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Kathleen Mary “Kathy” Griffin (born November 4, 1960) is an American actress, comedian, model, writer and producer. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, she moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where she studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and became a member of improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. In the 1990s, Griffin began performing as a stand-up and also appeared as a guest star on several television shows. She achieved recognition in a supporting role on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (1996-2000).
Her breakthrough came on the Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005-2010), which became a ratings hit for the network and earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program. Griffin has released four comedy albums, with all of them receiving Grammy Award nominations. Her first album, For Your Consideration (2008), made her the first female comedian to debut atop of the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart. In 2009, she released her autobiography Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list. Griffin has also taped stand-up specials with HBO and Bravo.
Griffin is an LGBT activist involved in causes such as same-sex marriage and the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. She has also participated in two USO tours. Influenced by acts such as Joan Rivers and Don Rickles, Griffin is known for her conversational style and controversial statements on pop culture, religion and sexuality. She is recognized as one of the top female comedians in the United States. In 2011, she became the first comedian to have four television specials in a year.