She’s the Mistress of Mimicry who’s capable of convincing even Judi Dench herself that she’s really actually a foul-mouthed malfeasant. And now, actress and impersonator extraordinaire Tracey Ullman stands ready to celebrate a very special milestone.
Happy Birthday, Tracey Ullman!
And that’s because she was born on December 30, 1959, in Slough, England, which means that this thoroughly talented lady is turning 61 years old today! Ullman’s earliest successes resulted from the sketch comedy show A Kick Up the Eighties (1981) and her creation of the series Three of A Kind (1981-1983).
After a brief, though highly profitable and acclaimed stint as a singer, including her cover of Kirsty MacColl’s They Don’t Know, which peaked at Number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, Ullman returned to the acting profession and dazzled with her portrayal of Candice Valentine, a trampy fantasist in the comedy show Girls on Top – which also starred comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous).
Upon emigrating from the United Kingdom to the U.S., Ullman starred in her own television comedy series – aptly titled The Tracey Ullman Show. The “skitcom” ran from 1987 to 1990, netted Ullman three Primetime Emmy Awards, and famously begat the animated spinoff series The Simpsons.
Afterward, Ullman created, produced, and starred in the HBO sketch comedy series Tracey Takes On… (1996-1999), and likewise shepherded Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union (2008-2010) on the Showtime network. In 2016, she returned to her old stomping grounds – Britain’s BBC studios – where she created both Tracey Ullman’s Show (2016-2018) and Tracey Breaks the News (2017-2018).
In addition to her extensive TV credits, Ullman also appeared in a number of feature films. Her motion picture debut came courtesy of Peter Webb’s Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), and her first starring role was in the 1990 picture I Love You to Death.
Ullman’s second flick was the 1985 Meryl Streep vehicle Plenty. Seven years later, the two would reunite in the horror-comedy Death Becomes Her – which also starred Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn. However, all of Ullman’s scenes were cut from the finished project thanks to a decision to end it on a more dark and “risky” note.
Her other film endeavors include small parts in Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993), and Bullets over Broadway (1994), as well as central roles in Small Time Crooks (2000) and A Dirty Shame (2004). Her voice work includes Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005) and The Tale of Despereaux (2008).
Ruth Patchett in She-Devil (1989), Betty Rubble in The Flintstones (1994), and Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games top the list of the many characters that Ullman came close to playing. The former would have served as Ullman and Streep’s second collaboration had Roseanne Barr not ultimately been cast. Entertainment Hub would like to wish Tracey Ullman a very happy birthday.