Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Happened To The Actress Who Played Mary Patrick In Sister Act?

With Sister Act 3 in the works, it's a perfect time to take a look at the original. Whoopi Goldberg's 1992 comedy classic tells the story of Deloris Wilson (Goldberg), a lounge singer who ends up in a convent as part of her witness protection deal, and affects the nuns' life at least as much as they affect hers.

It's hard to name the absolute highlight in a movie that's so full of comedic delights, but the joyful, excitable Sister Mary Patrick is doubtlessly one of Sister Act's highest points. A reliable scene stealer in a movie full of them, the actress behind this bubbly nun easily holds her own against acting powerhouses like Goldberg and Maggie Smith (who plays the Reverend Mother). As such, you'd think she went on to have a pretty impressive career. Or did she? The thing is, just like the movie suggests, the habit can be a heck of a disguise — so even if you've seen her in other movies or shows, it might be difficult to recognize her as the same person. With that in mind, let's see what happened to the actress who played Mary Patrick in Sister Act.

Kathy Najimy put a spell on you as Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus

Yes, Kathy Najimy has indeed had a pretty sweet Hollywood career. She has starred in countless movies and shows, and has an outstanding voice acting resume to complement her live-action performances. 

The early 1990s were quite good for Najimy. Apart from Sister Act, its 1993 sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and numerous other roles, she appeared in the esteemed Halloween cult classic Hocus Pocus as Mary, one of the nefarious Sanderson witch sisters who are inadvertently resurrected after 300 years. 

Hocus Pocus may not be what you'd call Oscar bait, but its stellar cast, and enjoyable blend of horror, music, and goofiness have endeared it to the audiences over time. In fact, just like Najimy's other masterpiece of this era (Sister Act, obviously), Hocus Pocus has a sequel in the works, and it looks like Najimy, Bette Midler (who plays Winifred Sanderson) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson) will be back on the broomstick. 

Kathy Najimy voiced Peggy Hill on King of the Hill

You have never seen Kathy Najimy in what's possibly her best known role, and certainly the most long-running one. However, you have quite likely heard her exclaim "Ho yeah!" a good few times. In 1997, Najimy started voicing Peggy Hill, the long-suffering wife of Hank Hill (series creator Mike Judge), the world's favorite propane salesman from Arlen, Texas. King of the Hill became one of TV's most enduring animated shows, and by the time it ended, Najimy had provided Peggy's vocals in 258 episodes over 13 seasons. 

At a glance, Peggy might seem like a stern housewife character of the Marge Simpson variety, but she holds a variety of jobs over the course of the series, and her unique combination of arrogance, ignorance, and genuine goodwill make her an extremely fully-realized character that's brought to vibrant life by Najimy's vocal talents. In an interview with Movie Web, Najimy stated that Peggy's characteristic tendency to spout absurd misinformation as fact is very much rooted on reality. "Haven't you met so many people, you're at a party and you're discussing something and they add a bit of information and everybody is so completely aware that it's wrong?" she said, describing the many real-life Peggys out there. 

She also praised the Hills for being able to function as a stable and respectful family despite their constant scuffles. "I have learned, actually, quite a bit from [Peggy]. I've learned that a family can have little glitches without being labeled dysfunctional. Just watching it and being a part of the Hill family, they get into these little scuffles and they make wrong decisions and then the next moment they're all sitting around the table eating pork chops like nothing ever happened."

Kathy Najimy was Wendy Keegan on Veep

In 2014, Najimy brought her considerable talents to HBO's political comedy Veep. She enters the scene as Wendy Keegan, a fashion reporter who becomes involved with Selina Meyer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) Director of Communications Mike McLintock and eventually marries him. 

Wendy is a recurring character on the show, appearing in a total of 12 episodes over four seasons. As Najimy told TV Insider, she found being part of the highly esteemed show quite fascinating. "This project seemed to really pierce the zeitgeist in terms of really getting everyone's attention and getting such a rabid audience so quickly — so many awards, so many accolades, it was interesting just to watch the train," the actress said of the experience. "Obviously [it had] Julia leading the pack and a really great cast and writers, and I know America was really ready for this series, so it was interesting to be a part of it."

Kathy Najimy is a longtime activist

Kathy Najimy has amassed a truly impressive acting CV over three decades, but she has also kept herself quite busy on other fronts. As her official website reveals, Najimy is a longtime activist who has collaborated with a vast number of organizations, and has received a number of honors, including (but not limited to) the PETA Humanitarian of the Year award, the LA Gay and Lesbian Center's Distinguished Achievement award, and the L.A. Shanti's Founder award. She has also appeared in various game shows and celebrity poker tournaments to raise money for charitable organizations.

Najimy is also politically active. She's particularly close with the Clinton family, and as the Iowa City Press-Citizen tells us, she's been involved in their campaigns since 1992. In 2016, she even toured the U.S. as Hillary Clinton's surrogate speaker. Najimy has also noted that she's not defined by her acting profession, and has called herself "a person concerned with humanity."