Laraine Newman (born March 2, 1952) is an American actress, writer and comedian. She was part of the original cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. She took an interest at improv in high school. After graduating, she studied mime with Marcel Marceau for a year in Paris. She then moved to Los Angeles and became a founding member of comedy improvisational group The Groundlings.
She was first hired by Lorne Michaels for a Lily Tomlin TV special in 1974. The next year Newman became one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, working there from 1975 to 1980 and creating characters like Connie Conehead, proto-Valley girl Sherry, and Christie Christina. In 2017, she and the rest of the original cast members of SNL were among the honorees of Television Academy’s Hall of Fame.
She has appeared in movies like Stardust Memories, Problem Child 2, Coneheads, and The Flintstones. She is also a voice actor with appearances in both TV shows and movies, including many Pixar films like Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Up, and Inside Out. In 2021 her memoir May You Live in Interesting Times was released on Audible.
Newman played the antagonist in Problem Child 2 (1991) and also appeared in 1993’s Coneheads Newman further appeared in episodes of Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun, 7th Heaven, and in the 1994 film The Flintstones. Additionally, during this time, she started to focus on voice acting, working on The Tick, Histeria!, CatDog, and Rugrats (in “All Growed Up”, an episode which would form the basis of the spinoff All Grown Up!, for which she also provided voice work).
In the 2000s Newman lent her voice to many characters in animated movies and television productions. Among these were Danny Phantom, As Told By Ginger, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Metalocalypse and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. She further provided voice work for WALL-E, Battle for Terra, Ponyo, Jungle Junction, Cars, Up!, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Barnyard, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Happily N’Ever After, and Horton Hears a Who!.
Newman also appeared in episodes of Entourage, Brothers & Sisters, According to Jim, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
She continues to provide her voice for movies like Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Wreck-It Ralph. Newman made guest voice appearances in SpongeBob SquarePants (as Plankton’s grandmother), Doc McStuffins, and Harvey Street Kids . She also voices Queen Jipjorrulac, the mother of Mark Chang, in The Fairly OddParents.
She voiced the Wicked Witch of the West in Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, an animated direct-to-DVD film set during the events of the original 1939 film.