Without a doubt, Gemma Teller was one of the best characters on Sons of Anarchy. While the show was filled with sick motorcycles, it was the cast of characters that people continuously tuned in for. While many of the rich cast members of the show are noteworthy, Gemma Teller’s Katey Sagal is easily one of the most iconic. This is because she’s had an epic career on television. Of course, she played Peggy Bundy on Married With Children, but she also played the mother on 8 Simple Rules, a beloved sitcom.
However, before Katey’s illustrious career in television and film, she had a secret profession. One that she went into detail about when talking with legendary radio host Howard Stern back in 2012.
So, what secret job did Katey have before becoming an actor?
Katey’s Hollywood Past Led Her To Make A Different Choice With Her Career
During her 2012 interview on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, the legendary radio host claimed that he always imagined Katey Sagal growing up in the mid-west. This is due to all of the roles he’s seen her in on television.
But that wasn’t the reality.
The truth is that Katey grew up in a show-biz family. Her father was an avid television director who worked on shows like Dr. Kildare, Peter Gunn, and Man From U.N.C.L.E.
“When you have a dad like that, it becomes your burning desire to become an actress, right?” Howard asked.
“Not at all. No,” Katey said. “In fact, I wanted to be, when I grew up, a singer/songwriter. Which, he was sort of not very on board with that. Even though I was pretty good.”
“You were really good,” Howard interjected. “And when you tell your dad that you wanted to be a singer, he’s disappointed in you? He wanted you to be an actress.
Katey says that she understands why her father wanted her to become an actor instead of a singer. It’s because he wanted her to get into the union so she could have medical benefits, something that becoming a singer wouldn’t have afforded her.
“He put me in a show called Columbo when I was 17-16 something so that I would get a union card.”
While Howard thought it was sweet of Katey’s father to want to protect her, Katey admitted that, at the time, she wasn’t happy about it. She wanted his full-support for her burgeoning singing career.
“I think he thought I was a good actor,” Katey also said. However, he wouldn’t pay for her to go to musical theater school. But once she auditioned and got in, he had no choice.
Katey’s Back-Up Singing Career And Being Fired By Bob Dylan
Katey actually had a career as a back-up singer thanks to her training in school. During her time as a back-up singer, Katey sang for Bete Midler, Etta James, and Bob Dylan…. who totally fired her…
While being interviewed by The Seattle Times, Katey was asked about being fired by Bob Dylan.
“I was like 19 or 20 years old,” she said. “I shouldn’t have been in the band in the first place. I’d already been in a band with one of these girls that was a friend of Bob’s. She said Bob’s looking for singers, come with me to the rehearsal. So I went. He just hired us, he didn’t even listen to us. So before I knew it, I was in the band. I worked with him for like two months in rehearsal, then he fired all of us girls a week before the tour. But I still always consider it like I sang with Bob Dylan. I don’t care if it was a week, you know what I mean?”
Katey told Howard Stern that she doesn’t really know why he fired them. Bob was very hard to read so she just knew that he wasn’t happy.
Ultimately, Katey’s career as a back-up singer and an aspiring singer/songwriter fizzled out despite some solo performances
Luckily for Katey, she had a great back-up career… Acting.
Obviously, this tends to be the opposite of what most people experience. Usually, individuals need to have a back-up career if they are going to pursue the outlandishly competitive career of acting. But because of Katey’s Hollywood history, she could fall back on being an actor.
Of course, she’s since gone on to be enormously successful in that career.
However, to this day, Katey finds time for singing and performing at various events such as Stagecoach, which has invited her back numerous times
So, in a way, Katey got to have both careers. The one her father wanted for her, and one that she wanted for herself. Fortunately, Katey has fallen in love with them both.