Jan Hooks Jan Hooks

Jan Hooks, best known for her five-year run on Saturday Night Live, died Thursday morning in New York, TMZ.com reports. She was 57.

According to the website, Hooks had been battling a serious illness.

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The Atlanta native began her career as a member of the famed comedy troupe The Groundlings in the late '70s before she moved onto the short-lived HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News in 1983. She joined SNL in 1986 — the same year that Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman signed on — and was best known for a range of characters that included Candy Sweeney of "The Sweeney Sisters," a lounge act alongside her sister Liz Sweeney (Nora Dunn). She also performed noted impressions of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinead O'Connor, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hillary Clinton, among others.

Hooks left in 1991 to replace Jean Smart on Designing Women and went on to small-screen roles on Primetime Glick, 3rd Rock from the Sun and most recently 30 Rock, where she played Jenna's mom, Verna. She earned an Emmy nomination in 1998 for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy for her performance on 3rd Rock.

Her big-screen credits included Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman Returns and Coneheads.