Jillian Noel Hennessy
November 25, 1968
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Jillian Noel Hennessy (born November 25, 1968) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is most known for her roles on the American television series Law & Order, on which she played prosecutor Claire Kincaid for three seasons, and Crossing Jordan, on which she played the lead character, Jordan Cavanaugh, for six seasons. She has also acted in films such as RoboCop 3 and Most Wanted, and the independent films Chutney Popcorn and The Acting Class, the latter of which she also wrote and co-directed.
Hennessy was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Her father, John Hennessy, was a meat salesman and sales/marketing executive, a job that required considerable travel and resulted in frequent moves for the family. Her mother, Maxine, a secretary, left the family in 1982, leaving her daughter to be partially raised by her paternal grandmother, Eleanor, in Kitchener, Ontario. She has a younger brother, John Paul "J.P." Hennessy, Jr., and an identical twin sister, Jacqueline, who is a magazine writer and TV show host in Canada. Hennessy has Irish, French, Swedish and Italian ancestry on her father's side, and mostly Ukrainian Roma, as well as Austrian, ancestry on her mother's. She attended Stanley Park Senior Public School and graduated from Grand River Collegiate Institute, both in Kitchener, Ontario, and used to busk in the Toronto subway.
Hennessy and her sister made their acting debut playing twin call girls in 1988's Dead Ringers. She was short listed for the role of Dana Scully on The X-Files according to Gillian Anderson, the actress who eventually got the role.
She appeared on Broadway in the musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story in 1990.
In 1993, she appeared as Dr. Marie Lazarus in RoboCop 3.
Hennesey's big network breakthrough came in 1993, when Dick Wolf signed Hennessy as assistant district attorney Claire Kincaid in the hit NBC crime drama Law & Order. She played the role for three seasons, leaving the show in 1996.
In 1999, she appeared as Lisa in Chutney Popcorn. In 2000, Hennessy wrote, produced, and jointly directed (with Elizabeth Holder) an independent film mockumentary titled The Acting Class, which looked at the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional acting class. The film co-starred her identical twin sister Jacqueline, and included cameo appearances from a number of Hennessy's former Law & Order co-stars. She also starred in the film Nuremberg, as Elsie Douglas.
In 2001, she portrayed Jackie Kennedy in the film Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot. That same year she appeared in a small role as Commander Annette Mulcahy in the Steven Seagal action film Exit Wounds, a car crash victim similar than the one in Law & Order. She received particular praise from critic Owen Gleiberman who said "With the right role, Hennessy might just be a movie star." In 2003, she made a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer. From 2001 to 2007, she starred on the TV show Crossing Jordan as title character Jordan Cavanaugh. She also played the wife of Tim Allen's character in the 2007 film Wild Hogs. On June 9, 2007, she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
During sessions in Austin, Texas, Hennessy recorded the album Ghost in My Head, which was released in June 2009. She performed as a guest of the Indigo Girls on a November 2009 show of Mountain Stage and was the focus of a show for herself later that same month. She performed on the Village Stage of the 2010 edition of Lilith Fair.
Hennessy starred in the independent crime thriller Small Town Murder Songs in 2010. She also appeared as a veterinarian in the HBO series Luck, while serving as an endorser of Zaxby's "Zalads" in a pair of television commercials during 2012.
In 2015, Hennessy appeared in several episodes of Madam Secretary. In October of that year, her second album, I Do, was released.
In 2018, she appeared on the Michael Weatherly series Bull as the mother of the deceased hacker character Cable McCrory. Also in 2018, she began the role of Senator Huntington on the series Yellowstone.
Hennessy is multilingual, speaking English, Italian, French, Spanish and German. Hennessy plays the guitar and sings, and enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, Paolo Mastropietro, whom she married in 2000. They had a second marriage ceremony in January 2001, which took place at New York City Hall with Mayor Rudy Giuliani officiating. Their son Marco was born in 2003, and a second son, Gianni, was born in 2007.
In popular culture
The Minneapolis-based band Mollycuddle wrote the song "The Ballad of Jill Hennessy" in honor of the actress. Hennessy was reportedly very pleased and offered to perform with the band on rhythm guitar.
|1993||RoboCop 3||Dr. Marie Lazarus|
|1993||Trip nach Tunis||Kathryn Darby|
|1994||The Paper||Deanne White|
|1996||I Shot Andy Warhol||Laura|
|1996||Kiss & Tell||Interrogator Angela Pierce|
|1997||A Smile Like Yours||Lindsay Hamilton|
|1997||Most Wanted||Dr. Victoria Constantini|
|1998||Weekend Getaway||Lily||Short film|
|1999||Row Your Boat||Patti|
|1999||Two Ninas||Mike, The Bartender|
|1999||Komodo||Dr. Victoria Juno|
|2000||The Acting Class||Amanda Smythe / Jill / Anonymous|
|2000||Autumn in New York||Lynn McCale|
|2001||Exit Wounds||Commander Annette Mulcahy|
|2002||Pipe Dream||Marina Peck|
|2007||Wild Hogs||Kelly Madsen|
|2007||Game of Life||Brenda|
|2010||Small Town Murder Songs||Rita|
|2013||If I Had Wings||Sandy Taylor|
|2017||Don't Sleep||Cindy Bradford|
|2019||Standing Up, Falling Down||Vanessa|
|2022||The Road to Galena||Teresa Baird|
|1987||Not My Department||Twin Makeup Artist||Episode: "Let's Make Gold"|
|1988||War of the Worlds||Patty||Episode: "Goliath Is My Name"|
|1989||The Hitchhiker||Marla||Episode: "Striptease"|
|1989||The Hitchhiker||Elisabeth||Episode: "Pawns"|
|1989–1990||Friday the 13th: The Series||Various||4 episodes|
|1990||C.B.C.'s Magic Hour||Hooker||Episode: "The Prom"|
|1990||War of the Worlds||Scott||Episode: "Max"|
|1990||Counterstrike||Lex||Episode: "The Dealbreaker"|
|1992||Flying Blind||Lauren Benjamin||Episode: "Crazy for You... and You"|
|1993–1996||Law & Order||Assistant District Attorney Claire Kincaid||68 episodes|
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995–97)
|1996||Homicide: Life on the Street||Assistant District Attorney Claire Kincaid||Episode: "For God and Country"|
|2000||Nuremberg||Elsie Douglas||Television movie|
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
|2001||Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot||Jackie Kennedy||Television movie|
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2001–2007||Crossing Jordan||Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh||115 episodes|
Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
|2004–2006||Las Vegas||Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh||3 episodes|
|2012||Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town||Agnes Leacock||Television movie|
Nominated—Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film
|2013||Jo||Sister Karyn||8 episodes|
|2014||The Good Wife||Rayna Hecht||2 episodes|
|2015||Madam Secretary||Jane Fellows||15 episodes|
|2017||Shots Fired||Alicia Carr||10 episodes|
|2017||The Blacklist||Margot Rochet||Episode: "The Harem"|
|2018||Yellowstone||Senator Huntington||Episode: "Daybreak"|
|2019–2022||City on a Hill||Jenny Rohr||26 episodes|
- ^ "Jill Hennessy Biography - Yahoo! Movies".
- ^ "Jill Hennessy chat". The Baltimore Sun.
- ^ Michelle Tauber (December 3, 2001). "Jill of All Trades". People. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
- ^ a b "FNM Exclusive: Actress and Musician Jill Hennessy 'Used to Play Guitar in the Street For Money'". Retrieved September 20, 2022.
- ^ Shwiff, Kathy (October 13, 2013). "Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny Revisit the Origins of 'The X-Files'".
- ^ Owen Gleiberman. "Exit Wounds". Entertainment Weekly.
- ^ "Jill Hennessy.com".
- ^ "Indigo Girls On Mountain Stage". NPR. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- ^ "Jill Hennessy On Mountain Stage". NPR. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- ^ Gil Kaufman (December 10, 2009). "Lilith Fair To Feature Mary J. Blige, Colbie Caillat, Jill Scott, More". MTV. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
- ^ Petski, Denise (July 20, 2015). "Jill Hennessy Joins CBS' 'Madam Secretary'". Deadline.
- ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 20, 2015). "Jill Hennessy Boards CBS' 'Madam Secretary'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- ^ "Bull season 3 spoilers: Jill Hennessy signs on for significant role". July 25, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- ^ The Ballad of Jill Hennessy Archived June 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine audio
- ^ Pop of Futures Past Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Jon Dolan, Minneapolis/St. Paul CityPages, February 3, 1999
- 1968 births
- Actresses from Edmonton
- Canadian buskers
- Canadian film actresses
- 20th-century Canadian actresses
- Canadian people of Austrian descent
- Canadian people of Irish descent
- Canadian people of Italian descent
- Canadian people of Swedish descent
- Canadian people of Ukrainian descent
- Canadian women singer-songwriters
- Canadian singer-songwriters
- Canadian television actresses
- Canadian women film directors
- Film directors from Edmonton
- Identical twin actresses
- Living people
- Musicians from Edmonton
- Canadian twins
- 21st-century Canadian women singers