Nancy Lenehan

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Nancy Lenehan
Lenehan with Worst Week co-star Kurtwood Smith in 2008
Born (1953-04-26) April 26, 1953 (age 70)
Alma materYankton College
Years active1979–present

Nancy Lenehan (born April 26, 1953)[1] is an American actress. She made her big screen debut appearing in the 1980 action comedy film Smokey and the Bandit II and later had supporting roles in films She's Having a Baby (1988), Pleasantville (1998) and Catch Me If You Can (2002). Better known for her television appearances, Lenehan was regular cast member in a number of short-lived sitcoms, including Great Scott! (1992), The Faculty (1996), Married to the Kellys (2003–04), Worst Week (2008–09), How to Be a Gentleman (2011), and People of Earth (2016–17). She also had recurring roles on Grace Under Fire, My Name Is Earl, Caroline in the City, Ellen, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Veep.

Early life and education[edit]

Lenehan was born on Long Island, New York. She attended Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota.[2]


Lenehan made her screen debut appearing in the 1979 made-for-television movie When She Was Bad... starring Cheryl Ladd and later guest-starred on Alice. She made her big screen debut in the 1980 action comedy film Smokey and the Bandit II playing the supporting role.[3] The following years, Lenehan appeared in films The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again (1982), Stoogemania (1986), Like Father Like Son (1987), She's Having a Baby (1988) and The Great Outdoors (1988). On television, Lenehan guest-starred on both comedy and dramas including Hill Street Blues, Family Ties, The Facts of Life, Fame, The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, The Tracey Ullman Show, Murphy Brown, Roseanne, The Golden Girls and Seinfeld. She provided the speaking and singing voice of Helen Henny from Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater Chuck E Cheese's Pizza Time Theater restaurants from 1983 to 1991.

In 1992, Lenehan starred in the Fox short-lived sitcom Great Scott!. From 1993 to 1998 she had a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire playing Audrey Sheffield.[1] In 1996 she was regular cast member on the Meredith Baxter' sitcom The Faculty. She also had a recurring role on the ABC sitcom Ellen during its fourth season, playing the title character's realtor, Margaret Reed.[4][5] She starred as Sandy Kelly, the matriarch in the ABC sitcom Married to the Kellys (2003–2004), and had a recurring role on My Name Is Earl (2005–2008) as Earl and Randy's mother, Kay Hickey.[1] From 2008 to 2009, she co-starred on the short-lived CBS sitcom Worst Week.

Lenehan has appeared in featured, recurring and guest roles in more than 100 television shows, including Malcolm in the Middle, Everybody Loves Raymond, How I Met Your Mother, Judging Amy, Gilmore Girls, Caroline in the City (playing office manager Plum in two episodes in Season 4), Dharma & Greg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 3rd Rock from the Sun, ER, Boy Meets World, The Nanny, Quantum Leap, Just Shoot Me!, Ally McBeal, That '70s Show, Nip/Tuck, The New Adventures of Old Christine, The Middle, Black-ish, Superstore, Bless This Mess and Grace and Frankie. From 2014 to 2019 she had a recurring role as Nancy Ryan in the HBO comedy series, Veep. In 2023, she played Senator Jennings in the Amazon political thriller Jack Ryan.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Smokey and the Bandit II Ramona
1986 Stoogemania Connie Smoynek
1988 She's Having a Baby Cynthia
The Great Outdoors Waitress
1992 Roadside Prophets Vegas Motel 9 Desk Clerk
Out on a Limb Miss Clayton
1998 Pleasantville Marge Jenkins
1999 The Limey Lady On Plane
2001 Human Nature Puff's Mother
2002 Full Frontal Woman on Plane
Adaptation Kaufman's Mother
Catch Me If You Can Carol Strong
2005 Beauty Shop Mrs. Struggs
2007 The Savages Counselor
2011 A Better Life Mrs. Donnelley
2014 Sex Tape Linda
2017 Battle of the Sexes Billie's Mom
2022 That's Amor Lainie
2024 Night Swim Filming


Year Film Role Notes
1982 Hill Street Blues Katy Moore 2 episodes
1982 Family Ties Roberta 1 episode
1983 We Got It Made Paulette 1 episode
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Georgette 1 episode
1985 Fame Brenda Haskell 1 episode
1985 Tall Tales & Legends Lyda 1 episode
1986 Heart of the City Linda Kilmer 1 episode
1986 It's a Living Phylis Caruso 1 episode
1987 My Sister Sam Judy 1 episode
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse Vivian 1 episode
1987 Mr. President Lenore 1 episode
1987 Beauty and the Beast Lucy 1 episode
1987 Student Exchange Mrs. Barton Television film
1988 Newhart Kristi Castetter 1 episode
1988 Beverly Hills Buntz Mrs. Fairchild 1 episode
1989 ALF Laverne Litwak 1 episode
1989 Paradise Marti Brandt 1 episode
1989 Night Court Ms. Abrams 1 episode
1989 Sister Kate Mrs. Crenshaw 1 episode
1989 Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon Mrs. Harris Television film
1990 The Golden Girls Nun 1 episode
1990 Murphy Brown Sydney 1 episode
1990 Roseanne Happy Customer 1 episode
1990 Dear John Mrs. Williams 1 episode
1990 The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story Harriet Alvena Baum Neal Television film
1991 Sisters Joy Zimmer 2 episodes
1991 Nurses Cheryl Pinson 1 episode
1991 Quantum Leap Colleen McBain 1 episode
1992 Civil Wars Paula Richardson 1 episode
1992 Great Scott! Beverly Melrod Main role, 7 episodes
1993 Dudley Nancy 1 episode
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special Susan Thomas 1 episode
1993 Bakersfield P.D. Amy Baker 1 episode
1993–1998 Grace Under Fire Audrey Sheffield Recurring role, 12 episodes
1994 Step by Step Mrs. Tubman 1 episode
1995 Mad About You Dr. Wallach 1 episode
1996 The Faculty Daisy Skelnick Main role, 13 episodes
1996 Townies Lila 1 episode
1996 The Cherokee Kid Sister Faith Television film
1996–1997 Ellen Margaret Reed 4 episodes
1997 Boy Meets World Susan Kalliback 1 episode
1997 3rd Rock from the Sun Mrs. St. Clair 1 episode
1997 Ink Nancy Milford 1 episode
1997 The Practice Nurse MacKenzie 1 episode
1997 George and Leo Mimi 1 episode
1998 Working Meredith Hirsh 1 episode
1998 The Tony Danza Show Mrs. Erlich 1 episode
1998 Caroline in the City Plum 2 episodes
1998 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Pat Episode: "Dead Man's Party"
1999 ER Edie Harvell 1 episode
1999 Dharma & Greg Karen Love 2 episodes
1999 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane Mrs. Needles 1 episode
1999 Providence Jane 1 episode
1999 Just Shoot Me! Bunny 1 episode
1999–2000 Two Guys and a Girl Dr. Peel 2 episodes
1999–2001 Felicity Faye Rotundi 3 episodes
2000 Yes, Dear Judy 1 episode
2000 Malcolm In the Middle Christie / Helen 2 episodes
2001 FreakyLinks Dr. Gibson 1 episode
2001 Judging Amy Mrs. Hoeller 1 episode
2001 Gilmore Girls LaDawn 1 episode
2001 Men, Women & Dogs Jan 1 episode
2002 Ally McBeal Principal Deborah Harkness 2 episodes
2002 Titus Faye 1 episode
2002 Everybody Loves Raymond Pamela 1 episode
2003 What I Like About You Linda 1 episode
2003 That '70s Show Nina's Mom 1 episode
2003 Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off Mrs. Hadley Television film, uncredited
2003–2004 Married to the Kellys Sandy Kelly Main role, 20 episodes
2004 Jack & Bobby School Secretary 1 episode
2005 Joan of Arcadia Erica Marx 1 episode
2005 Close to Home Patty 2 episodes
2005 Nip/Tuck Sue Alderman 1 episode
2005 The Bernie Mac Show Sister Lane 1 episode
2005–2008 My Name Is Earl Kay Hickey Recurring role, 10 episodes
2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Mrs. Jeter 1 episode
2006–2010 The New Adventures of Old Christine Principal Marcie Nunley Recurring role, 6 episodes
2007 My Boys Eileen 1 episode
2008 Little Britain USA Kelly Pincher 3 episodes
2008–2009 Worst Week Angela Clayton Main role, 16 episodes
2009 Accidentally on Purpose Lara 1 episode
2011–2012 How to Be a Gentleman Diane Carlson Main role, 9 episodes
2012 The Middle Penny 1 episode
2013–2014 How I Met Your Mother Cheryl 2 episodes
2014–2019 Veep Mrs. Ryan Recurring role, 11 episodes
2016–2017 People of Earth Margaret Flood Main role, 20 episodes
2018–2020 Man with a Plan Alice 2 episodes
2018 Champions Maureen 1 episode
2018 Jack Ryan Senator Joan Henshaw 1 episode
2018 Forever Heather Jacoby 1 episode
2019 Black-ish Barbara Piermont 1 episode
2019–2020 Bless This Mess Deb Recurring role, 13 episodes
2020 Superstore Judy 1 episode
2021 Generation Nonna 1 episode
2022 Grace and Frankie Rosemary 1 episode
2022 A League of Their Own Vivienne 2 episodes
2023 American Auto Winnie 1 episode


  1. ^ a b c "Nancy Lenehan - Rotten Tomatoes".
  2. ^ "Nancy Lenehan | TVSA".
  3. ^ "Nancy Lenehan".
  4. ^ "Nancy Lenehan". Retrieved 2023-02-08.
  5. ^ "Nancy Lenehan | TV CAST LIST". Retrieved 2023-02-08.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (November 23, 2021). "'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan': Zuleikha Robinson, Louis Ozawa, Okieriete Onaodowan Among Five Cast In Amazon Series".

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