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Jan Hooks, best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, died on Thursday in New York at the age of 57, her representative, Lisa Lieberman, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
No further details were immediately available.
On the NBC late-night variety show, which she joined in 1986, she notably played one half of The Sweeney Sisters along with Nora Dunn. She also performed in character at the 40th Emmy Awards in the opener in August 1988.
“I was 15 years old when I first saw Jan Hooks on SNL. All of her characters spoke to me. She was one of the greats. When I was at SNL, we would frequently talk about her genius. This has been a shitty couple of months for comedy,” Amy Poehler said in a statement.
Hooks also portrayed several political and pop culture personalities, including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and singer Sinead O’Connor, on the sketch comedy series.
“This is very, very sad news about Jan,” said former Saturday Night Live castmember Jon Lovitz in a statement. “She was easily one of the best comedic actresses to be on SNL. Whenever she and Phil Hartman worked together, it was magic. As Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker on ‘Church Chat’ with Dana Carvey, the three of them created one of the best sketches, ever, in the history of SNL. She was terrific to work with and a very, very nice person. I will miss her very much. Peace and prayers to her family and friends.”
Added Kevin Nealon: “Jan Hooks was an enormous part of my life. We shared some amazing times; our years as friends, then dating and then the incredible rush of being on Saturday Night Live together. Her talent as a sketch player was staggering to me. I only wish she knew how well respected and admired she was. This is such a loss.”
“The greatest joy on SNL was live on camera, standing next to my Sweeney sister and trying to keep a straight face,” said Nora Dunn. “Jan created that duo, along with so many other characters that will stand forever among the best of Saturday Night Live. Her loss feels monumental.”
Hooks’ other TV credits include Not Necessarily the News, Designing Women, 3rd Rock From the Sun and The Simpsons. In 1998, she was nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding guest actress in a comedy series category for her 3rd Rock From the Sun role.
Her film credits include Batman Returns (1992), A Dangerous Woman (1993), Simon Birch (1998) and the Martin Short comedy Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004).
In 2010, on NBC’s 30 Rock, she portrayed Verna Maroney, the mother of Jane Krakowski‘s character, Jenna.
TMZ first reported the news.
Oct. 9, 6:20 p.m. Updated with additional information.
Oct. 9, 7:37 p.m. Updated with additional statements.
Oct. 10, 10:59 a.m. Updated with additional statement.
Philiana Ng contributed to this report.
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