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Annie Potts

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Annie Potts
Potts in 2019
Anne Hampton Potts

(1952-10-28) October 28, 1952 (age 71)
Alma materStephens College
Years active1977–present
Known forDesigning Women
Young Sheldon
  • Steven Hartley
    (m. 1973; div. 1978)
  • (m. 1978; div. 1980)
  • B. Scott Senechal
    (m. 1981; div. 1989)
  • (m. 1990)

Anne Hampton Potts (born October 28, 1952)[1] 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), Ghostbusters II (1989), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024). She voiced Bo Peep in the first, second and fourth films of the Toy Story franchise (1995, 1999, and 2019) and in various Disney video games.

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 "M.E" 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 (2017–2024).

Early life and education


Potts was born in Nashville, Tennessee,[2] the third child of Dorothy Harris (née Billingslea) and Powell Grisette Potts. She has two older sisters. They grew up in Franklin, Kentucky, where she graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School in 1970.[3]

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,[4] including compound fractures to both legs, and caused the loss of the heel of her right foot; Hartley lost his left leg.[5][6]



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.[7] 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 at the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards in 1989

Potts played receptionist Janine Melnitz in the Ghostbusters film series; Potts created the character's trademark New York accent based on a friend's who was from the city. She then appeared as the pragmatic interior designer Mary Jo Shively on the CBS television sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993). 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 of Annette.[8][9]

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.[10] 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."[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] ABC later looked for a cable network to distribute the series, opting not to air it on network television.[14] In late 2013, it was announced that Potts would join Diane Paulus' 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.[15]

From 2017 to 2024 she was a series regular on the CBS sitcom Young Sheldon, playing Connie "Meemaw" Tucker, Sheldon's maternal grandmother.

Personal life


Potts is the mother of three sons: one with her third husband Scott Senechal, and two with her fourth and current husband James Hayman.[16]

Acting credits



Year Film Role Notes
1978 Corvette Summer Vanessa
King of the Gypsies Persa
1981 Heartaches Bonnie Howard
1984 Ghostbusters Janine Melnitz
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
1990 Texasville Karla Jackson
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[17]
All At Once Ginny Maxwell
2017 Humor Me Dee
Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town Mary
2018 Happy Anniversary Diane
2019 Toy Story 4 Bo Peep Voice role
2021 Arlo the Alligator Boy Edmée
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Janine Melnitz
2024 Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire


Year Title Role Notes
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
Bayou Romance Lily Movie
1983 Cowboy D.G. Movie
Remington Steele Annie Carpenter Episode: "Steele Crazy After All These Years"
1983–1986 Magnum, P.I. Tracy Spencer 2 episodes
1984 Why Me? Daria Movie
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"
1989 Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration Co-host TV special
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 and also producer
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
2011 Five Charlotte's Mom 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
2017–2024 Young Sheldon "Meemaw" or Constance "Connie" Tucker Main cast, 139 episodes
2021 I Heart Arlo Edmée (voice) A Netflix original animated series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story Bo Peep (voice)
1999 Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Janine Melnitz (voice)
2010 Toy Story 3: The Video Game Bo Peep (voice)
2016 Disney Magic Kingdoms Voice lines removed in a later update
2019 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered Janine Melnitz (voice)
2023 Disney Speedstorm Bo Peep (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
2009–10 God of Carnage Annette
2014 Pippin Berthe Broadway

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
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 Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Any Day Now Nominated
1999 Nominated
2019 Critics' Choice Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Young Sheldon Nominated
2023 Nominated


  1. ^ "Annie Potts". AllMovie. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 1970 Franklin-Simpson High School yearbook
  4. ^ "Tips From Greg Vanvakaris, DC, CSCS". HowStuffWorks. September 29, 2010. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ Working Mother, January 1997, p. 25
  7. ^ "Golden Globe Awards Website". Archived from the original on September 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Potts's Broadway debut[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "God of Carnage: Replacements". Internet Broadway Database.
  10. ^ "Good Christian Belles". ABC. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  11. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (March 5, 2012). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Annie Potts". Biography. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "Annie Potts To Make Cameo In Paul Feig's Ghostbusters Reboot". Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2020.