Celebrated actress, author and activist, Mimi Kennedy is a three-career woman. She has successfully juggled a busy life working in theatre, film and television, and become a published author and passionate playwright. She is also Founding National Advisory Board Chair for Progressive Democrats of America.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Mimi's acting career spans four decades in stage, screen and television. She got her start in theater at age 12 in the Rochester Community Players production of Agatha Christie's Spider Web. Her many stage credits include her work as Jan in both the national tour and original Broadway production of the musical Grease; Jules Feiffer's Grown-Ups at the Mark Taper Forum; Helen in Leipzig at The Lee Strasberg Institute; and a one-woman show on newspaper columnist Ann Landers in David Rambo's Lady With All The Answers.
Mimi debuted on television in the musical variety show Three Girls Three (1977). She went on to feature in 13 regular series roles, both drama and comedy, garnering critical praise as Karen Clarke, U.S. Asst. Secretary of State, in the 2009 BBC anti-war feature film In The Loop, and WWII era socialite Ruth Sloan on ABC's Emmy Award Winning series Homefront. Television audiences perhaps know her best as Abby, Dharma's hippie mom from the long-running ABC sitcom, Dharma and Greg.
Mimi's many film credits also feature a diverse range of characters including: Christian Slater's mother in Pump Up The Volume; Laura Ambrosino, cancer plaintiff in Oscar-winning Erin Brockovish; as well as roles in Buddy, directed by Caroline Thompson; Man In The Chair with Christopher Plummer, directed by Michael Schroeder; Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris; and her most recent scene stealing role in Judd Apatow's Five Year Engagement as Jason Segel's mother.
Kennedy's memoir, Taken to the Stage; The Education of an Actress (1996) received literary critic praise for its candid and amusing writing style. The book is a recommended 'must read' for anyone interested in becoming an actor. She has written and performed a one-woman play about Matilda Joslyn Gage, 19th century suffragist and visionary, and will soon publish a serial novel about three daughters of privilege coming of age in the late American 20th century.
Equally important in Mimi's life is the part she takes in political and social activism, an interest sparked in childhood when she chanced on a copy of Anne Frank's Diary and Life Magazine photos of WWII Holocaust horrors. She is passionate about social justice, nonviolent conflict resolution, election integrity issues, and a healthier population and environment. She has marched against the Viet Nam war and Reagan's wars in Central America, written checks to World Federalists Society, and volunteered for Office of the Americas, a peace and justice organization based in LA.
In 2000, Mimi began studying nonviolence with Reverend James Lawson, whom Martin Luther King dubbed 'The Teacher' during their work in the 1960s civil rights struggle. In 2004 she joined Dennis Kucinich's presidential primary campaign because it was the only one emphasizing opposition to the War in Iraq and nonviolence as an organizing principle for American foreign policy.
At the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, fellow Kucinich supporter Tim Carpenter asked her to become volunteer Advisory Board Chair of a new organization, Progressive Democrats of America. She remains in that position today. Mimi has become a leading activist on restoring democracy, ending election fraud capacity of digital black box voting, re-instituting paper ballots, and ending schemes of voter suppression.
Mimi Kennedy is a woman who is not afraid to share her ideas or her views and believes citizens in a democracy have a responsibility to contribute sincerely to the public discourse. "Violence, intentional cruelty as revenge and dominion, dooms all of us, physically and spiritually.
That's what drives my activism, the urge to educate, and be educated, about those who still do not share the wealth and peace in which I live. If people are suffering, I want to know, so I can help if I can."
For her unstinting commitment to the advancement of non-violent causes and education Mimi Kennedy is the recipient of TheWIFTS Foundation 2012 Dove Peace Award.