Debra Jo Rupp
Petite and relentlessly perky actress Debra Jo Rupp became one of the most familiar faces on television with roles that capitalized on her matronly, yet frequently madcap, persona. After garnering strong notices in several performances on and off-Broadway in the late-1980s, she began racking up steady appearances on series such as "Kate & Allie" (CBS, 1984-89), as well as in major feature films, including the Tom Hanks comedy "Big" (1988). Although regular cast work on a successful series initially eluded her, Rupp gained recognition with memorable recurring roles on hit comedies such as "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98) and "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). She at last found a stable home on a long-running series when she joined the ensemble cast of the comedy "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Surrounded by a talented cast of veteran actors and fresh faces, Rupp played the standard sitcom mom with a wonderfully manic twist in a show that lovingly looked back at a kinder, gentler decade. The actress maintained her profile on TV and film after "That '70s Show" finished its run, although her regular role on the sitcom "Better with You" (ABC, 2010-11) failed to become the next hit series she had hoped for. Whether she was playing an inept talent manager, the "older woman" in a May/December romance, or the high-strung mother of a promiscuous 1970s-era teen, Rupp brought undeniable energy and impeccable comic timing to every character she inhabited.