Janet Vivian “Jan” Hooks died on October 9, 2014 in her home in Woodstock, New York at the age of 57 from cancer.
Born on April 23, 1957, she was an American actress and comedian best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, where she was a repertory player from 1986–1991, and continued making cameo appearances until 1994.
Hooks was considered for SNL in 1985, but was passed over by the show’s producers in favor of Joan Cusack.
After the show’s 1985–1986 season was deemed a ratings disaster and put on the chopping block for cancellation, returning producer Lorne Michaels offered Hooks a contract in 1986, along with new recruits Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman, among others.
They helped put the show back in the national spotlight. Her characters included Candy Sweeney of “The Sweeney Sisters”.
She performed notable impressions of Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O’Connor, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer and Hillary Clinton.
Hooks left SNL in 1991 after being asked by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on the CBS sitcom Designing Women.
Hooks played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons of the show.
She appeared in several movies, starred as Dixie Glick in the series Primetime Glick, and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood.
She had a recurring role as the trashy Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun, which earned Hooks an Emmy Award nomination.
Hooks guest-starred on two Matt Groening-produced cartoons for the FOX Network: six episodes of The Simpsons between 1997 and 2002, as Apu’s wife Manjula (although Tress MacNeille sometimes substituted for her, and eventually replaced Hooks), and in Futurama (in the episode “Bendless Love” as the voice of a female robot named Angleyne).
She appeared in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo and made a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie Batman Returns as Jen, the Penguin’s image consultant during his campaign to become Mayor of Gotham City.
She accepted. She played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons.
She has also played memorable characters in feature-films including, Tina (the Alamo girl) in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), and Dixie Glick in Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004).