Who is Kristen Johnston?
Kristen Johnston is an American actress who has won two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Sally Solomon in the NBC sitcom ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’. After finishing her degree in drama, Johnston began her career as a theatre actress for the famed Atlantic Theatre Company. Her role of an alcoholic in the play ‘The Lights’ won her many accolades, in addition to getting her a part in ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’. Apart from acting, Johnston is very active in charity work, especially in lending her support to the cause of rehabilitation of young children and teens with drug issues. Through her New York-based charity, SLAM, NYC (Sobriety, Learning, and Motivation), Johnston helps high school girls with drug and self-esteem issues.
Before finding fame on television, Kristen Johnston started off as a theatre actress and worked with the Atlantic Theatre Company. She acted in plays like ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Stage Door’. She also performed in numerous other plays for different production companies. Some of her notable works include ‘The Stand-in’, ‘Hot Keys’, and ‘Kim’s Sister’. Her performance in the production of ‘The Lights’ was noticed by a casting agent who suggested her named for the role of Sally Solomon in the sitcom ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’. She worked in the show from 1996 to 2001 and won two Emmy awards for her role.
In 1993, Johnston acted in a short movie titled ‘The Debt’. The movie was a winner at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival in the short film category. In the following years, she starred in movies like ‘Backfire!’ (1995) and ‘Thrill Ride’ (2016). Her other notable films include the 1999 spy comedy ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’, the 2007 romantic-comedy ‘Music and Lyrics’, and the 2009 romcom ‘Bride Wars’. In 2014, she appeared in the Matt LeBlanc-starrer movie ‘Lovesick’. Johnston is also a voice-over artist and has lent her voice for the 2002 animated movie ‘Ice Age’. Apart from movies, she has appeared in several sitcoms like ‘Ugly Betty’ (2009 -2010) and ‘The Exes’ (2011-2015). She had a guest appearance in the ‘Splat!’ episode (2004) of ‘Sex and the City’. As of 2018, she is essaying the recurring character of Tammy on the sitcom ‘Mom’.
Johnston also teaches drama at the acting school owned by The Atlantic Theatre Company. Her most acclaimed plays in recent times include ‘Love Song’, wherein she plays the character of Joan; a professional woman who has no tolerance for incompetence. In 1993, she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role in the play ‘The Lights’, and then again in 2009 for playing Lily Darnley in the production of ‘So Help Me God’.
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Family & Personal Life
Kristen Angela Johnston was born on 20 September 1967 in Washington, D.C., U.S. Her father Rod Johnston was former Wisconsin Republican state senator. When she was young, her family moved to Fox Point, Wisconsin. She completed her elementary schooling from St. Eugene’s Catholic Grade School, and later went to Whitefish Bay High School. As a teenager, she spent some time as an exchange student in Sweden and South America. After finishing her school, Johnston pursued Bachelor in Fine Arts from Tisch School of Arts, University of New York, graduating from there in 1989. She is currently single and has never been married. She dated actor David Newsom in 1996 and actor Ryan Reynolds in 1999-2000.
In 2012, Johnston spoke openly about her past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and its aftermath. In the same year, she published her memoir ‘Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster.’ The book chronicled her journey from a teenager addicted to drugs to coming close to death and then turning her life around through sheer determination. Johnston was addicted to Vicodin, a prescribed painkiller, and alcohol. She has confessed that at the height of her addiction, she consumed at least two bottles of wine per day. To overcome her drug issues, she admitted herself into a rehab facility and sought treatment to address the psychological aspects that pushed her towards addiction. In her recent interviews, Johnston has claimed that although it has been incredibly difficult to fight addiction, she has been sober for more than a decade. She has encouraged people to speak up and seek help for their drug issues. In November 2013, she was diagnosed with lupus myelitis - a neurological disorder linked with inflammation of the spinal cord. The very rare autoimmune disorder required Johnston months of medication and hospitalization to recover from it.