Katey Sagal

Catherine Louise Sagal (born January 19, 1954) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She is known for playing Peggy Bundy on Married... with Children, Leela on Futurama, and Cate Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules. In the latter role, Sagal worked with John Ritter until his death, leading to Sagal's taking over as the series lead for the remainder of the show's run. She is also widely known for her role as Gemma Teller Morrow on the FX series Sons of Anarchy, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2011.

Katey Sagal
Sagal at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con
Catherine Louise Sagal

(1954-01-19) January 19, 1954[1]
ResidenceLos Feliz, Los Angeles
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts
OccupationActress  singer  songwriter
Years active1973–present
Known forMarried... with Children
8 Simple Rules
Sons of Anarchy
Freddy Beckmeier
(m. 1977; div. 1981)

Jack White
(m. 1993; div. 2000)

Kurt Sutter
(m. 2004)

Early life

Sagal was born on January 19, 1954 in Los Angeles, California to a show business family with five children.[2] Her father, Boris Sagal, was a Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant who worked as a director, and died in 1981 in an accident on the set of the miniseries World War III.[2][3][4] Sagal's mother, Sara Zwilling, was a singer (stage name Sara Macon)[5] producer, and television writer who died of heart disease in 1975;[6] After Sara died, Sagal's father married dancer/actress Marge Champion in 1977. Three of Sagal's four siblings are actors: her younger twin sisters, Jean and Liz Sagal and brother Joe Sagal; her other brother David Sagal is an attorney married to actress McNally Sagal.[7] Sagal and her siblings grew up in Brentwood, Los Angeles.[2]

Her godfather is prominent sitcom producer and writer Norman Lear.[8] In 2016 both Katey and Norman acknowledged that she was not only his goddaughter, but that he also introduced her parents to each other.[9]

Sagal has described herself as "culturally Jewish" but with no "formal religious experience."[3][4]

Musical career

Sagal started her career in show business as a singer and songwriter. In 1973, she worked as a backing vocalist for various singers, including Bob Dylan, Etta James and Tanya Tucker. In 1976, while a member of The Group with No Name, she contributed to the album Moon over Brooklyn (on which she was credited as "Katie Sagal"). She was a member of Bette Midler's backup group The Harlettes in 1978, and again from 1982–83.[10] She performed backing vocals on the self-titled Gene Simmons solo album, the Molly Hatchet album Take No Prisoners, and on Olivia Newton-John's 1985 single "Soul Kiss." She performed the song "It's the Time for Love" that appears in the movie Silent Rage featuring Chuck Norris. Sagal also provided the vocals for "Loose Cannons," the theme song for the 1990 movie of the same name featuring Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd.

On April 19, 1994, Sagal released her first solo album, Well.... On June 1, 2004, she released her second album, Room.[11] She has also contributed to the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack.[12]

Acting career

One role was as a receptionist in the detective Columbo installment "Candidate for Crime," which was directed by her father. Sagal's first major role was as a newspaper columnist in the series Mary (1985–86) starring Mary Tyler Moore.[13] This led to her being cast as Peggy Bundy on the sitcom Married... with Children (1987–1997); she portrayed the lower-class, sex-starved, lazy and free-spending wife of shoe salesman Al Bundy.[14] The series ran for 11 years.[15] Sagal brought her own red bouffant wig to audition for the role, and with the producers' approval, the look transitioned into the show.[16]

After the end of Married... with Children, several more television films followed; Sagal also guest starred on the children's cartoon Recess as the voice of Spinelli's mother. In 1998, Matt Groening chose her to provide the character voice of the purple-haired mutant spaceship captain, Leela, in his science-fiction animated comedy Futurama. The show developed a cult following, but was cancelled after four seasons.[17] However, syndication on Adult Swim[18] and Comedy Central[19] increased the show's popularity and led Comedy Central to commission a season of Futurama direct-to-DVD films, which the network later retransmitted as a 16-episode fifth season.[20] She reprised her role as Leela in these films, and in the sixth season that began airing June 24, 2010. The series ended in 2013.[21] Sagal guest-starred as Edna Hyde, Steven Hyde's mother, in three episodes of That '70s Show. She starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Tucker in 2000.[22]

Sagal was cast as the wife of John Ritter in the sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter in 2002. Ritter had completed only three episodes of the second season before his death,[23] and the show was cancelled in 2005 after its third season.[24]

In 2005 and 2006, Sagal made two appearances on Lost as Helen Norwood. In 2007, she had a role in the season finale of The Winner as Glen Abbot's former teacher, with whom Glen has his first sexual experience.

From 2008 to 2014, Sagal starred as Gemma Teller Morrow on the TV show Sons of Anarchy, whose creator, Kurt Sutter, she had married in 2004, four years before the series premiered. In January 2009, Sagal reunited with David Faustino (who had played her son Bud Bundy in Married... with Children) for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving.[25] In 2010, she appeared twice more on Lost. In 2009, she starred in the film House Broken with Danny DeVito. In 2010, she returned to the stage in Randy Newman's musical Harps & Angels.[26]

In 2013, Sagal had a cameo on Glee as Nancy Abrams, Artie Abrams' mother. She co-starred in Pitch Perfect 2, released in 2015, as the mother of Hailee Steinfeld's character.[27][28][29] She next appeared in the biography drama film Bleed for This, as the mother of Vinny Pazienza.[30]

On September 9, 2014, Sagal received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; most of the Married ... with Children cast including Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, and David Faustino were present to celebrate the actor's recognition.[31]

On September 20, 2016, Sagal appeared on The Big Bang Theory as Susan, the mother of Penny (Kaley Cuoco). She had previously played the mother of Cuoco's character on 8 Simple Rules.

Sagal was also a series regular on the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts.

She appeared on Shameless as Frank's latest, crazy lover.


In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting; in the video, Sagal and others told the stories of the people killed there.[32][33]

Personal life

Sagal was married to musician Freddie Beckmeier, from 1978 to 1981, and drummer Jack White, from 1993 to 2000.[34] She married writer-producer Kurt Sutter in a private ceremony on October 2, 2004, at their home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz. They have a daughter, Esmé Louise, born in 2007 through a surrogate mother.[35]

In 1991, while working on Married... with Children, Sagal learned that she was pregnant. This was unexpected, so the pregnancy was written into the storyline of the show. In October 1991, however, she had to have an emergency caesarean section in her seventh month of pregnancy, ending in the stillbirth of a daughter. The pregnancy on the show was then treated as a "dream sequence," which was mentioned only briefly at the end of the episode "Al Bundy, Shoe Dick." Sagal and White eventually had two children — a daughter, Sarah Grace, in 1994, and a son, Jackson James, in 1996. The writers of Married... with Children deliberately did not write Sagal's two later pregnancies into the show due to the earlier stillbirth, opting instead to write off her absences in a subplot in which Peg is traveling the world to reunite her redneck parents. In scenes where Peg was shown, Sagal had her midsection obscured, such as in a taxicab or at a craps table in Las Vegas, and was often seen or heard talking to family members over the phone.[36]

One aftereffect of Sagal's having lost her stillborn daughter was that it inspired her to write the lyrics for "(You) Can't Hurry the Harvest." She recorded this song on her second album, Well..., which was released in April 1994.[37]

She was the subject of an episode of the television genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in 2016.[38]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Maid to Order Louise
1988 The Good Mother Ursula
1999 Smart House Pat
2000 Dropping Out Wendy
2001 Recess: School's Out Mrs. Flo Spinelli Voice
2002 Following Tildy Connie St. John Short film
2006 I'm Reed Fish Maureen
2007 Futurama: Bender's Big Score Leela Voice
2008 Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs Leela Voice
2008 Futurama: Bender's Game Leela/Leegola Voice
2009 Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder Leela Voice
2009 House Broken Mom
2009 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack's mother
2014 There's Always Woodstock Lee Ann
2015 Pitch Perfect 2 Katherine
2016 Bleed for This Louise Pazienza


Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Failing of Raymond Girl patient credited as "Catherine Louise Sagal;" TV film
directed by Boris Sagal, her father
1972 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Young nurse credited as "Katie Sagal"
1973 Columbo Secretary Episode: "Candidate for Crime"
1974 Larry Cashier TV film
1975 The Dream Makers Unemployment manager TV film
1985–1986 Mary Jo Tucker 13 episodes
1987–1997 Married... with Children Peggy Bundy 259 episodes
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Mary Quite Contrary TV film
1990 Tales from the Crypt Ms. Kilbasser Episode: "For Cryin' Out Loud"
1990 The Earth Day Special Peggy Bundy
1991 She Says She's Innocent Susan Essex TV film
1995 Trail of Tears Annie Cook TV film
1995 Nachtshow Episode: "February 10th, 1995"
1995 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Duckman's mother (voice) Episode: "The Germ Turns"
1996 Space Cases Ma (voice) Episode: "Mother Knows Best"
1997–2001 Recess Flo Spinelli (voice) 3 episodes
1998 Rugrats Additional Voices 1 episode
1998 Chance of a Lifetime Irene Dunbar TV film
1998 Mr. Headmistress Harriet Magnum TV film
1999 No Higher Love Ellen Young TV film
1999 Smart House Pat TV film
1999 That '70s Show Edna Hyde 3 episodes
Futurama Leela (voice) 136 episodes / the 17th anniversary show
2000 Tucker Claire Wennick 13 episodes
2001 The Geena Davis Show Ashley Episode: "Girls' Night Out"
2002 Imagine That Barb Thompson 2 episodes
2002–2005 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter Cate S. Hennessy 76 episodes
2004 When Angels Come to Town Jo TV film
2004–2006 Higglytown Heroes Monica the Police Officer 3 episodes
2005 Three Wise Guys Shirley Crown TV film
2005 Campus Confidential Naomi Jacobs TV film
2005 Ghost Whisperer Francie Lewis Episode: "Undead Comic"
2005–2007 The Shield Nancy Gilroy 2 episodes
2005–2010 Lost Helen Norwood 4 episodes
2006 Boston Legal Barbara Little 5 episodes
2006 The Search for the Funniest Mom in America Host Reality series
2007 The Winner Lydia Berko Episode: "Hot for Teacher"
2008 Eli Stone Marci Klein 2 episodes
2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Annabelle Bundt/Natasha Steele Episode: "Two and a Half Deaths"
2008–2014 Sons of Anarchy Gemma Teller Morrow 92 episodes
Created by Kurt Sutter, her husband since 2004
2010 Chadam Sandy (voice) Web series
2013 Glee[39] Nancy Abrams Episode: "Wonder-ful"
2013–present Super Duper Rocket Chrystal Findlee (voice)
2013–present Brooklyn Nine-Nine Karen Peralta
2014–2015 Regular Show Mordecai's Mom (voice) 2 episodes
2014–2015 A to Z Narrator (voice) 13 episodes[40]
2014 The Simpsons Leela (voice) Episode: "Simpsorama"
2015 The Bastard Executioner Annora of the Alders 10 episodes
2016 The Big Bang Theory Susan, Penny's mother Episode: "The Conjugal Conjecture"
2016 This Is Us Lanie Schultz Episode: "The Big Three"
2017–2018 Superior Donuts Randy DeLuca Series regular; 34 episodes
2017 Dirty Dancing Vivian Pressman Television film
2018 Spirit Riding Free Butch LePray (voice) Season 5
2018 Mayans M.C. Gemma Teller-Morrow Episode: "Perro/Oc"
2018–2019 Shameless Dr. Ingrid Jones 7 episodes
2018–present The Conners Louise Goldufski 6 episodes
2019 Grand Hotel Teresa 3 episodes



Year Title Chart positions
1976 Moon Over Brooklyn[41]
1978 Gene Simmons Billboard 200 Albums – 22
1994 Well... Billboard Top Heatseekers – 33[43]
2004 Room
2009 Sons of Anarchy: Shelter – EP Top Independent Albums — 33[44]

Top Soundtracks — 23

2013 Covered[45]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film or series Result
1989 American Comedy Awards Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Married... with Children Nominated
1991 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Married... with Children Nominated
1992 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Married... with Children Nominated
1993 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Married... with Children Nominated
1993 American Comedy Awards Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Married... with Children Nominated
1994 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Married... with Children Nominated
2005 Prism Awards Performance in a Comedy Series 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter Won
2009 TV Land Awards Innovation Award
(Shared with: Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Ted McGinley, Ed O'Neill)
Married... with Children Won
2010 Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2011 Golden Globe Award[46] Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sons of Anarchy Won
2011 Prism Awards[47] Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award[48] Best Actress in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2011 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2013 Prism Awards Female Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Sons of Anarchy Won
2014 Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on the Walk of Fame Won


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