- Birth name:
- Madeline Gail Wolfson
- Date of Birth:
- 3 December 1942 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- 5' 3" (1.60 m)
Madeline Kahn was born on September 29, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera singer and starred in several campus productions, ultimately earning a doctorate in her chosen field. Her finest years came in Paper Moon (1973) with Ryan O'Neal, which was followed the next year by Mel Brooks's outrageous Blazing Saddles (1974) as Lili Von Shtupp, a cabaret singer who was obviously based on Marlene Dietrich's performance in Destry Rides Again (1939). She was so delightful in both that Madeline was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in both movies. In 1998, Madeline lent her voice to Gypsy in the wildly popular animated film A Bug's Life (1998). Tragically, on December 3, 1999, Madeline died of ovarian cancer in New York, a disease from which she suffered for about a year while she was a cast member of "Cosby" (1996). The accomplished stage and screen actress was just 57.