KAVNER, JULIE (1951– ), U.S. actress. Born in Los Angeles, California, Kavner is best known for her roles as Rhoda's sister, Brenda Morgenstern, on the television show Rhoda – one of the first television shows to feature an openly Jewish lead character – and as the voice of Marge Simpson on the animated show The Simpsons. On The Simpsons, Kavner also provided the voices for Patty, Selma, Jacqueline, and Gladys Bouvier. Kavner's most notable on-screen film role was her portrayal of a divorced Jewish woman struggling to reconcile her aspirations as a stand-up comedian with her responsibilities to her children in Nora Ephron's This Is My Life (1992). In addition to appearing as Treva in New York Stories (1989), Eleanor Costello in Awakenings (1990), and Lucy in Forget Paris (1995), Kavner worked extensively with Woody Allen, appearing in a number of his films, including the role of Allen's mother in the comedy Radio Days (1987), Alma in Shadows and Fog (1992), Nan Muhanney in I'll Do Anything and Grace in Deconstructing Harry (1997).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.