SJ Mendelson has quite the seasoned resume. From her voice over and commercial work to her cabaret shows and TV appearances, she continues to build her brand and expand her career. Age is clearly just a number for this actor.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in the section of Borough Park, Mendelson lived with her parents and grandparents. Mendelson’s uncle was a big band singer who always encouraged her to sing and perform. Although she had innate talent and the ability to entertain, her mother discouraged her from going into show business. So, Mendelson went on to earn a degree in Fine Arts and began teaching, but it wasn’t what she wanted for herself. It wasn’t her passion.
After divorcing her first husband, she quit teaching art and started acting again. Mendelson got work as a wedding singer and started performing at clubs around town. It wasn’t long before she was one of the hottest tickets in the NYC night club circuit. Her agent suggested she take her successful show to Los Angeles. Once she got to Hollywood, she started booking commercials and voice over work while still appearing at night clubs. Mendelson’s career was doing well when she fell in love, got married and moved to Cleveland to start a new life. Mendelson brought her show-stopping cabaret act with her and turned it into audience gold. Her resume also continued to grow with more television and voiceover work.
Unfortunately, her marriage didn’t last, and she decided to take her son to Los Angeles and raise him alone. Mendelson knew the rigorous lifestyle of an entertainer wasn’t ideal for a single mother, so she started selling light bulbs over the phone to make ends meet, but the desire to perform was still burning inside her. Mendelson kept up with her SAG dues the entire time, knowing one day she would be back. That day came when a DJ friend asked her to do a voice over for on-air skit where she played an old Jewish woman in a spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey and the flood gates opened.
And now, at the young age of 70, she has appeared in over 30 commercials and lent her voice to countless projects. She has appeared on BuzzFeed, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” where she auditioned as her alter ego ‘Maw Kitty,’ a sexy, sassy, senior where no subject is off limits. Simon Cowell even called her a minx. With a compliment like that, Maw Kitty knew the world was her oyster and has since appeared all over and made a film, self-titled Maw Kitty, coming out in early 2018.