Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon, the vivacious comedian with the twinkling blue eyes and elfin grin, started out as a mid-season replacement on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). By the time she left in 2001 to pursue a film career, Shannon had become the longest-running female cast member on a program famously male-dominated for decades. With impeccable comedic timing and little regard for her personal safety - like Gilda Radner years before her - Shannon impressed producers and writers with a chutzpah that matched her talent, performing her own stunts with reckless abandon and creating some of the show's most memorable characters, including Mary Katherine Gallagher, a sexually overripe Catholic school girl who was an exaggerated version of Shannon's own dorky childhood self. After leaving the safety of 30 Rock, Shannon segued easily into big screen comedies like "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006) and "Evan Almighty" (2007), and surprised critics with her touching lead turn in the dark comedy, "Year of the Dog" (2007). Although her first attempt at sitcom stardom, mother-daughter sitcom "Kath & Kim" (NBC, 2008-09), only lasted a single season, Shannon matured into an eclectic character actress, taking on both broad and subtle turns in films ranging from animated hit "Hotel Transylvania" (2012) and its 2015 sequel to indie dysfunctional family comedy-drama "Other People" (2015), coming of age hit "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (2015), and Jeff Baena's "The Little Hours" (2017), in which she played a Mother Superior in a 14th-century Italian convent. With success on both the big and small screens, this funny girl proved she had staying power beyond her initial "SNL" characterizations.