Julia Duffy

Julia Margaret Duffy (née Hinds; June 27, 1951) is an American film, stage, and television actress. She began her career in television, appearing in minor guest roles before being cast in the role of Penny Davis in the series The Doctors from 1973 until 1978. She starred in the acclaimed Broadway revival of Once in a Lifetime in 1978. However, she is best known for her role as Stephanie Vanderkellen in the hit TV series Newhart from 1983 to 1990. The role garnered her critical acclaim, including seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations, three Viewers for Quality Television awards, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

Julia Duffy
Julia Duffy The Doctors 1975.JPG
Duffy on The Doctors in 1975
Julia Margaret Hinds

(1951-06-27) June 27, 1951 (age 70)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active1972–present
(m. 1984)

Following the conclusion of Newhart, Duffy continued to work in television, playing the original Maggie Campbell on Baby Talk (1991) and Allison Sugarbaker on Designing Women (1991–1992). In the 2000s, Duffy appeared in guest roles on Reba and Drake & Josh, as well as having supporting roles in 2003's comedy films Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and Intolerable Cruelty. She had recurring guest roles on the series Shameless (2011–2013) and Looking (2014–2015), and appeared in a supporting role in the drama Camp X-Ray (2014).

Early life, family, and educationEdit

Julia Margaret Hinds was born on June 27, 1951,[1] in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the youngest of four daughters of Joseph Hinds and Mary Duffy.[2] When Julia was seven years old, her father died, and her mother later remarried and worked as a real estate agent.[2]

She began acting as an adolescent,[2] appearing in local stage productions at Minneapolis's Old Log Theatre.[3] At age 18, she appeared in a Minneapolis production of The Girl in the Freudian Slip.[2] In 1970, Duffy moved to New York City, and she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,[2] from which she graduated in 1972.[4] While attending, she worked as a waitress and hatcheck girl.[2]


Career beginningsEdit

Her early career included parts in soap operas such as One Life to Live, The Doctors, and Love of Life. In 1978, Duffy starred in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Once in a Lifetime.[4]

She appeared in supporting roles in the exploitation horror film Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981), also known as Night Warning, as well as Cutter's Way (1981). She appeared in a first season episode of the television sitcom Cheers in 1982. Initially, she had been considered for the role of Diane Chambers, the sitcom's female lead.[5]

In 1983, she played Princess Ariel Baaldorf in the medieval adventure spoof TV series Wizards and Warriors, which lasted one season on the CBS network.

Newhart and critical acclaimEdit

Duffy joined the main cast of the sitcom Newhart during its second season in 1983 as the Stratford Inn's self-infatuated, upper-class maid Stephanie Vanderkellen.[4] She had initially made an appearance in the 14th episode of the first season of the series, playing the part of then-maid Leslie Vanderkellen's cousin. It is perhaps her most popular role and one she played for seven seasons. She earned Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role every year from 1984 through 1990. She also received a Golden Globe nomination and won three Viewers For Quality Television awards and five American Comedy Awards nominations for her work. During several episodes of Newhart, Duffy was pregnant. To hide it, she wore baggy clothes and stood behind furniture.[6] She remains close to Bob Newhart.

After NewhartEdit

After Newhart ended in 1990, Duffy briefly starred in the sitcom Baby Talk alongside George Clooney, but asked to be released after Clooney walked off the troubled set. The new producers accommodated her, allowing her to then join the cast of Designing Women in 1991. Baby Talk was then retooled and Duffy was replaced by Mary Page Keller.[7] On Designing Women, she essentially replaced Delta Burke, the show's breakout star, who was fired after quarrels with producers. Duffy played Allison Sugarbaker, Burke and Dixie Carter's previously unseen cousin on the show. Duffy's tenure on the sitcom's sixth season turned out to be the highest-rated season in the show's history, partly because of the highly publicized cast additions of Duffy and Jan Hooks. However, because of conflicting ideas about her character, she was amicably released from her contract, thus leading her to be replaced by Judith Ivey.[8][9]

From 1993 to 1995, Duffy played Barb Ballantine on the short-lived comedy series The Mommies. Duffy played Lindsay Mercer, one of the failed buyers of Winfred-Lauder and the ex-wife of Lord Mercer on The Drew Carey Show. She has a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh as Linda Hayfer, a high-school English teacher who despises Drake. She appeared on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as the rich mother of Jason, a boy who goes on a date with Maddie Fitzpatrick (Ashley Tisdale). She made a brief appearance in the Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP as the owner of a stage that LuLu wanted to rent.

In 2009, Duffy co-starred with Kelly McGillis in a stage production of The Little Foxes at the Pasadena Playhouse.[10] She later appeared again at the Playhouse in 'The Heiress' starring Richard Chamberlain. In the 2010s, Duffy had recurring roles on HBO's Looking and Showtime's Shameless, as well as Scream Queens, Key and Peele, and other guest roles. In 2014, she appeared in a supporting role opposite Kristen Stewart in the drama film Camp X-Ray.

Her theater credits include the Broadway production Once in a Lifetime as well as numerous regional theater credits. Most recently, Duffy appeared in a stage production of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, directed by David Esbjornson, for which she received an IRNE Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama,[11] followed by a lead in the play Sex and Education at the Laguna Playhouse in the spring of 2016.[12] In December 2016, Duffy co-starred with Mare Winningham and Mark Blum in an Off-Broadway production of Rancho Viejo directed by Daniel Aukin Playwrights Horizons.[13] Ben Brantley of The New York Times described Duffy's performance as "hilariously withering."[13] She starred in the ensemble comedy The Outsider at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, along with Broadway veterans Lenny Wolpe, Kelley Curran and Manoel Felciano, directed by David Esbjornson.

Other pursuitsEdit

Duffy wrote the book Bad Auditions, published by Smith and Kraus in 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

Duffy married actor Jerry Lacy, co-star of Dark Shadows and Love of Life, in 1984.[2] In 1986, they had their first child, a daughter, Kerry.[2] In August 1989, Duffy gave birth to their second child, a son, Daniel.[14] Daniel died by suicide in April 2019.[15][16]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1980 Battle Beyond the Stars Mol [17]
1981 Cutter's Way Young Girl [17]
1982 Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker Julia Alternate title: Night Warning [17]
1982 Wacko Mary Graves [17]
1984 Children in the Crossfire Dee Malone Television film [17]
1988 Maybe Baby Casey Television film [17]
1989 The Cover Girl and the Cop Jackie Flanders Television film
Alternate title: Beauty and Denise
1990 The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage Myrna Foley Television film [17]
1990 Menu for Murder Susan Television film [17]
1996 Kidz in the Wood Felicia Duffy Television film [17]
2003 Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure Charlotte Voice cameo [17]
2003 Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Jessica's Mom [17]
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Sarah Batista O'Flanagan Sorkin [17]
2007 Be My Baby Doris [17]
2008 Together Again for the First Time Audrey Wolders Frobisher Television film [17]
2008 7 Things to Do Before I'm 30 Vanessa Madisen Television film
2010 On Strike for Christmas Erna Television film [17]
2014 Camp X-Ray Betty Cole [17]
2015 All She Wishes Grace [17]
2019 Grand-Daddy Day Care Bonnie [17]
2019 Fair Market Value Isabel [18]
2019 Christmas at the Plaza Amanda Clark Television film


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1972 Love of Life Geri Braylee
1973–1978 The Doctors Penny Davis
1977 One Life to Live Karen Wolek Episode: "#1.7659"
1979 The Love Boat Sandy Episodes: "Alaska Wedding Cruise" (parts 1 & 2)
1981 Lou Grant Charlene Episode: "Rape"
1982 Cheers Rebecca Prout Season one, episode six
1982 Voyagers! Nellie Bly Episode: "Jack's Back"
1982 The Blue and the Gray Mary Hale Miniseries [19]
1983 Simon & Simon Jody Carmichael Episode: "Room 3502" [19]
1983 Wizards and Warriors Princess Ariel 8 episodes [19]
1983–1990 Newhart Stephanie Vanderkellen 163 episodes [19]
1984 The Love Boat Paula Episode: "The Last Heist" [19]
1985 Hotel Arlene Greenspan Episode: "Hearts and Minds"
1991 Baby Talk Maggie Campbell 12 episodes
1991–1992 Designing Women Allison Sugarbaker 23 episodes [19]
1993–1995 The Mommies Barb Ballantine 28 episodes [19]
1996 Pinky and the Brain Delilah Episode: "A Little Off the Top"
1997 Social Studies Frances Harman 6 episodes [19]
1997 Pepper Ann Aunt Fanny (voice) Episode: "Thanksgiving Dad"
1998 Grace Under Fire Bev 2 episodes [19]
1999 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Lucy Kraft Episode: "Mrs. Kraft"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Lorraine Kay Episode: "The Roast" [19]
2001–2002 Reba Mrs. Hodge 4 episodes [19]
2002 The Drew Carey Show Lindsay Mercer Episode: "Rich Woman, Poor Man" [19]
2004–2006 Drake & Josh Mrs. Hayfer 5 episodes
2005 CSI: NY Millie Hanford Episode: "Recycling"
2005 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Martha Harrington Episode: "Maddie Checks In" [19]
2006 7th Heaven Mrs. Porter Episode: "Got MLK?"
2008 Wizards of Waverly Place Mrs. Angela Episode: "Credit Check" [19]
2010 Melissa & Joey Myrna Sherwood Episode: "A Fright in the Attic" [19]
2011–2013 Shameless Candace Lishman 4 episodes
2012 The League Martha MacArthur Episode: "The Breastalyzer" [19]
2014 Anger Management Phyllis Episode: "Charlie Gets Date Rated" [19]
2014 Suburgatory Emmaline Episode: "The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth" [19]
2014 Key & Peele Mom Episode: "Terrorist Meeting"
2014–2015 Looking Dana Murray 2 episodes [19]
2015 Scream Queens Bunny Radwell Episode: "Thanksgiving" [19]
2016 Hitting the Breaks Abigail Dochard Episode: "Safe House"
2017 Adoptable Sarah Steinberg 2 episodes
2017 American Housewife Amanda Otto Episode: "Family Secrets" [19]
2018 The Cool Kids Francine Episode: "Thanksgiving at Murray's" [19]

Stage creditsEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1978 Once in a Lifetime Susan Walker Circle in the Square Theatre [20]
2009 The Little Foxes Birdie Hubbard Pasadena Playhouse [10]
2010 Boom Barbara Carrie Hamilton Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse [21]
2012 The Heiress Aunt Lavinia Pasadena Playhouse [22]
2014 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Christina Drayton Huntington Theatre [23]
2016 Sex and Education Miss Edwards Laguna Playhouse [12]
2016 Rancho Viejo Patti Playwrights Horizons [13]


Award Year Category Work Result Ref.
American Comedy Awards 1987 Funniest Leading Female in a Comedy Series Newhart Nominated
Golden Globe Awards 1988 Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated [24]
IRNE Awards 2014 Best Supporting Actress Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Nominated [11]
Primetime Emmy Awards 1984 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Newhart Nominated [25]
1985 Nominated
1986 Nominated
1987 Nominated
1988 Nominated
1989 Nominated
1990 Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television 1986 Best Supporting Actress — Comedy Series Won
1987 Won
1988 Won


  1. ^ "Julia Duffy Biography". AllMovie.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Dougherty, Margot (October 5, 1987). "Newhart's Brat, Julia Duffy, Says She's Not Like That at All". People. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "Furious Theater Co's BOOM Closes 6/20". BroadwayWorld.com. June 20, 2010. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Julia Duffy Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on December 10, 2017.
  5. ^ Meade, Peter (29 April 1984). "We'll Cry In Our Beers As Sam, Diane Split". Spartanburg Herald-Journal TV Update. p. 85. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  6. ^ Salas, Randy A. (28 February 2008). "'Newhart' is home to Julia Duffy". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  7. ^ Zurawik, David (8 March 1991). "Julia Duffy is a mom it's hard to feel sorry for". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  8. ^ "20 TV Shows That Replaced a Star". Entertainment Weekly. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  9. ^ Carter, Bill (November 4, 1991). "Television Gets on the Bandwagon Of the Thomas-Hill Contretemps". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Melville, Lee (June 17, 2009). "Kelly McGillis and Julia Duffy: The Women of Little Foxes". This Stage. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Huntington Theatre Company Nominated For 35 Irne Awards For Its 2014 Productions". Huntington Theatre Company. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Nicholson, Frances Baum (May 9, 2016). "Theater review: Moving lessons in 'Sex and Education' at the Laguna Playhouse". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Brantley, Ben (December 6, 2016). "Review: 'Rancho Viejo,' Where Banality and Trouble Cohabitate". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on December 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "'Newhart's' Duffy Still A Mom". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. September 10, 1989. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Bolton, Tom (April 8, 2019). "Authorities Release Name of Man Who Jumped from Cold Spring Bridge". Noozhawk. Santa Barbara, California. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  16. ^ "Daniel Lacy Obituary". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020 – via Legacy.com.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Julia Duffy Filmography". AllMovie.com. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Jaafar, Ali (June 9, 2015). "Luisana Lopilato Boards 'Fair Market Value' For Reelhouse Productions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Julia Duffy Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  20. ^ "Julia Duffy". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Nichols, David (May 28, 2010). "Theater review: 'boom' at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Jones, Kenneth (February 16, 2012). "Pasadena Playhouse's Heiress Will Star Heather Tom, Julia Duffy and Richard Chamberlain". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  23. ^ O'Rourke, John (September 10, 2014). "Huntington Presents Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Boston University. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  24. ^ "Julia Duffy". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020.
  25. ^ "Julia Duffy". Emmy Awards. Television Academy. Archived from the original on May 27, 2019.

External linksEdit