Kathy Najimy

The Heart of an Activist
For the Love of Justice

“I love a good protest. The ‘70s were right up my alley.”

The world is far from perfect. There are injustices and inequalities everywhere we turn. Some of us notice this more than others, even at a young age. Such was the case with actress and comedian, Kathy Najimy, who was still just a girl when she “found her people” in “Ms.” Magazine. In this episode, Najimy discusses how “precious” justice has always been to her, as well as sharing her inspiring and sometimes humorous story of tenacity and taking risks.

Kathy Najimy is an actress, comedian, writer and activist who has had an extensive career in film, television and on Broadway. She is best known for her roles in the films, Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, and Rat Race, and has appeared on such shows as Chicago Hope, Veronica’s Closet, and Ellen. She was first nationally known for her feminist play, The Kathy and Mo Show, which Najimy wrote and performed with Mo Gaffney. Najimy created and produced the off-Broadway play Gloria: A Life, about the life of activist Gloria Steinem, whom she admired even as a young girl. An activist who frequently travels the country, Najimy speaks on issues of equal rights, safety and self-esteem for women and girls, LGBTQ rights, AIDS awareness, domestic violence, body image, and civil rights. Among numerous other accolades, she was Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year, is an active member of Time’s Up, and has won PETA’s Humanitarian of the Year award as well as their Compassionate Action Award.

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • Why Najimy needed to “create her own fun” as a kid
  • The unusual way she earned money to buy “Ms.” Magazine as a young girl
  • Her thoughts on the difference between being an artist and an actor
  • Why Bette Middler was so important to her
  • The entertaining story of her “work” with AT&T
  • What a bossy little Lebanese girl can force a whole class to do
  • The importance of writing letters
  • Which of her many films was her favourite, and why
  • How “The Kathy and Mo Show” went from humble beginnings to being an HBO hit
  • Why Jeff Bridges removing a T-shirt led to Najimy’s decision to stay in films
  • The bizarre and hilarious story of her encounters with Bette Middler
  • Why a particular big white bunny delivering singing telegrams was a highlight in Najimy’s life
  • Her fascinating and empowering thoughts on taking risks

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