Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph emerged from a face in the crowd on television's most popular sketch-comedy show to become a respected and sought-after actress in her own right. After landing early minor roles on various television series and in the occasional high-profile film like "As Good as It Gets" (1997), Rudolph's big break came in 2000 when she joined the reparatory players of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), being moved up into the main cast two years later. During her seven years on the show, she established herself as one of the most memorable female performers in its history with her wildly diverse characters, oddball impersonations (from Whitney Houston to Donatella Versace) and commanding vocal ability. Rudolph continued to pursue a feature film career in the off-season as well, with turns in projects like Adam Sandler's "50 First Dates" (2004), writer-director Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" (2006) and the DreamWorks animated smash "Shrek the Third" (2007). Post-"SNL," Rudolph garnered rave reviews and newfound respect as an actress for her starring role as an expectant mother alongside John Krasinski in Sam Mendes' low-key dramedy "Away We Go" (2009). She went on to enjoy not only critical acclaim, but box office success alongside former "SNL" cohort Kirsten Wiig in the breakout comedy smash "Bridesmaids" (2011) while simultaneously returning to weekly TV with a co-starring role on "Up All Night" (NBC, 2011-12). While maintaining a partnership with writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson that included four childen, Rudolph's seemingly limitless versatility, combined with the invaluable comedic training in Studio 8H had positioned her as one of the most welcome presences in both film and television, whether reinventing the summer variety series with Martin Short in "Maya and Marty" (NBC 2016) or maintaining a solid line in voice roles in films like "Big Hero 6" (2014) and "The Emoji Movie" (2017).