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This winsome, dark-haired actress has made a pleasant impression on TV since the mid-1980s, playing somewhat nervous and charmingly ditzy or overly optimistic characters. Stevenson began her career as a member of the cast of the short-lived syndicated series "Off the Wall" (1986) and in 1989 made two memorable appearances on "Cheers" as Norm's secretary Nancy. She had a potential big break as the star of the syndicated, six-day-a-week spoof "My Talk Show" (1990), in which she entertained less than stellar celebrities in her Midwestern living room. The show, however, failed to find an audience and was canceled after just three months.
Exhausted by the grind of daily TV, Stevenson was preparing to return to her adopted home of Vancouver when director Robert Altman called with a part in his searing black comedy "The Player" (1992). She played Bonnie Sherow, the soft-hearted studio executive who is exploited by industry boss Tim Robbins. That same year, Stevenson was cast in "Bob," the third sitcom vehicle for veteran Bob Newhart, in which she essayed his mildly flaky daughter, Trish. While the series flopped, Stevenson won attention from critics and was noticed by networks and casting directors.
After an unbilled cameo in "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag" (1992), Stevenson appeared in the mild ensemble comedy "Watch It" (1993) with Peter Gallagher and John C McGinley. 1995 proved to be a banner year for the actress. On the big screen, she was Joe Mantegna's fiancee who is eager to hear about the love story of Billy Crystal and Debra Winger in "Forget Paris," Marcy, dealing with a jealous lover who is stalking her in the female buddy movie "Live Nude Girls," and Holly Hunter's humorless and resentful sister in Jodie Foster's "Home for the Holidays." Stevenson seemingly found her TV series niche as the upbeat TV producer Hope Davidson on NBC's "Hope & Gloria" (1995-96), but the show stumbled in the ratings and was canceled after a season and a half. She returned to series TV in 1998 as star of the Lifetime original sitcom "Oh Baby" playing a single thirtysomething woman who chooses to have a baby via artificial insemination.
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