Born in 1959, Victoria Jackson grew up in a Bible-believing, piano-playing, TV-free home in Miami. Her father coached gymnastics so she competed from age 5-18. Her gymnastic skill led to a college scholarship to Furman University, where she was cast in her first play and got the acting bug.
When Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman) met her at a Birmingham summer stock production, he bought her a one-way ticket to Hollywood to be in his night club act. For two years, she held odd jobs in the show-biz capital — as a cigarette girl, waitress, and typist — until Johnny Carson noticed her stand-up routine and put her on The Tonight Show… twenty times. After that, she starred in many movies and TV shows, most notably six seasons on Saturday Night Live.
Jackson was reunited with and married her high school sweetheart, helicopter pilot Paul Wessel in 1992 and when he retired in 2013 from the Miami Dade Police Dept. they moved to Nashville to be near their daughters and grandchildren. Jackson still appears in occasional films, does stand up comedy, sings her original ukulele songs around town and most recently was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the International Christian Film Festival for her role as Alma in Lost Heart (2021). Jackson authored Is My Bow Too Big? published by White Hall in 2012 about how she got on TV, and in 2017 she wrote Lavender Hair, published by Broadstreet, about her breast cancer journey and recovery.