Family & Companions
Promoted as "a good ol' girl" version of Lenny Bruce, this bleached blonde, acid-tongued and sharp-witted comic made a name for herself in stand-up comedy before landing her own sitcom, "Grace Under Fire" (ABC, 1993-98). Named after Lady Brett Ashley in Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," Butler describes herself as "proletarian, but literate" and that intelligence shines through in her material. Her potentially devastating put-downs of sexists, racists, and others who get her goat is softened somewhat by her Southern accent and sunny demeanor.
Born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, Butler began her comedy career in Texas night spots. She claims to have performed over 1,000 shows in a two-year period. Leaving the South for the first time, Butler drove her 1969 Grand Prix to NYC where she became a fixture on the comedy circuit. Butler broke into TV as a writer and occasional performer on "Dolly" (ABC, 1988), Dolly Parton's short-lived variety series. She went on to talk show appearances and cable comedy specials before starring in her own show. From the creators of "Roseanne," "Grace Under Fire" is the story of a plucky woman's efforts to support and raise her three young children as a working mother. Butler's ongoing problems with substance abuse (reportedly an addiction to prescription painkillers) forced the star to undergo treatment at least twice in the late 1990s. The second time, in 1998, forced the cancellation of her sitcom.
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Began performing on the NYC comedy circuit (date approximate)
Worked as a writer and occasional performer on "Dolly", Dolly Parton's short-lived ABC variety show
Featured with four other comediennes on "Love Laughs", a Lifetime special about relationships
Starred in her own ABC sitcom, "Grace Under Fire"
Starred in "Brett Butler: The Child Ain't Right", a Showtime comedy special
Entered rehab for addiction to prescription painkillers
Production of "Grace Under Fire" was suspended allegedly because of Butler's ongoing substance abuse problems; Butler reportedly entered rehab again for substance abuse treatment
Made pilot for ABC sitcom tentatively titled "Homecoming Queen"
Appeared in two-week stint in the Off-Broadway play "The Vagina Monolgues"
Resumed standup comedy career