Allison Janney biography
Date of Birth: November 19, 1959
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Allison Janney's dreams of becoming an Olympic figure skater were shattered when she ran through a glass door and was badly injured. Her mother, who had studied acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, encouraged Allison to pursue a career in acting instead. After graduating from the drama program at Kenyon College in Ohio, Allison went on to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. At 6 feet tall, her height proved an impediment as she often towered over her fellow actors, but eventually she began making her way into plays.
She made her screen debut with a small role in Who Shot Patakango? (1989), starring a young, yet-unknown Sandra Bullock. In 1993 Allison landed the role of Ginger on the soap opera Guiding Light, and while honing her craft on the show for the next two years, picked up small parts in feature films such as Wolf (1994) starring Jack Nicholson and The Cowboy Way (1994) starring Kiefer Sutherland. When her stint on the TV show concluded, she continued to work in feature films, but most were box office bombs such as The Associate (1996) starring Whoopi Goldberg, Private Parts (1997) starring Howard Stern and The Object of My Affection (1998) starring Jennifer Aniston.
Allison finally had a hit when she played a supporting role in the motion picture American Beauty (1999). The film was not only a success at the box office, but won awards around the world, including five Oscars. She soon landed the recurring role of C.J. Cregg on the new series The West Wing and finally found herself becoming a household name, especially when she won an Emmy in 2000 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She won the same award again in 2001, then won a third and fourth Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2002 and 2004. Her next big film role was playing the lesbian companion of Meryl Streep's character in the critically-acclaimed film The Hours (2002).
Although The West Wing came to a close in 2006, she continues to win acclaim for her work both on TV and in film. She won Best Supporting Actress at the Austin Film Critics Awards for her work in Juno and in 2009 she won Best Actress at the Mar del Plata Film Festival for her work in Life During Wartime. She starred in the comedy A Thousand Words with Eddie Murphy and, more recently, she lent her voice to the animated film Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014). She starred in the 2014 film Bad Words alongside Jason Bateman and in the comedy Tammy (2014). In 2015, starred in a slew of films, including The DUFF (2015), Spy (2015), and Minions (2015). More recently, she appeared in the Tim Burton fantasy adaptation Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016), and the drama adaptation The Girl on the Train (2016). For her role as Tonya Harding's mother, LaVona Golden, in the sports drama I, Tonya (2018), Allison won her first Golden Globe and her first Academy Award.
Unmarried, Allison lives in Los Angeles, but likes to spend her spare time in Vermont.
Allison Janney Filmography