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Upbeat, high-octane actress and comedienne Nicole Sullivan gravitated to dramatic performance at age seven and reportedly caught the comedy bug from her New York state assemblyman father and antiques dealer mother. After high school, Sullivan enrolled in the prestigious Northwestern University, then studied at London's British American Dramatic Academy for one year before settling in Hollywood in the early '90s. The actress reportedly endured a long string of failed auditions and failed television pilots upon arrival, though she eventually broke through to public recognition as one of the resident performers on the Fox network's revue comedy program MADtv. That only marked the beginning, and within a few years of her MAD debut, Sullivan branched out in innumerable directions, such as voicing Mira Nova in the direct-to-video animated sequel Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000) and making guest appearances on series programs including Crank Yankers, Monk, and Family Guy. Sullivan connected with much steadier work by signing on to play Holly Shumpert on seasons 4-6 of the popular Kevin James sitcom The King of Queens from 2001-2004, then moved into features, including the animated outings The Ant Bully (2006) and Meet the Robinsons (2007), and mirrored these accomplishments on the small screen with voiceover work on the animated series Slacker Cats. In 2008, Sullivan returned to the sitcom format with Rita Rocks; she played Rita Clements, a working wife and mother who moonlights as a rock star.

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