A classic California blond, Janel Moloney grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills and knew from a young age she wanted to be an actress. The youngest in a tight-knit family of four childre...
Woodland Hills, California, USA
|To Save a Child||Actor||Janelle Lowry||7|
|Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution||Actor||Amber Frey||7|
|The West Wing||2005 1998 - 2005||Actor||Donna Moss||20057|
|The Souler Opposite||1998||Actor||Thea Douglas||19987|
|Bang, Bang, You're Dead||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Ellie Milford||20027|
|Life on Mars||2008 2007 - 2008||Actor||Pat Olsen||20087|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||2010 2000 - 2010||Actor||n/a||20107|
|The Good Wife||2013 2008 - 2013||Actor||Kathy||20137|
|Desperate Measures||1998||Actor||Sarah Davis||19987|
|Brotherhood||2008 2004 - 2008||Actor||Dana Chase||20087|
|... And Then She Was Gone||Actor||Mary Connally||7|
|Double Edge||1991 1990 - 1991||Actor||Jen||19917|
|Sports Night||1999 1997 - 1999||Actor||Monica||19997|
|ER||2008 1993 - 2008||Actor||Nancy||20087|
|Bakersfield P.D.||1993 1992 - 1993||Actor||Sarah||19937|
|High Incident||1996 1994 - 1996||Actor||Bridesmaid McManus||19967|
|The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||1993 1992 - 1993||Actor||Mary Sims||19937|
|Murder, She Wrote||1995 1983 - 1995||Actor||n/a||19957|
|From the Earth to the Moon||Actor||Pat White||7|
|Cast as Donna Moss, assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) in the NBC political drama, "The West Wing"; earned Emmy nominations in 2002 and 2004 for Best Supporting Actress|
|Appeared in Showtime movie "Bang, Bang, You're Dead"|
|Cast in pilot of Sorkin and Shlamme's show "The West Wing"; taken on as frequent guest star|
|Got first part in the TV Movie "To Save a Child"|
|Joined the cast of the Showtime drama "Brotherhood," playing a woman who has an affair with local politician Tommy Caffee|
|Had several small television and film roles|
|Left California to study acting at SUNY Purchase, in New York|
|Acted in high school productions and also went on auditions for professional roles|
|Grew up in Woodland Hills, California attending local theater productions and taking dance lessons|
|Had guest appearance on "ER"|
|Dropped out after one year and returned to Los Angeles to study under Roy London|
|Had guest role on "Sports Night"; met writer producers Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Shlamme|
When she was a little older, Moloney would often watch the performances being put on at the local junior high. But she didn't get her own taste of the stage until high school, where her first part was Bianca in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." Moloney continued to act throughout high school and applied to go to college at the world-famous Julliard School in New York City. She didn't get accepted and instead went to the State University of New York at Purchase, a school also known for its arts programs.
Moloney spent one very unhappy year at Purchase and at one point penned a sorrowful letter to famed acting coach Roy London. London replied to her letter and told her to come back to Los Angeles and study with him. Moloney promptly took his advice and, in 1989, flew back to her native coast. She studied intensely with London and cites his teachings as having a profound influence on her career.
Success did not come quickly or easily to Moloney. She went on auditions constantly and managed to land a few bit parts here and there. She waitressed during this time to support herself and relied on the support of her family to keep her going. It was not until 1998, when Moloney got a guest appearance on ABC's "Sports Night," that Moloney would find fortune on her side. Writer/creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer Tommy Shlamme took a shine to Moloney and gave her a bit part in their upcoming pilot for NBC, "The West Wing." She was cast in a small role as a White House staffer in the pilot. Sorkin and Schlamme felt she did such a good job that she needed a larger part. Her role was changed to Donatella Moss, assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman. By the end of the first season, she was made a regular cast member. The romantic tension between Moloney's character and her boss, Josh Lyman (played by Brad Whitford), became a constant focal point in the show and a huge topic of speculation for "West Wing" fans.
Moloney has appeared in several features, such as "'Till There Was You" (1997) and the critically accliamed independent "The Souler Opposite" (1998). She also appears in the Showtime movie "Bang, Bang, You're Dead," inspired by the one-act play of the same title by award-winning writer William Mastrosimone, about the social challenges and physical violence in high schools today.
|John Moloney||Father||owned a salon in Studio City, California|
|Carey Moloney||Sister||fraternal twin; born on October 3, 1969, eight minutes before Janel|
|State University of New York, Purchase|
|"I would be crying out front every night because I had an enormous sense of entitlement, just like I did when I was a kid, and I didn't feel like I should be there." --Maloney on her time working as waitress, waiting for her break|
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