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"America's First Hearing Impaired
Actress, Motivational Speaker, Humanitarian
Kathy Buckley is a four-time (1995-98) American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. In June of 1998, her highly acclaimed autobiographical hit theater play, "Don't Buck With Me! - A One Woman Show and Tale," enjoyed a three month return Los Angeles engagement at the prestigious Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood, California.
"Don't Buck With Me!" first opened in February of 1997 at the Hollywood's legendary Tamarind Theater. Following a run there, which began as four weeks and ended after four months, both Kathy and the production were recipients of a Los Angeles Theater Ovation Award for Best Writing of a World Premiere Play or Musical; Drama-Logue Award for Best Writing and Best Performance; and the Los Angeles entertainment industry's coveted Media Access Award as Best Play of the Year. The project, chronicling the comedienne's extraordinary life, was directed by veteran comedy television director Sue Wolf, and marked Ms. Buckley's theatrical stage debut as an actress, writer, and producer. As a result of the success of "Don't Buck With Me!", Kathy's unlimited talents were recognized by the producers of the hit CBS television series, "Touched by an Angel," on which she made her guest starring debut as a television actress in October of 1998.
Success, however, in the theater or any other medium, was far from mind the first time Kathy stood the world of comedy on its ear. On a dare from a friend, she entered a comedy contest called, "Stand-up Comic Take a Stand," in 1988. She was nervous. Not because it was her first time performing comedy on a stage, or even the fact that she couldn't hear the audience response except by vibration from the stage floor. What made her nervous was discovering that she was competing against comedians who had been in the business for years.
But, Kathy forged ahead, easily winning fourth place, and soon began touring the U.S., playing major comedy venues like Caroline's (New York City), Catch a Rising Star (Las Vegas, Reno), The Improv (West Hollywood), The Ice House (Pasadena), The Comedy Store (Hollywood), The Laugh Factory (Hollywood), and many others. In record time, she became one of the most popular comediennes in the country with material based on, among others things, her hearing loss. That impairment, however, is only one of the many hurdles Kathy has encountered in her life. Her poor performance in second grade landed her in a school for retarded and physically impaired children. It took school administrators, psychologists, and audiologists nearly a year to discover it was just a hearing loss and not a lack of mental acuity that was impeding her speech and language development. Today, Kathy shakes her head as she quips to amazed audiences, "... And they called me slow?"
During her late teens, Kathy's life was interrupted
when she was run over by a jeep while sunbathing on a beach. As a
result, she experienced intermitted paralysis in her legs. Her recovery
took almost five years. Then, just six years later, she was diagnosed
with cervical cancer.
Undaunted, she has turned roadblocks into springboards, using her personal experience as launching pads for humor and the education of others.
In 1992, she was selected from among hundreds of performers to showcase her talents at The National Association for Campus Activities Convention. That appearance made her a favorite of the college campus circuit.
Kathy's popular appeal, unique persona, and refreshing sense of humor also attracted the attention of high profile comedy television shows, entertainment news programs, and talk shows. She has been a guest on "The Tonight Show - Starring Jay Leno" and "The Howard Stern Show." She has been featured in various national magazines including People as one of their most touching stories of 1997, and profiled in depth on the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning," "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra," "Inside Edition," "Turner Entertainment Report," "CNN'S Show Biz Today," "Real Life," "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee," "Phil Donahue," "Leeza," "Dr. Ruth's Never Too Late," "Caryl & Marilyn," "Geraldo," "Mike & Maty," "Crook & Chase," "The Tom Snyder Show," and the "KTLA Morning News."
She has appeared on "Stand-Up Spotlight"
(VH-1), "Comic Strip Live" (FOX), "Evening at the Improv"
(A&E), and "Caroline's Comedy Hour" (A&E), to name
just a few. She also served as celebrity guest host for Fox Television
Special, "Smart Kids," and made a cameo appearance in the ABC
Television Movie of the Week, "Breaking Free." She was
featured in the HBO Television Special, "Women of the Night,"
shot on location at the U.S. Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and was
included in the E! Entertainment Television Special, "The World's
Most Intriguing Women."
In one of her many special projects, Kathy was the focus of "I Can Hear the Laughter," a 1991 Emmy award-winning documentary, and although she regularly receives national media attention, Kathy Buckley is more than just a popular comic. Her humor has a higher purpose. "My comedy disarms people," says Kathy. "I love to make people laugh, but I love it even more if I can teach them something at the same time."
She backs her philosophy by tirelessly performing on behalf of nonprofit and educational organizations such as The MDA Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, Children's Hospitals, and the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, and numerous other causes.
Recently, Kathy was Mistress of Ceremonies at a
Permanent Charities annual fundraising gala featuring Quincy Jones,
Warren Beatty, and Chevy Chase. She has appeared in benefits with Bob
Hope, Nannette Fabray, Donald O'Connor, Phyllis
Diller, and Robert
Guillaume for The House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, the Alexander
Graham Bell Awards with Charlton Heston, and some of the most
prestigious theaters in the country, including the John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., the Flint Center for
the Performing Arts in Northern California, and the Wiltern Theater in
Among her many honors, Kathy Buckley has received the 1998 Woman of The Year Award from the Oralingua School for the Hearing Impaired, 1997 American Hero Award from the City of Hope as their role model of the year, the 1996 Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, the 1991 Dole Foundation Media Awareness Award for her dedication to all people with disabilities, the National Council on Communicative Disorders Individual Achievement Award, and the Hear Now Hear America Hear award for her commitment to children.
She was also recognized by the U.S. Air Force and U.S.
Army for outstanding efforts toward disability employment awareness.
She is a key motivational speaker for Anthony Robbins' Life Mastery Classes and works to entertain and enlighten people of all ages, but her heart belongs to children. "Every child deserves to have a real childhood," Kathy asserts. "And they should have healthy role models to show them that people do care about them deeply."
Whether performing in a comedy club, guesting on television, speaking publicly, teaching at camps for the deaf, or appearing in any number of other settings, Kathy Buckley bears her message that anything can be achieved when the heart and the mind work together.
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