Allison Janney

Age: 54
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Personal life

Janney was born in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Macy (née Putnam), a former actress and homemaker, and Jervis Spencer Janney, Jr., a real estate developer and jazz musician.[1] She has two older brothers, Jay and Hal.[2] She attended The Miami Valley School in Dayton, where she was named a distinguished alumna in 2004, and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. She then attended Kenyon College. At Kenyon, Janney studied under another Kenyon alum, Paul Newman. She went on to study drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She attended The Neighborhood Playhouse the same years as actor Dylan McDermott.


Janney's first roles on television were as comedic foils on soap operas: she first played Vi Kaminski for a short time on As the World Turns, following up with a two-year stint as one of the Spaulding maids, Ginger on Guiding Light. In the spring of 1994, she appeared in the season finale of Law & Order, as a reluctant witness against a member of the Russian mob.

Janney has appeared in a number of films with roles of various sizes, including the 1990s films American Beauty, The Object of My Affection, Big Night, The Impostors, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Ice Storm, Primary Colors, 10 Things I Hate about You, and Private Parts, and the 2000s films Nurse Betty, The Hours, The Chumscrubber, How to Deal, Winter Solstice and a considerable role in the animated movie, Finding Nemo, voicing Peach, the starfish. In 2006, Janney carried notable roles in the movies, Margaret and Over the Hedge, an animated comedy.

In 1999, she was cast in the role of presidential press secretary C.J. Cregg on the television drama The West Wing, for which she eventually won four Emmy Awards. Two of the Emmys were for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series in 2000 and 2001, and two were for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series in the years 2002 and 2004. She was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in the 2003 and 2006 Primetime Emmys. She is one of six cast members from The West Wing to have won an Emmy for their work - however, Janney is the only one who has won more than once. Janney also won two Screen Actor's Guild awards for Best Actress in a dramatic series, in 2001 and 2002, for her portrayal of C.J Cregg. The cast of "The West Wing" won the Screen Actor's Guild award for Best Ensemble in a dramatic series the same two years. Additional accolades for Janney's work in "The West Wing" include four Golden Globe award nominations, and a nomination in 2002 for American Film Institute's Actor of the Year.

Weekend trips to Washington, D.C. were frequently a part of Janney's schedule, and for the rest of the cast as well, as many outdoor scenes on The West Wing were actually filmed in the nation's capital. Janney also met several times with former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers who served in the Clinton Administration from 1993–1994. Janney met with Myers in New York City to help portray her character more authentically.
Janney at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

The West Wing concluded in January 2006, and the last episode aired in May of that year. Even though the latter seasons were plagued by declining ratings, the overall rating of Janney remained a relatively positive one, touted by Entertainment Weekly as "one to watch", "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive".[3] In January 2006, West Wing's cast was also nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast. Janney, Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Janel Moloney, and other members of the cast appeared at the SAG Awards to honor their late cast mate and friend, John Spencer.

In 2006, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in the film Our Very Own. Many of Janney's long time friends were involved with Our Very Own including its producer Shannon McMahon Lichte and cast member Allison Mackie. All three were in the same class at the Neighborhood Playhouse. The writer/director Cameron Watson, also a longtime friend, wrote the role of Joan for her.

In 2007, Janney appeared in the Academy-Award-nominated film, Juno playing the part of Bren MacGuff, the title character's stepmother, for which she won Best Supporting Actress in the Austin Film Critics Association Awards 2007. In the same year, Janney appeared in the Golden-Globe-nominated film, Hairspray, as Prudy Pingleton, Penny's (Amanda Bynes) strict and religious mother.

Janney has also appeared in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, also created by Aaron Sorkin. She made a guest appearance as herself in The Disaster Show, as the guest host of the week's episode of Studio 60. Many of the characters made references to her part in The West Wing, even those played by fellow West Wing actors.

Janney has remained active in theater. In 1998, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. Her first Broadway role was in Present Laughter opposite Frank Langella. In 2007, she participated in a workshop for a new musical of the film 9 to 5.[4] In late 2008, Janney joined Broadway stars Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch in the new musical, 9 to 5. Based on the film of the same name, Janney is starring as Violet Newstead, the super efficient office manager played by Lily Tomlin (a former cast mate from The West Wing) in the original film. Janney has signed on for a 1 year contract with the 9 to 5 production. She has since been nominated for a Tony Award for her work in 9 to 5. In May 2009, she won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for the role of Violet Newstead. She also appeared alongside Jack Black and John C. Reilly in Prop 8 (The Musical), a satirical musical protesting the passing of California Proposition 8.

In 2004, Janney began lending her voice to television and radio spots created by Kaiser Permanente in the health maintenance organization's broad "Thrive" media campaign, and in a radio campaign for the American Institute of Architects.

Movie Character Year
Dfgah6eubtcqrqxvdqc2gkloso2 Wolf Party Guest 1994
Ygeasltui7bmresigjvjdvruaro Big Night Ann 1996
8ifnj9aer5wlc64hvar5zhtniqu The Associate Sandy 1996
J413pxqrkulx5mubd0dry5xp5lc The Object of My Affection Constance Miller 1998
H0xswk150vjy3mvb0qxfk8l0r7 Six Days Seven Nights Marjorie 1998
Qimmuvvpdxn9r34e8gvseejumjf 10 Things I Hate About You Ms. Perky 1999
Lwcootia6ssldca4hztohkkwbzb Drop Dead Gorgeous Loretta 1999
3ubqgks8c1dxrndiu5kuk6ej3pp American Beauty Barbara Fitts 1999
Zjqinuwldoba0q07foyohycwxwx Finding Nemo Peach 2003
Fgvod6n6blbfprgbl3bj2u8yhsf Over the Hedge Gladys (voice) 2006
Pm3ryr3bztqx9ea66nusexfsfsq Hairspray Prudy Pringleton 2007
Ee64n6pycsrw2mtqucfk2av5wk2 Juno Bren MacGuff 2007
Rurxxtyrqvmilxqc9atugbnfyxv Away We Go Lily 2009
Oqcyzqeih6amai60i5nhl8fpd6f Life During Wartime Trish 2009
6u85cuvnbrzwmhkbgk4bm5rno3v The Help Charlotte Phelan 2011
O8bejlb8zjer4azx5dfnxzlxdmf The Oranges Carol Ostroff 2011
4t0npirzleleaxoglt7sggopcui A Thousand Words Samantha Davis 2012
Knx49h4u0pnc45l6zpdmylhiipn Struck by Lightning Sheryl Phillips 2012
Jwzcwkw8amanurifnchl4bnf2uz Liberal Arts Prof. Judith Fairfield 2012
Gnbvyjrtxktpmd2ookdbwcwkezo Trust Me 2013
Sylup2emk7b5sjsjjpqx6fyj4x6 Bad Words 2013
6ciz1gzzhkokbgertv6vtpo0lu0 The Way, Way Back Betty 2013
Gxxhnowlj317axts4xpwmkwbfgg Touchy Feely Bronwyn 2013
Qnmyfaopf7xjwlgvjetdgz4ni0v Mr. Peabody & Sherman Mrs. Grunion 2014
Bbgqh74drnibsu0mcnrotgzwdc3 Brightest Star The Astronomer 2014
Bbqamr6nbkzyzvazol2rnsz3fs6 Tammy 2014