Ann Risley bigraphy, stories - Comedians

Ann Risley : biography

September 30, 1949 -

Anna "Ann" Risley (b. September 30, 1949, Madison, Wisconsin) is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member of the TV series Saturday Night Live for the 12 episodes of the 1980–1981 season. These 12 broadcasts were the first episodes after producer Lorne Michaels left the show. She is a member of SAG, AFTRA, Equity, and an independent actor's equity.

Risley was cast by Jean Doumanian, who had previously been the show's guest-booker, then associate producer. After 12 episodes, Doumanian was let go, as was Gilbert Gottfried, Charles Rocket, and Risley. Season Six went on for only one more episode under a new producer, Dick Ebersol, due to a writer's strike. Ebersol fired Denny Dillon, Yvonne Hudson & Gail Matthius, who co-starred with Risley, after that episode as part of a multi-stage overhaul of the show's cast and crew. Joe Piscopo & Eddie Murphy were the only surviving cast members from that season. In a 1999 article in People, Risley was quoted as saying her SNL experience was "horrible."

Prior to (and after) Saturday Night Live, Risley had roles in nine feature films, including Stardust Memories and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. She appeared in starring roles in two television pilots, Off Campus and Night After Night, was a five-week guest star on the daytime soap The Doctors, and appeared in five made-for-TV movies, including The Young Riders and Telling Secrets. No longer a screen actor, Ann (who now goes by the name of Anna) continues to run her own acting/improv studio in Tucson, Arizona.

Movies for television

  • Telling Secrets – Sally DeVries (with Cybil Shepherd) – ABC miniseries (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • Four Eyes and Six-Guns – Madame of Whore House (with Patricia Clarkson) – TNT film (Tucson, AZ)
  • El Diablo – Judith – HBO film (Tucson, AZ)
  • Sunstroke – Secretary – TNT film (Phoenix, AZ)


  • Saturday Night Live (one year) – Cast member – 1980-81 Season, NBC (N.Y.C.)
  • Off Campus (sitcom pilot) – Bonnie (starring role) – CBS (N.Y.C.)
  • Night After Night (sitcom pilot) – Anne (starring role) – MTM/CBS (L.A.)
  • The Doctors (soap, 5 wk guest star) – Hermione (with Alec Baldwin) – NBC (N.Y.C.)
  • The Young Riders (3 episodes) – Clerk/Wife (with Josh Brolin) – ABC series (Tucson, AZ)


  • Come Back to the Five and Dime – Martha, also S/B Karen Black, Sandy Dennis – Broadway (N.Y.C.)
  • A Little Family Business – role of Connie (Angela Lansbury's daughter) – Ahmanson Theatre (L.A.) and Broadway (N.Y.C.)
  • A History of the American Film – S/B all 4 female leads – Arena Stage (Wash. DC)
  • Uncommon Women – Rita-Huntington Theatre (Boston, Mass.)
  • Spoon River Anthology – 16 roles – San Francisco Tour (CA)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest – Cecily
  • Private Lives – Amanda
  • The Owl and the Pussycat – Doris
  • Lovers (Winners) – Maggie
  • Same Time Next Year – Doris

(some 30 other plays)

Celebrity impersonations on SNL

  • Doria Reagan, wife of Ron Reagan
  • Toni Tennille
  • Rosalynn Carter


  • BAI – University of Wisconsin – Theatre Communications
  • Various individual workshops in N.Y.C. and San Francisco

Feature film (speaking roles)

  • Annie Hall as Susan (dir. by Woody Allen) (1977)
  • Oliver's Story as Jane (dir. by John Korty) (1978)
  • Manhattan as Mrs. Finch (dir. by Woody Allen) (1979)
  • Simon as Sally (dir. by Marshall Brickman) (1980)
  • Stardust Memories as Nurse (dir. by Woody Allen) (1980)
  • Honky Tonk Freeway as Patricia (dir. by John Schlesinger) (1981)
  • Rich and Famous as Merideth (dir. by George Cukor) (1981)
  • Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean as Martha (dir. by Robert Altman) (1982)
  • Desert Bloom as Mrs. Muratore (dir. by Eugene Corr) (1986)
Living octopus

Living octopus

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