Janel Moloney

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Janel Moloney
Janel Moloney (15087095697) (cropped).jpg
Moloney in September 2014
Janel Wallace Moloney

(1969-10-03) October 3, 1969 (age 50)
Alma materSUNY Purchase
Years active1987–present
Partner(s)Marcelo Zarvos

Janel Wallace Moloney (born October 3, 1969) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Donna Moss on the television series The West Wing, a role for which she received nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002 and 2004. From 2014 to 2017, she starred on the acclaimed HBO drama The Leftovers.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Woodland Hills, California, Moloney is the niece through marriage of actress Christine Ebersole, and attended the acting conservatory at SUNY Purchase. During the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, she was an active supporter of John Kerry's campaign and made public appearances on its behalf. Moloney has two sons with composer Marcelo Zarvos.[1]



Her early work included television guest roles on ER, Sports Night, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., and Murder, She Wrote.[2] Starting in 1999, Moloney had a recurring role on The West Wing as Donna Moss, assistant and eventual love interest to Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford).[3][4] Moloney was originally credited only as a guest star, but she appeared in every episode of the first season. From the second season onward, Moloney was listed in the main credits. Moloney has received two Emmy Award nominations, one in 2002 and one in 2004, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama.[5][6]

Moloney appeared in the television film Bang Bang You're Dead with Thomas Cavanagh and Randy Harrison, which was first broadcast on October 13, 2002 on Showtime.[7] She played the part of Amber Frey in the made-for-TV movie Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution, broadcast May 25, 2005 on CBS.[8] In 2007, Moloney played Dana Chase, who has a relationship with Tommy Caffee (Jason Clarke) in six episodes of the 2nd season of Brotherhood.[9]

In 2008, Moloney appeared in one episode ("It's a Wonderful Lie") of House M.D..[10] In 2008, she guest-starred in an episode of 30 Rock.[2][11] Moloney appeared in the 3rd installment of the Lstudio.com Web Series Puppy Love.

In 2009, she appeared in the US series Life on Mars as Professor Pat Olsen in the episode "Revenge of the Broken Jaw".[12] She also appeared in the episode "Faithfully" of Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Allison Wyler.[13]


In 2007, Moloney made her Off-Broadway stage debut as Theresa in the Playwrights Horizons production 100 Saints You Should Know, written by Kate Fodor and directed by Ethan McSweeny.[14] She appeared in the Off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore in September through October 2, 2011.[15]


Moloney starred in the 2010 feature film Armless, as Anna.[16] She made a brief appearance as Earlene in the 1995 Walter Hill directed western Wild Bill, and appears in the 2013 film Concussion.



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Dream Lover Alice Keller
1995 Safe Hairdresser
Wild Bill Earlene
1997 ''Til There Was You Beebee Moss, Age 25
1998 Desperate Measures Sarah Davis
The Souler Opposite Thea Douglas
2002 Bang Bang You're Dead Ellie Milford
2005 Just Pray Cheryl Lawson Short
2010 Armless Anna
2013 Concussion Pru
2014 Stay Then Go Marion Baird
2016 Half the Perfect World Gina
2017 The Leisure Seeker Jane


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Roomies Punk Co-Ed Episode: "The One That Got Away"
1991 To Save a Child Janelle Lowry TV movie
...And Then She Was Gone Mary TV movie
1992 Double Edge Jen TV movie
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Mary Sims Episode: "Pirates!"
Bakersfield P.D. Sarah Episode: "Lucky 13"
1995 ER Mrs. Nancy Larson Episode: "The Birthday Party"
Murder, She Wrote Maria Corbin Episode: "Unwilling Witness"
1996 High Incident Bridesmaid McManus Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part"
1998 Sports Night Monica Brazelton Episode: "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee"
1999–2006 The West Wing Donna Moss 149 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001, 2002)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2002, 2004)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003-2006)
2005 Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution Amber Frey TV movie
2007 Brotherhood Dana Chase 5 episodes
2008 House Maggie Episode: "It's a Wonderful Lie"
Puppy Love Allegra
30 Rock Jessica Speyer Episode: "Reunion"
2009 Life on Mars Pat Olsen Episode: "Revenge of Broken Jaw"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Allison Wyler Episode: "Faithfully"
Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas Marion Malloy TV movie
2012 Walk and Talk the Vote: West Wing Reunion - Bridget Mary McCormack Donna Moss Video short
2013 The Good Wife Kathy Eisenstadt Episode: "A Precious Commodity"
2014–2017 The Leftovers Mary Jamison Recurring Season 1, main role Season 2–3
2014 Alpha House Senator Peg Stanchion 4 episodes
2015 The Blacklist Kat Goodson 2 episodes
2017 American Crime Raelyn 5 episodes
2018 Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Lorraine Franchella Episode: "Dare"


  1. ^ "Births and Hitched", variety.com, May 3, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Janel Moloney credits" tv.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  3. ^ "'The West Wing' Cast and Crew" tv.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  4. ^ "'The West Wing' Overview" Archived 2012-07-23 at Archive.today allrovi.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  5. ^ "Emmy Awards and Nominations" emmys.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  6. ^ "2004 Emmy Nominated" Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine emmyawardsonline.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal."'Bang, Bang, You're Dead' Cast and Crew" Archived 2012-07-22 at Archive.today allrovi.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  8. ^ Kelleher, Terry, Lipton, Mike, and Sanz, Cynthia."Review: 'Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution' " people.com, May 30, 2005
  9. ^ Mitovich, Matt."It's Showtime for West Winger, Princess Leia" tvguide.com, May 4, 2007
  10. ^ Frette, Bruce."Cheers: From the White House to House'" tvguide.com, January 30, 2008
  11. ^ "Reunion", Season 3, Episode 5 – Aired: 12/4/2008" tv.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  12. ^ "'Revenge of Broken Jaw', Season 1, Episode 13, March 4, 2009" tv.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  13. ^ "'Faithfully' Cast List, Season 8, Episode 5, May 17, 2009" tv.com, accessed November 28, 2011
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review: '100 Saints You Should Know'""The New York Times, September 19, 2007
  15. ^ Broadway.com Staff."Janel Moloney, Adriane Lenox and Joyce Van Patten Join 'Love, Loss and What I Wore'" broadway.com, August 31, 2011
  16. ^ Nelson, Rob."'Armless' Film Review" Variety, January 24, 2010

External links[edit]