of Friends, The Tick, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Histeria!, CatDog, Sonic the Hedgehog, Rugrats (in "All Growed Up", an episode which would form the basis of the spinoff All Grown Up!, for which she also provided voice work), According to Jim, 7th Heaven and The Flintstones. During this time she's started to focus on voice acting.
In the 2000s she did lend her voice to many characters in animated movies and television productions. Among these where Danny Phantom, As Told By Ginger, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Metalocalypse and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. She further provided voice work for WALL-E, Battle for Terra, Ponyo, Jungle Junction, Cars, Up!, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Barnyard, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Happily N'Ever After, Horton Hears a Who!.
Newman also appeared in episodes of Entourage, Brothers & Sisters, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Wayside.
She continues to provide her voice for movies like Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and Wreck-It Ralph. Newman made guest voice appearances in SpongeBob SquarePants and Doc McStuffins. She also voices Queen Jipjorrulac, the mother of Mark Chang, in The Fairly OddParents.
She voiced the Wicked Witch of the West in Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, an animated direct-to-DVD film set during the events of the classic 1939 film.
On July 9, 2014, Newman appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast.
Newman also works as a writer and editor. She is a contributing editor for the online magazine One For The Table, and she is an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post. She has contributed articles for the Los Angeles Times, The Believer, and McSweeney's. She wrote the foreword to the book version of the UCB Production Worst Laid Plans.
Newman was award nominated six times, most notably 1979 as a writer for Saturday Night Live.
|1979||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy - Variety or Music Series
||Saturday Night Live||Nominated|
|2016||Annie Award||Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Dawn of the Croods||Nominated|
|2012||Behind the Voice Actors Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Short
||Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz||Nominated|
|2017||Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series
||Milo Murphy's Law||Nominated|
|Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role