Julia Duffy brings a marvelously astringent sense of humor and a trademark comic timing to the role of Frances Harmon, headmistress of Woodridge, a financially and ethnically-diverse co-ed boarding school in New York City, in UPN's new half-hour comedy, Social Studies. Frances, who attended Woodridge as a girl and was brought up to be rich and genteel, now must work for a living. She resists change and tries her best to pretend Woodridge is still the same as it was when she was a student there.
Duffy's knockout comic performance as Stephanie, the self-infatuated preppy college student/maid, for seven seasons on the landmark comedy series Newhart, won her seven Emmy nominations, three Viewers for Quality Television awards, five American Comedy Award nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, and the devoted following of legions of fans.
Duffy began her professional career in her hometown of Minneapolis at the Old Globe Theatre. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she won popular acclaim as the character of Penny on the evergreen soap opera, The Doctors. She also honed her skills on stage in regional theater, appearing in such productionas "Three Sisters," "The Enchanted" at the Kennedy Center, and the acclaimed revival of "Once in a Lifetime" on Broadway.
Among her numerous television credits are the starring role of Juliet in the PBS production of Romeo and Juliet, the blockbuster miniseries The Blue and The Gray, Children in the Crossfire, The Covergirl and The Cop, Menu for Murder and Sooner or Later. Some of her other television series credits include Wizards and Warriors, Baby Talk, and Designing Women.
Duffy lives in Malibu with her husband, actor and writer Jerry Lacy, and their two children, Kerry and Danny.
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