Maria Bamford

A favorite among alternative comedy followers for two decades, Maria Bamford's anxious stage persona and exceptionally expressive voice gave her a diverse career that included several comedy albums, a handful of offbeat comedy specials, and numerous voice-over and acting roles in projects ranging from "WordGirl" (PBS Kids 2006- ) to "Arrested Development" (Fox 2003-2006; Netflix 2013- ). The daughter of medical professionals, Bamford turned to stand-up in her teens and worked her way up to television appearances in the late 1990s. A brief turn as a temp worker at Nickelodeon led to regular voice work on countless animated shows for the network and other companies, while grown-ups enjoyed her surreal stand-up observations as part of the "Comedians of Comedy" tour, which served as the basis of a 2005 documentary. After suffering a brief hospitalization for depression in 2009, Bamford emerged busier and more creatively inspired than ever, producing numerous specials for the Internet while logging countless hours in voice-over and acting roles. Bamford's skewed perspective on life and family, as well as her gifted vocal abilities, made her one of the most versatile comic performers of the 2000s.