Kathy Kinney (Born November 3, 1954 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin) is an American actress.
Kathy is a versatile character actress who gained considerable popularity in the late '90s for playing Mimi Bobeck, the outrageously made-up, flamboyantly vulgar, and vindictive nemesis of Drew Carey on the sitcom The Drew Carey Show. She had been involved with television, feature films, and stage work for years.
In 1976, at the age of 23, Kathy Kinney moved from the small college town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin to New York City, where she found work as a secretary at WCBS-TV. Her boss enjoyed hunting, and sometimes she would chat with him in his office about his hunting trips. She might quip "So, did you kill anything this week?" She used this experience to inspire her for the role of Mimi. During this time period at WCBS she was also working nights at various New York comedy clubs improving her improvisational comedy skills. This eventually led to a job teaching improv classes. One such class had in its attendance a director by the name of Bill Sherwood. Bill Sherwood wrote a part for her in his 1986 film, "Parting Glances." Armoured with the success of this film, Kathy went to visit friends in Los Angeles, where she decided to permanently move and pursue a career in acting.
In L.A., Kathy worked hard as a character actress, getting small roles in various TV series such as Seinfeld, Grace Under Fire, Full House, and The Larry Sanders Show. Her first memorable television role is generally considered her regular stint on Newhart as Ms. Goddard, the town librarian (1989-1990).
Kathy has avoided auditions for what she calls "the heavy-girl roles". Critics occasionally grumble that Mimi, her character on The Drew Carey Show, is a waddling fat joke, but her weight has never seemed to be the point of a fat joke. "One time I had to say to Drew, 'Aw, you're just fat,' as the ultimate put-down. I personally don't like it, but if fat jokes slip in because they're funny, I don't care."
She is, however, less comfortable about being typecast because of her weight. "Once in a while I would lose some weight, just by accident, and someone would say to me, 'You're going to diet yourself out of a career,'" she says. "And I tell them, 'I'm losing weight, not my talent.' Why is it the first thing look at is the shape? It points up to me the prejudice that still exists."
In addition to her television roles, Kathy has also appeared in several movies, including Arachnophobia, Stanley & Iris, Three Fugitives, and This Boy's Life.