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'80s TV Icon Lydia Cornell Returns To Comedy Spotlight


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Actress Lydia Cornell is not just a flashback to the '80s.

Best-known for her role as the sweetly alluring daughter of Ted Knight in the highly popular ABC sitcom Too Close for Comfort, Cornell continues to pursue a path of comedic gold, doing stand-up and writing often pointedly hilarious political barbs on her acclaimed and sometimes controversial blog.

From 1980-85, Cornell played Sara Rush, the jewel-eyed, blonde offspring of Knight and Nancy Dussault. Cornell was equal parts Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball, combining the kittenish sultriness of the former with the goofball antics of the latter. As the series became an instant ratings smash, Cornell was catapulted into stardom. She became the decade’s first real TV female sex symbol, her curvy, voluptuous figure landing on numerous posters. In addition to Too Close for Comfort, Cornell also made guest appearances on other iconic period shows such as The Love Boat, The A-Team, and Knight Rider, among others. Lost in syndication limbo, the first two seasons of Too Close for Comfort appeared on DVD but its entire run for much of the past decade was absent from cable reruns until Antenna TV began airing them in January 2011.

With her profile gaining mainstream recognition once again thanks to Antenna TV, old and new fans are discovering her visible presence online. Her blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages are an extension of her outspoken spiritual and socio-political beliefs, her views usually delivered with brutal honesty, compassion, and satirical wit. “Train your mind like a dog,” Cornell advised on Facebook. “Don't allow it to run all over the place peeing on your dreams or your furniture.”

Although writing has become her primary focus, Cornell hasn’t stopped acting, either. She guest starred on Curb Your Enthusiasm and in 2005 she wrote, produced, and appeared in Venus Conspiracy with her Too Close sister Deborah Van Valkenburgh. In the spring of 2010, she appeared in The Kelsey Grammer-Bill Zucker Comedy Hour, a series of improvisational vignettes, with Scott Baio, Kelsey Grammer and Bill Zucker, whom she met on Twitter.

Cornell has several literary projects in the works including a wickedly funny overview of her Hollywood days of weight watching, celebrity dating, and the crash and burn of fading fame and substance abuse. Through it all, Cornell rises above from the most tragic of situations with her head still held high, glowing with the eternal optimism that is as bright as both her external and inner beauty.

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