Born In: Lowell, Indiana, United States
Jo Anne Worley is an American actor, comedian, and voice artist. She has not just been part of films and TV shows but has also contributed to theater, game shows, talk shows, commercials, and animated dramas. Jo rose to prominence in the late 1960s. Over the years, she made a name for herself as a comedian in the night club circles. Jo has entertained the audiences with her boisterous laugh for over 4 decades. Since her childhood, Jo had known that she was different from others. Her distinctively husky and manly voice was loud enough to showcase her talent. She began her career through stand-ups at night clubs and then eventually earned a place on 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In,' a sketch comedy show. Despite her popularity on the show, she quit the show later and turned toward other creative outlets. Apart from doing films and TV shows, Jo has appeared as a panelist and has been part of various game shows, such as 'Hollywood Squares.' Jo was also quite active in regional theater.
Spouse/Ex-: Roger Perry (m. 1975 – div. 2000)
father: Joseph Lauraine Worley
mother: Rose Irene Gardner
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: Indiana
education: Los Angeles City College, Lowell High School
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Jo was born on September 6, 1937, in Lowell, Indiana, to Rose Irene and Joseph Lauraine Worley. She was the third of the five children of her parents. In 1962, Jo's parents divorced, after which her father married a woman named Nancy and had two sons and two daughters with her.
Jo appeared in cameo roles in 'Disney Channel' sitcoms such as 'Kim Possible' (as ‘Bonnie Rockwaller's mother), 'Wizards of Waverly Place,' and 'Jessie.' She voiced ‘Queen Morphia’ in the 1979 Japanese–American stop motion animated film 'Nutcracker Fantasy.' In 1989, Jo made her comeback to stage with the ‘Broadway’ play 'Prince of Central Park,' but the show was canceled soon after its opening performance.
Jo played ‘Mrs. Buzzard’ in the Bob Sykes-directed short 'The Elf Who Saved Christmas' (1992) and its TV version, 'The Elf and the Magic Key' (1993). In 2004, she was seen on the game show 'Hollywood Squares.'
Jo was cast as ‘the Wicked Witch of the West’ in the 1999 musical production of 'The Wizard of Oz.' The show ran briefly at the 'Pantages Theater,' Hollywood, California, and the 'Theater at Madison Square Garden.' It had a limited US tour.
From July to December 2007, Jo performed as ‘Mrs. Tottendale’ in the ‘Broadway’ musical 'The Drowsy Chaperone,' staged at the 'Marquis Theatre.' She reprised the role again at 'The Cape Playhouse,' from June to July 2015.
Jo played ‘Madame Morrible’ in the Los Angeles production of 'Wicked' from January 8 to August 24, 2008. She continues to perform the role in New York City and Los Angeles. In 2012, she featured in 'Carol Channing: Larger than Life Documentary,' directed and co-written by Dori Berinstein.
Jo also delivers lectures at various organizations and has served on the board of directors of 'Actors and Others for Animals,' a Los Angeles-based organization founded by actor Doris Day. The organization focuses on humane treatment of animals. She also often performs parodies of popular songs, as suited to her man-chasing personality.
Jo has always been known for her loud, manly voice. As a little girl, she once attended church and lip-synced the hymns out of fear that she might drown out everyone else.
In 1999, Jo was supposed to go on a tour, performing as ‘Pseudolus’ in the stage production of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.' Interestingly, she left the show only because her dogs were not allowed to travel with the crew. She was ultimately replaced with Rip Taylor.
On the recommendation of actor and director Gower Champion, Jo was roped in as actor Carol Channing's stand-by in the original 1964 ‘Broadway’ production of 'Hello Dolly!' She eventually went on to play the title role, replacing Carol, who was known for never missing a performance.
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