Kathy Griffin was born in 1960 in Oak Park, Illinois. After graduating high school, she immediately began performing in local theater, and eventually began earning small roles on television. Her very first gig was on a television commercial, but realizing that the opportunities would be better in Los Angeles, she convinced her parents that a move to California would be in her best interests.
It indeed was. One year later, Kathy was performing with the Groundlings, the famous LA improve group, and taking acting classes. She began experimenting with stand-up, appearing at a number of Los Angeles clubs. An early appearance in Pulp Fiction in 1994 led to a supporting role in the horror flick The Unborn, and slowly but surely Kathy Griffin began to accumulate film and television credits throughout the rest of the decade. These credits include: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ellen, Seinfeld, The X-Files, Civil Wars, and the film Shakes the Clown.
Eventually, Kathy Griffin earned her own comedy special on HBO in 1996, and was then cast on the sitcom Suddenly Susan. HBO’s Kathy Griffin: A Hot Cup of Talk followed in 1998, and Kathy found an effective focus for her humor onstage – the Hollywood elite and celebrity cliques, classifying herself as a self-deprecating “D-list” celebrity among them.
The self-imposed title would prove to bring Kathy Griffin out of that “list” and into the hierarchy, and by the middle of the new millennium, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List was its own reality show which earned Griffin two Emmys for Outstanding Reality Program. Griffin’s rise to fame has also garnered her Grammy nominations for her albums, including For Your Consideration, which reached the Billboard charts in 2008. Her memoir, Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, also reached the best sellers list.
Recently, Kathy Griffin has been nearly ubiquitous, hosting innumerous shows and appearing on a number of television projects and specials, including; hosting the A-List Awards on Bravo (2008); appearing in her own Bravo special, Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a Bitch (2009); releasing the Grammy-nominated album Suckin’ it for the Holidays (2009); hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve Broadcasts alongside Anderson Cooper (2009 – 2012); and launching her own one-hour talk show, Kathy, on Bravo (2012.)
In her personal life, Kathy Griffin is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights, and has appeared at the Washington rallies to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. She has supported a variety of AIDS fundraisers, and in recognition for her efforts has received the AFA Angel Award. Kathy Grifin has her own Gold Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, dedicated to her in 2009.