Jan Hooks, one of the most prominent female voices on Saturday Night Live during the late ’80s and early ’90s, died at the age of 57.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Hooks Suffered From a ‘Serious Illness’
TMZ is reporting that Hooks had been suffering with a “serious illness.” She passed away on the morning of October 9 in New York City. During her time on SNL, Hooks had lived in Sag Harbor, Long Island.
2. She Performed on ‘SNL’ With Some of the Show’s Legends
She first joined SNL in 1986 and remained on the cast until 1991. Hooks was part of the show’s second golden age of stars including Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman. Before joining the show, Hooks had dated fellow SNL legend Kevin Nealon.
Among the characters she played on Saturday Night Live were Ivana Trump, Tammy Faye Bakker and Diana Sawyer. In 1991 interview, Hooks revealed that one week before she got the gig on SNL, her mother died.
Above you can watch a classic musical skit from The Dana Carvey Show, “I Did Not Evolve From You,” in which Hooks sings to a monkey. It includes the line, “We are two different species; I do not eat my feces.”
3. Hooks’ Continued Her Successful Comedy Career After Leaving SNL
In 2010, Hooks made a return to TV after a 6 year absence. The role was as Jenna Maroney’s scheming mother, Verna. Though the part last just two episodes across the show’s fourth season, her dramatic change in appearance came under the spotlight.
5. She Was a Georgia Girl
She was a native of Decatur, Georgia. Hooks was born there on April 23, 1957. Her family moved to Fort Myers, Florida while she was in high school, according to a bio on the Designing Women website. Hooks said that she had lost all traces of her southern accent since moving to New York for SNL. Her Aunt Judy said of Hooks:
She was always dramatic and she had this uncanny way of mimicking people. We would always get together on Thanksgiving and Jan was always center stage.