Kathleen Freeman

Actor, Director, Composer
A character player, instantly recognizable and long beloved for her prolific assortment of portrayals of steely mothers, dour maids and hard-hearted Hannahs, Kathleen Freeman actually began her career just out of ... Read more »
Born: 02/16/1919 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (132)

Arli$$ 1996 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Batman Beyond 1998 - 2002 (TV Show)

Voice

Detention 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Voice

Shrek 2001 (Movie)

Old Woman (Voice)

Becker 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Doogie Howser, M.D. 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

L.A. Law 1953 - 1955, 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Married... With Children 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Martin 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Melrose Place 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Party of Five 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ready to Rumble 2000 (Movie)

Jane King (Actor)

Caroline in the City 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Coach 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Grown Ups 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Providence 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

Sister Mary Stigmata (Actor)

Clueless 1953 - 1955, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Home Improvement 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

I'll Be Home for Christmas 1998 (Movie)

"Tom Tom Girl" Gloria (Actor)

Love Boat: The Next Wave 1953 - 1955, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Major Dad 1953 - 1955, 1991 - 1993, 1995 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Common Law 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Hercules 1997 (Movie)

of Heavyset Woman (Voice)

Richie Rich's Christmas Wish 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Peabody (Actor)

Carpool 1996 (Movie)

of Franklin's Mom (Voice)

Dave's World 1953 - 1955, 1992 - 1993, 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

ER 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Roseanne 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mommies 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

At First Sight 1994 (Movie)

Grandmother (Actor)

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult 1994 (Movie)

Muriel (Actor)

Phenom 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Reckless Kelly 1994 (Movie)

Mrs Delance (Actor)

Hocus Pocus 1993 (Movie)

Miss Olin (Actor)

Nurses 1953 - 1955, 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ferngully: the Last Rainforest 1992 (Movie)

of 1st Elder (Voice)

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland 1992 (Movie)

of Dance Teacher (Voice)

Nickel & Dime 1992 (Movie)

Judge Lechter (Actor)

Beverly Hills 90210 1991 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dutch 1991 (Movie)

Gritzi (Actor)

Joey Takes a Cab 1991 (Movie)

Lola (Actor)

Loved to Death 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Gremlins 2: The New Batch 1990 (Movie)

Microwave Marge (Actor)

Chances Are 1989 (Movie)

Mrs Handy (Actor)

The Willies 1989 (Movie)

Miss Titmarsh (Actor)

Dragnet 1987 (Movie)

Enid Borden (Actor)

In the Mood 1987 (Movie)

Mrs Marver (Actor)

Innerspace 1987 (Movie)

Dream Lady (Actor)

Teen Wolf Too 1987 (Movie)

Admissions Lady (Actor)

The Best of Times 1986 (Movie)

Rosie (Actor)

Sutters Bay 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Blues Brothers 1980 (Movie)

Sister Mary Stigmata (Actor)

Soup and Me 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Father O Father 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Norseman 1977 (Movie)

Indian Woman (Actor)

Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Lotsa Luck 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Ready and Willing 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Hitched 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny Face 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Stand Up and Be Counted 1972 (Movie)

(Actor)

Where Does It Hurt? 1972 (Movie)

Mrs Mazzini (Actor)

Your Three Minutes Are Up 1972 (Movie)

Mrs Wilk (Actor)

But I Don't Want to Get Married! 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Hogan's Heroes 1965 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Beverly Hillbillies 1962 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Unholy Rollers 1971 (Movie)

(Actor)

Head On 1970 (Movie)

Nadine (Actor)

Myra Breckinridge 1970 (Movie)

Bobby Dean Loner (Actor)

The Ballad of Cable Hogue 1970 (Movie)

Mrs Jensen (Actor)

Death of a Gunfighter 1969 (Movie)

Mary Elizabeth (Actor)

Hook, Line and Sinker 1969 (Movie)

Babysitter (Actor)

Support Your Local Sheriff 1969 (Movie)

Mrs Danvers (Actor)

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys 1969 (Movie)

Mrs Stone (Actor)

Which Way to the Front? 1969 (Movie)

(Actor)

For Love Or $$$ 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)

Actor

It's About Time 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Point Blank 1967 (Movie)

Citizen (Actor)

The Donna Reed Show 1958 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

Three on a Couch 1965 (Movie)

Murphy (Actor)

Marriage on the Rocks 1964 (Movie)

Miss Blight (Actor)

That Funny Feeling 1964 (Movie)

Woman at Phone Booth (Actor)

The Rounders 1964 (Movie)

Agatha Moore (Actor)

Mail Order Bride 1963 (Movie)

Sister Sue (Actor)

The Disorderly Orderly 1963 (Movie)

Maggie Higgins (Actor)

Madison Avenue 1962 (Movie)

Miss Haley (Actor)

The Nutty Professor 1962 (Movie)

Milli Lemmon (Actor)

Who's Minding the Store? 1962 (Movie)

Mrs Glucksman (Actor)

The Errand Boy 1961 (Movie)

Mrs T P (Actor)

The Ladies' Man 1961 (Movie)

Katie (Actor)

North to Alaska 1960 (Movie)

Lena (Actor)

The Bob Cummings Show 1954 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

Houseboat 1958 (Movie)

Woman in Laundromat (Actor)

Missouri Traveler 1958 (Movie)

Serena Poole (Actor)

The Buccaneer 1958 (Movie)

Tina (Actor)

The Fly 1958 (Movie)

Emma (Actor)

Too Much, Too Soon 1958 (Movie)

Miss Magruder (Actor)

Kiss Them For Me 1957 (Movie)

Nurse Wilinski (Actor)

The Midnight Story 1957 (Movie)

Rosa Cuneo (Actor)

Artists and Models 1955 (Movie)

Mrs Milldoon (Actor)

The Far Country 1955 (Movie)

Grits (Actor)

Topper 1953 - 1955 (TV Show)

Actor

Athena 1954 (Movie)

Miss Seely (Actor)

Three Ring Circus 1954 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dream Wife 1953 (Movie)

Chambermaid (Actor)

The Glass Wall 1953 (Movie)

Fat Woman (Actor)

The Glass Web 1953 (Movie)

Mrs O'Halloran (Actor)

The Magnetic Monster 1953 (Movie)

Nelly (Actor)

The Affairs of Dobie Gillis 1952 (Movie)

Happy Stella (Actor)

Appointment With Danger 1951 (Movie)

Nun (Actor)

Cause For Alarm 1951 (Movie)

Women (Actor)

House By the River 1949 (Movie)

Effie Ferguson (Actor)

Behind Locked Doors 1948 (Movie)

Nurse (Actor)

Call Her Mom (TV Show)

Actor

Casbah (Movie)

American woman (Actor)

Glitz (TV Show)

Actor

Half a Hero (Movie)

Welcomer (Actor)

Kid Monk Baroni (Movie)

Maria Baroni (Actor)

Love Is Better Than Ever (Movie)

Mrs. Kahrney (Actor)

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (Movie)

Babe (Actor)

No Man of Her Own (Movie)

Clara Larrimore (Actor)

Once a Thief (Movie)

Phoebe (Actor)

Our Gang (TV Show)

Actor

She's Back on Broadway (Movie)

Annie (Actor)

Talk About a Stranger (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

The Reformer and the Redhead (Movie)

Lily Rayton Parker (Actor)

The Saxon Charm (Movie)

Nurse (Actor)

Biography

A character player, instantly recognizable and long beloved for her prolific assortment of portrayals of steely mothers, dour maids and hard-hearted Hannahs, Kathleen Freeman actually began her career just out of diapers as part of her parents' vaudeville act. The petite, stout performer formed her own theater company and was acting in "Ethan Frome" when she was spotted by talent scouts and signed for the movies. Freeman's early film career began with numerous nameless roles in the late 1940s and 50s in such films as "The Naked City" (1948), "Dream Wife" (1953) "The Fly" (1958). She was especially memorable in a hilarious supporting role in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) as the voice teacher of Jean Hagen. The actress also enjoyed a 10 film collaboration with Jerry Lewis ranging from "Three Ring Circus" (1954) through "The Nutty Professor" (1963) and "The Disorderly Orderly" (1964) and winding up with "Which Way to the Front?" (1970).

In her long and prolific career (with some 100 features and several hundred TV shows to her credit), Freeman always proved the stalwart character player whether playing a frontierswoman ("The Ballad of Cable Hogue" 1970) or an officious clerk ("Teen Wolf Two" 1987). She has been a frequent presence on the small screen as well with regular roles on several series ("Topper", CBS 1953-54; "It's About Time", CBS 1966-67; "The Beverly Hillbillies", CBS 1969-71) and TV-movies (e.g., "The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang", NBC 1970). One of Freeman's better-remembered battleaxes was her Sister Mary Stigmata from "The Blues Brothers" (1980) and "Blues Brothers 2000" (1998). In a similar spoof vein, "Dragnet" (1987) saw her as a belligerent landlady, and "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" (1994) presented her as the tougher-than-leather mother of Fred Ward.

Throughout her distinguished career, Freeman also acted on stage and was featured in tours of such hits as "Deathtrap", "Woman of the Year" and "Annie" (playing Miss Hannigan). In 2000, she landed perhaps her best role ever as the crusty but lewd piano player Jeanette Burmeister (who just shows up one day out of the blue) in the hit musical "The Full Monty". Her second act opening number "Jeanette's Showbiz Number" proved one of the more memorable moments of the show and brought a richly deserved Tony nomination for the veteran performer.

Relationships

Helen Ramsey

Companion
survived her

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California

AFI Conservatory

1975

Milestones

2000

Delivered showstopping turn as a pianist (who just showed up one day) in the stage musical "The Full Monty"; earned Tony nomination

1998

Reprised role of Sister Mary Stigmata in "Blues Brothers 2000"

1995

Made several appearances on the Fox sitcom "Married ... With Children", playing Al Bundy's mother-in-law

1994

Co-starred in "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult"

1992

Voiced the First Elder in "FernGully: The Last Rainforest"

1990

Provided a character voice in "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland"

1988

Was the third secretary of "Murphy Brown" (CBS)

1988

Played Ma in the TBS update of "Our Gang"

1987

Acted in "Dragnet"

1980

Had supporting role as a nun in "The Blues Brothers"

1979

Appeared as the mother of bank robbers in the NBC Western movie "The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang"

1978

Broadway debut in "13 Rue de l'Amour"

1975

Played a policewoman in "The Strongest Man in the World"

1970

Cast as a nosy landlady on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Funny Face", starring Sandy Duncan

1969

Co-starred in "Myra Breckinridge"

1969

Tenth and last film with Lewis, "Which Way to the Front?"

1968

Acted in "Support Your Local Sheriff" and again reteamed with Jerry Lewis for "Hook, Line and Sinker"

1966

Eight teaming with Jerry Lewis, "Three on a Couch"

1964

Again worked with Lewis in "The Disorderly Orderly"

1963

Supported Lewis in "The Nutty Professor" and "Who's Minding the Store?"

1961

Reteamed with Jerry Lewis in "The Errand Boy" and "The Ladies' Man"

1958

Appeared as a neighbor on "The Donna Reed Show" (ABC)

1958

Had supporting role in "The Fly"

1955

Co-starred in "Artists and Models", starring Lewis

1954

Had regular role on "Mayor of the Town" (syndicated)

1954

Made first of 10 features with Jerry Lewis, "Three Ring Circus"

1953

TV series debut, "Topper" (CBS); played the maid Katie

1953

Played 'Happy' Stella Kowalski in "The Affairs of Dobie Gillis"

1952

Made uncredited appearance in "Singin' in the Rain"

1951

Acted in "A Place in the Sun"

1948

Film debut in one-line part ("Read about that bathtub murder?") in "The Naked City"

1948

Starred in the short "Annie Was a Wonder"

1926

Joined parents in their vaudeville act when she was 2 1/2 (date approximate)

Was signed for first role after scouts saw her performing in her own theater company's rendition of "Ethan Frome"

After college, formed the Circle Players with Beverly Garland, Alvin Sargent and Alan J Pakula, among others

Played Mrs. Boss on the CBS sitcom "It's About Time", centering on two astronauts who find themselves transported back to the Stone Age

Had regular role of Flo Shafer on "The Beverly Hillbillies" (CBS)

Cast in recurring role of Gertrude Linkmeier in "Hogan's Heroes"

Portrayed Dom DeLuise's mother on the NBC sitcom "Lotsa Luck"

Made appearances as Schultzy's friend Bertha on the sitcom "Love That Bob/The Bob Cummings Show"

Bonus Trivia

.

She refuses to give her exact age, for fear of its connotations and disputes several film reference books that say she is 80. "I used to lie about my age, making myself older for roles," she scoffed. "And they took me seriously." --From "'The Full Monty': Been Around? Yep, and Goin'" by Jesse McKinley in The New York Times, January 5, 2001

.

At the time of her death, Ms. Freeman's age was reported variously as 78 and 82.

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In addition to her many film credits, Ms. Freeman has toured extensively in stage productions like "Deathtrap", "Annie" (as Miss Hannigan) and "Woman of the Year".

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"I think I'm a living example of the fact that you don't have to be in every inch of a film or play to be important to it. And let's be candid here: I never felt any great personal beauty. I guess I was awfully pretty at some point, but funny was always my book." --Kathleen Freeman quoted in The New York Times, January 5, 2001

.

"I'm not interested in ever showing up without doing my best. I've been trained. You've got to be great every time, not once." --Kathleen Freeman to Michael Buckley at www.broadwayonline.com, May 22, 2001.

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