Julia Duffy

Julia Duffy (born Julia Margaret Hinds; June 27, 1951) is an American actress best known for playing Stephanie Vanderkellen on the sitcom Newhart (198390). For this role, she received seven Emmy Award nominations and a 1988 Golden Globe Award nomination. The role also won three Viewers for Quality Television awards for her, as well as five American Comedy Awards nominations. She is also notable for playing the original Maggie Campbell on Baby Talk (1991) and Allison Sugarbaker on Designing Women (199192).

Julia Duffy
Duffy on The Doctors in 1975
Julia Margaret Hinds

(1951-06-27) June 27, 1951
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Years active1972–present
Jerry Lacy
(m. 1984)

Early life and career

Duffy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1951, the daughter of Joseph Hinds and Mary Duffy.[1] Her early career included parts in soap operas such as One Life to Live, The Doctors, and Love of Life. Duffy also appeared in movies such as Night Warning (1981) and Cutter's Way (1981). She made an appearance on the television sitcom Cheers during the show's first season in 1982. Initially, she had been considered for the role of Diane Chambers, the sitcom's female lead.[2]

In 1983, she played Princess Ariel Baaldorf in the medieval spoof Wizards and Warriors, which had a short run on the CBS television network.

After being an unfamiliar actress in prime time, Duffy joined the main cast of the sitcom Newhart during its second season in 1983 as the Stratford Inn's self-infatuated, upper-class maid. She had initially made an appearance in the 14th episode of the first season of the series, playing the part of then-maid Leslie Vanderkellen's cousin. It is perhaps her most popular role and one she played for seven seasons. She earned Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role every year from 1984 through 1990. She also received a Golden Globe nomination and won three Viewers For Quality Television awards and five American Comedy Awards nominations for her work. Julia was actually pregnant during several episodes of Newhart. To hide it, she wore baggy clothes and stood behind furniture.[3] She remains close to Newhart.

After the end of Newhart in 1990, Duffy briefly starred in the sitcom Baby Talk alongside George Clooney, but asked to be released after Clooney walked off the troubled set. The new producers accommodated her, allowing her to then join the cast of Designing Women. Baby Talk was then retooled and Duffy was replaced by Mary Page Keller.[4] She worked again with Clooney some years later in the Coen Brothers' comedy Intolerable Cruelty. In 1991, she joined the cast of Designing Women, essentially replacing Delta Burke, the show's breakout star, who was fired after quarrels with producers. Duffy played Allison Sugarbaker, Burke and Dixie Carter's previously unseen cousin on the show. Duffy's tenure on the sitcom's sixth season turned out to be the highest-rated season in the show's history, partly because of the highly publicized cast additions of Duffy and Jan Hooks. However, because of conflicting ideas about her character, she was amicably released from her contract, thus leading her to be replaced by Judith Ivey.[5][6]

From 1993 to 1995, Duffy played Barb Ballantine on the short-lived comedy series The Mommies. Duffy played Lindsay Mercer, one of the failed buyers of Winfred-Lauder and the ex-wife of Lord Mercer on The Drew Carey Show. She has a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh as Linda Hayfer, a high-school English teacher who despises Drake. She appeared on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as the rich mother of Jason, a boy who goes on a date with Maddie Fitzpatrick (Ashley Tisdale).

She made a brief appearance in the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP as the owner of a stage that LuLu wanted to rent.

In recent years, she has been seen in recurring roles on HBO's Looking and Showtime's Shameless, as well as Scream Queens, Key and Peele, and other guest roles. She has been very active in the theatre, appearing in five plays in seven years-Little Foxes and The Heiress at the Pasadena Playhouse, boom with Furious Theatre, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, for which she received an IRNE Award Nomination for best supporting actress in a drama, and most recently in Sex and Education at the Laguna Playhouse in April 2016. She next appeared on stage in Rancho Viejo at Playwright's Horizons in fall of 2016. She has written a book, Bad Auditions, published by Smith and Kraus, which was to be released in 2017.

On September 19, 2014, Duffy appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.

Personal life

Duffy graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1972. She has been married since 1984 to actor Jerry Lacy, co-star of Dark Shadows and Love of Life, and has two children, Kerry Kathleen and the late Daniel. They live in Los Angeles.


Year Title Role Notes
1972Love of LifeGeri Braylee
1973–1978The DoctorsPenny Davis
1977One Life to LiveKaren WolekEpisode: "#1.7659"
1979The Love BoatSandytwo episodes: "Alaska Wedding Cruise" (parts 1 & 2)
1980Battle Beyond the StarsMol
1981Cutter's WayYoung Girl
1981Lou GrantCharleneEpisode: "Rape"
1982Night WarningJulia
1982CheersRebecca ProutSeason one, episode six, 1982
1982Voyagers!Nellie BlyEpisode: "Jack's Back"
1982The Blue and the GrayMary Halethree episodes
1982WackoMary Graves
1983Simon & SimonJody CarmichaelEpisode: "Room 3502"
1983Wizards and WarriorsPrincess Arieleight episodes
1983–1990NewhartStephanie Vanderkellen163 episodes
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series (1986–88)
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Leading Female in a Comedy Series
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1984–90)
1984The Love BoatPaulaEpisode: "The Last Heist"
1985HotelArlene GreenspanEpisode: "Hearts and Minds"
1989The Cover Girl and the Cop, or Beauty & DeniseJackie FlandersTelevision film
1990The Love Boat: A Valentine VoyageMyrna FoleyTelevision film
1990Menu for MurderSusanTelevision film
1991Baby TalkMaggie Campbell12 episodes
1991–1992Designing WomenAllison Sugarbaker23 episodes
1993–1995The MommiesBarb Ballantine28 episodes
1996Pinky and the BrainDelilahEpisode: "A Little Off the Top"
1997Social StudiesFrances Harmansix episodes
1997Pepper AnnAunt Fanny
1998Grace Under FireBevtwo episodes
1999Sabrina, the Teenage WitchLucy KraftEpisode: "Mrs. Kraft"
1999Diagnosis: MurderLorraine KayEpisode: "The Roast"
2001–2002RebaMrs. Hodgefour episodes
2002The Drew Carey ShowLindsay MercerEpisode: "Rich Woman, Poor Man"
2003Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great AdventureCharlotteVoice cameo
2003Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met LloydJessica's Mom
2003Intolerable CrueltySarah Sorkin
2004–2006Drake & JoshMrs. Hayferfour episodes, and "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh" (cameo)
2005CSI: NYMillie HanfordEpisode: "Recycling"
2005The Suite Life of Zack & CodyMartha HarringtonEpisode: "Maddie Checks In"
20067th HeavenMrs. PorterEpisode: "Got MLK?"
2008Wizards of Waverly PlaceMrs. AngelaEpisode: "Credit Check"
2008Together Again for the First TimeAudrey Wolders FrobisherTelevision film
20087 Things to Do Before I'm 30Vanessa MadisenTelevision film
2010Melissa & JoeyMyrna SherwoodEpisode: "A Fright in the Attic"
2010La Grêve de NoëlRobert IscoveTelevision film
2011–2013ShamelessCandace Lishmanfour episodes
2012The LeagueMartha MacArthurEpisode: "The Breastalyzer"
2014–2015LookingDana Murraytwo episodes
2014Anger ManagementPhyllis
2014Camp X-RayBetty ColeLimited release
2014SuburgatoryEmmalineEpisode: "The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth"
2015Scream QueensBunny RadwellEpisode: "Thanksgiving"
2015All She WishesGrace
2016Hitting the BreaksAbigail DochardEpisode: "Safe House"
2017AdoptableSarah Steinbergtwo episodes
2017American HousewifeAmanda OttoEpisode: "Family Secrets"
2018The Cool KidsFrancineEpisode: "Thanksgiving at Murray's"
2019Grand-Daddy Day Care Bonniecompleted
2019Fair Market ValueIsabelcompleted
2019Christmas at the PlazaAmanda ClarkHallmark movie


  1. http://www.filmreference.com/film/77/Julia-Duffy.html
  2. Meade, Peter (29 April 1984). "We'll Cry In Our Beers As Sam, Diane Split". Spartanburg Herald-Journal TV Update. p. 85. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  3. Salas, Randy A. (28 February 2008). "'Newhart' is home to Julia Duffy". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  4. Zurawik, David (8 March 1991). "Julia Duffy is a mom it's hard to feel sorry for". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  5. "20 TV Shows That Replaced a Star". Entertainment Weekly. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  6. Carter, Bill (November 4, 1991). "Television Gets on the Bandwagon Of the Thomas-Hill Contretemps". New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
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