Bess Armstrong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Bess Armstrong
Bess Armstrong.JPG
Armstrong in On Our Own (1977).
BornElizabeth Key Armstrong
(1953-12-11) December 11, 1953 (age 60)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)John Fiedler (1985-present) 3 children
Chris Carreras (1983-1984) (divorced)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bess Armstrong
Bess Armstrong.JPG
Armstrong in On Our Own (1977).
BornElizabeth Key Armstrong
(1953-12-11) December 11, 1953 (age 60)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)John Fiedler (1985-present) 3 children
Chris Carreras (1983-1984) (divorced)

Elizabeth Key "Bess" Armstrong (born December 11, 1953) is an American film, stage and television actress. She is best known for her roles in films The Four Seasons (1981), High Road to China (1983), Jaws 3-D (1983), and Nothing in Common (1986). Armstrong also starred in the critically acclaimed ABC drama series My So-Called Life and had lead roles in a number of made-for-television films.

Early life[edit]

Armstrong was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Louise Allen (née Parlange), who taught at Bryn Mawr, and Alexander Armstrong, an English teacher at the Gilman School.[1][2] She attended the Bryn Mawr School for Girls and Brown University, from which she graduated with degrees in Latin and Theater (studying acting with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh). While at Bryn Mawr and Brown, Armstrong appeared in over one hundred stage plays.


Armstrong's professional acting career began in 1975 with the Off-Off Broadway debut, Harmony House. Then, in 1977, Armstrong made her television debut as Julia Peters on the CBS sitcom, On Our Own. In 1978 Armstrong starred opposite Richard Thomas in her first TV-movie Getting Married. She co-starred again with Richard Thomas in a 1981 stage production in Seattle of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, from which a video was made for HBO broadcast that year.

Armstrong continued to make several films for both the big and small screens in the 1980s, among them High Road to China opposite Tom Selleck; Jaws 3-D with Dennis Quaid; Alan Alda's The Four Seasons; the TV miniseries Lace; and Nothing in Common, starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason.

The 1990s brought Armstrong to her best-known role, playing Patty Chase on the critically acclaimed series My So-Called Life. She later starred in several television films. In 2000, she appeared on the NBC sitcom Frasier, in the episode "Mary Christmas." In 2008, Armstrong played Penelope Kendall on ABC's Boston Legal. Armstrong remains active in films, television, and the stage.[3] She had a recurring role in the Showtime series House of Lies as Julianne Hotschragar. She also appeared in Castle, Mad Men and NCIS.



1978Getting MarriedKristine LawrenceTV Movie
1978How to Pick Up Girls!Sally ClaybrookTV Movie
1979Walking Through the FireWalking Through the FireTV Movie
197911th VictimJill KelsoTV Movie
1981The Four SeasonsGinny Newley
1982Jekyll and Hyde... Together AgainMary Carew
1983High Road to ChinaEveNominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1983Jaws 3-DDr. Kathryn 'Kay' Morgan
1983This Girl for HireB.T. Brady
1984LaceJudy HaleTV Movie
1984The House of GodCissy Anderson
1986Nothing in CommonDonna Mildred Martin
1989Mother, MotherKate Watson
1989Second SightSister Elizabeth
1993Dream LoverElaine
1993The Skateboard KidMaggie
1994Serial MomEugene Sutphin's NurseCameo
1994Take Me Home AgainConnieTV Movie
1995She Stood Alone: The Tailhook ScandalBarbara PopeTV Movie
1995Stolen InnocenceBecky SappTV Movie
1995Mixed BlessingsPilar Graham ColemanTV Movie
1996Forgotten SinsRoberta 'Bobbie' BradshawTV Movie
1996The Perfect DaughterJill MichaelsonTV Movie
1996She Cried NoDenise ConnellTV Movie
1996Christmas Every DayMolly JacksonTV Movie
1997That Darn CatJudy Randall
1998PeckerDr. Klompus
1998Forever LoveGailTV Movie
1998When It ClicksBetsy Cummings
2000Diamond MenKatie Harnish
2002Her Best Friend's HusbandMandy RobertsTV Movie
2008Corporate AffairsEmily Parker
2008Next of KinSusan
2012I Married Who?ElaineTV Movie


1977—1978On Our OwnJulia PetersSeries regular, 22 episodes
1978The Love BoatLaura StantonEpisode: "The Man Who Loved Women/A Different Girl/Oh, My Aching Brother"
1986All Is ForgivenPaula Winters RussellSeries regular, 9 episodes
1990—1991Married PeopleElizabeth MeyersSeries regular, 18 episodes
1992Tales from the CryptErmaEpisode: "What's Cookin"
1994—1995My So-Called LifePatty ChaseSeries regular, 19 episodes
1998Touched by an AngelMaryEpisode: "How Do You Spell Faith?"
1994, 1998The NannySarah SheffieldEpisodes: "I Don't Remember Mama" and "The Wedding"
2002That Was ThenMickey GlassSeries regular, 4 episodes
2002Good Morning, MiamiLouise MessingerEpisode: "If It's Not One Thing, It's a Mother"
2000, 2004FrasierKelly KirklandEpisodes: "Mary Christmas" and "Frasier-Lite"
2008Boston LegalPenelope KimballEpisodes: "Mad About You" and "Made in China"
2009Criminal MindsSheila HawkesEpisode: "Zoe's Reprise"
2004, 2010One Tree HillLydia JamesRecurring role, 5 episodes
2010CastlePaula CasillasEpisode: "He's Dead, She's Dead"
2012CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationPatricia LydeckerEpisode: "CSI Unplugged"
2012Mad MenCatherine OrcuttEpisode: "Far Away Places"
2013RecklessCatherine HarrisonTV pilot[4]
2013—2014House of LiesJulianne HotschragarRecurring role, 10 episodes
2014NCISU.S. Senator Denise O'HaraEpisode: "Dressed to Kill"
2014Reckless[5]Melinda RayderRecurring role


External links[edit]