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Madeline Kahn, Funny, Sexy, Famous Redhead: Biography with Photos and Videos

Updated on March 4, 2019
Madeline Kahn, Kermit the frog - The muppet Show
Madeline Kahn, Kermit the frog - The muppet Show

The beautiful, the lovely, Madeline Kahn, comedienne extraordinaire!  Yes Madeline Kahn is featured in Frieda's Favorite Famous Redheaded Comediennes Series.  One moment with Madeline Kahn, and you will fall in love.  Her talents and personality make her one of the top female comdian celebrities of the 20th century.  Funny does not even begin to describe her.


I have put together in this series a list (by no means complete) of some of the most influential redheaded comediennes in my life. They've made me laugh. They've stuck in my brain. I think of them often. No one can do what they have done in the way that they've done it. I search out movies and shows that they have been in.

Each series will have a line of hubs, each dedicated to a different Frieda's favorite famous comedienne. And each line with have a feed to the rest them and a matching graphic (redhead, brunette, and blonde).

I sincerely hope that all of you enjoye this series as each hub comes out. Let me know if there are any you're looking forward to. Comments always welcome.


Feel free to thumbs up any articles from this series you like! Frieda loves it when you let her know you lover her.

Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn Blazing Saddles
Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn Blazing Saddles
Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein
Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein
Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White in Clue 1985
Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White in Clue 1985
Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton - What's Up Doc
Madeline Kahn, Austin Pendleton - What's Up Doc

Madeline Kahn

The gorgeous, talented, hysterical, Madeline Kahn, stood at a mere 5'3" (or if you're into the metrics system she stood at 1meter60). Yes, she was a rather short woman. She made up for that now though, didn't she! She stands as tall as Mahatma Gandhi, and as we all know he was a pretty big guy.

Her acting and singing skills were phenominal. Indeed she was fantastic at everything she did.

"She is one of the most talented people that ever lived. I mean, either in stand-up comedy, or acting, or whatever you want, you can't beat Madeline Kahn." -Mel Brooks.

Madeline was born on September 9, 1942 at 6:07 pm in Bostom, Massachusettes.

She followed in the footsteps of her mother, Paula Kahn, both persuing acting careers simultaniously.

In 1964 she graduated university with a degree in Speech Therapy. (She had studied drama and music as well.) She used this degree to teach at a public school while she began her stage career. It was during this time that she took on her stage name, Madeline Kahn. Her former name? Madeline Gaile Wolfson. I could see that. Not a bad name, I'd say, but Kahn is a bit more catchy, I suppose.

She began her career in theatre, moved on to film and television, then went back to the stage.

Her film carreer began in 1968 where she acted in a short film entitled De Düva: The Dove From there she went on to her first feature film, What's Up Doc in 1972, followed by her roll in Paper Moon in 1973. Her great success in the several Mel Brooks movies she'd done is perhaps what she is most remembered for; Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (also 1974), and High Anxiety (1977).

Altogether, she appeared in 27 films, including Mixed Nuts(1994), At Long Last Love(1975), History of the World Part I(1981), and Clue(1985). (This includes films in which she had voice over and narrative parts.)

Her television career included her own show in 1983 Oh Madeline.

She also worked with Bill Cosby, appearing on his shows (a fairly permanet position on Cosby). She was also the voice of Mrs. Shapiro, on Cosby's animated series for kids Little Bill.

Madeline Kahn Monologue as Trixie Delight in her second full length film, Paper Moon (1973)

Classic Sesame Street - Grover & Madeline Kahn

Classic Sesame Street: Madeline Kahn counts to 20

Sesame Street - Madeline Kahn - Me

Madeline on Sesame Street

The Muppets and Madeline had an affinity for each other. Madeline's cuteness, comedic nature, ability to have fun with the absurd, made her a natural juxtaposition.

Madeline Kahn appeared on The Muppet Show in 1977. She and Ganzo fell in love.  Miss Piggy fell into a tantrum. 

In 1979, Madeline Kahn starred in The Muppet Movie. 

She would time and again appear on The Muppet Show,

All the while, Sesame Street also became quite enamored of Madeline.   There wasn't a character that didn't get along with her.  Grover loved her.  Kermit loved her.  She helped.  She sang.  She taught.  She made everything better.

Madeline Kahn on The Carol Burnett Show "Family" skit

click here for more on Eunice, or shall I say the infamous Carol Burnett.

Madeline Kahn on her opera career

An opera career? Madeline Kahn? You betcha. In the above video clip, she talks about it. Wow.

Madeline Kahn - Diet Coke Commercial

Madeline Kahn in 1986 Michelob Light Commercial

Madeline Kahn in Commercials

Yes, like many popular actors and actresses, Madeline Kahn represented a product or two.

In the 80's a celecial Madeline Kahn didn't let death keep her from her Diet Coke.

In 1986, a sexy Madeline enjoys a Michelob Light. Why? Because Michelob Light has it all, and so does Madeline.

Madeline Kahn as Eunice in What's Up Doc 1972

Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein

Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein

One of the funniest, cleverest movies of all time is Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder's genious child, Young Frankenstein.

Madeline Kahn as the leading lady could not have been a better choice.

The hysterics she brings to this piece is so unique and flavorful, you find yourself watching and rewatching, rewinding, and one lining.

Here are two of my favorite scenes from this movie, and if you haven't yet, this is a definite must see!

Madeline Khan - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother

Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles as Lilly Von Schtupp

Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White in 1985 film "Clue" Flames on the side of my face scene

Madeline Kahn Happy Birthday Gemini Mirror

Yes, funny, but sad too. Like so many of the fantastic comediennes, they also know drama... of another kind.

Stand Up for Madeline - OCRF

Madeline Kahn died on December 3, 1999 at only 57 years of age. She had lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer. Stand Up for Madeline raises money for Ovarian Cancer research by doing what Madeline did best... making people laugh.

graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009
graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009

Comedienne News

Madeline Kahn
Madeline Kahn
Frieda's favorite famous redheaded comedienne series graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009
Frieda's favorite famous redheaded comedienne series graphic by Frieda Babbley c 2009

Feel free to thumbs up any articles from this series you like! Frieda loves it when you let her know you lover her.


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    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      9 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Wow, I enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I'm not old enough to have been around when a lot of these films came out, but U have certainly seen this superstar in a slew of funny films, a lot made by Brooks. Great hub!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hi shah kamal. She is, isn't she. Thanks for the read. Glad you enjoyed.

      Thanks Aggi! And may I just say, lovely avatar you're sporting this morning. Hope it will stay a while?

    • agvulpes profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Just catching up with some of my favorite funny people and Madelaine is one too , two birds with one stone so to speak.

      Is that two many tos or toos. hmmmm

      Loved her in Blazing Salads one of my all time favorite movies.

      Great hub OS#2! as OS#1 says "you rock" ;-)

    • profile image

      shah kamal 

      9 years ago

      she is beautiful and talented.


    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks aidy. She's lovely isn't she? Clue is a definite favorite of mine. I've seen it so many times and I can't stop watching that one. Some movies are like that (I blame it on the actors lol, what a cast!).

    • profile image

      Am I dead, yet? 

      10 years ago


      I was enjoying this last evening with a few cups of tea and promised myself to respond as soon as I woke up, I do love your redhead tributes! I was not aware that Madeline was a redhead! I loved her role in 'Clue' and I can remember her on the Sesame Street episodes. Another favorite hub of mine!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks Cris. She was unforgettable in everything she did, wasn't she. Amazing woman.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Cool hub! Ms Khan was hysterical as Lili von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles - unforgettable!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Oddity Good Sister #1, me too! And I know, isn't it crazy that her degree was in speech therapy? Working on the next one as we speak. I think I have three more lined up before I start on another hair color. =D

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      10 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Oddity Sister #2 this rocks!!! I adore her!! I didn't know about the speech therapy degree and it's crazy cuz she could speak with the worst speech ever!!! LOL!! On the edge of my seat for another!!


    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      You know, Maven101, I totally agree with you there. She and Gene Wilder had chemistry like no other. I was often surprised that he was married to Gilda Radner as opposed to Madeline. Thank you so much, I'm happy you enjoyed this one. I miss her so much.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Christoph, thank you so much. I'm glad you're enjoying the series. It's an exciting one to be doing.

      Paper Moon, yes, a clip from Paper Moon is the first one I've got up there. I think a Madeline Kahn Sunday sounds wonderful!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 

      10 years ago from In the clouds

      Wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady (using the term lady lightly. LOL)

      She was also in Paper Moon (not where I get my name from) and I absolutly adored her in Mel Brooks History of the World Pt 1. Classic line-" I love the quick time hartch"

      I could go for a Madeline Kahn Sunday if you are up for one?

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      Frieda: Another great, in-depth addition to your series! Madeliene has always been a personal favorite of mine and it was great reading the material you have put together! Thumbs up!

    • maven101 profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Madeline Kahn blew my socks off in the Young Frankenstein bedroom scene...what a voice..!! She and Gene Wider seemed a perfect duo...their timing was exquisite...she is sorely missed...thanks for this wonderful and nostalgic Hub...

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      You're telling me, Tom. I'm thinking a Madeline Kahn weekend is in order.

      alekhouse, I'm glad you enjoyed this. You are so welcome. It was quite a pleasure to put this one together.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      10 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Frieda, wonderful hub. I loved Madeline Kahn. She was a beautiful, talented woman. The videos were great, I watched every one of them Thanks.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      10 years ago from United States

      I adore Madeline. I have to go rent movies right now.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks tony0724. What's up Doc is truly amazing. Most people correlate it with Barbara Streisand, who can argue, but many don't know the major splash Madeline Kahn as Eunice Burns made. Sheer perfection! Glad you liked this one!

    • tony0724 profile image


      10 years ago from san diego calif

      Frieda what can I tell ya ? Another sterling effort . Madeline Kahn as you mentioned was taken from us way too soon . I have see " What's up Doc " her first effort multiple times . She absolutely knocked out of the park as Eunice Burns . And Lily Von Shtoop In "Blazing Saddles " was one of the funniest female protagonists ever . Because Lily was so not talented . But Madeline was . Nice job !

      Oh and anybody who has not seen What's Up Doc I highly recommend It !


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