Jane Lynch

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Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch, 2008 appearance (crop).jpg
Jane Lynch in 2008
BornJane Marie Lynch
(1960-07-14) July 14, 1960 (age 54)
Evergreen Park, Illinois, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationThornridge High School
Alma materIllinois State University
Cornell University
OccupationActress, comedian, singer, author
Years active1988–present
TelevisionTwo and a Half Men
The L Word
Party Down
Spouse(s)Lara Embry (m. 2010–14)
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Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch, 2008 appearance (crop).jpg
Jane Lynch in 2008
BornJane Marie Lynch
(1960-07-14) July 14, 1960 (age 54)
Evergreen Park, Illinois, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationThornridge High School
Alma materIllinois State University
Cornell University
OccupationActress, comedian, singer, author
Years active1988–present
TelevisionTwo and a Half Men
The L Word
Party Down
Spouse(s)Lara Embry (m. 2010–14)

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.[1][2][3]

Lynch's 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 Bobby, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models and The Three Stooges.

Notable awards she has won for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester in Glee include the Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film, and the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress.

On September 4, 2013, Lynch received the 2,505th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of television located at 6640 Hollywood Blvd.

Early life[edit]

Lynch was born in Evergreen Park,[4] Illinois, and raised in Dolton, Illinois, the daughter of a homemaker-secretary mother, Eileen (née Carney), and a banker father, Frank Lynch.[5][6][7] Her father was of Irish descent and her mother was of Irish and Swedish ancestry.[8] She was raised in a Catholic family[9] and attended Thornridge High School.[5] She received her bachelor's degree in theater from Illinois State University and her MFA in theater from Cornell University.


Early work[edit]

Lynch spent 15 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.[5][10] She then continued to hone her comical and improvisational skills at Annoyance Theater, playing Carol Brady in the theater's The Real Live Brady Bunch. Andy Richter played Mike Brady in the New York shows. He and Lynch became very good friends.[11]


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 chose actors for his 2000 dog show mockumentary, Best in Show. Lynch played Christy Cummings, a butch lesbian personal dog handler to trophy wife Sheri Ann Cabot (Jennifer Coolidge). From there, she became a staple actress in 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's Terry Gross that the role was originally intended for a man but also that, at the urging of Steve Carell's wife Nancy Walls, was offered to Lynch instead.[12] Beginning from there, she took supporting roles in a series of films including Role Models, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Space Chimps, The Rocker, The Hammer, Another Cinderella Story, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Wreck-It Ralph, and Spring Breakdown.[13]

In Adventures of Power, a critically acclaimed comedy about air-drumming released in 2008, Lynch reunited with Michael McKean, her former co-star from For Your Consideration, in the role of Aunt Joanie and starring alongside Ari Gold, Adrian Grenier, Chiu Chi Ling, and Shoshannah Stern. In a role similar to that of her contributions 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.[14]

In Julie and Julia, she impersonated Dorothy McWilliams, Julia Child's sister. Entertainment Weekly dedicated an article, on its net-site, to the possibility of her performance receiving an Academy Award nomination.[15][16] However, she was not nominated.


Lynch has appeared in many television shows, including L.A. Law, Judging Amy, The West Wing, 7th Heaven, Desperate Housewives, Friends, Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Arrested Development, Lovespring International, Two and a Half Men, Weeds, Boston Legal, The L Word, Criminal Minds, Help Me Help You, Gilmore Girls, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Psych, and Monk. She also starred with John Hannah and William Fichtner in 2002's MDs, and has appeared in the crime drama Criminal Minds as Spencer Reid's schizophrenic mother.

In 2008 she narrated Out & Proud in Chicago, a documentary which tells about LGBT life in Chicago from the Civil War to 2008 through the stories of 20 everyday Chicagoans, from age 30 to age 80.[17]

Beginning in 2009, Lynch appeared as a regular cast member of 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 Los Angeles Times wrote, "Lynch alone makes Glee worth watching."[18] 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.[19]

In addition to her most recent work on Glee, Lynch continued 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.[20] Lynch had also guest-starred on the Nickelodeon comedy iCarly as Pam Puckett, Sam Puckett's mother, in the episode "iSam's Mom."

Beginning on July 11, 2013, Lynch hosted the NBC game show Hollywood Game Night. The show had 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.[21]

Lynch was the co-host of the NBC special New Year's Eve with Carson Daly on December 31, 2013, alongside Carson Daly, host of The Voice.

Other work[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.[22]

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.[23]

Lynch's first experience hosting an awards show was in 2010 when she hosted the 2010 VH1 DoSomething Awards.[24] It was announced that she will be hosting the 2011 VH1 DoSomething Awards, airing on VH1 on August 18.[25] Lynch hosted the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on September 18, 2011, only the third woman in Emmy history to host the awards show solo.[26] 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).[27]

(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.[28] The memoir also includes detail about her years as an alcoholic and her success in battling this addiction.[29] Lynch is openly lesbian, and married Lara Embry in 2010.[30] A self-proclaimed animal lover, Lynch has two dogs and a cat.[31] 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.[32][33] 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 Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris 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.[34] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[35][36]

Lynch made her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie for a limited engagement lasting from May 15 to July 14, 2013. She took the place of Katie Finneran.[37]

In 2014 Lynch joined the Ban Bossy campaign as a spokesperson advocating leadership roles for girls.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Lynch is a lesbian; in 2005, she was named one of Power Up's "10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz." Lynch married clinical psychologist Lara Embry on May 31, 2010 in Sunderland, Massachusetts.[39][40][41] They had first met a year earlier at a fundraiser in San Francisco.[39] In June 2013, Lynch announced that she and Embry were divorcing after three years of marriage.[42] The divorce was finalized in January 2014.[43]

Lynch is deaf in one ear due to nerve damage. On July 19, 2013, she speculated to Craig Ferguson, when he interviewed her in a segment of The Late Late Show that he hosted, that the deafness in that one of her ears was most likely caused by her having had a high fever as an infant.[44]



1988Taxi Killer
1988Vice VersaMs. Linstrom
1992In the Best Interest of the ChildrenGwen HatcherTelevision film, as Jany Lynch
1992Straight TalkGladysVoice role only. Not seen onscreen.
1993Fugitive, TheThe FugitiveDr. Kathy Wahlund
1993Fatal InstinctPrison Reporter
1997Touch MeCounselor
2000What Planet Are You From?Doreen
2000Red LipstickFinal TV Newscaster
2000Color Me GayExecutive / Do-Rag LesbianFinalist at the 2nd PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards
2000Best in ShowChristy Cummings
2001Nice Guys Finish LastMomComedy short
2001MartiniDr. JaneShort film
2002Hiding in WallsDiane MoffetComedy short
2002Collateral DamageAgent Russo
2002Big Time, TheThe Big TimeMiss RushTelevision film
2003Mighty Wind, AA Mighty WindLaurie BohnerFlorida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2003ExposedJulie Gross
2004Little Black BootGraceComedy short
2004Surviving EdenMaude Silver
2004SleepoverGabby Corky
2004Memoirs of an Evil StepmotherBlanche MonroeComedy short
2004Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate EventsRealtorUncredited role
2004Aviator, TheThe AviatorAmelia EarhartScenes deleted from final cut[45]
2005Holly Hobbie and Friends: Surprise PartyJoan Hobbie / MinnieVoice role
2005PromtroversyMimi Nimby (Concerned Parent)Comedy short
200540-Year-Old Virgin, TheThe 40-Year-Old VirginPaula
2005Bam Bam and CelesteDarlene
2005Californians, TheThe CaliforniansSybill Platt
2006List, TheThe ListDr. Davina
2006Separated at WorthJenniferTelevision film
2006Fifty PillsDoreen
2006Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky BobbyLucy Bobby
2006For Your ConsiderationCindyNominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2006Frank Anderson, TheThe Frank AndersonDr. Emily BriceComedy short
2006Holly Hobbie and Friends: Christmas WishesJoan Hobbie / MinnieVoice role
2006Eye of the DolphinGlintonLovespring International
2007I Do & I Don'tNora StelmackFt. Lauderdale International Film Festival Jury Award for Best Actress Comedy
2007Smiley FaceCasting Director
2007Suffering Man's CharityIngrid
2007Love Is LoveReverend GreeleyComedy short
2007Holly Hobbie and Friends: Best Friends ForeverJoan Hobbie / MinnieVoice role
2007Alvin and the ChipmunksGail
2007Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryNews InterviewerUncredited role
2008Toe Tactic, TheThe Toe TacticHoney Strumpet
2008Hammer, TheThe HammerWoman in hardware store
2008Adventures of PowerJoni
2008Tru LovedMs. Maple
2008Space ChimpsDr. PooleVoice role
2008Rocker, TheThe RockerLisa
2008Another Cinderella StoryDominique BlattDirect-to-DVD
2008Role ModelsGayle Sweeny
2008Man MaidSabena
2009Big BreaksM.J.Short
2009Spring BreakdownSenator Kay Bee Hartmann
2009Weather GirlJ.D.
2009Mr. Troop MomMs. HulkaNickelodeon film
2009Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office BustVoice role
2009Ice Age: Dawn of the DinosaursDiatryma MomVoice role
2009Julie & JuliaDorothy McWilliams
2009Post GradCarmella Malby
2010Shrek Forever AfterGretchedVoice role
2010Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes BackDr. PooleVoice role
2011RioYo/AliceVoice role
2011PaulPat Stevenson
2012The Three StoogesMother Superior
2012Wreck-It RalphSergeant CalhounVoice role
2012Dino TimeSueVoice role
2012Abominable ChristmasMargaret KnowhowVoice role
2013Escape from Planet EarthIoVoice role
2014Birds of ParadiseRosieVoice role


1993Bakersfield P.D.Michelle HathawayEpisode: "Bakersfield Madam"
1993Empty NestTammyEpisode: "The Girl Who Cried Baby"
1994Married... with ChildrenGretaEpisode: "Valentine's Day Massacre"
1994Party of FiveDr. PennantEpisode: "Much Ado"
1994John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette ShowEvaluatorEpisode: "The Tutor"
1995In The HouseRuthEpisode: "Female Trouble"
1995NewsRadioCarolEpisode: "The Cane"
1996CybillMrs. SweeneyEpisode: "Educating Zoey"
19963rd Rock from the SunMrs. KoppelEpisode: "Dick, Smoker"
1996, 1998Caroline in the CityHostess2 Episodes: "Caroline and the Bad Date" and "Caroline and the First Date"
1996FrasierCynthiaEpisode: "A Lilith Thanksgiving"
1999Dharma & GregSherylEpisode: "Play Lady Play"
1999–2000Judging AmyASA Perkins3 Episodes: "Pilot", "Drawing the Line" & "Waterworld"
2000JAGEpisode: "The Witches of Gulfport"
2000Gilmore GirlsNurseEpisode: "Forgiveness and Stuff"
2000–2001West Wing, TheThe West WingReporter2 Episodes: "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 1" & "Two Cathedrals"
2001Dawson's CreekMrs. WitterEpisode: "The Te of Pacey"
2001CursedCarlaEpisode: "...And Then Jack Had Two Dates"
2001PopularSusie KleinEpisode: "I Know What You Did Last Spring Break"
2001Division, TheThe DivisionEpisode: "The First Hit's Free, Baby"
2001Arli$$Episode: "Giving Something Back"
2001Boston PublicJane MorrellEpisode: "Chapter Twenty-Four"
2001Family LawCheryl BowmanEpisode: "No Options"
2001X-Files, TheThe X-FilesMrs. Anne T. LokensgardEpisode: "Lord of the Flies"
2001King of Queens, TheThe King of QueensDr. ForemanEpisode: "Ovary Action"
2001–2002Family GuyDotty Campbell, the nudistVoice role, 4 Episodes
2001–20027th HeavenNurse4 Episodes
2002TitusProsecutorEpisode: "The Trial"
2002FelicityProfessor Carnes2 Episodes: "Ben Don't Leave" & "The Paper Chase"
2002MDsAileen Poole, RN, PhDSeries regular
2003Watching EllieRomanEpisode: "TV"
2003Dead Zone, TheThe Dead ZoneFlo McMurtryEpisode: "The Storm"
2003Spider-Man: The New Animated SeriesOscorp ExecutiveVoice role, Episode: "Heroes and Villains"
2003According to JimJaniceEpisode: "The Lemonade Stand"
2004NYPD BlueSusanna HoweEpisode: "You Da Bomb"
2004MonkDr. Julie WaterfordEpisode: "Mr. Monk Gets Married"
2004Las VegasHelen PutascaEpisode: "You Can't Take It With You"
2004Arrested DevelopmentCindi Lightballoon3 Episodes: "Altar Egos", "Shock and Aww" & "Justice is Blind"
2004FriendsEllen the realtorEpisode: "The One Where Estelle Dies"
2004Veronica MarsMrs. DonaldsonEpisode: "Return of the Kane"
2005UnscriptedJane2 Episodes: "Episode #1.6" & "Episode #1.7"
2005CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationRangerEpisode: "Unbearable"
2005Blind JusticeDr. Taylor2 Episodes: "Four Feet Under" & "Rub a Tub Tub"
2005Life and Times of Juniper Lee, TheThe Life and Times of Juniper LeeMadame RothchildVoice role, Episode: "Magic Takes a Holiday"
2005WeedsThe CandymanEpisode: "Fashion of the Christ"
2005IlleanaramaIlleana Douglas project
2005–2006RodneyAmy O'Brien2 Episodes: "Rodney Moonlights" & "Rodney Gets a Leg Up"
2006Desperate HousewivesMaxine BennettEpisode: "Silly People"
2006Night StalkerScientistEpisode: "Into Night", uncredited
2006Lovespring InternationalVictoria RatchfordSeries regular
2006Help Me Help YouRaquel JanesRecurring role, 5 episodes
2006–2008Criminal MindsDiana Reid5 Episodes: "The Fisher King: Part 1", "The Fisher King: Part 2", "Revelations", "The Instincts" & "Memoriam"
2006–2008Boston LegalJoanna Monroe4 Episodes: "Can't We All Get A Lung?", "Dances with Wolves", "The Good Lawyer" & "The Verdict"
2007Untitled Christine Taylor Project
2007Campus LadiesProfessorEpisode: "Psych 101"
2007New Adventures of Old Christine, TheThe New Adventures of Old ChristineMs. Hammond2 Episodes: "The Real Thing" & "Friends"
2007American Dad!VariousVoice role, 2 Episodes: "Surro-Gate" & "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever"
2004–2014Two and a Half MenDr. Linda FreemanRecurring minor role; 14 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2010)
2006–2012Handy MannyJackie GreenwayRecurring role/voice role
2005–2009L Word, TheThe L WordJoyce WischniaRecurring role; 15 episodes (Seasons 2–6)
2008My Name Is EarlSissyEpisode: "I Won't Die With a Little Help From My Friends"
2008Out & Proud in ChicagoNarrator (as herself)TV documentary, one episode
2008PsychBarbara DunlapEpisode: "There Might Be Blood"
2009Spectacular Spider-Man, TheThe Spectacular Spider-ManJoan JamesonVoice role, Episode: "Gangland"
2009Party DownConstance CarmellSeries regular
2009Reno 911CounselorEpisode: "Wiegel's Couple's Therapy"
2009–presentGleeSue SylvesterSeries 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)
2010–2011Cleveland Show, TheThe Cleveland ShowMs. Eck/Sue SylvesterEpisode: "Love Rollercoaster"/"How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"
2010Neighbors from HellAlexEpisode: "Screw the EPA"
2010iCarlyPam PuckettSeason Four, Episode 2 (Episode 72) "iSam's Mom"[46]
2010Good Luck CharlieMiss CovingtonEpisode " Double Whammy"
2010VH1 Do Something AwardsHostTV Special
2010Saturday Night LiveHostEpisode: "Jane Lynch/Bruno Mars"
2010–2011The Super Hero Squad ShowNebulaEpisodes: "When Strikes the Surfer!" and "Double Negation at the World's End!"
2011Phineas and FerbMrs. JohnsonEpisodes: "Run, Candace, Run", "Canderemy" and "Bad Hair Day"
2011Web TherapyClaire DudekEpisode: "Public Relations"
2011Simpsons, TheThe SimpsonsRoz Davis1 Episode: "Replaceable You"
201163rd Primetime Emmy AwardsHostTV Special
2012WordGirlMiss Power1 Episode: "The Rise of Miss Power"
2012Ellen DeGeneres Show, TheThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowEllen DeGeneres' Wax Figure
2012Comedy Central Roast of RoseanneRoastmasterTV Special
2013The Annoying OrangeCob1 Episode: Popstar
2013Ellen DeGeneres Show, TheThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowHerself
2013MasterChefHerself1 Episode: Season 4, Episode 10
2013New Year's Eve with Carson DalyCo-HostTV Special
2013–presentHollywood Game NightHost18 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (2014)


2013AnnieMiss HanniganBroadway debut; limited engagement, replacing Katie Finneran.




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  44. ^ Interview in season 9 of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, July 19, 2013
  45. ^ "The Aviator (2004)". IMDb. 
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External links[edit]