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Jane Marie Lynch (born July 14, 1960) is an American actress, singer, and comedian. She gained fame in Christopher Guest's improv mockumentary pictures such as Best in Show. Notable awards she has won for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester in Glee include the Primetime Emmy AwardGolden Globe AwardScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesTCA Award for Individual Achievement in ComedySatellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film, and the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress. Her television cameos include an appearance in the Nickelodeon situation comedy iCarly and the Showtime dark comedy series Weeds. Lynch had a recurring role in the Warner Bros. situation comedy Two and a Half Men and also has had notable roles in numerous mainstream comedies, such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyThe 40-Year-Old VirginRole Models, and The Three Stooges.

Early life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch was born and raised in Dolton, Illinois, the daughter of a homemaker-secretary mother, Eileen (née Carney), and a banker father, Frank Lynch. Her father was of Irish descent and her mother was of Irish and Swedish ancestry. She was raised in a Catholic family and attended Thornridge High School. She received her bachelor's degree in theater from Illinois State University and her MFA in theater from Cornell University.

Career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Early work[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch spent fifteen years in Chicago, acting in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and, at the time of her audition, was one of only two women picked to join The Second City comedy troupe. She then continued to hone her comical and improvisational skills at Annoyance Theater, playing Carol Brady in the theater's The Real Live Brady BunchAndy Richter playedMike Brady in the New York shows. He and Lynch became very good friends.

Films[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch got her start in films in 1988, playing a small role in the film Vice Versa. In 1993, she had a secondary role as a doctor alongside Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.

During the 1990s, she made numerous television commercials, including one for Frosted Flakes for an adult audience, directed by Christopher Guest. A few years later, Guest would remember Lynch, as he cast actors for his dog showmockumentaryBest in Show (2000). Lynch played Christy Cummings, a butch lesbian personal dog handler to trophy wife Sheri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge). Since then, she has been a staple part of Guest's casts, appearing in the director's A Mighty Wind (2003) as porn actress-turned-folk singer Laurie Bohner and in For Your Consideration (2006) as an entertainment reporter.

Audiences and critics took notice of Lynch for her turn in Judd Apatow's The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She told Fresh Air'Terry Gross the role was originally intended for a man but, at the urging of Steve Carell's wife Nancy Walls, was offered to Lynch instead. Since then, she has had supporting roles in a series of films including Role ModelsTalladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyAlvin & the ChipmunksWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox StorySpace ChimpsThe RockerThe HammerAnother Cinderella StoryIce Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Spring Breakdown.

In Adventures of Power, a critically acclaimed comedy about air-drumming released in 2008, Lynch reunited with her former co-star Michael McKean (from For Your Consideration) in the role of Aunt Joanie and starring alongside Ari GoldAdrian GrenierChiu Chi Ling, and Shoshannah Stern. Similar to her contribution as Sue Sylvester on the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee, Lynch's role as the encouraging Aunt Joanie to Power, a young musician who plays the air drums because he never had access to musical instruments, promotes the initiative to support music education.

In Julie and Julia, she played the role of Dorothy McWilliams, Julia Child's sister. Entertainment Weekly dedicated an article on their website toward the possibility of her performance receiving an Academy Award nomination.

Television[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch has appeared in many television productions, including Hollywood game night, L.A. LawJudging AmyThe West Wing7th HeavenDesperate HousewivesFriendsDawson's CreekFelicityArrested DevelopmentLovespring InternationalTwo and a Half MenWeedsBoston LegalThe L WordCriminal MindsHelp Me Help YouGilmore GirlsThe New Adventures of Old ChristinePsychMonk, and Party Down. She also starred with John Hannah andWilliam Fichtner in 2002's MDs and has appeared in the crime drama Criminal Minds as Spencer Reid's schizophrenic mother.

Beginning 2009, Lynch appeared on the Fox series Glee. The role echoed previous guest appearances in The X-Files and Veronica Mars, being her third time cast as a harsh high school teacher. She won glowing reviews for her role as the aggressive cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. Mary McNamara of the LA Times wrote, "Lynch alone makes Glee worth watching." Before her work with Glee, she was a series regular on the Starz comedy Party Down. Though the series was renewed for a second season, Lynch would not be returning, due to her work on Glee.

In addition to her current work on Glee, Lynch continues to pursue other projects. Lynch hosted Saturday Night Live on October 9, 2010; the news of her hosting was accidentally broken to her by her Glee boss, Ryan Murphy, by text message. Lynch also guest starred on the Nickelodeon show iCarly as Pam Puckett, Sam Puckett's mother, in the episode "iSam's Mom".

Since July 11, 2013, Lynch has hosted the NBC game show, Hollywood Game Night. The show has two teams made up of members of the public (civilians) and celebrities competing in various party games, with a chance for the civilians to take home up to $25,000.

Other work[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch wrote and starred in the award-winning play Oh Sister, My Sister. Originally produced in 1998, the play kicked off the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in 2004.

She starred in Comcast's XFinity ads, mainly with two different laptops and two different colored Persian cats. She also stars in LG Corp.'s Text Ed campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving.

Lynch's first experience hosting an awards show was in 2010 when she hosted the 2010 VH1 DoSomething Awards. It was announced that she will be hosting the 2011 VH1 DoSomething Awards, airing on VH1 on August 18.Lynch hosted the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on September 18, 2011, only the third woman in Emmy history to host the awards show solo. According to September 19's Hollywood Reporter Lynch hosting the Emmys did not help ratings, as viewing was down 8% year over year and eight million fewer people watched the Emmys as watched Michael Vick's return to Atlanta on Sunday Night Football on NBC (21.5 million for Eagles-Falcons, 13.5 million for the Emmys).

[1][2](l-r) Governor appointee Don Norte, Dr. Lara Embry, Jane Lynch, and Norte's husband, gay activist Kevin Norte, at Autum P-FLAG 2010's Charitable Event at The London Hotel, West Hollywood, California.

Happy Accidents was released Fall 2011 by Hyperion Voice. Lynch was inspired to write the book after reflecting upon the successes of her past year and wishing she could have told her more anxious, younger self to not worry as much. The memoir also includes detail about her years as an alcoholic and her success in battling this addiction. Lynch is openly lesbian, and married Lara Embry in 2010. A self-proclaimed animal lover, Lynch has two dogs and a cat. She has recorded a PSA for PETA encouraging the adoption of shelter animals, and she sponsors an annual adoption event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. She was the commencement speaker for Smith College's class of 2012 where she received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.

In March 2012, Lynch was featured with Martin SheenJamie Lee CurtisChris Colfer and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged re-enactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Maggie Gallagher. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Lynch made her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie for a limited engagement lasting from May 15 to July 14, 2013. She is taking the place of Katie Finneran.

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Lynch is openly lesbian; in 2005, she was named one of Power Up's "10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz." In 2010, Lynch married clinical psychologist Lara Embry. On June 10, 2013, Lynch announced they were divorcing.

Lynch is deaf in one ear due to nerve damage. She has said that it was most likely caused by having a high fever as an infant.

Filmography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Film[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Taxi Killer
1988 Vice Versa Ms. Linstrom
1992 In the Best Interest of the Children Gwen Hatcher Television film, as Jany Lynch
1992 Straight Talk Gladys Voice role only. Not seen onscreen.
1993 The Fugitive Dr. Kathy Wahlund
1993 Fatal Instinct Prison Reporter
1997 Touch Me Counselor
2000 What Planet Are You From? Doreen
2000 Red Lipstick Final TV Newscaster
2000 Color Me Gay Executive / Do-Rag Lesbian Finalist at the 2nd PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards
2000 Best in Show Christy Cummings
2001 Nice Guys Finish Last Mom Comedy short
2001 Martini Dr. Jane Short film
2002 Hiding in Walls Diane Moffet Comedy short
2002 Collateral Damage Agent Russo
2002 The Big Time Miss Rush Television film
2003 A Mighty Wind Laurie Bohner Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast

Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast

2003 Exposed Julie Gross
2004 Little Black Boot Grace Comedy short
2004 Surviving Eden Maude Silver
2004 Sleepover Gabby Corky
2004 Memoirs of an Evil Stepmother Blanche Monroe Comedy short
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Realtor Uncredited role
2004 The Aviator Amelia Earhart Scenes deleted from final cut[40]
2005 Holly Hobbie and Friends: Surprise Party Joan Hobbie / Minnie Voice role
2005 Promtroversy Mimi Nimby (Concerned Parent) Comedy short
2005 The 40-Year-Old Virgin Paula
2005 Bam Bam and Celeste Darlene
2005 The Californians Sybill Platt
2006 The List Dr. Davina
2006 Separated at Worth Jennifer Television film
2006 Fifty Pills Doreen
2006 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Lucy Bobby
2006 For Your Consideration Cindy Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2006 The Frank Anderson Dr. Emily Brice Comedy short
2006 Holly Hobbie and Friends: Christmas Wishes Joan Hobbie / Minnie Voice role
2006 Eye of the Dolphin Glinton Lovespring International
2007 I Do & I Don't Nora Stelmack Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival Jury Award for Best Actress Comedy
2007 Smiley Face Casting Director
2007 Suffering Man's Charity Ingrid
2007 Love Is Love Reverend Greeley Comedy short
2007 Holly Hobbie and Friends: Best Friends Forever Joan Hobbie / Minnie Voice role
2007 Alvin and the Chipmunks Gail
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story News Interviewer Uncredited role
2008 The Toe Tactic Honey Strumpet
2008 The Hammer Woman in hardware store
2008 Adventures of Power Joni
2008 Tru Loved Ms. Maple
2008 Space Chimps Dr. Poole Voice role
2008 The Rocker Lisa
2008 Another Cinderella Story Dominique Blatt Direct-to-DVD
2008 Role Models Gayle Sweeny
2008 Man Maid Sabena
2009 Big Breaks M.J. Short
2009 Spring Breakdown Senator Kay Bee Hartmann
2009 Weather Girl J.D.
2009 Mr. Troop Mom Ms. Hulka Nickelodeon film
2009 Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust Voice role
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Diatryma Mom Voice role
2009 Julie & Julia Dorothy McWilliams
2009 Post Grad Carmella Malby
2010 Shrek Forever After Gretchen Voice role
2010 Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back Dr. Poole Voice role
2011 Rio Yo/Alice Voice role
2011 Paul Pat Stevenson
2012 The Three Stooges Mother Superior
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Sergeant Calhoun Voice role
2012 Dino Time Sue Voice role
2012 Abominable Christmas Margaret Knowhow Voice role
2013 Escape from Planet Earth Io Voice role

Television[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Bakersfield P.D. Michelle Hathaway Episode: "Bakersfield Madam"
1993 Empty Nest Tammy Episode: "The Girl Who Cried Baby"
1994 Married... with Children Greta Episode: "Valentine's Day Massacre"
1994 Party of Five Dr. Pennant Episode: "Much Ado"
1994 The John Larroquette Show Evaluator Episode: "The Tutor"
1995 In The House Ruth Episode: "Female Trouble"
1995 NewsRadio Carol Episode: "The Cane"
1996 Cybill Mrs. Sweeney Episode: "Educating Zoey"
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun Mrs. Koppel Episode: "Dick, Smoker"
1996, 1998 Caroline in the City Hostess 2 Episodes: "Caroline and the Bad Date" and "Caroline and the First Date"
1996 Frasier Cynthia Episode: "A Lilith Thanksgiving"
1999 Dharma & Greg Sheryl Episode: "Play Lady Play"
1999–2000 Judging Amy ASA Perkins 3 Episodes: "Pilot", "Drawing the Line" & "Waterworld"
2000 JAG Episode: "The Witches of Gulfport"
2000 Gilmore Girls Nurse Episode: "Forgiveness and Stuff"
2000–2001 The West Wing Reporter 2 Episodes: "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 1" & "Two Cathedrals"
2001 Dawson's Creek Mrs. Witter Episode: "The Te of Pacey"
2001 Cursed Carla Episode: "...And Then Jack Had Two Dates"
2001 Popular Susie Klein Episode: "I Know What You Did Last Spring Break"
2001 The Division Episode: "The First Hit's Free, Baby"
2001 Arli$$ Episode: "Giving Something Back"
2001 Boston Public Jane Morrell Episode: "Chapter Twenty-Four"
2001 Family Law Cheryl Bowman Episode: "No Options"
2001 The X-Files Mrs. Anne T. Lokensgard Episode: "Lord of the Flies"
2001 The King of Queens Dr. Foreman Episode: "Ovary Action"
2001–02 Family Guy Dotty Campbell, the nudist Voice role, 4 Episodes
2001–02 7th Heaven Nurse 4 Episodes
2002 Titus Prosecutor Episode: "The Trial"
2002 Felicity Professor Carnes 2 Episodes: "Ben Don't Leave" & "The Paper Chase"
2002 MDs Aileen Poole, RN, PhD Series regular
2003 Watching Ellie Roman Episode: "TV"
2003 The Dead Zone Flo McMurtry Episode: "The Storm"
2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series Oscorp Executive Voice role, Episode: "Heroes and Villains"
2003 According to Jim Janice Episode: "The Lemonade Stand"
2004 NYPD Blue Susanna Howe Episode: "You Da Bomb"
2004 Monk Dr. Julie Waterford Episode: "Mr. Monk Gets Married"
2004 Las Vegas Helen Putasca Episode: "You Can't Take It With You"
2004 Arrested Development Cindi Lightballoon 3 Episodes: "Altar Egos", "Shock and Aww" & "Justice is Blind"
2004 Friends Ellen the realtor Episode: "The One Where Estelle Dies"
2004 Veronica Mars Mrs. Donaldson Episode: "Return of the Kane"
2005 Unscripted Jane 2 Episodes: "Episode #1.6" & "Episode #1.7"
2005 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Ranger Episode: "Unbearable"
2005 Blind Justice Dr. Taylor 2 Episodes: "Four Feet Under" & "Rub a Tub Tub"
2005 The Life and Times of Juniper Lee Madame Rothchild Voice role, Episode: "Magic Takes a Holiday"
2005 Weeds The Candyman Episode: "Fashion of the Christ"
2005 Illeanarama Illeana Douglas project
2005–06 Rodney Amy O'Brien 2 Episodes: "Rodney Moonlights" & "Rodney Gets a Leg Up"
2006 Desperate Housewives Maxine Bennett Episode: "Silly People"
2006 Night Stalker Scientist Episode: "Into Night", uncredited
2006 Lovespring International Victoria Ratchford Series regular
2006 Help Me Help You Raquel Janes Recurring role, 5 episodes
2006–08 Criminal Minds Diana Reid 5 Episodes: "The Fisher King: Part 1", "The Fisher King: Part 2", "Revelations", "The Instincts" & "Memoriam"
2006–08 Boston Legal Joanna Monroe 4 Episodes: "Can't We All Get A Lung?", "Dances with Wolves", "The Good Lawyer" & "The Verdict"
2007 Untitled Christine Taylor Project
2007 Campus Ladies Professor Episode: "Psych 101"
2007 The New Adventures of Old Christine Ms. Hammond 2 Episodes: "The Real Thing" & "Friends"
2007 American Dad! Various Voice role, 2 Episodes: "Surro-Gate" & "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever"
2004–present Two and a Half Men Dr. Linda Freeman Recurring minor role; 13 episodes

Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2010)

2007–present Handy Manny Jackie Greenway Recurring role/voice role
2005–09 The L Word Joyce Wischnia Recurring role; 15 episodes (Seasons 2–6)
2008 My Name Is Earl Sissy Episode: "I Won't Die With a Little Help From My Friends"
2008 Psych Barbara Dunlap Episode: "There Might Be Blood"
2009 The Spectacular Spider-Man Joan Jameson Voice role, Episode: "Gangland"
2009 Party Down Constance Carmell Series regular
2009 Reno 911 Counselor Episode: "Wiegel's Couple's Therapy"
2009–present Glee Sue Sylvester Series regular

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series(2010) Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film(2010) People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress (2011) Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film(2010) Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series(2010) TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy(2010) Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series(2011) Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film(2009) Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series(2011, 2013) Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film(2011) Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series(2010–2011) Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series(2011) Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress (2012)

2010–11 The Cleveland Show Ms. Eck/Sue Sylvester Episode: "Love Rollercoaster"/"How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"
2010 Neighbors from Hell Alex Episode: "Screw the EPA"
2010 iCarly Pam Puckett Season Four, Episode 2 (Episode 72) "iSam's Mom"[41]
2010 VH1 Do Something Awards Herself Host
2010 Saturday Night Live Herself Host
2010-2011 The Super Hero Squad Show Nebula Episodes: "When Strikes the Surfer!" and "Double Negation at the World's End!"
2011 Phineas and Ferb Mrs. Johnson Episodes: "Run, Candace, Run", "Canderemy" and "Bad Hair Day"
2011 Web Therapy Claire Dudek Episode: "Public Relations"
2011 The Simpsons Roz Davis 1 Episode: "Replaceable You"
2011 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Herself Host
2012 Word Girl Miss Power 1 Episode: The Rise of Miss Power
2012 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Ellen DeGeneres' Wax Figure
2013 The Annoying Orange Cob 1 Episode: Popstar
2013 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Herself
2013 MasterChef Herself 1 Episode: Season 4, Episode 10
2013–present Hollywood Game Night Herself Host

Theatre[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Annie Miss Hannigan Broadway debut; limited engagement, replacing Katie Finneran.

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Soundtracks
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