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About the cast
Tracey Ullman (Sylvia Stickles) Social satirist, actress, singer and dancer, Tracey Ullman is a gifted and highly original performer whose career spans film, television, stage and popular music.
Ullman burst onto the American scene in 1987 with her inventive comedy/variety series “The Tracey Ullman Show,” which ran for three years on the Fox network. The critically acclaimed series received numerous Emmy nominations, and Ullman received three Emmys during its run, including the 1989 Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series, and the 1990 Emmys for Outstanding Individual Performance and Outstanding Writing, in a Variety or Musical Program. Ullman returned to series television in 1997 with the HBO program “Tracy Takes On,” which addressed a different topic each week and featured Ullman as a variety of characters, including a British magazine editor, a brassy Long Island matron, and a male Middle Eastern cab driver. Again, the program garnered critical accolades and multiple Emmy nominations, and took home the 1997 Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series.
Ullman has also starred in three comedy specials for HBO, “Tracey Ullman in Trailer Tales,” “Tracey Ullman Takes on New York,” which won her an Emmy Award for Best Performer, and “Class Act.” She has also guest-starred on network television series, winning Emmys for her appearances on “Ally McBeal” and “Love & War.”
American audiences were first introduced to Ullman in 1985 via her performances in Fred Schepisi’s drama PLENTY, opposite Meryl Streep, and in her hit music video “They Don’t Know About Us,” with Paul McCartney. Ullman, who made her film debut in McCartney’s GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET, has forged a distinctive profile in independent and mainstream cinema. Her features include Lawrence Kasden’s I LOVE YOU TO DEATH; Nancy Savoca’s HOUSEHOLD SAINTS; Woody Allen’s BULLETS OVER BROADWAY and SMALL TIME CROOKS; Robert Altman’s PRÊT-À-PORTER; Henry Bromell’s PANIC; James Brooks’ I’LL DO ANYTHING; and Mel Brooks’ MEN IN TIGHTS.
Ullman has taken her unique talents to the New York stage, where she appeared opposite Morgan Freeman in The New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of “The Taming of the Shrew” and starred on Broadway in “The Big Love,” a one-woman show by playwright Jay Presson Allen.
Ullman was born in England to a Polish born émigré father and British mother. At age 12, she received a scholarship to stage school and at 16 made her first professional appearance dancing in “Gigi” in Berlin. Back in England, she joined the popular “Second Generation” dance troupe and appeared on numerous television variety programs. That exposure led to a succession of roles in West End musicals, and eventually a leading role in the play “Talent” at the Everyman Playhouse. Her breakthrough came at the avant-garde Royal Court Theatre when she created the role of the bizarre club singer Beverly in the improvised play “Four in a Million.” Ullman’s performance won her the London Theatre Critics Award for Most Promising New Actress of 1981. She next appeared in two successful BBC Television comedy series, “Three of a Kind” and “Kick Up the Eighties,” for which she received the British Academy Award for Best Light Performance of 1983.
As a singer, Ullman has placed four singles in the top ten of the British pop charts, and her album “You Broke My Heart in Seventeen Places” was certified gold.
Johnny Knoxville (Ray-Ray Perkins) Johnny Knoxville, who rapidly gained fame as the creator and star of the controversial MTV reality series “Jackass,” has exploded into the movie arena and has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.
Knoxville was recently seen in the action-adventure WALKING TALL opposite the Rock. He recently completed production on THE RINGER, the latest comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. He is currently filming THE LORDS OF DOGTOWN, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and co-starring Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch, about a group of young skateboarders raised in the mean streets of Dogtown in Venice, California.
Knoxville starred in the box office-smash feature film version of his highly successful “Jackass” series. Knoxville’s additional credits include Barry Sonnenfeld’s sequel MEN IN BLACK 2, the ensemble comedy, BIG TROUBLE, COYOTE UGLY, LIFE WITHOUT DICK and DEUCES WILD.
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Knoxville became interested in acting at an early age. At the age of 18, he moved to California to pursue his acting career and supported himself through appearing in commercials, and occasionally writing for magazines such as Blunt, Bikini, and Big Brother. In 1997, Knoxville pitched his idea for “Jackass” to Jeff Tremaine of Big Brother Magazine, and thus began his acting career.
Knoxville currently lives in Los Angeles.
Selma Blair (Caprice Stickles) An exciting and versatile young actress, Selma Blair first gained attention for her performance in CRUEL INTENTIONS, a youthful retelling of the classic novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Her sly performance as the bumbling ‘Cecile’ earned her rave reviews and an MTV Movie Award for “Best Kiss” and a nomination for an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance.
After graduating from high school in Michigan, Blair moved to New York City to pursue her goal of being a photographer but found her way to acting classes at The Stella Adler Conservatory and The Column Theatre. She was then seen by an agent in her acting class and one week later got her SAG card doing a television commercial.
Blair starred for two seasons as the title character in the WB’s “Zoe” and then appeared in the hit comedy, LEGALLY BLONDE, opposite Reese Witherspoon. She then starred in two independent films that garnered her much critical acclaim; Dana Lustig’s KILL ME LATER and Todd Solondz’s controversial STORYTELLING. Her other film appearances include THE SWEETEST THING in which she starred opposite Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate and A GUY THING. Blair was most recently seen starring in HELLBOY. She is currently in production on two films: Paul Weitz’s SYNERGY opposite Topher Grace and ALIBI opposite Steve Coogan.
Chris Isaak (Vaughn Stickles) Talented and charismatic, Chris Isaak has carved a unique niche in American popular culture as a singer, musician, actor and television star.
Isaak recently completed his third season as the star of the critically acclaimed Showtime series “The Chris Isaak Show.” The show brings together the two parts of his career - music and acting - in an entertaining comedy about the daily life of a single male rock star. Isaak plays a fictionalized version of himself, and each episode incorporates his and his band Silvertone, comprising Rowland Salley (bass), Hershel Yatovitz (guitar) and Kenney Dale Johnson (drums).
As a musician, Isaak has forged a distinctive style that combines classic pop and rock sounds with a songwriting sensibility that can be slyly comic or achingly emotional. His songs include moody ballads like “Wicked Game, and rockers like “Baby Did a Bad Thing.” His most recent album, the critically praised “Always Got Tonight” was released in 2002. Earlier hit albums include 1989’s double-platinum “Heart-Shaped World”, which yielded the international smash “Wicked Game”; 1993’s “San Francisco Days”; 1995’s “Forever Blue”; 1996’s “Baja Sessions”; and 1998’s “Speak of the Devil.” He released his first album, the critically hailed “Silvertone” in 1985, followed by “Chris Isaak” two years later. Isaak’s songs have been featured in such films as EYES WIDE SHUT, BLUE VELVET, MONA LISA SMILE, TIN CUP, WILD AT HEART and TRUE ROMANCE.
Isaak made his film debut in 1988 as "the killer clown" in Jonathan Demme’s MARRIED TO THE MOB. That same year, he also appeared in LET’S GET LOST, Bruce Weber’s documentary about jazz trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker. He earned a supporting role in Jonathan Demme’s Oscar®-winning SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and co-starred in David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME and Bernardo Bertolucci’s LITTLE BUDDHA. Additional film credits include Tom Hanks’ THAT THING YOU DO!, Alison Anders’ GRACE OF MY HEART and director James Rowe’s BLUE RIDGE FALLS. On television, he appeared in two episodes of the acclaimed cable mini-series "From the Earth To The Moon," working with Hanks and Sally Field. He guest-starred on the hit TV series "Friends" and also developed a part-time gig as a roving correspondent for "The Tonight Show," trading quips with Jay Leno from locations such as the Kentucky Derby and the Grammy Awards.
Suzanne Shepherd (Big Ethel) Suzanne Shepherd performed in the improvisation companies The Compass and Second City with Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Severn Darden, Barbara Harris, Alan Arkin and Alan Alda. She co-starred with Athol Fugard in his play “A Place With Pigs” at Yale Repertory Theatre and was guest artist at many major regional theatres throughout the U.S. Most recently she appeared in “The Fourth Sister” at the Vineyard Theatre in New York.
Shepherd has appeared in the following films: MYSTIC PIZZA; WORKING GIRL; UNCLE BUCK; SECOND SIGHT; GOODFELLAS; JACOB’S LADDER; JERKY BOYS; PALOOKAVILLE; TREES LOUNGE; BULLET; LOLITA; ILLUMINATA; COME TO; LIVING OUT LOUD; CUISINE AMERICAINE; VIG; ON THE RUN; REQUIEM FOR A DREAM; NEVER AGAIN; and WORMHOLE.
On television, Ms Shepherd has appeared on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”; “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; “Law & Order”; “Ed”; “Third Watch”; “As The World Turns”; and “One Life To Live.” Currently, she can be seen on “The Sopranos” as Edie Falco’s mother.
As a director, Ms Shepherd helmed “Master Harold...and His Boys” with James Earl Jones, Danny Glover and Lonny Price and assisted Athol Fugard on the South African premiere in Johannesburg. She was the first female director at Steppenwolf in Chicago, where she directed the prize-winning production of “A Lesson From Aloes” with Joan Allen, Danny Glover and Francis Gulnana. Other directing credits include “The Blood Knot” with Danny Glover and Cotter Smithe at the Roundabout Theatre; “The Seagull” with Olympia Dukakis, Laila Robins and Greg Germann and “Three Sisters” at the Dallas Theatre Center; and “Antigone” and “Boesman & Lena” with Regina Taylor at the Cathedral of St John the Divine.
For the past 30 years, Ms Shepherd has taught professional acting at the Trinity Square Conservatory, Hartman Conservatory, NYY Grad Film School, Berghof Studio, Sarah Lawrence College, Vassar College and at her own studio in New York City.
Mink Stole (Marge The Neuter) From the early years of Dreamland, Mink Stole has appeared in nearly every John Waters film, creating such memorable characters as Taffy Davenport in FEMALE TROUBLE, Connie Marble in PINK FLAMINGOS and Peggy Gravel in DESPERATE LIVING and, more recently, Dottie Hinkle in SERIAL MOM. Other roles include Natasha Lyonne’s mom in Jamie Babbit’s BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER, and Robin’s mom in Lee Friedlander’s award-winning GIRL PLAY.
On television, Stole had a recurring role as Mrs. Ward on Nickelodeon’s “The Secret World of Alex Mack” and, in the summer of 2000, was the oldest living woman on MTV as Merna Young on MTV’s “Spyder Games.” On stage she worked with the late Charles Ludlam in the original New York productions of “Love’s Tangled Web” and “Secret Lives of the Sexists.” She performed the role of Autolycus in The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company’s production of “A Winter’s Tale.” She created the role of Jill Johnson in the 2002 San Francisco production of Ronnie Larson’s “Sleeping With Straight Men” and continued the role Off-Broadway in 2003. She writes a syndicated advice column, “Think Mink.” Stole has written and produced and, with her band, performs a one-woman show called “It’s All About Me.”
Patricia Hearst (Paige) Patricia Hearst’s work with John Waters began in 1990 when she appeared in the film CRY-BABY. She has since acted in Waters’ SERIAL MOM, PECKER and CECIL B. DEMENTED. Hearst also appeared in the films SECOND BEST and BIO-DOME. She is currently filming the travel mini-series “Secrets of San Simeon” for The Travel Channel, on which she serves as writer and producer as well as host.
Jackie Hoffman (Dora) Comic actress Jackie Hoffman has wide experience in the New York theatre and cabaret, film and television. She recently received the Theatre World Award for her performance as Prudy Pingleton and a handful of other characters in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Hairspray,” based on the John Waters film.
Hoffman was most recently seen onscreen in Zach Braff’s GARDEN STATE. Other film credits include LEGALLY BLONDE 2, KISSING JESSICA STEIN, and MO’ MONEY. On television, she has appeared on the series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Strangers with Candy,” “TV Funhouse,” “Dilbert,” “Soulman,” and “Cosby.” Her stage credits include Amy Sedaris’ “Book of Liz,” which won her the Obie Award for Best Actress. She is currently starring at Joe’s Pub in a new one-woman show “The Kvetching Continues,” which follows her acclaimed solo works “If You Call This Living,” “Straightjacket,” “Jackie Hoffman’s Valentines Day Massacre,” “55 Minutes of Pure Hatred,” “Incident at Cobbler’s Knob,” and “One Woman Shoe.” Hoffman spent eights years as a writer and performer at Chicago’s famed Second City improv group, for which she was honored with the city’s Joseph Jefferson “Jeff” Award.