Cecily Strong

On this date in 1984, actress Cecily Legler Strong was born in Springfield, Ill., to Penelope (Legler) and William Strong, respectively a nurse practitioner and Associated Press bureau chief. She grew up in Oak Park, graduated from high school at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and earned a B.F.A. in theater from the California Institute for the Arts in Santa Clarita.

She worked at a Los Angeles deli and wine shop before returning to Chicago to study and perform with The Second City and iO Chicago improv troupes. Strong debuted as a featured player on “Saturday Night Live” on Sept. 15, 2012. The next season she became a repertory player and co-anchored the recurring Weekend Update segment with Seth Meyers. From 2015-18 she had film roles in “The Female Brain,” a remake of “Ghostbusters,” “The Boss,” “The Bronze” and “The Meddler.”

As of this writing, she is a co-producer and co-star of “Schmigadoon!” It debuted on Apple TV+ in 2021.  She superseded Kate McKinnon by one episode on Dec. 17, 2022, as the longest tenured “SNL” female cast member. 

Strong was in a relationship with comedy writer Mike O’Brien and later with a “mystery” Italian man she met in Spain but she has never married. She headlined the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner at which she joked about bonding with President Obama: “I’d lace up a pair of Jordans, he’d slip on a pair of my mom’s jeans and we would just miss three-pointers until sundown, when, of course, we’d have to stop and pray to Mecca.”

In a 2014 interview with Glamour magazine, she advised playing with dogs as much as possible. “As a kid I had a German shepherd-collie mix named Emma who was the worst-behaved dog in the neighborhood. Her nickname was Emma Goddammit! I believe that dogs’ evolutionary purpose is to provide companionship. Animals offer the best unconditional love.” 

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