Biography



For updated biography check out Lydia on WIKIPEDIA CLICK HERE!



AFI Best Actress nominee and People's Choice Award winner, international star of over 250 TV shows and films, best known as the star of ABC's hit series Too Close For Comfort as TV legend Ted Knight's daughter, Sara Rush. One of the most popular sex symbols on TV, she is now a mother, author, teen mentor, talk show host, comedienne, producer, director, and award-winning writer. Too Close for Comfort can currently be seen four times a week on Antenna TV, Tribune Broadcasting.

Recent and upcoming credits include:
* HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David
* Kelsey Grammer - Bill Zucker Comedy Hour with Kelsey Grammer, Scott Baio
* Variety's Power of Comedy with Russell Brand, Justin Long, BJ. Novak (The Office), Helen Mirren, Melissa Etheridge, Aziz Ansari, Lake Bell, Donald Glover, Sarah Silverman, Garry Shandling, Patton Oswalt
* Me, Miami and Nancy - Lydia costars with Robert Downey, Jr., Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi, Cloris Leachman, Malcolm McDowell, Gary Oldman indie (*won Park City Film Festival) currently at Toronto and film festivals
* Cats Dancing on Jupiter - Lydia co-stars in acclaimed director Jordan Alan's with The Mentalist's Amanda Rhigetti, Ashley Hamilton, Richard Grieco, Keith Coogan
* She is in talks with Dancing with the Stars.
* Venus Conspiracy - written and directed by Lydia Cornell, costarring Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who played her sister on Too Close for Comfort

LOS ANGELES – Lydia Cornell, a *Best Actress nominee at Method Fest for the indie film “Miss Supreme Queen”, is also an accomplished political writer, novelist and comedienne. She recently guest-starred with Larry David on HBO’s “Curb your Enthusiasm”; wrote and produced her own film Venus Conspiracy, and had leads in the feature films “Nooner” Erik Attias’ PBS play, and “Dean and Nancy”, along with Steven Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi. She also hosted the 2004 World Travel Awards in Barbados with The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli, Curb’s Cheryl Hines, and Law & Order’s Richard Belzer.
In addition to her new book of political essay, "HOW TO TALK TO ANN COULTER, IF YOU MUST", Lydia’s new book Falling Up, is based on her humiliating adventures in Hollywood and spiritual growth. It is being developed for the stage.

Winning the People's Choice Award, Lydia starred as "Sara Rush”, Ted Knight's daughter and Audrey Meadows’ granddaughter, in the hit 80’s show Too Close For Comfort — a top rated ABC series that has been in worldwide syndication for years. Just released on Rhino DVD, the show has attained cult status, with fans all over the world exchanging her trading cards. Lydia is fluent in Spanish and comes from a family dedicated to the arts. Her great-great grandmother was Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

A children’s advocate, Ms. Cornell is passionate about helping orphans and underprivileged children. Her other passion is fighting drug and alcohol abuse. Profits from her ventures go to various children’s charities, including Give Kids a Break, Girls Inc. and Feed the Children. Lydia is also an inspirational public speaker. With a humorous and spiritual point of view, she talks about how she overcame a life-threatening tragedy that brought her to the depths of despair — and found the key to bliss. Now married with two sons (Jack, 11 and Kevin, 9) she describes her Hollywood experience as a crash-and-burn, then a “catastrophic” spiritual awakening. “It was supernatural,” says Lydia, “I now have tangible evidence of a force beyond anything in the material world. I believe that the purpose of suffering is to bring us closer to our spirit. Getting rid of the ego is a big part of it, and in Hollywood, which is run by massive egos, this is not easy — we reflect each other. Alcohol & drugs are just a cover for extreme insecurity.”

Ms. Cornell spent years as a single mother going through the horrors of the Hollywood dating scene. After getting dumped by a series of schmucks, she completely gave up on men. Through what can only be described as “a prayer miracle”, she met her future husband the next day — and subsequently inherited a stepson, Kevin, who was born with osteogenesis or “brittle-bone” disease. Fortunately, he is now in remission. “This family is the biggest gift of my life. And though marriage in a blended family isn’t easy, I think you’re supposed to be married to the person who annoys you the most. The most spiritual growth happens with your enemies!” she says jokingly. (“The Arabs and Israelis are next door to each other for a reason, they just don’t get it yet.”)

Lydia also wrote a novel, The Sylvia Plan, an international thriller based on the true story of one of Stalin’s most complex assassins: the man who killed Trotsky. It takes place in Paris, Barcelona and Mexico and is a reverse Mata Hari tale with an Oedipal twist — focusing on the assassin, his mother and the innocent woman he seduces. Mercader was a chameleon that could change identities at will. In Cuba, he trained Lee Harvey Oswald in spy tactics and guerrilla warfare. Lydia also went to Beirut, Lebanon during the war and US Magazine published her “Beirut Diary”. Like Spalding Gray, Lydia also does a form of monologue comedy, based on tragic experiences in her dating life. Her one-woman show Relationshop played to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles.

Lydia’s frustration with the media compelled her to write the film Venus Conspiracy, about a plot to keep women thin and insecure. The lead character, a “recovering blonde”, in withdrawal from being a cleavage-wearing bimbo, laments, “All human suffering is caused by Victoria’s Secret!” Lydia teamed up with her former co-star Deborah Van Valkenburgh for the film. Ironically both actresses portray sisters in “Venus” as they did some twenty years prior. “Working with Deborah again was the most fun I've had ever,” explains Lydia, “We laughed until we cried.” This zany, poignant comedy-thriller in the vein of “Dr. Strangelove” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” clearly sends a message to all women, “Women have never achieved as much as men because they spend too much time putting on makeup!” Through Venus Conspiracy Lydia is hoping to raise awareness among young women and girls – that the beauty industry exploits them and deliberately makes them obsolete when they reach 30 years old. “I actually know nine-year old girls who are obsessed with their wrinkles! And weight!” Ms. Cornell herself suffered years of unemployment and lack of faith in herself once she hit 30 — and had many experiences being rejected as an actress and worrying about body image and weight. “A lot of it was in my head — but I actually fainted from fear at an audition once. Of course my jeans were so tight I hyperventilated, but being critiqued for every flaw on your body is demoralizing.”

Lydia often had to dress like a hooker for movie roles (Hollywood loves to glorify them in films like “Pretty Woman”) and once, on her way to an audition, she was actually mistaken for a hooker! “Maybe it was the dog collar and leash I was wearing.” In retrospect, these incidents are hilarious, but at the time, not so funny. “They objectify women, paint us into a corner. And only by gaining faith in ourselves and enriching our interior lives can we combat this social programming. But still, there really may be a plot – a very sexist plot to dumb women down. I mean, why is Paris Hilton famous? It’s possible that we are all being brainwashed and kept in fear so they can make money off our insecurities.” Women shouldn’t be made to feel defective if they don’t look like a Playmate or a supermodel. As one of her characters in Venus states: “Why do we perpetuate the myth that the only valuable women in society are teenage, wombless buttless mutants?” Incredibly, Lydia has developed 40 episodes from “Venus” as a comedy series about spiritual growth.

Lydia has been a recurring celebrity guest on PBS’ think-tank Di Palma Forum and speaker on drug and alcohol abuse. She supports research on behalf of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Children Affected by AIDS, Habitat for Humanity, and Missions at Bel Air Church. She was recently profiled on Inside TV, A&E Biography, ET, E-Channel; People;Femmes Fatales, Women on Top and Asbury Park Press. She has had extensive theater, film and television experience. Credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Drew Carey Show; the lead in indie films Nooner; Story of Dean & Nancy; Physical therapy; Happy Holidaze; *Miss Supreme Queen, Damage Done, Final Act, Black Scorpion and soon her own film Venus Conspiracy. Other credits include: The Red Tide (w/ James Earl Jones & José Ferrer) Quantum Leap Pilot, Hunter, Hotel, Hardball, Twilight Zone, Simon & Simon, Full House, Knight Rider, Love Boat (5), Hexed, T.J. Hooker, A-Team, Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Dukes, Monsters, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (co-host). She co-hosted the Victor Awards, the BRAVO Awards with Garry Marshall, JAKS Awards with Bill Cosby. On stage, she appeared in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and As You Like It; Ibsen's Enemy of the People; Of Mice and Men, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Bus Stop, Butterflies Are Free, Night of January 16 and Los Arboles Mueren de Pie in Spanish. She studied with Stella Adler, Jeff Corey, John Lehne and Nina Foch.





Lydia Cornell is an award-winning comedienne, writer and actress. Winning the People's Choice Award, Lydia starred as "Sara" — Ted Knight's daughter and Audrey Meadows’ granddaughter — in Too Close For Comfort — a top rated ABC series that has been in worldwide syndication for years. She performs her own material in theaters and did a one-woman show at Century City Playhouse with a feminist bent. She has also written Venus Conspiracy for theatrical realease in 2004. Other projects include Clash of the Wills, Falling Up and Recovering Blonde.

Her soon-to-be-published novel, The Sylvia Plan, is an international thriller based on the true story of one of Stalin’s most complex assassins: the man who killed Trotsky. It takes place in Paris, Barcelona and Mexico and is a reverse Mata Hari tale with an Oedipal twist — focusing on the assassin, his mother and the innocent woman he seduces. Mercader was a chameleon who could change identities at will. In Cuba, he trained Lee Harvey Oswald in spy tactics and guerrilla warfare. Lydia went to Beirut, Lebanon during the war. Her Beirut Diary was published by US Magazine.

A *Best Actress nominee at the Method Fest, recently profiled on A&E Biography, Ent. Tonight, People, E-Channel and Women on Top; speaker for Camp Ronald McDonald, United Cerebral Palsy, Di Palma Forum and L.A. Actor’s Coalition, Lydia has had extensive theater, film and television experience. Recent credits include The Drew Carey Show; the lead in indie films Physical therapy; Happy Holidaze; *Miss Supreme Queen, Damage Done, Final Act, Black Scorpion and soon her own film Venus Conspiracy. Other credits include: The Red Tide (w/ James Earl Jones & José Ferrer) Quantum Leap Pilot, Hunter, Hotel, Hardball, Twilight Zone, Simon & Simon, Full House, Knight Rider, Love Boat (5), Hexed, T.J. Hooker, A-Team, Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Dukes, Monsters, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (co-host). She co-hosted the Victor Awards, the BRAVO Awards with Garry Marshall, JAKS Awards with Bill Cosby. On stage, she appeared in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and As You Like It; Ibsen's Enemy of the People; Of Mice and Men, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Bus Stop, Butterflies Are Free, Night of January 16 and Los Arboles Mueren de Pie in Spanish. She studied with Stella Adler, Tom Todoroff, John Lehne, Nina Foch.
The series has attained cult status, spawning her own website and trading cards. She is fluent in Spanish and comes from a family dedicated to the arts. Her grandfather, Henry Ward Beecher Stowe, was great-grandson of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Her passions are children's charities and fighting drug & alcohol abuse.

 

 

 

All images © Copyright 2005 Lydia Cornelll