Gilda Radner

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Gilda Susan Radner (June 28, 1946 – May 20, 1989) was an American comedienne and actress, best known as one of the original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, for which she won an Emmy Award in 1978.


Early life

Radner was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Jewish parents Henrietta (née Dworkin), a legal secretary, and Herman Radner, a businessman.[1][2] She grew up in Detroit with a nanny, Elizabeth Clementine Gillies, whom she called "Dibby" (and on whom she based her famous character Emily Litella),[3] and an older brother named Michael. She attended the University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe. Radner wrote in her autobiography It's Always Something toward the end of her life, "I coped with stress by having every possible eating disorder from the time I was nine years old. I have weighed as much as 160 pounds and as little as 93. When I was a kid, I overate constantly. My weight distressed my mother and she took me to a doctor who put me on Dexedrine diet pills when I was ten years old."[4]

Radner was close to her father, who operated Detroit's Seville Hotel, where many nightclub performers and actors stayed while performing in the city.[5] Her father, who died when she was fourteen, took her on trips to New York to see Broadway shows.[6]

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