Born in Rochester, New York, Mimi Kennedy has become a renowned actress, both on screen and on stage, as well as an author and activist. After graduating from Smith College, Kennedy’s acting career took off, working, for instance, on the original Broadway production of Grease. By 1984, she had starred in a couple short-lived series, “Stockard Channing in Just Friends” and “The Two of Us,” in addition to a recurring role in the award-winning series “St. Elsewhere.”
Kennedy starred in numerous television movies, including “Mr. Boogedy” and “Bride of Boogedy,” before landing a lead role in the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated feature film “Chances Are,” with Cybill Shepherd and Robert Downey Jr. She then co-starred in such features as “Immediate Family” with Glenn Close and “Pump Up the Volume,” which won Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival. Since then, Kennedy has appeared with Julia Roberts in “Erin Brockovich” and in the independent feature “Man in the Chair.”
Kennedy is perhaps best known for her role as ‘Abby O'Neil,’ the mother of Jenna Elfman’s character on the hit ABC comedy series “Dharma & Greg.” Appearing in every episode of the show, Kennedy played a caring mother with a desire for grandkids and a radical vegan whose dietary restrictions only complicate things. During its five successful seasons, “Dharma & Greg” garnered extensive recognition, including several Golden Globe and Emmy® nominations, a Golden Globe award and a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Television New Comedy Series.
Kennedy’s other television credits include a starring role on the Emmy® winning series “Homefront” and the pilot for “Bless this House,” as well as guest appearances on “Knot’s Landing,” “Baywatch Nights” and “Cybill.” More recently, she has appeared on several medical dramas, including “Strong Medicine,” “Cold Case,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House M.D.” and “ER.” She also directed episodes of “Knot’s Landing” and appeared as a celebrity guest on the game show “Hollywood Squares.”
A self-proclaimed hippy, Kennedy is an activist for human rights, as well as for environmental and labor issues. She is also the author of Taken to the Stage: The Education of an Actress, published in 1996; the book details Kennedy’s experiences in the entertainment industry. Kennedy is married to Larry Dilg, and they have two grown children, Cisco and Molly.