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Date of Birth: 23 July 1953
Place of Birth: El Paso, Texas, USA
Birth Name: Lydia Korniloff
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
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Lydia Cornell (born July 23, 1962) is an American actress, writer, novelist, comedienne, blogger, and talk-radio host.
Early life and acting career
Born in El Paso, Texas, Cornell began acting in the early 1980s. Her first role was as Ted Knight's daughter Sara on the ABC television situation comedy Too Close for Comfort from 1980 to 1985. She has also appeared on numerous television programs over the years, including The Drew Carey Show, Quantum Leap, Full House, Knight Rider, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, T.J. Hooker, Simon & Simon, Hunter, Hardball, Black Scorpion, Love Boat (5 episodes), Hotel (2 episodes), Fantasy Island, Charlies Angels, Battle of the Network Stars, ABC's Bloopers, and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve as co-host with Anson Williams. She also co-starred with Oscar winners James Earl Jones, Jose Ferrer and Lila Kedrova in the horror film Blood Tide filmed in the Greek Isles and produced by Niko Mastorakis and Donald Langdon.
In 2005, she appeared on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. She is creating original comedy programming, inspirational talk shows and live broadcasts for her own channel (Channel 12) on the new network. Cornell was a Best Actress nominee at Method Fest, which honors outstanding acting performances, for her leading role in the AFI indie "Miss Supreme Queen."
As part of a USO trip, Cornell went to Beirut, Lebanon, to a war zone, to visit American troops in the Multinational Peacekeeping Force Christmas Eve 1982. She visited the Marines in underground bunkers as well as sailors and naval officers aboard the USS Sumnter, USS Shreveport and USS Inchon. Shortly after their departure from Beirut, over 250 Marines of the 24th MAU were killed there in one of the first suicide bombings. A truck entered the barracks as the troops slept, killing them all.
Literary and journalistic career
Cornell's self-titled blog was a 2006 and 2005 Koufax Award double nominee for best writing, and is "a consistently thought-provoking firecracker of pointed socio-political commentary and observant, caustic wit." (Shotgun Reviews.) John Conley, a Marine combat vet, sent her his Purple Heart for her courage in standing up to Ann Coulter's "extermination speak", and about the war in Iraq.
Cornell is a monologuist and comedienne, and performs stand-up comedy with friend Destiny (The Tonight Show, MTV, VH-1.) The duo did 14 shows at the Riviera Las Vegas in June 2006. In November, they opened for Paul Rodriguez at Pechanga, and for The Amazing Johnathan at The Sahara in Las Vegas. Cornell is known as a humorist and "spiritual therapy comedienne."
Cornell recently starred in an original comedy show in Hollywood with Destiny and Stephanie Hodge titled "Pain is Inevitable, Sex Optional." It is an ongoing comedy about marriage,sex, men, love, death and politics as told by three women.
The first in a series of new books will be out in 2010. Cornell has written books on Stalin and the Trotsky assassination, several comedies, theater pieces and films — including the black comedy "Venus Conspiracy", which she wrote and co-starred in with Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who co-starred with her as her character's sister in Too Close for Comfort.
Cornell, whose humor writing is often described as a cross between David Sedaris and Anne Lamott, has several other books awaiting publication. Her editorial Bush's Last Will & Testicle was published in a Macon, Georgia newspaper Macon Area Online the Lone Star Iconoclast, and several newspapers across the nation. Her article "Death is Sexier than Sex...to Ann Coulter" was published by BradBlog in December 2005 causing an uproar when Coulter published Cornell's home phone number and private email on the front page of her website, Ann Coulter.com. Cornell received death threats, hate mail, but mainly she received hundreds of letters and calls in support of her statements. The story was subsequently picked up by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann; Editor & Publisher, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, CannonFire, and numerous online news sources.
On Saturday, February 24, 2007, Basham Radio introduced Cornell as its new co-host. Basham and Cornell Radio
- Has written a novel.
- Her great-great-great-grandmother was Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin.".
- Has a son named Jack (born 1994), whom she credits with ending her alcoholism.
- Recovering alcoholic who had her last drink in 1994.
- Struggled with an eating disorder (may have been anorexic during her time as "Sarah Rush" on "Too Close for Comfort" (1980) from 1980-1985).
- Measurements: 36C-24-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
- Older sister of Kathryn Korniloff.