Born: January 17, 1967
Date of Birth: January 17, 1967
While she has set the Second City stage on fire and acted in numerous television and film projects, Canadian actress Linda Kash may actually be best known as the Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese Angel, a role that would attach her to one of the most successful ad campaigns in Canadian television history.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Linda is the daughter of opera singer and actress Maureen Forrester and violinist Eugene Kash. She and her brother, actor Daniel Kash, were raised in a devout Jewish household. Because of her parents' careers, Linda and her family moved around often, migrating from Montreal, Connecticut, Toronto, to Philadelphia, and back to Toronto again.
Linda got her start in show business by joining Toronto's famed Second City Comedy Troupe, as both a performer and writer. In 1986, she was nominated for a Dora Award for Best Actress in a Musical/Revue for her roles in Bordering on Madness and Not Based on Anything by Stephen King. That same year, she landed her first onscreen role in the TV movie As Is and the TV series Night Heat, followed by another lead role in Second City's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a Baby. For her work in the original production, she was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Variety Program.
While still performing at Second City, she was made a regular cast member on the Canadian sketch series Smith & Smith’s The Comedy Mill, which ran from 1987 to 1991. Throughout her time on the show, she made appearances in various television movies, series, and specials, including Madeline, Max Glick, and The Second City Toronto 15th Anniversary.
Constantly looking for projects to suit her unique performance style, Linda then co-created, alongside fellow comedian Debra McGrath, her own comedy series called My Talk Show (1991). The show, which mixed satire, parody, and variety specials, was cancelled after just one year. However, this did not slow the tenacious Linda down. Also in 1991, she made her feature film debut in the Canadian comedy film The Events Leading Up to My Death, starring Rosemary Radcliffe and Peter MacNeill.
After guest appearances on shows such as Street Legal and Seinfeld, Linda made her way back onto the silver screen in the comedy feature Ernest Rides Again (1993) and its sequel Ernest Goes to School (1994). It was around this time that Linda landed the role that would make her one of the most recognizable faces in Canada — the angel who simply can't live without the heavenly Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It was a job that she kept for nearly two decades of her career. "The 14 years of this commercial have been a total blessing for me because as an actor, (regular) income is completely rare. It allows me to work for less and do theatre," she told the The Toronto Star in 2008.
While she began to enjoy fame as a cream cheese-loving angel, Linda also found herself cast as Dr. Francine Bailey on the NBC sitcom Minor Adjustments (1995-1996). Although the show was cancelled after one year, Linda kept landing work in a number of other television shows, including Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Style & Substance, as well as several movie projects, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Ernest Goes to Africa (1997), and Best in Show (2000).
Throughout the first decade of the 2000s, Linda remained a mainstay on the small screen, most notably as Nellie Hebert in Doc starring Billy Ray Cyrus and as Carol Goldstein in Robson Arms. She also played a role in the Disney Channel movie Cadet Kelly (2002) opposite Hilary Duff. In 2005, the actress switched gears and appeared opposite Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger in the critically-acclaimed boxing drama Cinderella Man. She then followed this up with a string of hit comedies — Man of the Year (2006), starring Robin Williams, Are We Done Yet? (2007), starring Ice Cube, and The Love Guru (2008) starring Mike Myers.
Despite working non-stop for over 30 years, Linda's busy schedule has shown no sign of slowing down, routinely appearing in shows such as Scaredy Squirrel, Fugget About It, Saving Hope, and Haven. Also in recent years, she starred in the drama I Was a Boy (2012), the family adventure The Journey Home (2014), and the drama Fall (2014).
The veteran actress and comedian was most recently seen as Mrs. Barry in YTV’s all-new Anne of Green Gables TV movie and as Tessa in the Irish-Canadian drama film Unless (2016), alongside Catherine Keener and fellow Canuck Hannah Gross.
Linda was married to Second City alumnus Paul O'Sullivan, with whom she has three daughters. In May 2012, Paul died in a car accident in Peterborough, Ontario, where the family resided.