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Molly Shannon Biography

Birth Name:
Molly Helen Shannon
Birth Place:
Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States
Actor, writer

Fast Facts

  • Survived an automobile accident at the age of 4 that killed her mother, one of her sisters and a cousin
  • Took improv classes at NYU with Adam Sandler, whose last season on Saturday Night Live was her first
  • Came to fame on SNL with characters like Catholic school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher and "licensed joyologist" Helen Madden
  • Appeared in Sheryl Crow's 1997 video for "A Change Would Do You Good
  • " Has an uncredited cameo role in the 2001 Jack Black film Shallow Hal, as Hal's mother
  • In 2010, she joined the Broadway cast of Promises, Promises as barfly Marge MacDougall
  • In 2011, published a children's book, Tilly the Trickster, with a title character who is, in Shannon's words, "an imperfectly perfect role model," based on her own kids, who like to play (harmless) tricks
  • ("Embrace the silliness and fun of life," Shannon suggests
  • )


  • 2018Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2017Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: winner
  • 2013Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 2000Emmy-Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: nominated


  • Stella Shannon Chestnut -- Daughter
  • James Shannon -- Father
  • Fritz Chesnut -- Husband
  • Margaret Shannon -- Mother
  • Katie Shannon -- Sister
  • Mary Shannon Beatty -- Sister
  • Nolan Shannon Chestnut -- Son