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She Played Mimi on "The Drew Carey Show." See Kathy Kinney Now at 67.

The actor portrayed Drew's office nemesis for nine seasons.

She was on a long-running, popular sitcom from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, but Kathy Kinney, who played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show, could still walk down the street without being recognized. Her character was the annoying secretary with the over-the-top makeup and loud wardrobe who made Drew's life more difficult on the show. Meanwhile, Kinney's real-life look is far different—she's usually not one for any makeup, let alone bright, blue eyeshadow—but she and Mimi grew to have something in common.

And while Kinney is best known for playing Mimi, she's taken on many other roles over the years. She's still acting today, alongside pursuing other projects. Read on to learn more about the sitcom star and what she's doing now.

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She still appears on the small screen pretty frequently.

Drew Carey, Kathy Kinney, and other cast members dancing on "The Drew Carey Show"
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Kinney starred on The Drew Carey Show from 1995 to 2004. The show lasted for over 200 episodes, so it's no surprise that Mimi is still the role she's best known for. Prior to being on the series, Kinney had acted in movies and on TV, including in the films Scrooged and This Boy's Life and in a recurring role on the sitcom Newhart. Following The Drew Carey Show, she has played roles in My Name Is Earl, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and most recently, American Housewife and Stumptown.

She started a website for children.

Kathy Kinney at the Best in Drag Show benefitting Aid for AIDS in 2018
David Livingston/Getty Images

Kinney co-created the website Mrs. P in 2008. It allows children to experience story time online, as Kinney reads classic stories in character as an Irish woman named Mrs. P.

" was created with the goal of giving kids the wonderful experience of having a trusted, skilled storyteller read them classics of literature," the website reads. "Rather than simply presenting an audiobook, Mrs. P recreates the look and feel of 'story time,' a magical ritual many kids might not otherwise get to enjoy."

"My God, it's so much fun," Kinney told the Las Vegas Sun in 2009. "So much fun."

She's co-written three books.

Cindy Ratzlaff and Kathy Kinney with their book at the 2014 Texas Conference For Women
Rick Kern/Getty Images for Texas Conference for Women

Kinney and her friend and writing partner, Cindy Ratzlaff, have worked together on a few self-help books, including Queen of Your Own Life: The Grown-Up Woman's Guide to Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life You Deserve. In addition, they've released similarly themed calendars and inspirational cards.

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She learned something major from Mimi.

Kathy Kinney at 2019 Best in Drag benefitting Aid for AIDS
Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

In an interview with Parade in 2018, Kinney explained that Mimi's confidence rubbed off on her.

"It was about me playing this woman who had the biggest, best self-esteem in the world, you know," Kinney said. "And the space between who I really was and who Mimi the character was, became much smaller until we sort of merged. Now, I don't wear blue eyeshadow—in fact, I'm really happy to not wear any makeup at all anymore. But I think, you know, everybody should be allowed or given the gift to play someone as vivid as her, because it certainly changed my life for the better."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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