Annette O'Toole in a 2020 episode of the series Kidding
April 1, 1952
Houston, Texas, US
|Occupation||Actress, dancer, singer, songwriter|
(m. 1983; div. 1993)
Annette O'Toole (born April 1, 1952) is an American actress, dancer, and singer-songwriter. She is known for portraying Lisa Bridges in the TV series Nash Bridges; Beverly Marsh in the It miniseries; Lana Lang in Superman III; Elaine, the girlfriend of Nick Nolte's character in 48 Hrs.; the leading role, Kathy, in the romantic-comedy Cross My Heart; and Martha Kent, the mother of Clark Kent, on the television series Smallville.
Early life and career
O'Toole was born Annette Toole in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Dorothy Geraldine (née Niland) and William West Toole Jr. Her mother taught dance, which O'Toole herself began learning at the age of three. She started taking acting lessons after her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 13. Her first television appearance was in 1967 on The Danny Kaye Show, followed over the next few years with guest appearances in shows such as My Three Sons, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, and The Partridge Family.
O'Toole's first major film role was as a jaded beauty pageant contestant in the 1975 satire Smile; she got the role after doing an impression of a "dead cockroach" at the audition. She also appeared as the tutor and girlfriend of Robby Benson's character in the college basketball story One on One in 1977. She co-starred opposite Gary Busey in the 1980 film Foolin' Around. In 1981, she starred in the HBO onstage production of Vanities, as well as in the TV movie Stand By Your Man, which detailed the life of country music legend Tammy Wynette. Later on in 1982, she appeared briefly as Nick Nolte's girlfriend in 48 Hours. That same year, she played Alice Perrin in Cat People, and then in 1983 she played Lana Lang (love interest to Clark Kent/Superman), and single mother of Ricky in Superman III. In 1985, she co-starred with Barry Manilow in the CBS television movie Copacabana playing Lola La Mar to Manilow's Tony Starr. Also in 1985, she had a starring role as Ms. Edmunds in the original Bridge to Terabithia, and appeared in the TV adaptation of Strong Medicine the following year. In 1987's Cross My Heart, a romantic comedy, O'Toole had a leading role opposite Martin Short.
In 1990, O'Toole had roles in two ABC television miniseries. She played the adult Beverly Marsh in the miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novel It, and also portrayed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. She next starred in the 1992 NBC miniseries Jewels, based on the Danielle Steel novel of the same name.
In 1993, O'Toole starred in Desperate Justice as Ellen Wells. In 1995, she starred as Cheryl Keeton in the 1995 Lifetime television film based on Ann Rule's true crime novel Dead by Sunset. She had a recurring role on the television show Nash Bridges (1996) and starred in her own series The Huntress (2000) as a female bounty hunter. In 1997 O'Toole starred in the TV movie Keeping the Promise.
In October 2001, 18 years after portraying Lana Lang in Superman III, O'Toole returned to the Superman mythos in the role of Martha Kent, Superman's adoptive mother, in the television series Smallville. She remained part of the show's main cast, though at times in the background, until the end of its sixth season. On January 19, 2010, it was announced that O'Toole would be returning to Smallville for at least one episode.
On November 22, 2010, O'Toole played the role of Veronica, a middle-aged woman suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer's, in season 3 episode 7 of the TV series Lie to Me. In March 2013 she appeared in Grey's Anatomy as a school teacher who finds out, after surgery, that she will die from cancer.
O'Toole portrayed Susan Emerson in six episodes of the first two seasons of Halt and Catch Fire.
In 2016, O'Toole returned to the Stephen King realm as boarding house owner Edna Price in 'The Kill Floor' episode of the King mini-series 11.22.63.
O’Toole is currently playing the role of Hope McCrea in the Netflix series Virgin River.
In retrospect, O'Toole can date the beginning of her songwriting career to events during a car ride after the September 11 attacks; as her husband Michael McKean describes it, "On September 11, 2001, Annette found herself without an airline to carry her back down to Los Angeles from Vancouver, where she films Smallville. So she drove a rental car down. The two of us drove it back up together, and on the long drive up there, somewhere between Portland and Seattle, she told me she had a tune in her head." The "tune in her head" became "Potato's in the Paddy Wagon", one of three songs the couple wrote for A Mighty Wind, including the Oscar-nominated song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow."
On July 7, 2007, O'Toole appeared as a backing singer for her husband's fictional band Spinal Tap at the London leg of the Live Earth concerts. She has also performed on the band's 2009 Unwigged and Unplugged tour, and contributed lyrics to "Short and Sweet" on the 2009 Spinal Tap album Back from the Dead.
In 2011 she starred in CAP21's production of the new musical Southern Comfort, based on the Sundance award-winning documentary, by Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis.
O'Toole first met Michael McKean, the man who would later become her second husband, when McKean was working on Laverne & Shirley. O'Toole and McKean became friends in 1997 while starring together on Final Justice, a Lifetime movie. They were married in March 1999.
O'Toole and McKean guest-starred together in "Mega", a 10th-season episode of Law & Order as a wealthy married couple accused of murder. The couple also guest-starred on Boy Meets World as Topanga Lawrence's parents. McKean also played reporter Perry White, later the boyfriend of O'Toole's character Martha Kent, on Smallville.
|1970||Little Big Man||Passerby||Uncredited|
|1975||Smile||Doria – Young American Miss|
|1977||One on One||Janet Hays|
|1978||King of the Gypsies||Sharon|
|1982||Cat People||Alice Perrin|
|1983||Superman III||Lana Lang|
|1987||Cross My Heart||Kathy|
|1990||Love at Large||Mrs. King|
|1994||Andre||Adult Toni (voice)|
|1994||On Hope||Hope||Short film|
|1994||Imaginary Crimes||Ginny Rucklehaus|
|2000||Here on Earth||Jo Cavanaugh|
|2009||Falling Up||Grace O' Shea|
|2014||Beach Pillows||Rita Midwood|
|2016||We Go On||Charlotte|
|2016||Women Who Kill||Lila|
|2018||A Futile and Stupid Gesture||Stephanie Kenney|
|2018||The Incoherents||Mrs. Graham|
|2019||Blow the Man Down||Gail Maguire|
|1967||My Three Sons||Tina||Episode: "The Chaperones"|
|1967||This Is the Life||Debbie||Episode: "Debbie"|
|1969||Bright Promise||Gypsy||1 episode|
|1970||Dan August||Robbie Wagner||Episode: "Love Is a Nickel Bag"|
|1970||The Virginian||Lark Walters||Episode: "The Mysterious Mr. Tate"|
|1970||Gunsmoke||Edda Sprague||Episode: "The Witness"|
|1971||The Mod Squad||Lorrie Coleman||Episode: "A Bummer for R.J."|
|1971||The Partridge Family||Carol||Episode: "Partridge Up a Pear Tree"|
|1971||Hawaii Five-O||Sue||Episode: "...And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots"|
|1973||Search||Terry Bain||Episode: "The 24 Carat Hit"|
|1973||The Girl Most Likely to...||Jenny||TV Movie|
|1973||The Rookies||Pregnant Woman||Episode: "Frozen Smoke"|
|Bank Teller||Episode: "Lots of Trees and a Running Stream"|
|1974||The F.B.I.||Brenda Porter||Episode: "The Lost Man"|
|1974||Dirty Sally||George||Episode: "My Fair Laddie"|
|1974||Police Woman||Donna Hess||Episode: "Shoefly"|
|1975||S.W.A.T.||Rita Bonelli||Episode: "The Killing Ground"|
|1975||Petrocelli||Tina||Episode: "Terror on Wheels"|
|1975||The Entertainer||Bambi Pasko||TV Movie|
|1976||Serpico||Heather||Episode: "The Indian"|
|1976||Barnaby Jones||Cas Carter||Episode: "Band of Evil"|
|1977||The War Between the Tates||Wendy Geoghegan||TV Movie|
|1977||What Really Happened to the Class of '65?||Kathy Adams Miller||Episode: "Everybody's Girl"|
|1977–1978||The Tony Randall Show||Melissa||2 episodes|
|1979||Visions||Sandy||Episode: "Ladies in Waiting"|
|1979||Love for Rent||Carol Martin||TV Movie|
|1981||Standing Room Only||Kathy||Episode: "Vanities"|
|1981||Stand by Your Man||Tammy Wynette||TV Movie|
|1984||The Best Legs in the Eighth Grade||Rachel Blackstone||TV Movie|
|1985||Bridge to Terabithia||Miss Edmunds||TV Movie|
|1985||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Stella||Pilot (segment: "An Unlocked Window")|
|1985||Copacabana||Lola Lamar||TV Movie|
|1987||Broken Vows||Nana Marie 'Nim' Fitzpatrick||TV Movie|
|1986||Strong Medicine||Jessica Weitz||TV Movie|
|1989||Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North||Betsy North||TV Movie|
|1990||The Kennedys of Massachusetts||Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy||TV Mini-Series; Main cast|
|1990||It||Beverly Marsh||TV Mini-Series; Main cast|
|1990||The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story||Maud Gage Baum||TV Movie|
|1990||A Girl of the Limberlost||Kate Comstock||TV Movie|
|1991||General Motors Playwrights Theater||Carol||Episode: "Unpublished Letters"|
|1991||White Lie||Helen Lester||TV Movie|
|1992||Jewels||Sarah Thompson Whitfield||TV Mini-Series; Main cast|
|1993||Kiss of a Killer||Kate Wilson||TV Movie|
|1993||Love Matters||Julie||TV Movie|
|1993||Desperate Justice||Ellen Wells||TV Movie; A.K.A. A Mother's Revenge|
|1995||My Brother's Keeper||Joann Bradley||TV Movie|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Commander Lydia Manning||Episode: "Dark Matters"|
|1995||Dream On||Bess Justin||Episode: "Bess You Is Not My Woman Now"|
|1995||Dead By Sunset||Cheryl Keeton Cunningham||TV Mini-Series; Main cast|
|1995||The Christmas Box||Keri Evans||TV Movie|
|1995||Lonesome Dove: The Series||Claudia Harrell||Episode: "Traveller"|
|1996||The Man Next Door||Annie Hodges||TV Movie|
|1996–1998||Nash Bridges||Lisa Bridges||Main cast (season 1–2)|
Guest (season 4)
|1997||Keeping the Promise||Anne Hallowell||TV Movie|
|1997||Final Descent||Connie Phipps||TV Movie|
|1998||Final Justice||Gwen Saticoy||TV Movie|
|1999||Boy Meets World||Rhiannon Lawrence||Episode: "State of the Unions"|
|2000||Law & Order||Valerie Grace||Episode: "Mega"|
|2000–2001||The Huntress||Dorothy 'Dottie' Thorson||Main cast|
|2001–2011||Smallville||Martha Kent / The Red Queen||Main cast (season 1–6)|
Guest (season 9–10)
|2006||Aquaman||Atlanna (voice)||TV Pilot|
|2010||Lie to Me||Veronica||Episode: "Veronica"|
|2011||Private Practice||Janet||Episode: "Blind Love"|
|2012||The Finder||Elaine Sherman||Episode: "The Boy with the Bucket"|
|2013||Grey's Anatomy||Madeleine Skurski||Episode: "Idle Hands"|
|2014||F to 7th||Diane||Web series; 2 episodes|
|2014–2015||Halt and Catch Fire||Susan Emerson||Recurring (season 1–2)|
|2015||Battle Creek||Amelia Zuransky||Episode: "Homecoming"|
|2016||11.22.63||Edna Price||Episode: "The Kill Floor"|
|2019||The Punisher||Eliza Schultz||Recurring role (Season 2)|
|2019||Virgin River||Hope McCrea||Main role|
|2020||The Good Doctor||Caroline Reznik||Episode: "Sex and Death"|
|2020||Kidding||Louise||Episode 7 Season 2"|
- Results, Texas Births, 1926–1995 from familytreelegends.com. Retrieved February 7, 2010. The website cites "Texas Births, 1926–1995. Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software, 2004–2005" as the source.
- 1983 Annette O'Toole Interview[permanent dead link] from Starlog 72 via supermancinema.co.uk
- "Will the Senator From Smallville Please Rise". Zap2it. April 13, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
Annette O'Toole feared Martha Kent would remain in the adventure's background, but that changed when Martha's husband, Jonathan (John Schneider), died shortly after his election to a Kansas senatorial seat. She has stepped up to fill his term, with ever-scheming Lionel Luthor (John Glover) taking a bit too much interest for her comfort.
- "Annette O'Toole Returning to Smallville". TVGuide.com. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
- "Interview: Michael McKean & Annette O'Toole". SoundtrackNet. January 7, 2004. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- "A World of Happiness Roster: Annette O'Toole". HyLo Productions. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- "Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole Promise an Evening of No Standards at Feinstein's". Playbill. May 9, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
- Holden, Stephen (May 26, 2005). "Kisses at the Rainbow's End" – via NYTimes.com.
- Chávez, David John (May 1, 2019). "O'Toole's great talent leads her to Berkeley Rep's 'Good Book'".