Born in Dayton, Ohio on November 19, 1959, Allison Janney started her life with dreams of being an athlete. However, her dreams changed to pursuing acting as a career not long actor.
That is what led the leading lady to securing the Oscar of Best Supporting Actress. Although this was the actress’ first Oscar win, her career has been long.
Growing up, Janney played field hockey and ran track. She eventually wanted to become a champion figure skater, but it seems fate had other ideas. An injury with her legs when she was a teen prevented her from achieving her figure-skater dreams.
She attended college at Kenyon College. After graduating in 1982, she continued her studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. She luckily was able to work with Paul Newman, a fellow Kenyon alumnus, and his wife Joanne Woodward.
NOTABLE JANNEY FILMS AND WORKS
Interestingly enough, Janney’s recent Oscars win was for the movie “I, Tonya,” which tells the story of figure skater Tonya Harding, the first woman to complete a triple axel during a competition, and her rise to infamy after being associated with an attack planned by her husband on a fellow figure skater that quickly became one of the most infamous scandals in sports history.
Her dreams of figure skating may not have come true, but at least she got to play a figure skater. Maybe that’s why she secured her first Oscar with the role.
But she was featured in a number of films and projects before winning the prestigious statuette. She played press secretary C.J. Cregg in “The West Wing” TV series, a role that earned her four Emmys.
The coming-of-age movie “Juno,” which follows a teen juggling normal high school issues along with an unplanned pregnancy, featured her as Juno’s stepmother. She was also featured in “Finding Nemo,” “Finding Dory,” “Hairspray,” “The Way Way Back,” “The Hours,” and “Minions.”
LIFE AND TRIVIA
Although Janney is currently single, she did have a relationship with Philip Joncas, but they broke up earlier this year. Years prior to the spark of this 2015 relationship, Janney was engaged to be married to Actor Richard Jenik, but the couple broke off the engagement in 2006.
Her brother, Hal, fought addiction for years and ended up committing suicide. The actress lovingly dedicated her Oscar to her brother in her acceptance speech.
Aside from her family life, Janney is often remembered for her height. She towers above female and some male costars, standing at 6 foot tall. She claimed in an interview that a casting agent once told her that she could only get roles as lesbians or aliens.
The actress proved this doubting agent wrong by securing roles ranging from funny mothers to sophisticated, all-business bosses and everything in between. Her father is a jazz musician and both of her brothers were also both musicians.
She skipped the music notes for the big screen and never looked back.