J. Smith-Cameron

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J. Smith-Cameron
Born Jean Isabel Smith
(1957-09-07) September 7, 1957 (age 58)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Alma mater Florida State University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Kenneth Lonergan (2000–present)
Children Nellie

J. Smith-Cameron (born September 7, 1957) is an American actress.

Life and career[edit]

Smith-Cameron was born Jean Isabel Smith in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of architect Richard Sharpe Smith.[1] She was raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and attended Florida State University for one year, where she was enrolled in the School of Theatre. There she met film director Victor Nuñez, who cast her as a lead in his film Gal Young 'Un (1979)[2]

She added her family's name, Cameron, when told by the Actors' Equity Association that there was already a J. Smith and there was a rule that two actors cannot have the same professional name.[3] She made her Broadway debut in August 1982 when she replaced Mia Dillon as "Babe Botrelle" in Crimes of the Heart.[4][5][6] She appeared in the original Broadway cast of Lend Me a Tenor as "Maggie" in 1989.[7] The cast of that play won an Outer Critics Circle Award, Special Awards.[8] She appeared in the Broadway production of Our Country's Good in 1991.[9] Additional Broadway credits include Night Must Fall (1999),[10] Tartuffe (2002),[11] and After the Night and the Music (2005).[12]

She has appeared in many Off-Broadway plays, including at the Public Theater, the Second Stage Theatre, and Playwrights Horizons.[13] She appeared in the Paul Rudnick play The Naked Truth Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in 1994.[14] She received a Drama Desk Award nomination for this production.[15]

In November 1999 through April 2000 she appeared in Fuddy Meers as Claire at New York City Center, Stage II, for which she received a nomination for the Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Actress in a Play.[16] In March through June 2004 she appeared in the Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway production of Sarah, Sarah.[17] In November through December 2009 she appeared Off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre in her husband's (Kenneth Lonergan) play, The Starry Messenger.[18] In October 2013 to December 2013 she starred in the Off-Broadway Irish Repertory Theater production of Juno and the Paycock as Juno Boyle. The New York Times reviewer wrote: "In one of the finest performances of her distinguished career on the New York stage, Ms. Smith-Cameron imbues her Juno with a steely pragmatism, but more important an emotional pliancy that makes her more prepared than the rest of her clan to beat back the onslaughts of ill fortune that beset them."[19]

She won an Obie Award for the Off-Broadway Drama Department production As Bees in Honey Drown (1997), which also earned her a Drama Desk nomination[20] and Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, Outstanding Actress In A Play.[21] Additional nominations include the Drama Desk Award for Sarah, Sarah (2004)[22] and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in the play Our Country's Good.[23]


Smith-Cameron is married to playwright/screenwriter/director Kenneth Lonergan. They have one daughter, Nellie.[3] They met when Lonergan saw Smith-Cameron in a play and asked if she would be interested in doing a workshop of one of his plays.[18]



Sources: The New York Times[32][33]


  1. ^ "J. Smith-Cameron Biography" FilmReference.com
  2. ^ " Gal Young 'Un Listing" tcm.com, accessed January 20, 2014
  3. ^ a b "She and Lonergan are expecting their first child in late January." Vellela, Tony. "Smith-Cameron's role-changing, name-changing career", The Christian Science Monitor, October 5, 2001, p.18
  4. ^ Lawson, Carol. "Broadway:Musical 'Baby' is on the way, story of 3 1/2 couples", The New York Times, July 30, 1982, p.C2
  5. ^ Kaye, Kimberly. "What's Up, J. Smith-Cameron? The Starry Star on Life, Art and Why She Loves Ben Brantley" broadway.com, December 9, 2009
  6. ^ " Crimes of the Heart see Replacement page" ibdb.com, accessed January 19, 2014
  7. ^ Rich, Frank. "Reviews/Theater; When One Tenor Is Much Like Another" The New York Times, March 3, 1989
  8. ^ "Award Archives, 198801989" outercritics.org, accessed January 18, 2014
  9. ^ Rich, Frank. Review/Theater; Broadway Season's Last Drama Offers a Defense of Theater" The New York Times, April 30, 1991
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth and David, Lefkowitz. "Curtain Up on Broderick's 'Night Must Fall', Opening March 8 at Bway's Lyceum" playbill.com, March 5, 1999
  11. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Emerson, Smith-Cameron, Meisle Added to Bway 'Tartuffe' Cast" playbill.com, September 19, 2002
  12. ^ Sommers, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review. 'After the Night and the Music'" Curtainup.com, June 2, 2005
  13. ^ "Listing, J. Smith-Cameron" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed April 28, 2012
  14. ^ Kuchwara, Michael. " The Naked Truth Opens Off Broadway" apnewsarchive.com, June 16, 1994
  15. ^ "Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – 'The Naked Truth' – J. – Smith Cameron" dramadesk.org, accessed January 20, 2014
  16. ^ "'Fuddy Meers'" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed April 28, 2012
  17. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review' 'Sarah, Sarah'" Curtainup.com, March 28, 2004
  18. ^ a b Kaye, Kimberly. "What's Up, J. Smith-Cameron? The Starry Star on Life, Art and Why She Loves Ben Brantley" broadway.com, December 9, 2009
  19. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. J. Smith-Cameron Stars in 'Juno and the Paycock' " The New York Times', October 25, 2013
  20. ^ "'As Bees in Honey Drown'" Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed April 28, 2012
  21. ^ Viagas, Robert and Lefkowitz, David. " 'Lion King' Roars With Six Outer Critics Circle Awards" playbill.com, April 27, 1998
  22. ^ "Outstanding Actress in a Play – 'Sarah, Sarah' – J. – Smith-Cameron" dramadesk.org, accessed January 20, 2014
  23. ^ Shirley, Don. " 'Saigon,' 'Rogers' Lead the Tony Pack : Awards: Though neither received consistently enthusiastic reviews, both shows garner 11 nominations" Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1991
  24. ^ " 84 Charing Cross Road Cast" The New York Times, accessed January 20, 2014
  25. ^ " 'Mighty Aphrodite' Cast" movies.tvguide.com, accessed January 18, 2014
  26. ^ "Cast and Crew, 'Sabrina'" tcm.com, accessed April 28, 2012
  27. ^ "Cast and Crew, 'Harriet the Spy'" allmovie.com, accessed April 28, 2012
  28. ^ " The First Wives Club Cast" The New York Times, accessed January 20, 2014
  29. ^ "Cast and Crew, 'In and Out'" allmovie.com, accessed April 28, 2012
  30. ^ Levy, Emanuel. "Film Reviews. 'You Can Count on Me'" Variety, February 1, 2000
  31. ^ "'Margaret' Cast and Crew" allmovie.com, accessed April 28, 2012
  32. ^ "Filmography" The New York Times, accessed January 18, 2014
  33. ^ "Smith-Cameron Credits" tvguide.com, accessed January 18, 2014
  34. ^ Probst, Andy. "Alfre Woodard, J. Smith-Cameron To Join HBO's True Blood'" theatermania.com, December 15, 2009

External links[edit]