Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Nov. 19th, 1959
Born in
Dayton, Ohio, USA
6' 0

Allison Janney's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Mom TV Show
Masters of Sex TV Show
Masters of Sex
The West Wing TV Show
The West Wing
Mr. Sunshine (2010) TV Show
Mr. Sunshine (2010)

Main Movie Roles

2015 - The Rewrite
2015 - Minions
2015 - Spy
2015 - The DUFF
2014 - Brightest Star
2014 - Tammy
2014 - Get on Up
2013 - Bad Words
2013 - The Way, Way Back
2013 - Touchy Feely
2013 - Mr. Peabody & Sherman
2012 - A Thousand Words
2012 - Liberal Arts
2012 - The Oranges
2011 - The Help
2009 - Away We Go
2009 - Life During Wartime
2008 - Pretty Ugly People
2007 - Hairspray
2007 - For the Bible Tells Me So
2007 - Juno
2006 - Over the Hedge
2005 - The Chumscrubber
2004 - Winter Solstice
2003 - How to Deal
2003 - Finding Nemo
2002 - The Hours
2000 - Nurse Betty
1999 - Drop Dead Gorgeous
1999 - American Beauty
1999 - 10 Things I Hate About You
1998 - The Object of My Affection
1998 - Six Days Seven Nights
1998 - Primary Colors
1998 - Celebrity
1998 - Six Days Seven Nights
1998 - The Impostors
1997 - The Ice Storm
1997 - Private Parts
1996 - The Associate
1996 - Walking and Talking
1996 - Faithful
1996 - Big Night
1994 - Wolf
1994 - Miracle on 34th Street
1994 - The Cowboy Way

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Charlene Doofenshmirtz (Voiced)
Herself - Guest
Herself - Guest
Teen People Editor (Voiced)
Herself - Guest
Herself - Guest
Mrs. Hayes
Allison Pearson
[Complete List]


Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series "West Wing, The" (1999). Entertainment Weekly magazine describes Janney's screen presence as "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive". As an actor, the magazine deems her to be "one to watch".

While studying at Kenyon College, Janney answered a casting call for an on-campus play that was to be directed by Kenyon's most famous alumnus, the legendary actor Paul Newman (I). During her audition/interview, Janney played upon Newman's known passion for race car driving - she explained how she cut thirty minutes off of the 130 mile journey from her home town to the college. She got chosen for the play's cast.

After earning her degree in drama, Janney took Joanne Woodward's suggestion to do further study at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. She also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Early in her career Janney got comedic roles in the soap operas "As the World Turns" (1956) and "The Guiding Light" (1952). Later, she gave memorable movie performances in supporting roles in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), American Beauty (1999) and Nurse Betty (2000), and in the made-for-TV movie ...First Do No Harm (1997) (TV), among others.

Among her stage work, Janney has played in a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" on Broadway opposite Anthony LaPaglia, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, and a Drama League Award for outstanding artist for the 1997-98 season. She played in Noel Coward's "Present Laughter" opposite Frank Langella, which earned her the Outer Critics Circle Award and an Actors' Equity award. Janney also appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of "The Taming of the Shrew".

In 1999 Janney became part of the original cast of the acclaimed TV series "The West Wing" (1999) where she played the President's press secretary who eventually gets promoted to the White House Chief of Staff. Her impressive work during the six seasons of that renowned series earned her four Emmys and two SAG Awards.

With her reputation becoming more broadly established during her work on "The West Wing" Janney won more substantive roles in feature films, in the acclaimed The Hours (2002) where she was Meryl Streep's lesbian lover, and in How to Deal (2003) where she played Mandy Moore (II)'s mother.

  • Graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
  • Nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Leading Actress in a Musical for "9 to 5: The Musical".
  • One of 105 people invited to join AMPAS in 2008.
  • She won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for "Present Laughter" in 1997. She shared the award with 'Deborah Findlay' (qv) and 'Celia Weston' (qv).
  • (2001) Formerly lived with Dennis Gagomiros, a computer programmer, in a Manhattan loft. They first met at the New York City Playhouse in 1982.
  • Her dad is a jazz musician, and she has two brothers who are also both musicians. She had dreams of becoming an Olympic skater before a freak accident derailed that -- she ran blindly through a glass door and was severely injured. She was educated at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; Neighborhood Playhouse, New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, England, UK.
  • In the 1998 movie _The Object of My Affection (1998)_ (qv), she played 'Alan Alda' (qv)'s wife. In the early 1990s, she attended Kenyon College with Alda's daughter, 'Elizabeth Alda' (qv). Alda co-starred on _"The West Wing" (1999)_ (qv) from 2005-2006 with Janney, though they have not appeared together on camera.
  • In an article praising the most exceptional women of the year ("Those we loved in 2005," The Guardian, 16 December 2005), Laura Barton gave "a big thank you" to Allison Janney, "aka CJ from _"The West Wing" (1999)_ (qv) -- her mere existence is reason enough to give thanks".

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