Allison Janney

Actor, Waitress, Ice cream scooper
After spending almost two decades struggling in regional theater, actress Allison Janney at long last became a household name playing White House press secretary C. J. Gregg on the popular and acclaimed television ... Read more »
Born: 11/18/1959 in Dayton, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (104)

Mom 2013 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Conan 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Minions 2015 (Movie)

Madge (Voice)

Spy 2015 (Movie)

Elaine Crocker (Actor)

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Rewrite 2015 (Movie)

Professor Weldon (Actor)

Bad Words 2014 (Movie)

Dr. Bernice Deagan (Actor)

Brightest Star 2014 (Movie)

Astronomer (Actor)

Days and Nights 2014 (Movie)

Elizabeth (Actor)

Get On Up 2014 (Movie)

Kathy (Actor)

Hollywood Game Night 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mr. Peabody & Sherman 2014 (Movie)

Mrs. Grunion (Voice)

Piccadilly Jim 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tammy 2014 (Movie)

Deb (Actor)

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Late Show With David Letterman 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Web Therapy 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Phineas and Ferb 2006 - 2011, 2013 (Tv Show)

Voice

Struck by Lightning 2013 (Movie)

Sheryl Phillips (Actor)

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Way, Way Back 2013 (Movie)

Betty (Actor)

Touchy Feely 2013 (Movie)

Bronwyn (Actor)

Veep 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Thousand Words 2012 (Movie)

Samantha Davis (Actor)

Liberal Arts 2012 (Movie)

Prof. Judith Fairfield (Actor)

Robot Chicken 2012 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Big C 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Oranges 2012 (Movie)

Cathy Ostroff (Actor)

Trust Me 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Celebrity Poker Showdown 2003 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cosby 1996 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 1999 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Lateline 1998 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order 1991 - 1992, 1995 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Margaret 2011 (Movie)

Monica Patterson (Actor)

Mr. Sunshine 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

New York Undercover 1995 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Help 2011 (Movie)

Charlotte Phelan (Actor)

In Plain Sight 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Life During Wartime 2010 (Movie)

Trish (Actor)

Lost 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Away We Go 2009 (Movie)

Lily (Actor)

Guiding Light 1951 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Pretty Ugly People 2009 (Movie)

Suzanne (Actor)

Hairspray 2007 (Movie)

Prudy Pingleton (Actor)

Juno 2007 (Movie)

Bren MacGuff (Actor)

Two and a Half Men 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Over the Hedge 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Gladys (Actor)

Strangers with Candy 2006 (Movie)

Alice (Actor)

The West Wing 1999 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

The Chumscrubber 2005 (Movie)

Mrs. Stiffle (Actor)

Weeds 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Winter Solstice 2005 (Movie)

Molly Ripken (Actor)

Our Very Own 2004 (Movie)

Joan Whitfield (Actor)

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Years of Hope and Humor 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Finding Nemo 2003 (Movie)

Voice of Peach the Starfish (Actor)

How to Deal 2003 (Movie)

Lydia Martin (Actor)

King of the Hill 2003 (Tv Show)

Voice

AFI Awards 2001 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hours 2002 (Movie)

Sally Lester (Actor)

Women Rock! Girls & Guitars 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Nurse Betty 2000 (Movie)

Lyla (Actor)

10 Things I Hate About You 1999 (Movie)

Ms Perky (Actor)

American Beauty 1999 (Movie)

Barbara Fitts (Actor)

David and Lisa 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999 (Movie)

Loretta (Actor)

The Debtors 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

Evelyn Isaacs (Actor)

Primary Colors 1998 (Movie)

Miss Walsh (Actor)

Six Days, Seven Nights 1998 (Movie)

Marjorie (Actor)

The Impostors 1998 (Movie)

Maxine (Actor)

The Object of My Affection 1998 (Movie)

Constance Miller (Actor)

... First Do No Harm 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Julian Po 1997 (Movie)

Lilah Leech (Actor)

Private Parts 1997 (Movie)

Dee Dee (Actor)

The Ice Storm 1997 (Movie)

Dot Halford (Actor)

Aliens in the Family 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Big Night 1996 (Movie)

Ann (Actor)

Faithful 1996 (Movie)

Saleslady (Actor)

The Associate 1996 (Movie)

Sandy (Actor)

Walking & Talking 1996 (Movie)

Amelia's Neighbor--The Gum Puller (Actor)

Dead Funny 1995 (Movie)

Jennifer (Actor)

Heading Home 1995 (Movie)

Linda Polanski (Actor)

The Wright Verdicts 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Miracle on 34th Street 1994 (Movie)

The Woman (Actor)

The Cowboy Way 1994 (Movie)

Lady Cop (Actor)

Wolf 1994 (Movie)

Young Business Person (Actor)

A Girl Thing (TV Show)

Actor

Blind Spot (TV Show)

Actor

Teach (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

After spending almost two decades struggling in regional theater, actress Allison Janney at long last became a household name playing White House press secretary C. J. Gregg on the popular and acclaimed television drama, "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006). Prior to this success, Janney was a New York-based performer looking for her first big break while taking whatever role she could get her hands on. Frustrated to the point of almost quitting for good, she had her first real breakthrough with a stunning Broadway debut in Neil Coward's "Present Laughter" (1996). More Broadway success came her way the following year when she earned a Tony Award nomination for her turn in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" (1997). During her high-profile run on "The West Wing" - during which she netted four Emmy Awards - she managed to also find time for several well-regarded supporting turns in independent films like "The Hours" (2002) and "Winter Solstice" (2005). But it was her memorable performance as the caring, but disappointed stepmother of a pregnant teenager in "Juno" (2007) that allowed audiences to see the depth and breadth of Janney's talent in both mediums.

Relationships

Dennis Gagomiros

Companion
Born c. 1951 Began dating c. 1994 Split in 2002

Jervis Janney

Father

Macy Janney

Mother

Hal Janney

Brother
Born c. 1961

Jay Janney

Brother
Born c. 1958

Richard Jenik Actor

Companion
Dated for 2 years before getting engaged in 2004 Split in 2007

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts

Attended summer courses

Kenyon College

Gambier , Ohio 1978 - 1982

The Miami Valley School

Dayton , Ohio

The Neighborhood Playhouse

New York , New York 1982 - 1984
Attended the same years as actor Dylan McDermott

Milestones

2012

Cast in Chris Colfer's feature writing debut "Struck by Lightning"

2012

Cast opposite writer and director Josh Radnor in romantic comedy "Liberal Arts"

2012

Appeared opposite Eddie Murphy in the comedy-drama "A Thousand Words"

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female

2011

Cast alongside Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, and Mark Ruffalo in "Margaret"

2011

Played Skeether Phelan's (Emma Stone) cancer-stricken mother in the big-screen adaptation of "The Help"

2011

Cast opposite Matthew Perry on the ABC comedy series "Mr. Sunshine"

2011

Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female ("Life During Wartime")

2010

Starred in Todd Solondz's dramedy "Life During Wartime"

2008

Cast as Violet Newstead in "9 to 5: The Musical," based on the film of the same name; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical

2007

Played the stepmother of a pregnant teen in Jason Reitman's quirky comedy "Juno"

2007

Cast in the big-screen musical "Hairspray" as Prudy Pingleton, Penny's (Amanda Bynes) strict and religious mother

2006

Voiced Gladys, the president of the local homeowners' association in the animated comedy "Over the Hedge"

2005

Co-starred in Arie Posin's ensemble "The Chumscrubber," a darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia

2005

Co-starred in the drama "Our Very Own"; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Supporting Female

2003

Played the mother in the feature "How To Deal"

2003

Voiced Peach in the Pixar animated feature "Finding Nemo"

2002

Played Sally Lester, the lesbian lover of Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep), in the film version of the award-winning novel "The Hours"

2001

Joined the all-female cast of the comedy-drama telepic "A Girl Thing" (Showtime)

2000

Delivered a memorable supporting role in "Nurse Betty" as an acerbic soap opera writer-producer

1999

Portrayed Chris Cooper's emotionally-detached wife in "American Beauty"

1999

Tackled first Shakespearean role as Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew," opposite Jay O Sanders in NYC's Central Park

1999

Primetime series debut as C.J. Cregg, the presidential press secretary on the NBC series "The West Wing"; earned Golden Globe (2002, 2003), SAG (2002, 2004, 2005) and Emmy (2003, 2006) nominations for Best Actress

1998

Reunited with Tucci for "The Impostors," playing a con artist aboard a luxury liner

1997

Had featured roles in "Private Parts" and "The Ice Storm"

1997

Returned to Broadway opposite Anthony LaPaglia in "A View From the Bridge"; received Tony nomination

1996

Breakthrough screen role as Ann, the floral shop owner, in "Big Night"; film co-written and co-directed by Tucci

1996

Broadway debut opposite Frank Langella in revival of Noel Coward's "Present Laughter"

1994

Landed recurring role of wisecracking maid on the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light"

1994

First prominent stage role, "Fat Men in Skirts" by Nicky Silver; first collaboration with Stanley Tucci

1994

Feature film debut with a bit role in "The Cowboy Way"

1982

After graduation, moved to NYC to attend Neighborhood Playhouse

1977

Injured at a party when after someone stepped on her strapless gown, she ran through a glass door

Raised in Dayton, OH

Appeared in productions at Williamstown Theatre Festival and in NYC theaters

Aspired to be a competitive figure skater

While a student at Kenyon College, auditioned for and won role in a play directed by Paul Newman (a Kenyon alumnus)

Bonus Trivia

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Because of her height, Janney had trouble landing an agent. She recalled one telling her, "I don't know what to do with you – lesbians and aliens, maybe?" Janney pointed out that there are tall actresses, like Sigourney Weaver and Christine Lahti, to which another agent responded: "But those women have something in common. They're drop-dead gorgeous." – from The New York Times, Dec. 23, 1996

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"It's hard to find someone that funny, that sexy, that skilled who has those chops. She never hits a false note." – "The West Wing" co-star Bradley Whitford on Janney, quoted in People, April 3, 2000

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"You know what I love about having success as you get older? You appreciate it so much. It means so much more to me than to a kid who gets it right away." – Janney quoted in People, April 3, 2000

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"There's something about me that says power and intelligence. All the things that I don't feel, speaking to you now. I play women who tend to be in the center of something that's whirling around them as they try to hold everybody in place." – from "Alison Janney: A Towering Figure" by Frazier Moore of the Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2000

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Janney was originally announced as part of the cast of the all-star production of "The Seagull" directed by Mike Nichols that was performed in Central Park in the summer of 2001. Because of her commitment to "The West Wing," she had to withdraw and was replaced by Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden.

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At the start of the filming of the third season of "The West Wing," Janney and co-stars John Spencer, Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford staged a brief job action by not showing up for the first day of rehearsal. All four had hired a lawyer to renegotiate their contracts as well as sought a pay raise. Negotiations were successful and all parties arrived for work on the first day of filming.

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