The incredibly versatile Allison Janney has taken her place among a select group of actors who combine a leading lady's profile with a character actor's art of performance. Most recently she has been tapped to co-star, along with Anna Faris, in the new CBS/Chuck Lorre sitcom, Mom
. She'll also appear in a multi-episode arc on the new Showtime drama Masters of Sex
this fall. Her feature, The Way, Way Back
with Steve Carell and Toni Collette, will be released by Fox Searchlight on July 5th. In addition, Janney has been busy with a number of other films, including the premiere of Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely
at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the Untitled Christian Camargo project
with William Hurt and Jean Reno, the Untitled Marc Lawrence/Castle Rock project
with Hugh Grant, Trust Me
for director/actor Clark Gregg, and Jason Bateman's comedy Bad Words
. She is lending her voice to the Dreamworks' animated film Mr. Peabody & Sherman
and previously appeared in The Oranges
with Catherine Keener, Liberal Arts
with Josh Radnor and Struck By Lightning
with Chris Colfer.
Additionally she co-starred in the much anticipated feature film The Help
based on the best selling novel of the same name. For their extraordinary performances, the cast won Ensemble awards from the Screen Actors Guild, National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics. Additionally the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Janney has delighted audiences with outstanding performances in the Oscar-winning ensemble hit Juno
and in the movie version of the Tony Award winning play Hairspray
. For her role in Todd Solondz's film Life During Wartime
she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the Spirit Awards. She also appeared in Sam Mendes' Away We Go
, the comedy Strangers with Candy
, and was heard as the voice of 'Gladys' in Dreamworks' animated film Over the Hedge
as well as 'Peach' in Finding Nemo
Janney received another Spirit Award nomination for her work in the independent feature Our Very Own
, and starred opposite Meryl Streep in The Hours
which received a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture. Other feature credits include the Academy Award winning film American Beauty
(for which she won a SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture) as well as Nurse Betty, How to Deal, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 Things I Hate About You, Primary Colors, The Ice Storm, Six Days Seven Nights, The Object of My Affection,
and Big Night
Throughout her career Janney has made a handful of memorable guest-star appearances on television, but she is renowned for her starring role in the acclaimed NBC series The West Wing
, where she won a remarkable four Emmy Awards and four SAG Awards for her portrayal of White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg.
While a freshman studying acting at Kenyon College in Ohio, Janney auditioned for Paul Newman and got the part. Soon after, Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward suggested she study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. She followed their advice and went on to make her Broadway debut in Noel Coward's Present Laughter
for which she earned the Outer Critics Circle Award and Clarence Derwent Award. She also appeared in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
, receiving her first Tony Award nomination and winning the Outer Critics Circle Award. Janney was last seen on Broadway in the musical 9 to 5
, for which she earned a Tony nomination and won the Drama Desk Award.