Brett Butler (born January 30, 1958) is an American actress, writer, and stand-up comedian, best known for playing the title role in the comedy series Grace Under Fire. Butler was born Brett Anderson in Montgomery, Alabama. She was the oldest of five sisters. Before experiencing success as a stand-up comic, she worked as a cocktail waitress. One of the first notable appearances for Butler was on Dolly Parton's ill-fated 1987 variety series, Dolly. Parton subsequently hired Butler as a writer for the remainder of the show's season, before it was cancelled. Butler was the star of the ABC television show Grace Under Fire from 1993–1998. In February 1998, due to her erratic behavior stemming from substance abuse, she was dismissed from the show.