Joan Mary Cusack (born October 11, 1962 in New York City, New York) is an American comedy actress, known for a wide variety of roles spanning a career over thirty years. Often plays the Plucky Girl, and frequently appears alongside her brother, John Cusack.
Like Robert Downey Jr.., Anthony Michael Hall, and Randy Quaid, Cusack was a Hollywood actor who was a cast member during Saturday Night Live's 11th season in 1985, which was met with such negative reviews and weak ratings that NBC threatened to cancel the show (instead, Lorne Michaels just fired her and everyone elsenote , except for Jon Lovitz, Nora Dunn, Dennis Miller, Al Franken, and A. Whitney Brown). Cusack's only recurring character was Selina, an awkward girl who was in love with a mentally-challenged man named Biff (Jon Lovitz) and her celebrity impressions included Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields (with token male homosexual cast member Terry Sweeney as Brooke's mother, Teri), and Queen Elizabeth. Cusack also appeared on Weekend Update desk as a movie critic in March 1986 to argue that Sydney Pollack's film Out of Africa wasn't funny, citing Midnight Cowboy as a much more successful comedy. It should also be noted that Cusack's birth date of October 11th is also the day that Saturday Night Live premiered in 1975 (Cusack was born in 1962, meaning she would have been 13 years old when the show first came on).
- Saturday Night Live: Cast regular 1985-1986.
- Broadcast News (1987): Blair
- Married to the Mob (1988): Rose
- Working Girl (1988): Cyn
- Say Anything... (1989): Constance
- My Blue Heaven (1990): Hannah
- Toys (1992): Alsatia
- Addams Family Values (1993): Debbie
- Grosse Pointe Blank (1997): Marcella
- In & Out (1997): Emily
- Arlington Road (1999): Cheryl
- Runaway Bride (1999): Peggy
- Toy Story franchise (1999 — present): Jessie (voice)
- High Fidelity (2000): Liz
- Where the Heart Is (2000): Ruth
- School of Rock (2003): Ms. Mullins
- Raising Helen (2004): Jenny
- Chicken Little (2005): Abby (voice)
- Friends with Money (2006): Franny
- War, Inc. (2008): Marsha Dillon
- Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009): Jane
- My Sister's Keeper (2009): Judge De Salvo
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012): Dr. Burton
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016): Tilly
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Justice Strauss
- Klaus (2019): Mrs. Krum
- Let It Snow: The Tin Foil Woman
Some tropes associated with her work include:
- The '80s: She appeared in many comedies of the decade, including her short-lived stint as a Saturday Night Live cast member.