ABC’s TGIF was the way for families to spend a Friday night enjoying each other’s company and unwinding after a long week. In the late 90s, Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a part of that Friday night line-up. The series had an incredibly talented cast, including Melissa Joan Hart and Caroline Rhea.
Caroline Rhea wasn’t new to the comedy scene when she joined the Sabrina crew. She had worked in the stand-up industry, as well as performing in television shows and writing skits. Her comedic expertise made audiences laugh out loud every Friday night, and she was definitely a fan favorite. Although she loved her time on Sabrina, there was one aspect of the show she didn’t like…
Caroline Rhea got her start in ‘Meatballs III’
Caroline Rhea was born in Montreal, Quebec. She grew up in Canada with her parents, and attended an all-girls high school. She continued her education at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
Rhea discovered her love for acting in the 80s, when Meatballs III was being filmed near Montreal. The soon-to-be actress got a part as an extra in the film, and absolutely loved the experience. She began to pursue a career in acting, and moved to New York City in the late 80s.
She was passionate about making people laugh, which led her to enroll at the New School for Social Research. She focused on comedy, and hoped to become a stand-up comedian. She soon began performing at comedy clubs and made small appearances on television, including Comic Strip Live and MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour.
By 1992, Rhea was a regular on Comedy Central’s Women Aloud. The following year, she delved into new territory, and began co-hosting and writing skits for the sketch comedy Fools For Love. Her career was branching out, but the comedian was still waiting for her big break.
She provided the laughs on ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’
When Fools for Love didn’t really take off, Rhea decided to move to Los Angeles. She starred in the sitcom Pride and Joy, which only lasted a few episodes. Despite the failure of the show, Rhea had turned heads with her bubbly, funny personality and comedic talent.
Rhea was offered the part of Aunt Hildy on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She starred alongside Melissa Joan Hart, who played the title character. The popular series was about a girl who learns she’s a witch when she turns 16. Her two aunts are also witches, as is her cat, Salem.
The series ran from 1996-2003. Rhea’s portrayal of the wacky Aunt Hildy was the highlight of the show, and fans fell in love with her eccentric, unpredictable humor. The character was so popular that Rhea was asked to reprise her role as Aunt Hildy in the Netflix twist on Sabrina—Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
She wasn’t a huge fan of the costume department on the show
Although Rhea fully embraced her part as Aunt Hildy, there was one part of the show she really didn’t like — the costumes, according to Mental Floss. Rhea wasn’t a fan of the huge hair and flowered dresses (or leopard-print–there was a lot of that, too).
She also didn’t love the costume choices for other characters. She mentioned that Sabrina “was dressed like an accountant going to high school.” As for her own costumes, she said she felt like Aunt Hildy was “going to a coronation for a very senior royal member. I was like, it’s breakfast, my hair is this high.”
We’re sure Rhea is hoping that the costume designers for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina take things in a different direction for Aunt Hildy.