Comedian Paula Poundstone was one of several talented female comics to rise to prominence in the late '80s (Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Judy Tenuta, Rita Rudner, etc.), and while her career continued to flourish with TV work throughout the '90s, a shocking allegation threatened to derail her career in 2001.
Born on December 29, 1959 in Huntsville, AL, Poundstone caught her big break in the mid-'80s when she appeared on several HBO comedy specials. By the early '90s, she had turned her focus to TV, during which time Poundstone won CableAce Awards for Best Stand Up Special in 1992 for her comedy special Cats, Cops, and Stuff, and another a year later for Best Program Interviewer on the short lived Paula Poundstone Show.
Poundstone also provided backstage commentary for the 1993 Emmy Awards telecast, almost stole the show at the pre- and post-shows for the 1994 Oscar Awards, and served as an "official correspondent" for The Tonight Show during the 1992 Presidential race. In the late '90s, she appeared on Hollywood Squares. In addition to her comedic talents, Poundstone also served as a producer and narrator on an award-winning children's audio book project titled Completely Yours, which featured a story about foster parenting called "A Mother for Choco" (a topic that Poundstone knew quite a bit about, since she was a foster parent herself). But in June 2001, the world was shocked to learn that Poundstone was arrested on charges of "committing lewd acts on a girl under age 14," and on charges of "endangering two other girls and two boys." Shortly afterward, Poundstone checked herself into a rehab facility for alcoholism, and in September of the same year, pleaded "no contest" in court to the reduced charges of "one count of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor count of inflicting injury on a child," after prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against her.