Polly Noonan’s Peculiar Biography

On Thursday night, I was thrilled to see “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”, a play at Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre. In terms of new American drama, Steppenwolf is one of the more influential companies in the country.

While not being exactly to my tastes, the production was executed at an exceptionally high level. I really enjoyed Polly Noonan’s performance in the lead role. Reading her bio, I noticed that she was credited with an appearance in the 1986 comedy classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I couldn’t imagine who she might have played.

When I got home, I looked it up. She’s the “girl on bus”, who Principal Rooney talks to in the closing credits. She has this awesome line:

Gummy bear? It’s been in my pocket; they’re real warm and soft.

Here’s a murky little photo, and here’s some dodgy, auto-playing video. She has the rare honour of being credited in the closing credits before her appearance in the film.

To add to her peculiar resume (don’t get me wrong–she’s done a ton of impressive theatre work), the lower-half of Ms. Noonan’s face appears on the cover of The Lemonhead’s album, “It’s a Shame About Ray”.

While looking for a clip of a young Polly Noonan, I discovered a clip from Siskel and Ebert’s review of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.


  1. How did you like the script? Bissett turned me on to Sarah Ruhl’s Clean House, which I think is really great.

  2. Andrew: That is awesome, if slightly too long.

    Ami: I thought it was technically excellent. Plus, her writing was funny and original–I was reminded of both Walker and Morris Panych. I didn’t care for the play’s themes, which seemed a little lightweight and mundane, but her execution was excellent.

  3. Polly noonan is my french teacher’s (amy noonan’s) sister(: she’s a great actress!

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