ALLISON JANNEY Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » allison janney


Name: Allison Janney                                                                               
Born: 19 November 1959 Dayton, Ohio, U.S.                                                         
Allison Brooks Janney (born November 19, 1959) is an Emmy-winning American                         
actress, perhaps best known for her portrayal of C. J. Cregg on the American                       
television series The West Wing.                                                                   
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. She has two older brothers, Jay and Hal. She attended                           
The Miami Valley School in Dayton, where she was named a distinguished alum 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 Arts in London. She attended The Neighborhood Playhouse the same years                   
as actor Dylan McDermott.                                                                         
The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for                           
Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to                         
writing better articles for suggestions.(December 2007)                                           
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. This episode was also                       
notable as Michael Moriarty's final episode in the series. His on-screen                           
resignation at the episode's end came in part as a result of his having to                         
coerce testimony from Janney's character, with fatal consequences for her.                         
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 had                     
carried notable roles in the movies, Margaret and Over the Hedge, an animated                     
comedy. Also, she took the role of Prudy Pingleton in the 2007 film Hairspray as                   
well as that of Brenda MacGuff in Juno, for which she won Best Supporting                         
Actress in the Austin Film Critics Association Awards 2007.                                       
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 has 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 in 2003 and 2006 for the Best Actress. She is one of six cast members                   
from The West Wing to have won an Emmy for their work, the others being Richard                   
Schiff, Bradley Whitford, John Spencer, Stockard Channing and Alan Alda -                         
however, Janney is the only one who has won more than once.                                       
Janney was honorably nominated, in 2002, for American Film Institute's Actor of                   
the Year. A nomination of Actor/Actress of the Year from the AFI is regarded as                   
a very high honor in acting. Several weekend trips to Washington, D.C. were                       
frequent to Janney's schedule, and for the rest of the cast as well. 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's starting salary, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), was $70,000/episode     
in 1999. Since that date, negotiations were made for increased salaries for all                   
the critically acclaimed actors on The West Wing. It is suggested that Janney's                   
salary per episode for the later years of the show increased significantly.                       
The West Wing was cancelled 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". 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 castmate and friend, John Spencer.                 
In July 2006, she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A                     
Drama Series.                                                                                     
In 2006, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance                     
in the film Our Very Own, which also stars Keith Carradine, Jason Ritter,                         
Hilarie Burton, Cheryl Hines, Autumn Reeser and Mary Badham (Scout from To Kill                   
A Mockingbird). The film was acquired by Miramax in December 2006 and is                           
currently running on the Starz Cinema channel. 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.                                                           
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 Nine to Five.                                         
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.                       
In 2007, Janney appeared in the Academy Award nominated film, Juno playing the                     
part of Bren MacGuff, Juno's step mother.