Jane Kaczmarek Biography
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Jane Frances Kaczmarek
Born in: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Famous as: Actress
Spouse/Ex-: Bradley Whitford (m. 1992; div. 2010)
father: Edward Kaczmarek
mother: Evelyn Kaczmarek
siblings: Bill Kaczmarek, Jim Kaczmarek, Mary Kaczmarek
children: Frances Genevieve Whitford, George Edward Whitford, Mary Louisa Whitford
U.S. State: Wisconsin
City: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
education: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Yale School of Drama
Jane Kaczmarek is an American actress who has made her mark in films, TV, and theater with great élan, earning appreciation and awards for her brilliant performances. With a rich body of work, this versatile actor is best known for playing ‘Lois’ in the American TV sitcom ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ Her brilliant performance in the series not only garnered her widespread popularity but also won her a ‘Satellite Award.’ She also earned several award nominations, including seven ‘Emmy’ nominations and three ‘Golden Globe’ nominations. A few of her other notable TV series include ‘Equal Justice’ and ‘Raising the Bar.’ She also featured in several TV movies, such as ‘Without Warning’ and ‘Reviving Ophelia.’ She made her film debut in the early 1980s and landed up with her first notable film role in the American romantic-drama ‘Falling in Love.’ This was followed by an array of films, including starring roles in ‘The Heavenly Kid’ and ‘The Boat Builder.’ While advancing with her on-screen career, Jane also appeared in the ‘Broadway’ hits ‘Lost in Yonkers’ and ‘Raised in Captivity,’ with the latter winning her an ‘L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award.’
- She was born Jane Frances Kaczmarek, on December 21, 1955, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, into a Polish family. Her father, Edward Kaczmarek, was an employee of the ‘US Department of Defense,’ and her mother, Evelyn (née Gregorska), was a teacher. She was raised as a Roman Catholic in Greendale.
- She attended the ‘University of Wisconsin–Madison,’ where she majored in theatre. She completed her graduation in drama in 1979.
- She enrolled at the ‘Yale School of Drama’ and completed one of its programs in 1982. She also remained associated with the theater company of ‘Yale.’
- Jane made her TV debut with the role of ‘Margie Spoletto’ in the TV movie ‘For Lovers Only,’ which released on October 15, 1982.
- In 1983, she appeared in three episodes of the American medical drama ‘St. Elsewhere’ and in single episodes of the series ‘Remington Steele’ and ‘Scarecrow and Mrs. King.’ The same year, she featured as ‘Mrs. Wilkes’ in the December- released blockbuster action film ‘Uncommon Valor.’
- From 1983 to 1984, she appeared as ‘Connie Lehman’ in eight episodes of the American TV drama ‘The Paper Chase.’
- One of her initial performances that garnered attention was the role of ‘Ann Raftis’ in the romantic drama ‘Falling in Love,’ starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, which released on November 21, 1984. That year, she also appeared in six episodes of the popular police drama ‘Hill Street Blues’ and in the TV movie ‘Something About Amelia.’
- She then landed up with the starring role of ‘Emily Barnes’ in the romantic-comedy fantasy ‘The Heavenly Kid.’ It released on July 26, 1985, and grossed over US$ 3.8 million at the box office.
- She played the lead role of ‘Mary Newell Abbott’ in the American comedy–drama series ‘Hometown,’ which aired on ‘CBS’ for nine episodes, from August 22, 1985, to October 15, 1985. The comedy film ‘Door to Door,’ which released in August that year, featured her in the starring role of ‘Katherine Holloway.’
- In the ensuing years, she continued performing in both big-screen and small-screen productions. Thus, she was seen in the films ‘D.O.A.’ (1988) and ‘Vice Versa’ (1988), in the TV movie ‘The Right of the People’ (1986), and in the TV miniseries ‘I'll Take Manhattan’ (1987).
- She played the role of ‘Linda Bauer,’ starring with the likes of George DiCenzo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathleen Lloyd, and Cotter Smith, in 22 out of 27 episodes of the legal drama ‘Equal Justice.’ It aired on ‘ABC’ from March 27, 1990, to July 3, 1991.
- While bolstering her on-screen presence with several films and TV projects, Jane succeeded in making an impact on stage too. She performed in the ‘Broadway’ hits ‘Lost in Yonkers’ and ‘Raised in Captivity.’ Her performance in the latter won her an ‘L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award.’
- She essayed the supporting role of the mother of twins ‘David’ and ‘Jennifer’ (played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon) in the fantasy comedy–drama film ‘Pleasantville.’ It released on October 23, 1998, but failed at the box office.
- Prior to the turn of the millennium she worked in several other projects. These included the TV series ‘Big Wave Dave's’ (1993), ‘Party of Five’ (1995–99), ‘Cybill’ (1996–97) and ‘Felicity’ (1999); the TV movies ‘Without Warning’ (1994) and ‘Apollo 11’ (1996); and the big-screen movies ‘The Chamber’ (1996) and ‘Wildly Available’ (1996).
- She garnered the role of ‘Lois,’ a hot-headed and stubborn, yet loving and protective, mother of five children, in the American TV sitcom ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ This was arguably the most memorable role in her career. The series became extremely popular and earned immense critical acclaim. It was aired on ‘Fox’ for 7 seasons, encompassing 151 episodes, starting from January 9, 2000, to May 14, 2006.
- Jane succeeded in tickling the funny bones of the audiences with her role in ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ She graced the cast of this sitcom, which also included Frankie Muniz (who played the titular role), Bryan Cranston, Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan, James Rodriguez, and Lukas Rodriguez. The series was syndicated worldwide and was named among the 10 best shows in the history of ‘Fox’ by Alan Sepinwall of ‘HitFix.’
- Jane not only furthered her fame to new heights by playing ‘Lois’ in ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ but also won several awards for her remarkable performance, including a ‘Satellite Award’ for the ‘Best Actress – Musical or Comedy Series’ in 2003. She also earned two ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ nominations, three ‘Golden Globe Award’ nominations and seven ‘Emmy Award’ nominations (one in each of the 7 seasons) among others.
- She lent her voice to the character of ‘Judge Constance Harm’ in the American animated sitcom ‘The Simpsons,’ in 8 of its episodes between 2001 and 2010.
- The short-lived legal drama series ‘Raising the Bar,’ which aired on ‘TNT’ for two seasons, from September 1, 2008, to December 24, 2009, featured her as ‘Judge Trudy Kessler’ in 23 of its 25 episodes.
- Other notable TV pursuits of Jane include the series ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ (voice role, 2012–13), ‘Us & Them’ (2014), and ‘Playing House’ (2014–17); and the TV movie ‘Reviving Ophelia’ (2010).
- She starred in the American independent drama ‘The Boat Builder’ (2015), opposite Christopher Lloyd. The film had its worldwide premiere on November 6, 2015, at the 30th ‘Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.’ Other film features of Jane include ‘Wolves at the Door’ (2016) and ‘CHiPs’ (2017). She can be seen playing ‘Gayle’ in the forthcoming American drama ‘6 Balloons,’ which is scheduled to be released on March 12, 2018.
- She was married to American actor and political activist Bradley Whitford, from August 15, 1992, to October 2010. They have three children, Frances Genevieve, George Edward, and Mary Louisa.
- Jane is often found doing charitable work and was also actively involved with her then-husband, Whitford, in such charitable pursuits. She founded ‘Clothes Off Our Back,’ which raises funds for children’s charities by auctioning celebrity apparels.
Jane Kaczmarek Movies
1. The Last Leaf (1983)
2. Pleasantville (1998)
(Comedy, Fantasy, Drama)
3. Falling in Love (1984)
4. Uncommon Valor (1983)
(Action, Drama, War, Thriller)
5. Door to Door (1984)
6. The Heavenly Kid (1985)
(Fantasy, Romance, Comedy)
7. D.O.A. (1988)
8. CHIPS (2017)
(Comedy, Crime, Action)
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