Produced in Ohio in 1964, actress/comic Molly Shannon to moved to New York City when she was 18. After attending New York University, Shannon moved to La, California, where she worked in restaurants while attempting to get her humor career off the earth. She’s appeared in such movies as Star (1999), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and 2013’s Scary MoVie (Scary Movie 5).
The youngest of three daughters, Shannon and her family faced a great disaster when she was just 4 years old: She was in an automobile crash along with her family that killed her mom, among her sisters as well as a cousin. Her dad, who were driving the vehicle, lived, but was left permanently disabled. Based on an interview with The Huffington Post, Shannon said that her dad “needed to wear braces on his legs and needed to learn how to walk again” after the crash.
In a interview with The New Yorker, Shannon discussed her time in The Big Apple and her early efforts at getting performing jobs, saying, “I was auditioning for soap operas with monologues from ‘Agnes of God’—‘Mom, mama, do not burn me!'”
Moving to Los Angeles, California, Molly Shannon found herself working as a waiter while attempting to allow it to be as a performer. She ultimately got her big break when she was encouraged to audition for Saturday Night Live. Before winning over Lorne Michaels to get a spot on the show, Shannon was calling folks she had met at her eateries, “making 500 calls to get 200 people to come” to her live show, based on The New York Times.
A few of her most famous characters on the show had recently been developed in her earlier live performance, including Mary Katherine Gallagher character, a far-out Catholic school girl (whom Shannon had really been warned to not do during her audition for SNL). Audience also adored her senior showgirl Sally O’Malley, who had been inspired, in part, by Shannon’s dad. “Sally O’Malley is a female variation of my father, who was this tough, crazy, dapper Irishman,” she explained to The New Yorker.
While on SNL, Shannon had the opportunity to bring one among her recurring characters to the big screen. She starred in Star, which featured Mary Katherine Gallagher, in 1999.
Since leaving SNL in 2001, Molly Shannon has handled various jobs, including making guest appearances on TV’s 30 Rock and Glee. In 2008, she sought situation comedy success with Kath & Kim, and American remake of a well-known Australian show, starring alongside Selma Blair. However, the show did not catch on with viewers. More lately, Shannon had a recurring part on Enlightened with Laura Dern in 2013.
Shannon has also done some voice work at the same time, bringing her vocal abilities to such animated series as American Dad! and Neighbors From Hell, and such movies as Hotel Transylvania (2012).
Shannon wed artist Fritz Chestnut in 2004. The couple lives in Los Angeles with their two kids, daughter Stella and son Nolan. Shannon released her first children’s book, Tilly the Trickster, in 2011.