‘Risky Business’ Star Janet Carroll Dead at 71

Janet Carroll Accomplished actress Janet Caroll died Tuesday following a lengthy struggle with an illness. Carroll, 71, is best known for her first feature film, Risky Business, in which she played the naïve mother of Tom Cruise’s character Joel.

Although her strongest professional association might forever be her work in the 1983 classic, Carroll has been active on the big and small screens ever since. Carroll enjoyed recurring appearances on comedy series like Murphy Brown and Married… with Children, as well as on dramas like Melrose Place.

A good deal of Carroll’s career took place on the stage. Her resume includes theatrical classics like South Pacific, Hello Dolly!, and Gypsy. Additionally, she appeared opposite John Lithgow in a production of Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Some of Carroll’s most recent contributions to the screen include the comedy film What Happens Next and a 2010 appearance on Law & Order: SVU.

The actress is survived by her son, George Brown.

[Photo Credit: Janet Carroll Official Website

Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.