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Allison Janney

Allison Janney
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Allison Janney Biography

There are actors, and there are stars. Allison Janney, or Allison B. Janney '82 is an actor, and that's just fine by her. With a Tony nomination for her leading role in the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge and roles in several critically acclaimed movies, her career is a proven success. After almost sixteen years as a struggling actor in New York City, Janney has perfected her craft. Still, there is no Manhattan penthouse for her, the scripts aren't pouring in, and luxury vacations, or any kind of vacations, are a rarity for her. "I just want to be a great actor, and I don't have to be a superstar," Janney says. "That's not what it's about for me at all, but I think you always want more. I have to sit back and make myself be happy. I don't ever feel like, wow, I've really made it". After years of off-Broadway plays, bit film parts that often ended up on the cutting-room floor, and a couple of soap opera stints, the Dayton, Ohio, native's career took an upswing with her 1995 Broadway debut in the revival of Noel Coward's 1939 comedy Present Laughter. In 1996, Allison Janney made a splash in the film world with her part in Big Night, a highly praised and commercially successful film directed by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. One of her most recent film roles and her largest to date was opposite Jennifer Aniston in this spring's The Object of My Affection. In the film, Allison Janney plays Alan Alda's wife. Alda's daughter, Elizabeth Alda '82, attended Kenyon with Janney. The first time Janney met Alda he was "Mr. Alda," father of Liz. "So I made the movie, and there I was calling him sweetie," says the thirty-seven-year-old actor. "It was just so weird." The critics provide much of the evidence for Janney's talent. Ben Brantley, a critic for the New York Times, called her performance in A View from the Bridge "a dazzling shift from the wry sophisticate of last season's Present Laughter." In Present Laughter, he called her performance "the most fully accomplished on the stage." Such praise goes unnoticed by Janney, who says Allison Janney never reads the reviews. When A View from the Bridge opened, Allison Janney had the stage manager announce that people were not to discuss the reviews in front of her. If the reviews are bad, Allison Janney takes them to heart. If the reviews are good, she thinks they aren't good enough. Read Full Bio >>

Allison Janney Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2012 Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Ensemble The Help (2011). Nominated
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble The Help (2011). Won
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Help (2011). Won
2011 National Board of Review, USA Best Acting by an Ensemble The Help (2011). Won
2011 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Life During Wartime (2009). Nominated

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Allison Janney Trivia

  • 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
  • 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 and Celia Weston.
  • Formerly lived with Dennis Gagomiros, a computer programmer, in a Manhattan loft. They first met at the New York City Playhouse in 1982. [2001]
  • While struggling to make it as an actress, she told people who inquired about what she did for a living that she was a photographer for "National Geographic."
  • Graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
  • Was discovered by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward while acting in a play at Kenyon, directed by Newman.
  • Dating actor Richard Jenik since February 2003. Announced live on WCBM Radio's "Tom Moore Show" that she has accepted his proposal and is now engaged to be married around Christmas, 2004. Her birthday precedes Jenik's by two days.
  • Lives across the street from her "The West Wing" (1999) co-star Janel Moloney.
  • Nominated for a 1998 Tony for Lead Actress in a Play for "A View From the Bridge".
  • Shares her birthday with Meg Ryan (1961) and Jodie Foster (1962).
  • Nominated for Broadway's 1998 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge".
  • Her grandfather, Stuart Janney, owned many racehorses, including the infamous Ruffian.
  • Most admires Susan B. Anthony.


Allison Janney Photos

  • Dule Hill, Allison Janney

    Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson ONE" World Premiere - Arrivals

  • Allison Janney

    "The Way, Way Back " New York City Premiere - Arrivals

  • Allison Janney

    2013 Los Angeles Film Festival - "The Way, Way Back" Premiere - Arrivals

  • Allison Janney

    19th Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Tribute - Arrivals

  • Allison Janney

    Disney Pixar's "Finding Nemo 3D" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

  • Allison Janney

    2012 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Brave" World Premiere - Arrivals

  • more





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