Park Overall may be described as a late bloomer in the acting arena but the moment she took off, there was no looking back for her. She glided smoothly and moved gradually to other causes dear to her – activism and politics. She is also an environmentalist and women’s rights activist as well as the 2012 Democratic nominee for Senate in Tennessee.
Overall is known for her trademark heavy Southern accent. This was evident in the NBC sitcom, Empty Nest where she played nurse Laverne Todd, the fire-spitting, wisecracking office assistant of widowed pediatrician Harry Weston. Her other notable works include projects both on the big and small screens such as Biloxi Blues, Mississippi Burning, Talk Radio and In the Family.
Who Is Park Overall?
This incredibly talented woman, Park Overall was born on 15th March 1957 in Nashville, Tennessee, but grew up in Greeneville, Tennessee. She was born to a federal magistrate named Thomas Wesley “Jack” Overall, Jr., and a professor of English Language identified as Frances (née Bernard), both of whom she has described as Yellow Dog Democrats. She worked on the political campaign of Tom Wiseman and Jim Sasser as a teenager.
As a child, she toured East Tennessee with a children’s theatre group. After graduating from Tusculum University with a degree in English, she briefly attended the University of Tennessee graduate school before deciding that acting was the next step for her. As such, she moved to New York in her late 20s to pursue an acting career on a professional stage.
Her Acting Career
Early in her career, she appeared in many off-off-Broadway productions of plays such as The Seagull, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Tooth of Crime. Her Broadway debut was as Rowena in Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play, Biloxi Blues. Overall’s initial big-screen appearance was in the feature film, Tainted (1988). That same year, she appeared in four other films including the romantic adventure comedy flick Vibes co-starring Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper, Talk Radio in a voice-only role, Mississippi Burning with Willem Dafoe, and the film version of Biloxi Blues.
In 1987, Park Overall made her television debut with the role of Lucky Kershaw in a failed pilot of the 1987 TV movie, The Line. The following year, she snagged what would become her breakthrough role in the NBC sitcom, Empty Nest (1988 – 1995). She was cast in the role of Harry Weston’s (Richard Mulligan) assistant, nurse Laverne Todd. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film and the Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series.
She reprised her role, though in a guest appearance, in the Empty Nest spinoff, Nurses (1991-1992). Her other acting credits include the 1989 indie film, Lost Angels, Kindergarten Cop (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fifteen and Pregnant (1998). She had a guest role in The Golden Girls and recurred in Katie Joplin and Ladies Man both in 1999, and Reba (2001-2002). Park Overall lent her voice to the TV character, Alice Tompkins in the animated series The Critic (1994 – 1995).
Overall’s most recent screen appearances were in To Kill a Mockumentary (2006), the Toby Keith film Beer For My Horses (2008), and In the Family (2011).
Is She Married, Who Is Her Husband?
Due to the amount of secrecy with which she handles her personal affairs, not much is known about the Southern belle’s husband or if she is actually married. Not that there is any available record of her past relationships either.
Where Is Park Overall Now?
Overall is a self-described liberal and environmental activist, a cause she says she enjoys even more than she did acting. She is also a great supporter of women’s rights and passionate about issues that affect them such as abortion and contraception. She has been openly vocal and critical, as well as actively supported a number of environmental causes, especially those affecting her native East Tennessee. Moreover, Park Overall is a politician; she was the Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2012 and ran against Republican Bob Corker.
She continues to work as an environmentalist, a job she says is meaningful and matters the most to her.