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April 18, 1947
Sand Springs, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lyman Ward (1986-1992)|
She is known for her 1970s role as Jackie Marler-Spaulding on the CBS soap Guiding Light; her role as Dr. Carol Novino on the television drama St. Elsewhere in the 1980s; for her critically acclaimed performance as the real-life Kay Stayner, the mother of a boy who was kidnapped for several years, in the dramatic TV movie I Know My First Name Is Steven; and for her cinematic roles and performances as Valerie St. John in Roger Vadim's little-known 1980 erotic cult film, Jeux de Nuit / Night Games, for which she would have the leading role, and as the tough-as-nails and heroic Dr. Jane Norris in the 1989 sci-fi-horror film DeepStar Six.
Pickett, however, is handily best known to audiences for her highly memorable turn as Katie Bueller, Matthew Broderick's titular character's loving and unsuspecting mother, in the 1986 classic and iconic American comedy movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Pickett made a major departure from her soap opera image when she played the central role in the 1980 erotic film Jeux de Nuit / Night Games, directed by Roger Vadim. It was a sexually charged role involving numerous nude scenes, however the film never found an audience and did not boost Pickett's career. In the 1981 mystery/crime drama Margin for Murder, Pickett played the role of Velda, Mike Hammer's (Kevin Dobson) loyal and devoted secretary. She played "Jackie Marler" on the soap opera The Guiding Light from 1976 to 1980, "Vanessa Sarnac" on the ABC weekly TV series Call to Glory from 1984 to 1985, and she appeared on the hospital drama TV series St. Elsewhere from 1986 to 1988.
Pickett was born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, daughter of Cecil Pickett, a director and drama teacher at the University of Houston. She met Lyman Ward, on the set of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (the actors' characters were husband and wife, the parents of Ferris Bueller), and they married sometime afterwards, although they have since divorced.
- The Ivory Ape (1980) (TV film)
- Jeux de Nuit / Night Games (1980)
- Circle of Power (1983)
- Call To Glory (1984–1985)
- St. Elsewhere Dr. Carol Novino (50 episodes, 1986–1988)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
- DeepStar Six (1989)
- Sleepwalkers (1992)
- Son in Law (1993)
- Her Hidden Truth (1995)
- Hate Crime (2005)
- The Village Barbershop (2008)