continued She’d been cast in a play called “The Life of Davy Crockett.” She played the role of a bear.
In 1990, the redheaded funny girl made her television debut on “The Golden Girls” before joining the ensemble at “Saturday Night Live.” She remained with NBC-TV’s high-profile comedy show for 20 episodes, but found the environment highly competitive.
She appeared in “Seinfeld” as Elaine’s trashy roommate, Tina, and was then cast in the 1994 film “The Paper” starring Glenn Close. The older actress showed Siobhan how much film work differed from TV and stage.
“Film is acting under a microscope,” she said. “The camera picks up everything.”
That same year director Bob Zemeckis hired Siobhan to portray a chain-smoking school bus driver in “Forrest Gump.” It was a small role that opened big doors. Now, some 20 years later, she’s hailed as one of Hollywood’s best character actresses.
Siobhan played the wife of an alien in “Men in Black,” an eccentric secretary in “The Bounty Hunter,” a sympathetic corrections officer in “Dancer in the Dark” and a baby-talking birthing instructor in “Baby Mama.” She said she especially enjoyed portraying the podunk Minnesotan Blanche Gunderson in “New in Town” and relished the chance to travel to Australia to make “Charlotte’s Web.”
“The great thing about being an actor is that you can hide behind your character,” she said. "But tonight I’m not a character. I’m me.”
Russ Tarby is an Eagle Newspapers contributor. He can be reached through the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.