I can't be the only one with this experience: After watching the Star Trek episode, "Assignment: Earth," I was utterly smitten with Teri Garr. In the episode, the Enterprise goes back to 1968 to fix history yadda yadda yadda ... and Teri Garr says lots of cute things and wears a miniskirt. I first saw the episode when I was about 9, and I was in love.

>Ahem<. Anyway, Teri Garr is an actress associated with comedic roles, but she's gotten some chances at serious dramatic work too. She actually did lots of TV work in the '70s, none of which I noticed. Consequently, I spend years wondering what had happened to her ... until 1978! when she got a nice beefy role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind as Richard Dreyfuss' beleaguered wife.

She became a bona fide celebrity with starring roles in films like Tootsie and Mr. Mom. She usually played flighty but intelligent women who were exasperated at the weirdness the main character was going through (cf. Tootsie, Close Encounters, Oh! God).

And then came David Letterman. I don't know if he had the same Star Trek epiphany as me, or what ... but in the early years of his late-night talk show, he had Teri Garr on repeatedly. Repeatedly! When they did a sketch for the "Late Night Chess Set," with little Paul Shaefers as pawns, Teri Garr was the queen. Her most memorable appearance involved Dave convincing her to use his dressing room shower during the show.

She's still getting work. Teri was picked to be Phoebe Buffay's mom on Friends ... if you're familiar with the Lisa Kudrow character, you probably agree this was inspired casting. She'll also be in the movie version of Ghost World as Maxine.

Born Dec. 11, somewhere in the 1944-1949 range, to a vaudeville performing father and a mom who was in the Rockettes. "Teri Garr" is her real name! She started in show biz at 16 as a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet Company and was later hired for the cast of "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour." She actually got her feature-film break in 1974, doing both Francis Ford Coppola's film, The Conversation and Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

-- Unofficial TG page: http://members.aol.com/JONDC9/tg.html
-- Lifetime TV: http://www.lifetimetv.com/shows/intimate/port9912.html
-- TG film/TV-ography: http://members.aol.com/jondc8/tgfilm.html
-- The omnipresent IMDb

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