Nora Eloise Dunn is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member on the NBC sketch variety TV series Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990.
Dunn was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Margaret (née East), a nurse, and John Dunn, a musician and poet. Her brother is actor Kevin Dunn. She was raised in a Catholic family, and has Irish, English, Scottish, and German ancestry. Dunn attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1970 to 1972, San Francisco City College, and the Academy of Fine Arts.
Dunn joined SNL in 1985 with the return of Lorne Michaels as executive producer. The 1985–1986 season proved to be a ratings disaster, and she was one of only five cast members who were not fired at its end (the others were newcomers Jon Lovitz, A. Whitney Brown, Dennis Miller and longtime featured player Al Franken).
Dunn’s characters included half of “The Sweeney Sisters” lounge act alongside Jan Hooks, as well as talk show host Pat Stevens (which became a popular recurring role starting in the low-rated 1985–1986 season), melodramatic French hooker Babette, and film buff Ashley Ashley from the “Actors on Film” sketch from the 1985–1986 season. Her impressions included Ann Landers, Imelda Marcos, Liza Minnelli, Tyne Daly, Joan Baez, Martina Navratilova, and Cokie Roberts.
Dunn made headlines in 1990 when she, along with original musical guest Sinéad O’Connor, boycotted an episode which was hosted by comedian Andrew Dice Clay because they found his misogynistic humor offensive
Dunn married Ray Hutcherson, a playwright, in September 1987. The couple divorced in 1995. In 1998 Dunn married Sean McGarry, a set builder. The couple divorced in 2000.