Anne Hampton Potts
October 28, 1952
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stephens College|
|Height||1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)|
|Board member of||Stephens College|
Anne Hampton Potts (born October 28, 1952), known as Annie Potts, is an American actress. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Corvette Summer (1978) and won a Genie Award for Heartaches (1981), before appearing in Ghostbusters (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), and Ghostbusters II (1989). She voiced Bo Peep in the first, second and fourth films of the Toy Story franchise (1995–1999, 2019–present).
On television, Potts played Mary Jo Jackson Shively on the CBS sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993). She was nominated for a 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for playing Dana Palladino on the CBS sitcom Love & War (1993–1995), she played teacher Louanne Johnson on ABC drama Dangerous Minds for one season 1996–1997, and was nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards in 1998 and 1999 for playing Mary Elizabeth Sims in the Lifetime drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002). Her other television credits include GCB (2012), The Fosters (2013–2018), and Young Sheldon (2017–present).
Early life and education
Potts was born in Nashville, Tennessee, as the third child of Dorothy Harris (née Billingslea) and Powell Grisette Potts. Her older sisters are Mary Eleanor (Potts) Hovious and Elizabeth Grissette ("Dollie") Potts. They grew up in Franklin, Kentucky, where she graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School in 1970.
She attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in theater. Potts and her first husband, Steven Hartley, were in a car crash that left several bones below her waist broken, including compound fractures to both legs, and the loss of the heel of her right foot; Hartley lost his left leg.
Potts made her debut on the big screen in 1978 in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer comedy film Corvette Summer, with Mark Hamill. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1979 for her role in the film. In 1982, she won Genie Awards for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress for her role in the film Heartaches, about a young woman married to a stock car racer and carrying his friend's child. In 1980, she played Edith Bedelmeyer, a woman who shared an attic apartment with three other women (played by Georgia Engel, Lorna Patterson, and Francine Tacker) on the short-lived comedy series, Goodtime Girls.
Potts played receptionist Janine Melnitz in the Ghostbusters film series; being from Tennessee, Potts created the character's trademark New York accent based on a friend's who was from the city. She then achieved fame as pragmatic interior designer Mary Jo Shively on the CBS television sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993), and has had a wide variety of prominent roles in both television and film. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1994 for her role as Dana Palladino on Love & War (1993–1995). Other notable roles include Mary Elizabeth (O'Brien) Sims on the Lifetime Television drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the voice of Bo Peep in three of the Toy Story films, a supporting role in John Hughes's Pretty in Pink, and guest-starring roles on such CBS's television series as Magnum, P.I., Joan of Arcadia, Close to Home, Two and a Half Men, and ABC's Men in Trees, Ugly Betty, and Boston Legal. She played a recurring role as Sophie Devere in the NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2005 to 2009.
Potts has done work on audio books; including as the narrator and heroine of Larry McMurtry's Telegraph Days, winning the 2007 Audie Award for Solo Narration-Female, for her portrayal. She starred in the film version of McMurtry's Texasville, a sequel to The Last Picture Show. She made her Broadway debut upon joining the cast of the Tony Award–winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, succeeding Hope Davis in the role.
In 2012, Potts starred as Elizabeth "Gigi" Stopper in ABC's comedy-drama series GCB, with Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, and Marisol Nichols. She says she based her portrayal of the character on Dixie Carter, adding, "Were she still alive, the role would have been hers and should have been." Potts also played a leading role in the 2012 Hallmark Channel original musical movie The Music Teacher, about a high-school music teacher who is on the brink of losing her beloved school music program because of district budget cuts. In an effort to spare the program, Daley's former students band together to stage a musical to raise money to keep the program alive.
In March 2013, Potts signed on for the lead role of the ABC comedy-drama pilot Murder in Manhattan about a mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths. ABC later looked for a cable network to distribute the series, opting not to air it on network television. In late 2013, it was announced that Potts would join Diane Paulus' critically acclaimed revival of Pippin beginning January 21, 2014. She replaced Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh in the role of Pippin's grandmother Berthe. This marked her first appearance in a Broadway musical.
Starting in 2017, she is a series regular on the CBS sitcom Young Sheldon as Connie "Meemaw" Tucker.
Potts is the mother of three sons: Clay (with third husband Scott Senechal, married 1981), and two with James Hayman: James (called Doc, born 1992), and Harry (born 1996). She also has one grandson, Cassius, born July 12, 2021. Potts is a board member of Stephens College, and has been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the college for many years.
|King of the Gypsies||Persa|
|Crimes of Passion||Amy Grady|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||Iona|
|Jumpin' Jack Flash||Liz Carlson|
|1987||The Man Who Fell to Earth||Louise|
|1988||Pass the Ammo||Darla Porter|
|She's Having a Baby||Herself||Cameo|
|1989||Who's Harry Crumb?||Helen Downing|
|Ghostbusters II||Janine Melnitz|
|1992||Breaking the Rules||Mary Klinglitch|
|1995||Toy Story||Bo Peep||Voice role|
|1999||Toy Story 2|
|2004||Elvis Has Left the Building||Shirl|
|2007||The Sunday Man||Mrs. Culp||Short film|
|2014||Chu and Blossom||Aunt Harley|
|2015||As Good As You||Dr. Laura Berg|
|2016||Ghostbusters||Vanessa the hotel clerk||Cameo|
|All At Once||Ginny Maxwell|
|Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town||Mary|
|2019||Toy Story 4||Bo Peep||Voice role|
|2021||Arlo the Alligator Boy||Edmée|
|Ghostbusters: Afterlife||Janine Melnitz|
|1977||Black Market Baby||Linda Cleary||Movie|
|Busting Loose||Helene||3 episodes|
|1978||Family||Caddy Wilde||Episode: "Magic"|
|1979||Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers||Flatbed Annie||Movie|
|Visions||Ellen||Episode: "Ladies in Waiting"|
|1980||Goodtime Girls||Edith Bedelmeyer||Main cast, 12 episodes|
|1982||Something So Right||Sunday||Movie|
|Remington Steele||Annie Carpenter||Episode: "Steele Crazy After All These Years"|
|1983–1986||Magnum, P.I.||Tracy Spencer||2 episodes|
|It Came Upon the Midnight Clear||Cindy Mills||Movie|
|1985||The Twilight Zone||Cathy Lowery||Episode: "Wordplay"|
|1986–1993||Designing Women||Mary Jo Shively||Main cast, 163 episodes|
|1987||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Kathy Sanders||"My Dissident Mom"|
|Amazing Stories||Mrs. Bev Binford (voice)||Episode: "The Family Dog"|
|1993–1995||Love & War||Dana Palladino||Main cast, 44 episodes|
|1995||Her Deadly Rival||Kris Lansford||Movie|
|1996–1997||Dangerous Minds||LouAnne Johnson||Main cast, 17 episodes|
|1997||Over the Top||Hadley Martin||Main cast, 12 episodes|
|1998||Hercules||Syrinx the Muse (voice)||Episode: "Hercules and the Muse of Dance"|
|1998–2002||Any Day Now||Mary Elizabeth 'M.E.' Sims||Main cast, 88 episodes|
|1999||Johnny Bravo||Wrangler (voice)||1 episode|
|2003||Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story||Julie Posey||Movie|
|2004||Huff||Doris Johnson||4 episodes|
|2004–2005||Joan of Arcadia||Lieutenant Lucy Preston||11 episodes|
|2005||Close to Home||Dr. Marla Dodds||Episode: "Divine Directions"|
|2005–2009||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sophie Devere||4 episodes|
|2007||Men in Trees||Mary Alice O'Donnell||4 episodes|
|2008||Ugly Betty||Linda||Episode: "Zero Worship"|
|Boston Legal||Joy Espenson||Episode: "The Bad Seed"|
|Queen Sized||Joan Baker||Movie|
|2009||Two and a Half Men||Lenore||Episode: "Mmm, Fish. Yum."|
|2010||Marry Me||Vivienne Carter||Miniseries|
|2010||Freshman Father||Kathy Patton||TV movie|
|2012||GCB||Gigi Stopper||Main cast, 10 episodes|
|The Music Teacher||Alyson Daley||Movie|
|Fish Hooks||Nurse Fishington (voice)||3 episodes|
|Animal Practice||Virginia Coleman||2 episodes|
|2013–2018||The Fosters||Sharon Elkin||11 episodes|
|2013||Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||Tawny Zingwald (voice)||Episode: "Stank'd to the Future/Wave Slayers"|
|Grey's Anatomy||Joyce||Episode: "Map of You"|
|2014||Instant Mom||Roberta Montgomery||Episode: "True Romance"|
|Young & Hungry||Donna Kaminski (voice)||Episode: "Pilot"; uncredited|
|2015||Major Crimes||Clarissa||Episode: "Special Master: Part Two"|
|NCIS: New Orleans||Olivia Brody||Episode: "Broken Hearted"|
|2015–2016||Chicago Med||Helen Manning||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|2016||Scandal||Louise Baker||Episode: "Buckle Up"|
|Royal Pains||Mrs. Sacani||2 episodes|
|2017–present||Young Sheldon||"Meemaw" or Constance "Connie" Tucker||Main cast|
|2021||I Heart Arlo||Edmée (voice)||A Netflix original animated series|
|1995||Animated Storybook: Toy Story||Bo Peep (voice)|
|1999||Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue||Bo Peep (voice)|
|2009||Ghostbusters: The Video Game||Janine Melnitz (voice)|
|2010||Toy Story 3: The Video Game||Bo Peep (voice)|
|2016||Disney Magic Kingdoms|
|2019||Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered||Janine Melnitz (voice)|
|2009–10||God of Carnage||Annette|
Awards and nominations
|1978||Golden Globe Awards||New Star of the Year – Actress||Corvette Summer||Nominated|
|1981||Genie Awards||Best Performance by a Foreign Actress||Heartaches||Won|
|1994||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Love & War||Nominated|
|1998||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Any Day Now||Nominated|
|2019||Critics' Choice Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Young Sheldon||Nominated|
- "Annie Potts". AllMovie. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Allport, Brandy Hilboldt (October 28, 2006). "A.M.Stir". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2007.
- "Tips From Greg Vanvakaris, DC, CSCS". HowStuffWorks. September 29, 2010. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- "Was the Wampa Attack in Empire Strikes Back Created to Explain Mark Hamill's Facial Injuries?". August 25, 2015. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
- Working Mother, January 1997, p. 25
- "Golden Globe Awards Website". Archived from the original on September 22, 2019.
- Potts's Broadway debut[permanent dead link]
- "Good Christian Belles". ABC. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- Elavsky, Cindy (March 5, 2012). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- Annie Potts to Star in Hallmark Movie 'The Music Teacher' (Exclusive) Archived December 14, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The Hollywood Reporter, February 21, 2012 by Lesley Goldberg
- "Annie Potts To Star In ABC Pilot 'Murder In Manhattan'". Deadline. March 2, 2013. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- Lesley Goldberg (May 9, 2013). "ABC Studios to Shop 'Murder in Manhattan' to Other Networks". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- "Annie Potts Will Join Tony Award-Winning Broadway Revival of Pippin in 2014". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- "Annie Potts". Biography. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
- "Annie Potts To Make Cameo In Paul Feig's Ghostbusters Reboot". Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2020.