Allison Janney

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Allison Janney
Allison Janney4crop.jpg
Janney at The Heart Truth Fashion Show, 2008
Born Allison Brooks Janney
(1959-11-19) November 19, 1959 (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

Allison Brooks Janney (born November 19, 1959) is an American actress. She played White House Press Secretary (later Chief of Staff) C. J. Cregg on the television series The West Wing (1999–2006), a role for which she won four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Satellite Award and four Screen Actors Guild Awards and was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, an AFI Award and a further two Primetime Emmy Awards, one Satellite Award and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Her films include Big Night (1996), Primary Colors (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), American Beauty (1999), The Hours (2003), Finding Nemo (2003), Hairspray (2007), Juno (2007), The Help (2011), and The Way Way Back (2013). Currently, Janney stars in the CBS sitcom Mom as Bonnie Plunkett and had a recurring role on the Showtime series Masters of Sex as Margaret Scully.

Early life and education[edit]

Janney was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Dayton, Ohio.[1] She is the daughter of Macy Brooks (née Putnam), a former actress and homemaker, and Jervis Spencer Janney, Jr., a real estate developer and jazz musician.[2][3] She has an older brother, Jay, and a younger brother, Hal.[4]

Janney attended The Miami Valley School in Dayton, where she was named a distinguished alumna in 2004,[5] and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut.[5] She then attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. At Kenyon, she studied with Paul Newman, an alumnus of Kenyon. He directed her in a play as the inaugural event of the school's newly dedicated Bolton Theater. Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward encouraged Janney to continue acting. She then went on to study drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[6] She attended The Neighborhood Playhouse the same years as actor Dylan McDermott.[5]

Career[edit]

Janney's first roles on television were on soap operas: she first played Vi Kaminski for a short time on As the World Turns, following up with a two-year role as one of the Spaulding maids, Ginger on Guiding Light. In the spring of 1994, she appeared in the season finale of Law & Order, as a reluctant witness against a member of the Russian mob.

She has appeared in numerous films, including the 1990s films American Beauty, The Object of My Affection, Big Night, The Impostors, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Ice Storm, Primary Colors, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Private Parts, and the 2000s films Nurse Betty, The Hours, The Chumscrubber, How to Deal, Winter Solstice and a considerable role in the animated movie, Finding Nemo, voicing Peach, the starfish. In 2006, she had roles in the feature films Margaret and Over the Hedge.

In 1999, she was cast in the role of presidential press secretary C.J. Cregg on the television drama The West Wing, for which she eventually won four Emmy Awards. Two of the Emmys were for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series in 2000 and 2001, and two were for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series in the years 2002 and 2004.[5] She was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in the 2003 and 2006 Primetime Emmys.[5]

Janney won two Screen Actors Guild awards for Best Actress in a dramatic series, in 2001 and 2002.[5] The cast of The West Wing won the Screen Actor's Guild award for Best Ensemble in a dramatic series the same two years.[5] Additional accolades for Janney's work in The West Wing include four Golden Globe award nominations, and a nomination in 2002 for American Film Institute's Actor of the Year. Many outdoor scenes on The West Wing were filmed in Washington, D.C. The West Wing ended in January 2006, and the last episode aired four months later.[7] In January 2006, West Wing's cast was also nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast. Janney, Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Janel Moloney, and other members of the cast appeared at the SAG Awards to honor their late castmate and friend, John Spencer.[citation needed]

In 2006, Janney was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in the film Our Very Own. Many of Janney's long time friends were involved with Our Very Own, including producer Shannon McMahon Lichte and cast member Allison Mackie. Writer/director Cameron Watson, also a longtime friend, wrote the role of Joan for her.[citation needed]

In 2007, Janney appeared in the Academy-Award-nominated film, Juno, playing the part of Bren MacGuff, the title character's gruff but caring stepmother, for which she won Best Supporting Actress in the Austin Film Critics Association Awards 2007. In the same year, Janney appeared in the Golden-Globe-nominated film, Hairspray, as Prudy Pingleton, Penny's (Amanda Bynes) strict and religious mother. She appeared in the short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in a guest appearance as herself (episode: "The Disaster Show").

Janney has remained active in theater. In 1998, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.[8] Her first Broadway role was in Present Laughter, opposite Frank Langella. In 2007, she participated in a workshop for a new musical of the film 9 to 5.[9]

In late 2008, Janney joined Broadway stars Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch in the new musical, 9 to 5. Based on the film of the same name, Janney is starring as Violet Newstead, the super efficient office manager played by Lily Tomlin in the original film. Janney has signed on for a one-year contract with the 9 to 5 production.[citation needed] She was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her work in 9 to 5.[10] In May 2009, she won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for the role of Violet Newstead.[11] She also appeared alongside Jack Black and John C. Reilly in Prop 8 (The Musical), a satirical musical protesting the passing of California Proposition 8.[citation needed]

In 2004, Janney began lending her voice to television and radio spots created by Kaiser Permanente in the health maintenance organization's broad "Thrive" media campaign, and in a radio campaign for the American Institute of Architects.[12] In 2010, she appeared as Allison Pearson in In Plain Sight. In May 2010, Janney appeared in the antepenultimate episode of the ABC television series Lost as the adoptive mother of the show's two mythological opponents, Jacob and the Man in Black.

She starred in the ABC network comedy Mr. Sunshine. The series, which was created by Matthew Perry, was a midseason replacement for the 2010–11 television season.[13][14]

In September 2010, it was announced that Janney would be the voice of the Aly San San spokesdroid in the Disney attraction, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.[15] The attraction later opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. She played the protagonist's mother in the 2011 film The Help, and appeared in the 2012 feature films, Struck By Lightning and Liberal Arts.[citation needed]



Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Who Shot Patakango? Miss Penny
1993 Blind Spot Doreen Television film
1994 Dead Funny Jennifer
Cowboy Way, TheThe Cowboy Way NYPD computer operator
Wolf Party guest
Miracle on 34th Street Christmas shopper
1995 Heading Home Unknown role
1996 Flux Heather
Rescuing Desire Betsy
Walking and Talking Gum Puller
Big Night Ann
Faithful Saleswoman
Associate, TheThe Associate Sandy
1997 Anita Liberty Gynecologist Short film
Private Parts Dee Dee
Ice Storm, TheThe Ice Storm Dot Halford
Julian Po Lilah Leech
...First Do No Harm Dr. Melanie Abbasac Television film
Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing Assistant District Attorney Television film
1998 Primary Colors Miss Walsh
Object of My Affection, TheThe Object of My Affection Constance Miller
Impostors, TheThe Impostors Maxine
David and Lisa Alix Television movie
Six Days Seven Nights Marjorie, Robin's boss
Celebrity Evelyn Isaacs
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Ms. Perky
Drop Dead Gorgeous Loretta
American Beauty Barbara Fitts
The Debtors Unknown
2000 Leaving Drew Paula Short film
Auto Motives Gretchen Short film
Nurse Betty Lyla Branch
Rooftop Kisses Melissa Short film
A Girl Thing Kathy McCormack Television movie
2002 Hours, TheThe Hours Sally Lester
2003 Finding Nemo Peach Voice
How to Deal Lydia Martin
Chicken Party Barbara Strasser Short film
2004 Piccadilly Jim Eugenia Crocker
Winter Solstice Molly Ripkin
2005 Strangers with Candy Alice
Chumscrubber, TheThe Chumscrubber Allie Stifle
Our Very Own Joan Whitfield
2006 Over the Hedge Gladys Sharp Voice
2007 Hairspray Prudy Pingleton
Juno Brenda 'Bren' MacGuff
2008 Pretty Ugly People Suzanna
Prop 8: The Musical Prop 8 leader's wife
2009 Away We Go Lily
Life During Wartime Trish
2011 Margaret Wounded woman / Monica Patterson
Thousand Words, AA Thousand Words Samantha Davis
Help, TheThe Help Charlotte Phelan
2012 Oranges, TheThe Oranges Cathy Ostroff
Struck By Lightning Sheryl Phillips
Liberal Arts Prof. Judith Fairfield
2013 Way Way Back, TheThe Way Way Back Betty
Days and Nights Elizabeth
Bad Words Dr. Bernice Deagan
Trust Me Meg
2014 Tammy Deb
Mr. Peabody & Sherman Mrs. Grunion
The Rewrite Mary Weldon
A Book of Common Prayer Grace Strasser-Mendana Pre-production
2015 Spy Filming

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Morton & Hayes Beatrice Caldicott Episode: "Society Saps"
Morton & Hayes Mrs. Morton Episode: "Home Buddies"
1992 Law & Order Nora Episode: "Star Struck"
1993–95 Guiding Light Ginger Unknown episodes
1994 Law & Order Ann Madsen Episode: "Old Friends"
1995 The Wright Verdicts Alice Klein Episode: "Sins of the Father"
New York Undercover Vivian Episode: "Digital Underground"
1996 Aliens in the Family Principal Sherman Episode: "A Very Brody Tweeznax"
Cosby Podiatric Nurse Episode: "Happily Ever Hilton"
1999 LateLine Helen Marschant Episode: "The Minister of Television"
1999–2006 West Wing, TheThe West Wing C.J. Cregg 145 episodes
2001 Frasier Phyllis Episode: "The Two Hundredth
2002 Frasier Susanna Episode: "Three Blind Dates"
2003 King of the Hill Laura Episode: "Full Metal Dust Jacket"
2005 Weeds Ms. Greenstein Episode: "Lude Awakening"
2007 Two and a Half Men Beverly Episode: "My Damn Stalker"
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Herself Episode: "The Disaster Show"
2008–13 Phineas and Ferb Charlene Doofenshmirtz 9 episodes
2010 Shameless Sheila Episode: "Pilot"
Family Guy Teen People Editor Episode: "Dial Meg for Murder"
Lost "Mother" Episode: "Across the Sea"
In Plain Sight Allison Pearson 2 episodes
2011 Glenn Martin, DDS Marcia Episode: "GlennHog Day"
Mr. Sunshine Crystal Cohen 13 episodes
2012 The Big C Rita Strauss Episode: "Life Rights"
2013 Veep Janet Ryland Episode: "First Response"
2013–present Masters of Sex Margaret Scully 6 episodes
Mom Bonnie Plunkett 22 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2000 Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Cast American Beauty Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The West Wing Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture American Beauty Won
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama The West Wing Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Won
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
2002 American Film Institute Female Actor in a Television Series Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Won
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
2003 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast The Hours Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama The West Wing Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress – Drama Series Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Cast The Hours Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Hours Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2005 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2006 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Our Very Own Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2007 Austin Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Juno Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival Best Cast Hairspray Won
Prism Awards Performance in a Television Movie Our Very Own Won
2008 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Hairspray Won
Juno Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Hairspray Nominated
2009 Ovation Awards Lead Actress in a Musical 9 to 5 Nominated
2010 Gotham Awards Best Cast Life During Wartime Nominated
2011 Hollywood Film Festival Best Cast The Help Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Life During Wartime Nominated
National Board of Review Best Cast The Help Won
Satellite Awards Best Cast – Motion Picture Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Won
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Cast The Way Way Back Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Masters of Sex Won
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Mom Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New Television Series Nominated
Prism Awards Performance in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Masters of Sex Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Mom Pending

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/allison-janney#
  2. ^ Allison Janney profile at filmreference.com; accessed February 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "MACY B. PUTNAM ENGAGED TO WED; Bennett Alumna Is Fiancee of Jervis S. Janney Jr., a Graduate of Princeton" December 15, 1956, New York Times.
  4. ^ Mistry, Elizabeth (July 14, 2007). "'I was told all I could play were lesbians and aliens'". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved July 21, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Allison Janney- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  6. ^ http://americantheatrewing.org/downstagecenter/detail/allison_janney
  7. ^ Allison Janney profile, nbc.com; accessed February 26, 2014.
  8. ^ "Allison Janney: Biography". Tv Guide. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (August 29, 2007). "Dolly Parton Says 9 to 5 Will Play Broadway in 2009". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2008. 
  10. ^ 2009 Tony Award nominations: 'Next to Normal' wins big, but no 'Desire'
  11. ^ Billy Elliot Leads Winners of 2009 Drama Desk Awards
  12. ^ A Breath of Fresh Air for Health Care By ALLISON ARIEFF December 13, 2009, New York Times
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 12, 2010). "Matthew Perry project a go at ABC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2010. [dead link]
  14. ^ Hibberd, James (May 18, 2010). "ABC's new fall schedule". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Allison Janney Joining New Star Tours plus AC-38 Droid to Pilot Starspeeder 1000 in 2011". September 24, 2010. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 

External links[edit]