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Annabelle Gurwitch (born November 4, 1961) is an American comedic actress. She is best known as the original hostess of TBS's Dinner and a Movie. She is also a noted author and columnist and was most recently the host of Wa$ted! on Planet Green.[1]

Personal life

Gurwitch was born to a Jewish family[2] in Mobile, Alabama, and grew up in Florida, graduating from Miami Beach High School in 1980. While there, she took acting classes with famed South Florida drama teacher Jay W. Jensen. After high school, she attended The Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University. Gurwitch started her work Off-Broadway in New York City and her performance in the title role of Murray Mednick's Joe and Betty garnered her a place in The New York Times "Top Ten Performances in Theatre of the Year 2002." She also appeared in the Los Angeles Times "Top Ten Performances of the Year in Theatre 2001." She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Emmy Award winning writer Jeff Kahn, and their son.

Gurwitch is a spokesperson for the Do Not Mail Registry sponsored by the NGO Forest Ethics and a member of the advisory board of United Professionals, an organization founded by Barbara Ehrenreich. She also donates considerable time to the National Wildlife Federation.

Television projects

In 1996 TBS premiered a show called Dinner and a Movie. Gurwitch and Paul Gilmartin were the original hosts of the show, which combines cooking instruction with the viewing of a feature film. Claud Mann is the host chef of the series and prepares various themed dinner dishes. Gurwitch served as co-host for six years, departing in 2002.

Other television hosting work includes stints on the HBO award-winning series Not Necessarily the News, SyFy's The Dream Team with Annabelle and Michael, VH1's "Best Of...," series, Style Network's "You're Invited," and Dot Comedy in addition to her most recent position as the host of Wa$ted! on Planet Green for 3 seasons.

Gurwitch has appeared in numerous television programs as an actress including Dexter, The Cleaner, Medium, State of Mind, The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, Seinfeld and Boston Legal.[3]

She also frequently gives her opinion on such shows as The Today Show, The Independents, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Joy Behar Show, Fox & Friends, The Early Show on CBS, CNN's In the Money, FOX's Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld, and in the past she has been invited to share her thoughts on many others: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Wanda Sykes Show, and Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect, to name a few.

Film projects

In 2002 Gurwitch appeared as the host of Meow TV along with her cat Stinky, a show distributed on CD inside bags of Meow Mix. Meow TV presented itself as "Television By Cats, For Cats".[4]

In 2007 Gurwitch wrote, produced, directed, and appeared in the documentary film Fired!.[5] It documents the experiences of twenty-five people, including Gurwitch, who were fired from various jobs. They recount their firings through interviews, skits, comedy routines, and filmed excerpts from the previously produced stage play of the same title. David Cross, Jeff Garlin, Bob Odenkirk and Anne Meara were all featured in addition to UAW workers, former US Secretary of Labor Bob Reich, economist Ben Stein and many other job seekers. The film was played at the US Department of Labor and labor film festivals around the country including the DC Labor FilmFest.

Gurwitch has appeared in numerous other films as an actress including Melvin Goes to Dinner and The Shaggy Dog.[3]

Literary projects

Gurwitch is publishing a new memoir, described by publisher Penguin/Random House as a "wickedly funny new book chronicling the vicissitudes of turning 50." Titled I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT: Compliments, Indignities and Survival Stories From the Edge of 50, the book will be published by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin/Random House on March 7, 2014.[6] Gurwitch talked about her experiences writing the book on the podcast GluckRadio, starring executive life coach Errol Gluck.[7]

Gurwitch once worked for Woody Allen, but was fired during an encounter in which he said that she looked "retarded" among other insults. In 2006 she published a book of essays inspired by that dismissal called Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed.[8] Gurwitch also based a number of live performances on the Fired! theme, and in 2007 completed the Fired! documentary film.[5]

Gurwitch is a contributing writer for NPR's Day to Day, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, and the website She has written for Child, Publishers Weekly, Marie Claire, More, Men's Health, Glamour, Cooking Light, Premiere, Penthouse and Los Angeles Magazine.

Her essays have appeared in two anthologies: Note to Self: 30 Women on Hardship, Humiliation, Heartbreak, and Overcoming It All[9] and Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled.[10]

Gurwitch and husband Jeff Kahn signed a six-figure deal with Crown to publish a memoir. The book, published in February 2010, is You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up. Recently, the two adapted the book into a theatrical production, in association with Off-Broadway Booking, which is now making the rounds in its first national tour.

In November 2012 Gurwitch published an eBook short called Autumn Leaves with Zola Books that recounts an erotic fantasy she once had about one of the staff members at an Apple Genius bar.[11] The short is included in her new memoir about turning 50, "I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50" which was published March 6, 2014.


  1. ^ "Wasted" – Inside the Show (accessed 7 August 2010)
  2. ^ Jewish Journal: "Comedian Annabelle Gurwitch on 50 being the new 50" by Naomi Pfeffermanin retrieved June 14, 2015
  3. ^ a b Annabelle Gurwitch at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b A 2007 documentary film by Annabelle Gurwitch, Fired! at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "I See You Made an Effort Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50". 2014. Penguin. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "GluckRadio". 
  8. ^ Gurwitch, Annabelle. Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed. Touchstone; 2006. ISBN 978-0-7432-8985-6
  9. ^ Buchanan, Andrea. Note to Self: 30 Women on Hardship, Humiliation, Heartbreak, and Overcoming It All Simon Spotlight Entertainment; 2009. ISBN 978-1-4169-4876-6
  10. ^ Friedman, Jon. Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled Villard; 2009. ISBN 978-0-345-50096-0
  11. ^ "50 Shades of Annabelle". Web2Carz. 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 

External links