Allison Brooks Janney (born November 19, 1959) is an American actress. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Janney was raised in Dayton, Ohio. She won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the summer of 1984. After years of minor and uncredited film and television appearances, Janney's breakthrough occurred with her portrayal of Press Secretary C.J. Cregg on the NBC's political drama The West Wing (1999–2006) for which she received four Primetime Emmy Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards each. The character was widely popular during the airing of the series and was later recognised as one of the greatest female characters on American television as well as being hailed as a feminist role model. In 2014, she won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Margaret Scully on the Showtime's period drama Masters of Sex. In 2014 and 2015, she won Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Bonnie Plunkett on the CBS sitcom Mom (2013–present).

Janney made her Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of Present Laughter and received Drama Desk Awards for her performances in the 1997 Broadway revival of A View From the Bridge, and the 2009 original Broadway production of the musical 9 to 5. She also received Tony Award nominations for the latter two.

Her film roles include Private Parts (1997), Primary Colors (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Hours (2002), Finding Nemo (2003), Over the Hedge (2006), Hairspray (2007), Juno (2007), The Way, Way Back (2013), Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014), Tammy (2014), Get On Up (2014), Spy (2015), Minions (2015), Finding Dory (2016), The Girl on the Train (2016), and Tallulah (2016). In 2017, her performance as LaVona Golden in the black comedy I, Tonya garnered widespread acclaim and earned her numerous accolades, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics Choice Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In her career, Janney has received various accolades including an Academy Award, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, six Critics Choice Awards, and two Drama Desk Awards.

Early life and education

Allison Brooks Janney was born on November 19, 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She is the daughter of Macy Brooks (née Putnam), a former actress and homemaker, and Jervis Spencer "Jerv" Janney, Jr., a real estate developer and jazz musician.[2][3] She is one of three siblings.

Janney attended The Miami Valley School in Dayton, where she was named a distinguished alumna in 2004,[4] and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where she was named Alumna of the Year in 2016.[4] She then attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. At Kenyon, she studied with Paul Newman, an alumnus of Kenyon. He directed her in a play as the inaugural event of the school's newly dedicated Bolton Theater. Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward encouraged Janney to continue acting. She then went on to train at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and did summer programs at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[5] She attended The Neighborhood Playhouse the same years as actor Dylan McDermott. She completed two year's at the Neighborhood Playhouse along with Steven Rogers.[4]



Janney at The Heart Truth Fashion Show in 2008

Janney's first role on television was in the short-lived black-and-white faux-1940s comedy Morton & Hayes; she appeared in two episodes of the 1991 CBS series as Eddie Hayes' wife. She then moved on to soap operas: she first played Vi Kaminski for a short time on As the World Turns, following up with a two-year role as Ginger, one of the Spaulding maids, on Guiding Light. In the spring of 1994, she appeared in the season four finale of Law & Order, as a reluctant witness against a member of the Russian mob. She was also a cast member on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion.

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 in a Drama Series in 2000 and 2001, and two were for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in the years 2002 and 2004.[4] She was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in the 2003 and 2006 Primetime Emmys.[4] Janney won two Screen Actors Guild awards for Best Actress in a dramatic series, in 2001 and 2002.[4] The cast of The West Wing won the Screen Actor's Guild award for Best Ensemble in a dramatic series the same two years.[4] 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. In January 2006, The West Wing's cast was also nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast.[6]

Janney appeared in the short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in a guest appearance as herself (episode: "The Disaster Show"). In 2010, she appeared as Allison Pearson in In Plain Sight. In May 2010, she appeared in the antepenultimate episode of the ABC television series Lost as the adoptive mother of the show's two mythological opponents, Jacob and the Man in Black. She starred in the ABC network comedy Mr. Sunshine. The series, which was created by Matthew Perry, was a midseason replacement for the 2010–11 television season.[7][8] In 2014, Janney won two Emmy Awards. For her role in the series Mom, opposite Anna Faris, she won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, while for her recurring role in Masters of Sex, she won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. On the Disney Channel animated show Phineas and Ferb Janney voiced Charlene.


Janney has appeared in numerous films, 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 early 2000s films Nurse Betty, The Hours, The Chumscrubber, How to Deal, Winter Solstice and a considerable voice role in the animated movie Finding Nemo, voicing Peach, the starfish.

In 2006, she had roles in the feature films Margaret and Over the Hedge. That same year, Janney was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in the film Our Very Own. In 2007, she appeared in 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. She appeared in such films as The Help (2011), Struck By Lightning (2012) and Liberal Arts (2012). Janney appeared in the 2015 films Spy and The DUFF. She then co-starred in the fantasy film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children,[9] and portrayed a homicide detective in the mystery thriller The Girl on the Train.[10]

In 2017, Janney starred in the biographical black comedy I, Tonya, portraying LaVona Fay Golden.[11] Her performance received wide critical acclaim, with various critics and publications citing her performance as the film's highlight and one of the best of her career. Janney received various accolades for her performance including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Janney has remained active in theater. Her first Broadway role was in the 1996 revival of Present Laughter, opposite Frank Langella. In 1998, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.[12] In 2007, she participated in a workshop for a new musical of the film 9 to 5.[13] 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 starred as Violet Newstead, the super-efficient office manager played by Lily Tomlin in the original film. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical,[14] and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for the role.[15] In 2017 Janney returned to Broadway to play the leading role of Ouisa Kittredge in John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation.[16]

Other interests

Janney in October 2014

In 2004, she 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.[17] In September 2010, it was announced that Janney would be the voice of the Aly San San spokesdroid in the Disney attraction, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.[18] The attraction later opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland. In October 2016, Janney became the first woman to receive the Alumni Award of The Hotchkiss School[19] and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the television industry, located at 6100 Hollywood Boulevard.[20][21]

Personal life

In interviews related to her role on Mom, Janney discussed her brother, Hal, who fought addiction and committed suicide.[22] On March 4, 2018, Janney dedicated her Oscar win to him.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Who Shot Patakango? Miss Penny
1994 Dead Funny Jennifer
1994 Cowboy Way, TheThe Cowboy Way NYPD computer operator
1994 Wolf Party Guest
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Woman in Christmas Shop
1995 Heading Home Mary Polanski
1996 Flux Heather
1996 Rescuing Desire Betsy
1996 Walking and Talking Gum Puller
1996 Big Night Ann
1996 Faithful Saleswoman
1996 Associate, TheThe Associate Sandy
1997 Anita Liberty Gynecologist Short film
1997 Private Parts Dee Dee
1997 Ice Storm, TheThe Ice Storm Dot Halford
1997 Julian Po Lilah Leech
1998 Primary Colors Miss Walsh
1998 Object of My Affection, TheThe Object of My Affection Constance Miller
1998 Impostors, TheThe Impostors Maxine
1998 Six Days, Seven Nights Marjorie, Robin's boss
1998 Celebrity Evelyn Isaacs
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Ms. Perky
1999 Drop Dead Gorgeous Loretta
1999 American Beauty Barbara Fitts
1999 The Debtors
2000 Leaving Drew Paula Short film
2000 Auto Motives Gretchen Short film
2000 Nurse Betty Lyla Branch
2000 Rooftop Kisses Melissa Short film
2002 Hours, TheThe Hours Sally Lester
2003 Finding Nemo Peach (voice)
2003 How to Deal Lydia Martin
2003 Chicken Party Barbara Strasser Short film
2004 Piccadilly Jim Eugenia Crocker
2004 Winter Solstice Molly Ripkin
2005 Strangers with Candy Alice
2005 Chumscrubber, TheThe Chumscrubber Allie Stifle
2005 Our Very Own Joan Whitfield
2006 Over the Hedge Gladys Sharp (voice)
2007 Hairspray Prudy Pingleton
2007 Juno Brenda "Bren" MacGuff
2008 Pretty Ugly People Suzanna
2008 Prop 8: The Musical Prop 8 leader's wife
2009 Away We Go Lily
2009 Life During Wartime Trish Maplewood
2011 Margaret Wounded woman / Monica Patterson
2011 Thousand Words, AA Thousand Words Samantha Davis
2011 Help, TheThe Help Charlotte Phelan
2012 Oranges, TheThe Oranges Cathy Ostroff
2012 Struck By Lightning Sheryl Phillips
2012 Liberal Arts Prof. Judith Fairfield
2013 Way Way Back, TheThe Way Way Back Betty Thompson
2013 Days and Nights Elizabeth
2013 Bad Words Dr. Bernice Deagan
2013 Trust Me Meg
2013 Brightest Star The Astronomer
2014 Tammy Deb
2014 Mr. Peabody & Sherman Mrs. Grunion (voice)
2014 The Rewrite Mary Weldon
2014 Get On Up Kathy
2015 The DUFF Dottie Piper
2015 Spy Elaine Crocker
2015 Minions Madge Nelson (voice)
2016 Tallulah Margaret "Margo" Mooney
2016 Finding Dory Peach (voice) Cameo
2016 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Dr. Nancy Golan/Mr. Barron
2016 The Girl on the Train Detective Riley
2017 A Happening of Monumental Proportions Unknown
2017 Sun Dogs Rose Chipley
2017 I, Tonya LaVona Fay Golden


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Morton & Hayes Beatrice Caldicott-Hayes 2 episodes
1992 Law & Order Nora Episode: "Star Struck"
1993 Blind Spot Doreen Television film
1993–1995 Guiding Light Ginger Unknown episodes
1994 Law & Order Ann Madsen Episode: "Old Friends"
1995 The Wright Verdicts Alice Klein Episode: "Sins of the Father"
1995 New York Undercover Vivian Episode: "Digital Underground"
1996 Aliens in the Family Principal Sherman Episode: "A Very Brody Tweeznax"
1996 Cosby Podiatric Nurse Episode: "Happily Ever Hilton"
1997 ...First Do No Harm Dr. Melanie Abbasac Television film
1997 Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing Assistant District Attorney Television film
1998 David and Lisa Alix Television film
1999 LateLine Helen Marschant Episode: "The Minister of Television"
1999–2006 West Wing, TheThe West Wing C.J. Cregg 145 episodes
2000 A Girl Thing Kathy McCormack Television film
2001–2002 Frasier Phyllis (voice) / Susanna 2 episodes
2003 King of the Hill Laura Episode: "Full Metal Dust Jacket"
2005 Weeds Ms. Greenstein Episode: "Lude Awakening"
2007 Two and a Half Men Beverly Episode: "My Damn Stalker"
2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Herself Episode: "The Disaster Show"
2008–2013 Phineas and Ferb Charlene Doofenshmirtz (voice) 9 episodes
2010–2015 Family Guy Mistress Vita/Crystal Quagmire/Teen People Editor (voice) 3 episodes
2010 Lost "Mother" Episode: "Across the Sea"
2010 In Plain Sight Allison Pearson 2 episodes
2011 Glenn Martin, DDS Marcia Episode: "GlennHog Day"
2011 Mr. Sunshine Crystal Cohen 13 episodes
2012 The Big C Rita Strauss Episode: "Life Rights"
2012 Robot Chicken Grammi Gummi/Woman (voice) Episode: "In Bed Surrounded by Loved Ones"
2013 Veep Janet Ryland Episode: "First Response"
2013–2015 Masters of Sex Margaret Scully 9 episodes
2013–present Mom Bonnie Plunkett Main cast
2014 Web Therapy Judith Frick 2 episodes
2016 The Simpsons Julia (voice) Episode: "Friends and Family"
2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Allison Janney Wears a Chambray Western Shirt and Suede Fringe Boots"
2017 F Is for Family Henrietta Van Horne (voice) 3 episodes[23]
2017 Nobodies Herself 2 episodes
2017 American Dad! Jessie (voice) Episode: "Family Plan"
2018 DuckTales Goldie O'Gilt (voice)

Music video

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Let Me Be Your Girl[24] Clown Artist: Rachael Yamagata; Director: Josh Radnor

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room : NPR". NPR. August 4, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ Allison Janney profile at filmreference.com; accessed February 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "MACY B. PUTNAM ENGAGED TO WED; Bennett Alumna Is Fiancee of Jervis S. Janney Jr., a Graduate of Princeton" December 15, 1956, New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Allison Janney- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  6. ^ "NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 12th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS". www.sagawards.org. Retrieved 20 February 2018. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 12, 2010). "Matthew Perry project a go at ABC". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (May 18, 2010). "ABC's new fall schedule". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Allison Janney Heads to Therapy in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Dread Central". Dread Central. 
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 28, 2015). "Allison Janney Boards 'Girl on the Train' (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 15, 2016). "Allison Janney to Play Tonya Harding's Mother in 'I, Tonya' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Allison Janney: Biography". Tv Guide. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth (August 29, 2007). "Dolly Parton Says 9 to 5 Will Play Broadway in 2009". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2008. 
  14. ^ Doug George. "Theater Loop - Chicago Tribune". chicagotribune.com. 
  15. ^ Billy Elliot Leads Winners of 2009 Drama Desk Awards, theatermania.com; accessed November 18, 2014.
  16. ^ https://www.broadway.com/buzz/188078/allison-janney-and-john-benjamin-hickey-return-to-broadway-as-six-degrees-of-separation-begins/
  17. ^ "A Breath of Fresh Air for Health Care", opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com; December 13, 2009.
  18. ^ "Allison Janney Joining New Star Tours plus AC-38 Droid to Pilot Starspeeder 1000 in 2011". September 24, 2010. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Alumni Award". The Hotchkiss School. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Allison Janney Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 2016-10-26. 
  21. ^ Times, Los Angeles. "'Mom' actress Allison Janney receives star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-10-26. 
  22. ^ Fussman, Calt (January 4, 2012). "Alison Janney: What I've Learned". Esquire.com. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  23. ^ Perkins, Dennis (June 11, 2017). "F Is For Family knows that all family debts come due sometime". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 25, 2017. 
  24. ^ Nicole Evatt (10 October 2016). "Allison Janney clowns around in Rachael Yamagata's new video". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 

External links