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Debra Jo Rupp

Debra Jo RuppBorn: 24-Feb-1951
Birthplace: Glendale, CA

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Kitty Forman on That '70s Show

Debra Jo Rupp always wanted to be an actress, but her parents were firmly opposed to the idea. They sent her to the University of Rochester at least in part because it offered no theater classes. But the school added a Drama department in Rupp's freshman year, and after graduation, she moved to New York to begin her acting career.

From this point, about a dozen years of Rupp's life seem to be missing. In interviews and stage bios, she quickly glosses over the time between her graduation in 1974 and the late 1980s, when she began accumulating stage and TV credits. Perhaps she was a waitress and unemployed actress all those years; perhaps she married and divorced, or perhaps it's none of our business.

Her first TV role was a bit part on a 1987 episode of Spenser for Hire, and her first film was Big in 1988 (she played manchild Tom Hanks' secretary). She debuted on Broadway in a 1990 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

In recurring guest roles, she was Giovanni Ribisi's wife and Lisa Kudrowís sister-in-law on Friends, and Jerry's agent on Seinfeld. She played three different roles in three different episodes of Empty Nest, and she was a regular on five different quickly-canceled TV series in the 1990s.

Beginning in 1998, she played Kitty Forman, the harried but loving wife of Kurtwood Smith and mother of Topher Grace on That '70s Show. With her distinctive nasally voice, an unmistakable, infectious laugh, and her maternal yet sexy presence, she was made for the role. The Boston Herald named Rupp as "Best Sitcom Mom" on television.

"In 1977, I looked like a capon chicken dressed up in denim jumpsuits, and now I finally get on a series that airs longer than six episodes, and I still look like a capon chicken dressed up in denim jumpsuits!"

On Disney's Teacher's Pet, she was the voice of Mrs. Helperman.

Mother: Margaret (b. 1929, Parkinson's disease)
Sister: (figure skating coach)
Sister: (computer programmer)

    High School: Masconomet Regional High School, Boxford, MA (1970)
    University: University of Rochester (1974)

    Risk Factors: Smoking

    Better with You Vicky (2010-)
    That '70s Show Kitty Forman (1998-2006)
    Friends Alice Knight Buffay (1998)
    The Jeff Foxworthy Show Gayle (1995-96)
    Phenom Sister Mary Incarnata (1993-94)
    Davis Rules Ms. Higgins (1991)

    Super Buddies (8-Aug-2013) [VOICE]
    Spooky Buddies (20-Sep-2011) [VOICE]
    She's Out of My League (11-Mar-2010) · Mrs. Kettner
    Kickin' It Old Skool (27-Apr-2007)
    Air Bud 6: Air Buddies (12-Dec-2006) [VOICE]
    Spymate (14-Jan-2006)
    Lucky 13 (2005)
    Garfield (11-Jun-2004) · Mom Rat [VOICE]
    Teacher's Pet (16-Jan-2004) [VOICE]
    Senseless (20-Feb-1998) · Fertility Clinic Attendant
    Clockwatchers (12-Jun-1997)
    Sgt. Bilko (29-Mar-1996) · Mrs. Hall
    MacShayne: The Final Roll of the Dice (29-Apr-1994)
    MacShayne: Winner Takes All (11-Feb-1994)
    In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco (23-May-1993)
    Death Becomes Her (31-Jul-1992) · Psychiatric Patient
    A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1-Mar-1992)
    Big (3-Jun-1988) · Miss Patterson

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