The Funniest Women

by J. Spurlin | created - 4 months ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

The funniest of the female funnymakers.

1. Lucille Ball

Actress | I Love Lucy

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...

2. Zasu Pitts

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

3. Roseanne Barr

Producer | Roseanne

Firebrand Roseanne Barr has long been one of America's funniest and most controversial comedians.

She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Helen (Davis), a cashier and bookkeeper, and Jerome Hershel "Jerry" Barr, a salesman. Her family was Jewish, and had moved to the U.S. from Russia, Lithuania, ...

4. Carol Burnett

Actress | The Carol Burnett Show

The entertainment world has enjoyed a five-decade love affair with comedienne/singer Carol Burnett. A peerless sketch performer and delightful, self-effacing personality who rightfully succeeded Lucille Ball as the carrot-topped "Queen of Television Comedy," it was Burnett's traumatic childhood that...

5. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

6. LaWanda Page

Actress | Friday

Best known for her role as Aunt Esther Anderson on "Sanford And Son", she appeared in many films including "Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood" (1996), "Friday" (1995), "The Legend of Dolemite" (1994), "West From North Goes South" (1993), "The Meteor Man" (1993...

7. Joan Rivers

Actress | Spaceballs

Joan Rivers was born on June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She was a writer and actress, known for Spaceballs (1987), Iron Man 3 (2013) and Rabbit Test (1978). She was married to Edgar Rosenberg and James Bennat Sanger. She died on September 4, 2014 ...

8. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

9. Marie Dressler

Actress | Min and Bill

Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on...

10. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

11. Mae West

Actress | I'm No Angel

Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), ...

12. Kaitlin Olson

Actress | Finding Dory

Born in Portland, Oregon, Kaitlin cultivated her passion for acting at the University of Oregon, where she got her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts. After her stint on stage, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting professionally. She began at The Groundlings Theatre in Hollywood, training ...

13. Bea Arthur

Actress | The Golden Girls

Actress-comedienne Bea Arthur was born Bernice Frankel on May 13, 1922 in New York City to a Jewish family. She grew up in Maryland, where her parents ran a dress shop. At 12 years old, she was the tallest girl in her school at 5'9".

She earned the title of "Wittiest Girl" in her school, and her ...

14. June Foray

Actress | Mulan

Legendary voice actress June Foray was born June Lucille Forer on September 18, 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Ida (Robinson) and Maurice Forer was of Russian descent and her mother Ida Robinson was of French Canadian And Native American descent.

She started in the voice field at the age of ...

15. Vicki Lawrence

Actress | The Carol Burnett Show

Famed actress, comedian, singer, and dancer Vicki Lawrence has appeared in television shows, and in nightclubs. Her career included shows with such popular actors as Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, and Tim Conway.

Lawrence was born Vicki Ann Axelrad in Inglewood, California, to Ann Alene (Loyd) and ...

16. Jane Curtin

Actress | 3rd Rock from the Sun

Jane Therese Curtin was born September 6th, 1947. Years later, a 27-year-old Jane auditioned for a comedy variety show. which turned out to be the the thing that would first expose her to fame, Saturday Night Live (1975). Jane won the audition against Mimi Kennedy, a tough competitor. Also in the ...

17. Gilda Radner

Actress | Saturday Night Live

Gilda Radner was one of the great comic geniuses of the 20th century, ranked up with Lucille Ball and other comedy legends of the highest caliber. She was born on June 28, 1946, in Detroit, Michigan, the younger of two children of Henrietta (Dworkin), a legal secretary, and Herman Radner, a ...

18. Jan Hooks

Actress | Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Jan Hooks is better remembered for her five-year run on Saturday Night Live (1975) (1986-91) on the series she impersonated actress ranging from Bette Davis, to Ann-Margret, to Sally Kellerman, to Jodie Foster. After she left the show, she was proposed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean ...

19. Nora Dunn

Actress | Three Kings

Nora Dunn got her start working at the famous Second City comedy troupe, where she was eventually spotted by Saturday Night Live (1975) casting directors, and she joined the SNL cast (among them Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Randy Quaid, Terry ...

20. Imogene Coca

Actress | National Lampoon's Vacation

Imogene Coca is best remembered for playing opposite Sid Caesar in the live 90-minute Your Show of Shows (1950), which ran every Saturday night in regular season on NBC from February 1950 to June 1954. Their repertoire of comedy acts included the very memorable, hilarious, timeless and ...

21. Irene Ryan

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes...

22. Eva Gabor

Actress | The Rescuers

Eva Gabor was born on February 11, 1919 in Budapest, Hungary, to Jolie Gabor (née Janka Tilleman) and Vilmos Gabor (born Farkas Miklós Grün), a soldier. Her older siblings were Magda Gabor, an actress, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, an actress and socialite. Her parents were both from Jewish families. She went...

23. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve Arden was born Eunice Mary Quedens in Mill Valley, California (near San Francisco), and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice ...

24. Marion Lorne

Actress | Strangers on a Train

Forever embraced as the mumbling, bumbling Aunt Clara on the Bewitched (1964) television series, endearing character actress Marion Lorne had a five-decade-long career on the stage before ever becoming a familiar TV household name.

Born Marion Lorne MacDougall on August 12, 1883 (other sources list ...

25. Mollie Sugden

Actress | Are You Being Served?

Best remembered as 'Mrs. Slocombe' on the British comedy "Are You Being Served?" Mollie Sugden was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire. She attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her first television role came in 1962 with the series "Hugh and I," which ran for four seasons. In 1972, ...

26. Margaret Rutherford

Actress | The V.I.P.s

Rare is the reference to Margaret Rutherford that doesn't characterize her as either jut-chinned, eccentric, or both. The combination of those most mundane of attributes has led some to suggest that she was made for the role of Agatha Christie's indomitable sleuth, Jane Marple, whom Rutherford ...

27. Joyce Grenfell

Actress | Stage Fright

Toothy Britisher Joyce Grenfell with her stark, equine features charmed and humored audiences both here and abroad on radio, stage, revues, film and TV for nearly four decades. Lovingly remembered as a delightfully witty monologist and raconteur, she inherited her bold talents from her eccentric ...

28. Patricia Routledge

Actress | Keeping Up Appearances

Daughter of Catherine and Isaac Routledge. Her father was a haberdasher, and, during WWII, the family lived weeks at a time in the basement of her father's shop. She attended Birkenhead High School, where she sang in the choir and ran the Sunday School. She studied English at Liverpool University, ...

29. Nancy Cartwright

Actress | The Simpsons

Nancy Cartwright was born on October 25, 1957 in Dayton, Ohio, USA as Nancy Jean Cartwright. She is an actress, known for The Simpsons (1989), The Simpsons Movie (2007) and Godzilla (1998). She was previously married to Warren Murphy.

30. Tracey Ullman

Actress | The Tracey Ullman Show

Tracey Ullman (born Trace Ullman) is a multiple award-winning television, stage and film actress who performs as a comedian, singer, dancer, as well as works as a screenwriter, producer, director, author, and businesswoman. She holds dual British and American citizenship.

Ullman's early appearances ...

31. Shelley Long

Actress | Cheers

Shelley Lee Long was born at 7:15 am on Tuesday, August 23, 1949 in Indian Village, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, the only child of Ivadine (Williams), a schoolteacher, and Leland Long, a teacher who had previously worked in the rubber industry. Shelley attended school at Kekionga Junior High for ...

32. Catherine O'Hara

Actress | Best in Show

Canadian-American actress, writer, and comedienne, Catherine O'Hara first gained name recognition as one of the original cast members on the Canadian television sketch comedy--show SCTV (1976). The show recreated itself with SCTV Network (1981) and later, SCTV Channel (1983). On the series, O'Hara ...

33. Andrea Martin

Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Andrea Martin was born on January 15, 1947 in Portland, Maine, USA as Andrea Louise Martin. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001).

34. Gracie Allen

Actress | A Damsel in Distress

Gracie Allen was born on July 26, 1895 in San Francisco, California, USA as Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen. She was an actress, known for A Damsel in Distress (1937), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950) and The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939). She was married to George Burns. She died ...

35. Mae Questel

Actress | National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Her Orthodox Jewish family were totally averse to her having an entertainment career. Her parents and grandparents forced her to leave the Theatre Guild school (New York) while still a teenager and had their wills drawn up accordingly so as to discourage this career choice.

Studied drama at Columbia...



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