SWEENEY | Julia Sweeney
Comedian, Actress, Former Saturday Night Live Cast Member and Cancer Survivor
Julia Sweeney is best known for her four hit seasons on Saturday Night Live and her most popular character while on that show “Pat”. As a solo performer, Julia Sweeney explores the issues of love, cancer, family and faith. She has garnered critical acclaim for her one-person-shows, God Said, “Ha!”, In The Family Way, and Letting Go of God. God Said, “Ha!” played on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater in 1996 and was released as a film, produced by Quentin Tarantino, in 1998. Letting Go of God has also been made into a film.
Julia Sweeney started her acting career in Los Angeles at The Groundlings Theater, a well known improvisational and sketch comedy company. It was there that she met fellow SNL cast members Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz, and where Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels tapped her for the late-night show. Julia Sweeney spun one of her most popular characters into the feature film It’s Pat and after leaving Saturday Night Live, and moved back to Los Angeles. Despite the film’s disappointing box office performance, it gained a cult following that continues today.
Within a matter of months, after moving back to L.A., Julia Sweeney’s brother Michael was diagnosed with cancer…and so was she. Julia’s experiences led her to write and star in God Said, “Ha!’ Produced by Quentin Tarantino, the film version of the play earned the Seattle International Film Festival’s “Golden Space Needle Award” for best directing, while Julia Sweeney’s recording earned her a Grammy nomination for best comedy album.
Julia Sweeney is continuously carving out her own territory in entertainment, one that moves between the personal and the political, the controversial and the comical. Her most recent piece traces a spiritual journey that takes an unexpected turn. In all her performances, Julia Sweeney projects a warmth and sincerity on stage that’s unmatched in today’s theater;you immediately feel you’re chatting with an old friend. And this gift of intimacy allows her to achieve the impossible: utterly disarming performances that honestly confront some of the most controversial topics of our times.
Julia Sweeney’s second monologue, In The Family Way chronicles the adoption of her daughter from China. This show played in New York City as well as in Los Angeles at the Groundlings Theater. In the summer of 2006, Julia Sweeney was asked by the Hollywood Bowl to perform In The Family Way with a new original score written especially for her show and was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Julia Sweeney’s third monologue, Letting Go of God ran for ten months to sold-out crowds in Los Angeles, and then also played in New York City and has also been made into a film. This show has earned Julia Sweeney the best reviews she has ever received for her stage work.
In the meantime, Julia Sweeney has worked as a producing consultant on Desperate Housewives and she was a consultant for three seasons on Sex & the City. Julia Sweeney has also worked as an actress in films, including: Pulp Fiction, Clockstoppers, Stuart Little, Beethoven 3 & 4, Stuart Saves his Family,and Coneheads, among others. In television, Julia Sweeney has been a series regular on George & Leo, and Maybe It’s Me as well as making guest appearances on 3rd Rock From The Sun, Frasier, Mad About You and Sex & the City, among others.
Julia Sweeney is originally from Spokane, Washington and she attended the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in Economics and European History.
Julia Sweeney lives near Chicago with her husband and daughter.
Surviving Cancer with Humor
God Said, Ha!
Letting Go of God