See Kate & Allie Now, at 75 and 74
Susan Saint James and Jane Curtin played the titular best friends on the groundbreaking sitcom.
Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James first worked together on the 1980 film How to Beat the High Cost of Living, but it wasn't until a few years later that they would take on the roles that would forever link them in the minds of millions of television viewers. From 1985 to 1989, the duo played the titular best friends and housemates on the classic sitcom Kate & Allie, the ahead-of-its-time story of two divorced single mothers who decide to move in together to raise their kids rather than finding new husbands.
After the show ended, however, their careers took very different paths. Curtin went on to another beloved TV series, while Saint James retired from acting altogether. Keep reading to learn what they've been doing in the years since the show ended.
Curtin went on to another successful sitcom.
After Kate & Allie ended, Curtin moved on to the NBC sitcom Work It Out, created by Bill Persky, who had directed more than 100 episodes her previous sitcom. The show premiered in August 1990 but was canceled after 13 episodes.
Then, after reprising her most famous Saturday Night Live character in the 1993 big-screen version of Coneheads, Curtin next found success on a television show about aliens pretending to be human, starring as Mary Albright, the rival and love interest to the extraterrestrial Dick Solomon (John Lithgow) on the hit ABC sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun. Curtin appeared in all six seasons of the series, which ran from 1996 to 2001.
Later, Curtin co-starred as Fred Savage's mother in the quickly canceled 2006 sitcom Crumbs, was a regular for three seasons on the CBS police procedural Unforgettable from 2011 to 2014, and starred in the 2020 ABC sitcom United We Fall, which was canceled after one eight-episode season. She has also guest-starred on series including Broad City, The Good Wife, The Good Fight, and The Librarians.
At the movies, Curtin has appeared in The Shaggy Dog; I Love You, Man; The Heat; and Can You Ever Forgive Me? She has often played the mother of a younger comedy star, like Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy.
Saint James mostly retired from acting after Kate & Allie.
Though she had a long resume of television and film appearances prior to starring on Kate & Allie, including multi-season stints on The Name of the Game and McMillan and Wife, Saint James decided to retire after the series ended to focus on her family and her five children and has acted only sporadically in the years since.
Her rare credits include single-episode guest appearances on the one-season NBC sitcom Tattingers in 1989, The Drew Carey Show (co-starring her niece, Christa Miller) in 1996, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2006, and Suits in 2011.
Saint James' life was rocked by a terrible tragedy.
Saint James has been married three times. She had two children with her second husband, makeup artist Thomas Lucas, whom she married in 1971: a daughter, Sunshine, born in 1972; and a son, Harmony, born in 1974. Saint James and Lucas divorced in 1977.
In 1981, Saint James married Dick Ebersol, a television executive who was a producer on Saturday Night Live at the time. They had three sons: Charles, William, and Edward (Teddy). Tragically, in 2004, Ebersol, Charles, and Teddy were involved in a terrible accident when the private plane they were passengers in crashed during takeoff from an airport in Colorado. Teddy, then 14, died, as did the pilot and a flight attendant.
The family was devastated by the death. Two years later, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, as quote by CBS News, Saint James admitted that she hadn't been able to touch her late son's things since the accident. Over the years, however, the actor was able to find some degree of peace with the loss.
"I had to find a way to live with [it]," she told Yahoo News! In 2015. "You have to find a way to make it, to own it, not to walk around it and pretend it didn't happen. Sometimes Dick and I are sitting there and one or the other will just burst into tears, or the kids call and say that they're so sad. And you go, 'Oh my God, I feel cheated, I've been robbed.' But for the most part everybody just owns it and we accept it."
Curtin has been happily married for 47 years.
Saint James has been married for 41 years, but Curtin has her beat: She married her husband, television producer Patrick Lynch, in 1975. The couple have one daughter, Tess Lynch, born in 1983.
A long marriage isn't usually thought of as the norm for Hollywood couples, but Curtin's stable relationship actually served as an inspiration to her late Saturday Night Live co-star Gilda Radner, who once asked to observe Curtin and her husband to see what a "normal" relationship looked like. "[Radner] just wanted to see what it was like…Just to live," Curtin told The New Yorker in 2019. "And she sat on the sofa. And we went about our business. She wanted a relationship so badly, and she didn't like being alone. She just didn't know how you could be in a relationship with somebody if you didn't work at it all the time."
Radner did later end up marrying Gene Wilder; they were together until her death in 1989.
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They reunited with the rest of the Kate & Allie cast just last year.
More than 30 years after they played best friends on Kate & Allie, Curtin and Saint James joined other members of the cast to participate in a livestream reunion for charity in 2021. During the virtual event, they shared stories of the genuine warmth and affection everyone working on the series had for one another.
Curtin, meanwhile, is still acting, and recently starred in the film Queen Bees, described favorably in The New York Times as "Mean Girls on social security."
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