Lynch at the 2016 Willfilm Awards
Jane Marie Lynch
July 14, 1960
Evergreen Park, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Education||Illinois State University (BA)|
Cornell University (MFA)
(m. 2010; div. 2014)
Jane Marie Lynch (born July 14, 1960) is an American actress, voice actress, author, singer and comedian. She is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the musical television series Glee. She also gained fame in Christopher Guest's improv mockumentary pictures such as Best in Show.
A native of Dolton, Illinois, Lynch's television cameos include an appearance in the Nickelodeon situation comedy iCarly and the Showtime dark comedy series Weeds. Lynch had a recurring role in the Warner Bros. situation comedy Two and a Half Men from 2004 to 2014 and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in 2010. She has also had other notable roles in numerous mainstream comedies, such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models and The Three Stooges.
On September 4, 2013, Lynch received the 2,505th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of television located at 6640 Hollywood Blvd. Lynch has lent her voice to multiple animated films, including Space Chimps, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Shrek Forever After and Wreck-It Ralph. Since 2013, she has hosted the NBC game show Hollywood Game Night, for which she has won two Emmy Awards. She has also hosted Earth Live for National Geographic.
Lynch was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, and raised in Dolton, Illinois, the daughter of a banker father, Frank Lynch, and a homemaker-secretary mother, Eileen (née Carney). Her father was of Irish descent, his parents having come from Swinford County Mayo, and her mother was of Irish and Swedish ancestry. She was raised in a Catholic family and attended Thornridge High School.
Lynch spent 15 years in Chicago, acting in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and, at the time of her audition, was one of only two women picked to join The Second City comedy troupe. She then continued to hone her comical and improvisational skills at Annoyance Theater, playing Carol Brady in the theater's The Real Live Brady Bunch. Andy Richter played Mike Brady in the New York shows. He and Lynch became very good friends.
Lynch got her start in films in 1988, playing a small role in the film Vice Versa. In 1993, she had a secondary role as a doctor alongside Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. She also appeared, in 1993, as a reporter in Fatal Instinct.
During the 1990s, she made numerous television commercials, including one for Frosted Flakes for an adult audience, directed by Christopher Guest. A few years later, Guest would remember Lynch, as he chose actors for his 2000 dog show mockumentary, Best in Show. Lynch played Christy Cummings, a butch lesbian personal dog handler to trophy wife Sheri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge). From there, she became a staple actress in Guest's casts, appearing in the director's A Mighty Wind (2003) as porn actress-turned-folk singer Laurie Bohner and in For Your Consideration (2006) as an entertainment reporter.
Audiences and critics took notice of Lynch for her turn in Judd Apatow's The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the role was originally intended for a man but also that, at the urging of Steve Carell's wife Nancy Walls, was offered to Lynch instead. From there, she took supporting roles in a series of films including Role Models, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Space Chimps, The Rocker, The Hammer, Another Cinderella Story, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Wreck-It Ralph, and Spring Breakdown.
In Adventures of Power, a critically acclaimed comedy about air-drumming released in 2008, Lynch reunited with Michael McKean, her former co-star from For Your Consideration, in the role of Aunt Joanie and starring alongside Ari Gold, Adrian Grenier, Chiu Chi Ling, and Shoshannah Stern. In a role similar to that of her contributions as Sue Sylvester on the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee, Lynch's role as the encouraging Aunt Joanie to Power, a young musician who plays the air drums because he never had access to musical instruments, promotes the initiative to support music education.
In Julie and Julia, she portrayed Dorothy McWilliams, Julia Child's sister. Entertainment Weekly dedicated an article on its website to the possibility of her performance receiving an Academy Award nomination. However, she was not nominated.
Lynch has appeared in many television shows, including The X Files, L.A. Law, Judging Amy, The West Wing, 7th Heaven, Desperate Housewives, Friends, NewsRadio, Married With Children, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Arrested Development, Lovespring International, Two and a Half Men, Veronica Mars, Weeds, Boston Legal, L Word, Criminal Minds, Help Me Help You, Gilmore Girls, New Adventures of Old Christine, Psych, Monk, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The King of Queens and Frasier. She also starred with John Hannah and William Fichtner in 2002's MDs and has appeared in the crime drama Criminal Minds as Spencer Reid's schizophrenic mother.
Beginning in 2009, Lynch appeared as a regular cast member of the Fox series Glee. The role echoed previous guest appearances in The X-Files and Veronica Mars, being her third time cast as a harsh high school teacher. She won glowing reviews for her role as the aggressive cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Lynch alone makes Glee worth watching." Before her work with Glee, she was a series regular on the Starz comedy Party Down. Though the series was renewed for a second season, Lynch would not be returning, due to her work on Glee.
Even in Glee's early days, Lynch continued to pursue other projects. Lynch hosted Saturday Night Live on October 9, 2010; the news of her hosting was accidentally broken to her by her Glee boss, Ryan Murphy, by text message. Lynch had also guest-starred on the Nickelodeon comedy iCarly as Pam Puckett, Sam Puckett's mother, in the episode "iSam's Mom."
Beginning on July 11, 2013, Lynch hosted the NBC game show Hollywood Game Night. The show had two teams made up of members of the public (civilians) and celebrities competing in various party games, with a chance for the civilians to take home up to $25,000.
In February 21, 2017, Lynch appeared on The Price Is Right as a Celebrity Charity Week contestant.
In March 2013, Lynch was announced as executive producer of comedy web series Dropping the Soap. Lynch starred in the series and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. The series premiered on Dekkoo.com and was made available on digital platforms including Amazon Video.
Also in 2017, Lynch guest-starred in Episode 7 of Marvelous Mrs Maisel as popular but dislikeable comic Sophie Lennon. Lynch returned in the role for two episodes at the end of the second season.
Lynch wrote and starred in the award-winning play Oh Sister, My Sister. Originally produced in 1998, the play kicked off the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 2004.
She starred in Comcast's XFinity ads, mainly with two different laptops and two different colored Persian cats. She also stars in LG Corp.'s Text Ed campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.
Lynch's first experience hosting an awards show was in 2010 when she hosted the 2010 VH1 DoSomething Awards. It was announced that she will be hosting the 2011 VH1 DoSomething Awards, airing on VH1 on August 18. Lynch hosted the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on September 18, 2011, only the third woman in Emmy history to host the awards show solo. According to the edition of September 19 of The Hollywood Reporter, Lynch hosting the Emmys did not help ratings, as viewing was down 8% year over year and eight million fewer people watched the Emmys than watched Michael Vick's return to Atlanta on Sunday Night Football on NBC (21.5 million for Eagles-Falcons, 13.5 million for the Emmys).
An autobiography written by Lynch, titled Happy Accidents, was published in the fall of 2011 by Hyperion Voice. Lynch was inspired to write the book after reflecting upon the successes of her past year and wishing she could have told her more anxious, younger self to not worry as much. The memoir also includes detail about her years as an alcoholic and her success in battling this addiction. Lynch is openly lesbian and married Lara Embry in 2010. A self-proclaimed animal lover, Lynch has four rescue dogs. She has recorded a PSA for PETA encouraging the adoption of shelter animals, and she sponsors an annual adoption event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. She was the commencement speaker for Smith College's class of 2012 where she received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.
In March 2012, Lynch was featured with Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Colfer and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' – a staged re-enactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage – as Maggie Gallagher. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
In 2015, Lynch debuted See Jane Sing, a cabaret show in which she sings along with Kate Flannery from The Office and Tim Davis from ABC's Boy Band, accompanied by the Tony Guerrero Quintet. The show continues to tour around the country. In 2016, Lynch released A Swingin' Little Christmas, a nostalgic Christmas album featuring the See Jane Sing ensemble and released on Lynch's own KitschTone Records label. The album received substantial airplay around the country and landed on the Billboard AC Chart's Top 10. In 2017, Lynch recorded a Christmas single with actor Dick Van Dyke. The song was composed and produced by Tony Guerrero and was released by KitschTone Records.
Lynch is openly lesbian; in 2005, she was named one of Power Up's "10 Amazing Lesbian Women in Showbiz." On May 31, 2010, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, Lynch married clinical psychologist Lara Embry, whom she first met a year earlier at a fundraiser in San Francisco. In June 2013, Lynch announced that she and Embry were divorcing after three years of marriage; the divorce was finalized in January 2014.
Lynch is deaf in her right ear. On July 19, 2013, she speculated to Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show that the deafness in that ear was most likely caused by having had a high fever as an infant.
Awards and nominations
Her portrayal of Sue Sylvester in Glee has won numerous awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film, and the People's Choice Award 2011 for Favorite TV Comedy Actress.
In 2018, Lynch was nominated for two Emmy Awards: one as Outstanding Guest Actor for her role in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and the other as Outstanding Host for her work on Hollywood Game Night.
List of works
- 2003: A Mighty Wind
- 2008: Another Cinderella Story
- 2010: Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna
- 2010: Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers
- 2013: Annie: The New Broadway Cast Recording
- 2016: A Swingin' Little Christmas
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Evergreen Park? I was born in Evergreen Park! Little Company of Mary. The hospital.
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This was a huge deal—my first big Hollywood movie. I played Dr. Kathy Wahlund, a researcher and forensic scientist who helps Richard Kimble prove his innocence.
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- "Jane Lynch plays the late Janet Reno in Discovery Channel miniseries". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. July 28, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
Actor Jane Lynch is known for playing comedic roles such as Sue Sylvester on the former Fox TV series “Glee.” Beginning Aug. 1, she'll be playing a more true-to-life role, that of Janet Reno, the late Miami-Dade state attorney and U.S. attorney.
- "Jane Lynch Teases Her Character Is Out for 'Revenge' in 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 2 (Exclusive)". ET Online. November 6, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
"Sophie Lennon, as you know, is a stand-up comedian, who in real life is a very smug, self-satisfied erudite woman," Lynch said.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 15, 2018). "Jane Lynch To Reprise Emmy-Nominated Role On 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'". Lynch appeared in Episode 7 of Mrs. Maisel's freshman season, earning a nomination for an outstanding guest actor in a comedy series. It is one of two Emmy noms for Lynch this year, along with an outstanding host for a reality-competition program one for Hollywood Game Night. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
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