Family & Companions
A first-rate comic actress, Julie Hagerty used her extremely high voice and mild-mannered presence as comic weapons. She achieved pop cultural immortality as the female lead of the comedy classic "Airplane!" (1980). An enduring film that only grew funnier and more impactful with each passing year, its mega-success buoyed Hagerty to roles in its 1982 sequel as well as "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" (1982) with Woody Allen and "Lost in America" (1985) with Albert Brooks. After winning a Theatre World Award for her Broadway turn in "The House of Blue Leaves," Hagerty concentrated on character roles, playing wife to Richard Dreyfuss in the comedy hit "What About Bob?" (1991) and mother to Tom Green in "Freddy Got Fingered" (2001), Jason Lee in "A Guy Thing" (2003) and Ryan Reynolds in "Just Friends" (2005). On television, she starred with Fran Drescher and Twiggy on the short-lived ensemble sitcom "Princesses" (CBS, 1991) and recurred on multiple series, including "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06), "Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002; 2005- ) and "Happy Endings" (ABC, 2011-13). With her instantly recognizable voice and appearance, Julie Hagerty carved out an impressive, lengthy career and brought out delightful comic colors in any project in which she appeared.
Born June 15, 1955 in Cincinnati, OH, Julie Hagerty achieved success as a teenage model, dividing her time between New York City and her Midwestern home state. The pull of the big city proved too great, however, and she moved to the Big Apple fulltime, where she studied acting and began to cut her professional teeth in theatrical productions. When it came to screen acting, Hagerty hit the jackpot right out of the gate when she made her debut as the female lead in "Airplane!" (1980), one of the most successful and enduring comedy smashes of all time. Parodying the popular disaster film genre, "Airplane!" helped create a new genre of self-referential spoofs and would be cited for decades in helping shape modern comedy, with many of its lines becoming pop cultural mainstays and giving its either newbie or aging veteran stars - including Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves and Robert Hayes - a major career boost. So influential was the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker production, that Hagerty's career would be defined by her turn as the helium-voiced flight attendant Elaine Dickinson, whose blithe obliviousness to the mayhem around her while employing a mild-mannered demeanor supplied many of the film's biggest laughs.
Now established as a gifted comic actress who could land razor-sharp punchlines with a spacey effortlessness, Hagerty delighted again as a daffy nurse in "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" (1982) and reprised her star-making role in "Airplane II: The Sequel" (1982), which sent the titular aircraft and its wacky passengers to outer space. She scored another comedy classic hit when she and Albert Brooks played a married couple chasing the American dream but instead finding a nightmare in "Lost in America" (1985). She toplined the fish-out-of-water comedy "Goodbye, New York" (1985) and essayed the female lead opposite Steve Guttenberg in "Bad Medicine" (1985) and Jeff Goldblum in Robert Altman's "Beyond Therapy" (1987). She found more success on the stage, where she won a Theatre World Award for her work as a flashy starlet caught in a farce in "The House of Blue Leaves," a role she reprised for an installment of "American Playhouse" (PBS, 1982-1993).
In fact, Hagerty would carve out an impressive career on the stage, with acclaimed roles in such Broadway productions as "The Front Page," "Three Men on a Horse" and "Morning's at Seven" as well as such off-Broadway efforts as "The Years" and "The Marriage of Bette and Boo." Back on screen, she booked roles in the films "Bloodhounds of Broadway" (1989), "Rude Awakening" (1989" and "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), but scored a sleeper hit with "What About Bob?" (1991), playing the wife of a therapist (Richard Dreyfuss) whose vacation is threatened by a charming but incessantly needy patient (Bill Murray). Hagerty landed her first series regular role alongside Twiggy and Fran Drescher as modern-day New York "Princesses" (CBS, 1991), but the show was plagued by behind-the-scenes drama and barely made it to air, where it received bad reviews and even worse ratings. After appearing in "Noises Off." (1992), she recurred on "Women of the House" (CBS/Lifetime, 1995) and "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998).
Settling into the lower-profile but steady life of a character actress, Hagerty notched small roles in the flashy "U Turn" (1997) and the reviled Tom Green outing "Freddy Got Fingered" (2001) and continued to quietly line up jobs on television and in film. Cornering the market when it came to playing sweetly ditzy mothers who inadvertently annoy their children, Hagerty delighted in "A Guy Thing" (2003), "She's the Man" (2006) and, most hilariously, "Just Friends" (2005). She recurred on "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06), "Girlfriends" (UPN, 2000-06; The CW, 2006-08) and "Family Guy" (Fox, 1999-2002, 2005- ) and charmed in a guest spot on "Happy Endings" (ABC, 2011-13) as the food-obsessed mother of the Kerkovich sisters (Eliza Coupe and Elisha Cuthbert).
By Jonathan Riggs
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Signed by Eileen Ford Agency as model (date approximate)
Moved to New York City
Made Off-Broadway debut in "Mutual Benefit Life" at The Production Company, a theater co-founded by her brother Michael; first film work in "All That Jazz" ends up on cutting room floor
Was leading lady of "Airplane!", her film debut
Made Broadway debut, as Corinna in the revival of "House of Blue Leaves"
Reprised character of Corinna in TV version of "House of Blue Leaves"
Co-starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Princesses" (September-October)
Was part of ensemble cast of big screen "Noises Off"
Returned to NY theater to co-star in "A Cheever Evening" at Playwrights Horizon
Starred in the UPN sitcom "Reunited"
Made cameo appearance as an ex-girlfriend of Bruce Willis' character in "The Story of Us"
Appeared in the Tom Green comedy "Freddy Got Fingered"
Appeared opposite Billy Bob Thronton, Patricia Arquette and Sela Ward in the direct-to-cable thriller "The Badge"
Appeared in the "Nonfiction" portion of Todd Solandz's film "Storytelling"
Cast alongside Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and Selma Blair in "A Guy Thing"
Cast in the comedy "She's the Man" starring Amanda Bynes