Katey Sagal Biography

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Birth Name: Katey Sagal
Born: 01/19/1954
Birth Place: Hollywood, California, USA

Born on Jan. 19, 1954, Sagal was raised in a show business family in Brentwood, CA - her father, Boris Sagal, was a noted film and television director, while her mother, Sara Zwilling, was one of Hollywood's first female assistant directors, as well as a singer and former beauty queen. A singer since she was five years old, Sagal's penchant for performing led her to enroll in the California Institute for the Arts in the fall semester of 1971, where she studied acting and singing until the following June. In 1973, she went on a yearlong tour with a musical production of Shakespeare's "Two Gentleman of Verona," acting and bunking alongside actress and fellow future sitcom mother Joanna Kerns. Meanwhile, Sagal made her official entry into acting with an episode of "Columbo" (NBC, 1971-78) that was directed by her father. Following her television movie debut in "The Dream Makers" (NBC, 1975), Sagal discovered that her mother was in the advanced stages of heart disease and succumbed to the problem that same year.

Soon after her mother passed, Sagal took a job waiting tables at The Great American Food and Beverage Company, where she and four coworkers formed the rock band, The Group with No Name. One fateful night while waiting on a classmate of one of her bandmates, she met KISS bassist Gene Simmons, who introduced the band to music executive Neil Bogart. Bogart signed The Group with No Name to his Casablanca Records imprint, which released its one and only album, Moon Over Brooklyn, in 1976. Though the band failed to last beyond its debut album, Simmons - whom she briefly dated at the time - was impressed enough with Sagal to utilize her backing vocals; first on the "Calling Dr. Love" track from the KISS album Rock and Roll Over, followed by singing background on his self-titled solo album, which was released in 1978 at the peak of KISS fame. That same year, Sagal also found a personal accompaniment to her professional credits with a marriage to bass player Freddie Beckmeyer.

Among the growing list of artists impressed with Sagal's talents were Bob Dylan and Bette Midler. Dylan utilized her vocal abilities for a six week period in 1978 before deciding to let much of his band go just prior to heading out on tour. Around that time, singer and actress Midler, fresh off her performance in the acclaimed feature film "The Rose" (1979), was looking for female vocalists to join her touring backup trio, The Harlettes, for a major international tour. Sagal won one of the three slots, beating out well over 200 possible candidates. She performed on the entire tour which ended in November 1978, but opted not to accompany Midler on her subsequent "Divine Madness" stint. After divorcing Beckmeyer in 1981, Sagal suffered further personal tragedy when her father was killed in a freak accident on the set of "World War III" (NBC, 1982), getting nearly decapitated after walking into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter. Sagal emerged from this dark period to rejoin The Harlettes for Midler's "De Tour," which started in 1982 and carried over into the following year.

Finding a comfortable niche as a backup singer, Sagal managed to do a backing vocal turn on the track "Soda and a Souvenir" from Midler's 1983




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