Kinney was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin
on the third day of
November 1954. She's the only child of Marian and Harold
Kinney. Kathy grew up in an Irish American household in
the same town in which she was born. Kathy still visits
her mother once a year in Stevens Point. Although Kathy
is from the cheese capital of the USA, she is highly
lactose intolerant. She must have developed this
condition later in life because Kathy recalls having
dairy with dinner. A typical Tuesday night dinner at the
Kinney household including "Meat loaf! With cheese on it.
Because it is Wisconsin.. . . . And two small glasses of
milk. . " She said in an interview. The two small glasses
were hers because her mother was afraid she would spill.
the age of 15, Kathy helped her father, Harold because he
was dying of emphysema. "[She] had to learn how
to do things that a boy would do because [her]
father couldn't breathe," Marian, her mother urged her to
take the Social Security money aquired from her dad's
death and started school at the University of Wisconsin.
She went to University to become a licensed practical
nurse. She says she wouldn't be an actress now if her
father was still alive. To handle her fathers death, she
says, she would put on a tool belt and built sets for
school plays. She felt she could hide in this type of
work. And because she help her Father around the house,
she was good at it. Kathy was cast in a secondary role
when a summer production of The Boyfriend. The production
had a shortage of actors which resulted in Kinney being
cast. Kinney struggled at first when, the entire cast had
to dance the Charleston during a curtain call. footwork.
"When I finally did get it right, I was so happy everyone
thought it was a [comedy] bit." This is when
Kinney supposes she comming up on some thing
she graced our presents on the stage, large screen and
small screen she graced other's in Stevens Point as a
Waitress. This job lasted about five minutes. The first
and last customer she served couldn't eat the meal she
served him because how could anyone eat a sandwich from
their lap (Don't answer that question). I bet now she
longs for the episode where she serves Drew Carey in the
same manner while spouting. "Eat this pig."
From waitress gig she
was demoted to "Cabin Girl". Another job was "The girl
that painted the cabins" (which she was demoted to after
being cabin girl).
She also worked as a bar
tender. The job was in a converted lumberjack housing
area which mostly served collage students (who sometimes
drink like lumberjacks). When she moved to New York she
didn't continue her gin mill gig. Because the young
lumberjack drinker's drinking eloquence included "A beer
and a shot." As Kathy states. "But usually it was just a
beer or just a shot."
New York, to Kathy,
shone brighter than University. So in 1976 Kathy moved to
The Big Apple. She worked as a secretary for a boss who
liked to hunt. Sometimes she would chat with him in his
office about the hunt. She would often say "So. Did you
kill anything this week?" This is where, Kathy says"Mini
Bobek" was born. At this same time she tryed her hand at
improvisational comedy. She also started teaching improv
classes. One such class had in its attendance a director
by the name of Bill Sherwood. Bill Sherwood wrote a part
for her in his 1986 film, "Parting Glances,". When the
film came out Kathy went to visit friends in Los Angeles.
She didn't return to New York.
"My agent was sending me
out for these fierce roles," she says, "but I was so
fragile that I never could quite get it. I lost a lot of
jobs trying to be what I thought they wanted me to be. It
wasn't until I became comfortable as me that I started
getting all these serial-killer kinds of
She played a murderess
on Good and Evil, short-lived sitcom in 1991. She was
also a mad bomber on Dream On. And was the colorful town
librarian on Newhart.
Kathy avoided the
auditionis for what she calls "the heavy-girl roles,".
Critics occasional grumble
that her character 'Mimi' is a waddling fat joke. But her
weight has never seemed to be the point of a fat joke.
"One time I had to say to Drew, 'Aw, you're just fat,' as
the ultimate put-down. I personally don't like it, but if
fat jokes slip in because they're funny, I don't
She is, however, less
comfortable about being typed cased because of her
weight. "Once in a while I would lose some weight, just
by accident, and someone would say to me, 'You're going
to diet yourself out of a career,'" she says. "And I tell
them, 'I'm losing weight, not my talent.' Why is it the
first thing [some people] look at is the shape?
It points up to me the prejudice that still
The character, Mimi, has
been an extreamlly dominant force in the life of Kinney
that she has had few opportunities to meet anyone she
would consider dating. "The only men I've met in the past
year were reporters or cameramen from Entertainment
Tonight," she says.
She also isn't worried
about the burn out of short lived careers of other
actors. The ones who've played indelible roles on TV.
Kathy has a strategy. "Oh yeah," she says, holding out a
make-believe mirror. "It's called washing my