Joan Hotchkis

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Joan Hotchkis
Hotchkis in trailer for "Breezy" (1973)
Born Joan Hotchkis
(1927-09-21) September 21, 1927 (age 89)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, writer, performance artist
Years active 1950s -1997

Joan Hotchkis (born September 21, 1927, Los Angeles, California) is an American stage, screen and television actress, writer and performance artist.


Hotchkis (far left), in a scene from The Odd Couple. Also pictured (left to right): Fred Beir as Nancy's brother, Ray, Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison, and Janis Hansen (as Gloria, Felix's ex-wife.).

Hotchkis played Dr. Nancy Cunningham, sometime girlfriend of Oscar Madison on the television version of The Odd Couple. She also played Ellen, the wife, in the Emmy-winning series My World and Welcome to It. She also made guest appearances on Bewitched and Lou Grant.

Her film work includes the role of Mama Hartley in Ode to Billy Joe (1976), William Holden's ex-wife Paula in Breezy (1973), and Bissie Hapgood in Legacy (1975), which she also wrote. Her stage work includes Broadway and Off-Broadway productions in the 1950s and 60s. In the 1980s, she played lead roles at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, The Cincinnati Playhouse, and the Los Angeles Theater Center.

She worked as a part-time paraprofessional in aggression training at the Institute of Group Psychotherapy before founding the Santa Monica-based Tearsheets Productions.[1] Hotchkis has written and performed two solo performance pieces to date.[2] The first, Tearsheets: Rude Tales from the Ranch,[3][4] toured the United States in the early 1990s [5][6] and went abroad to the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe,[7] where it was the only U.S. production to win a Fringe First Award.[8] Her second solo work was Elements of Flesh: Or Screwing Saved My Ass (1996), about aging and sexuality.[9][10][11] Hotchkis co-wrote, with Eric Morris, the acting manual, "No Acting Please" (1977),[12] which is still used in colleges and conservatories.[13][14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Hotchkis is a 4th generation Californian, born to Preston and Katherine (née Bixby) Hotchkis. She was raised in Pasadena and has one child, a daughter.


Hotchkis is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio [16] and the Dramatists Guild.


  1. ^ Tearsheets Productions
  2. ^ Curtis, Cathy (1996-10-18). "Acting Her Age; It Took Joan Hotchkis Years to Come to Terms With the 'Elements' of Her Life--but She Did It". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  3. ^ McCulloh, T.H. (1990-11-16). "'Shadow of a Gunman' Pulls Irish Trick; 'Going On' Gives Glimpse of Backstage; 'Tearsheets' Zeroes in on Family Revelations". The Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  4. ^ Churnin, Nancy (1991-10-17). "Women's Family Secrets Go Public in 'Tearsheets'". The Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  5. ^ Gazette Arts Staff (1991-06-28). "East Coast Premiere". The Schenectady Daily Gazette. p. C1. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  6. ^ "Main Events". The Austin American-Statesman. 1992-02-08. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  7. ^ Epstein, Robert (1992-07-09). "Letters to the Past: Exploring Relationships of a California Dynasty". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  8. ^ "Odd Couple's Joan Hotchkis in the Flesh in CA". 1997-02-27. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  9. ^ Haithman, Diane (1996-05-09). "Just Wait Until Sen. Jesse Helms Hears This One". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  10. ^ Foley, F. Kathleen (1996-05-10). "'Elements of Flesh' Dares to Be Sensuous". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  11. ^ Abcarian, Robin (1997-02-12). "Aging and Sexuality Just Might Be Compatible, After All". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  12. ^ Complete results for "No Acting Please" in year 1977. WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  13. ^ Elston, Ken (Approved 2012-09-19). George Mason University Course Approval Form. George Mason University College of Visual and Performing Arts. Retrieved 2012-12-13. (Scroll to "Professional Perspectives on Performance: Recommended Reading")
  14. ^ Heinlein, Kurt Gerard; Parker, Stacy Parker (2009, 2012). Missouri State Theatre & Dance: BFA in Acting Program Guidelines. Retrieved 2012-12-13. (Scroll to "Additional Information and Resources: 13. Publications for the Actor')
  15. ^ St. Clair, Charles (Spring 2011). 'Acting for the Camera' Course Guide. The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Retrieved 2012-12-13. (Scroll to "Suggested Reading" on page 3.)
  16. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 

External links[edit]