Who is Jane Kaczmarek?

American actress Jane Frances Kaczmarek was born of Polish descent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, on 21 December 1955, meaning that her zodiac sign’s Sagittarius. She’s appeared in close to 100 movies and TV series, but is probably still known best for playing David’s Mom in the 1998 fantasy comedy movie “Pleasantville”, written and directed by Gary Ross, and which starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels and Joan Allen. The film follows two siblings living in the ‘90s who’ve been mysteriously teleported into a ‘50s sitcom, and it won 18 of its 66 award nominations, including three Oscar nominations for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.

Jane’s still active in the movie industry, and is currently shooting for the upcoming film “Untitled Tommy Johnagin Project”.

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Education and early life

Jane and her siblings Mary, Jim and Bill were raised in Milwaukee by their father Edward Kaczmarek who worked for the US Department of Defense, and mother Evelyn (nee Gregorska) who was a teacher.

Jane grew up being urged by her parents to focus on her education, and although she fell in love with acting during her early teenage years, she chose not to pursue it until she obtained a college degree. She studied at a local high school in Greendale, Wisconsin, and upon matriculating in 1974, enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978; she continued her education at Yale University, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1980.

Roles in movies

Jane’s debut film role was playing Margie Spoleto in the 1982 romantic comedy “For Lovers Only”, and she could then have been seen appearing in the drama “Right of Way” and the action thriller “Uncommon Valor” both in 1983, and the 1984 drama “Something About Amelia”.

What marked the ‘80s for her was probably playing Gail Cornell in the 1988 mystery thriller “D. O. A.”, directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, and which starred Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Charlotte Rampling. It follows the life of a college professor, whose best student has committed suicide, while his wife’s told him that she wants a divorce.

Jane had only a couple of film roles in the ‘90s, including in the 1994 science fiction “Without Warning”, the 1996 biographical historical drama “Apollo 11” and the 1997 short comedy “The Spittin’ Image”.

Carol's reunion with a long-lost friend (played by special guest star Jane Kaczmarek) reminds her that she's got a lot…

Posted by CBS on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The 2000s saw her appear in only a single movie: she played the lead character Valerie Estess in the drama “Jenifer”, directed by Jace Alexander, and which also starred Laura San Giacomo and Annabella Sciorra. It tells the story of three sisters, one of whom has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Jane’s also known for starring as Ms. Liz in the 2013 drama “Lost on Purpose”, written and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms, and which also starred C. Thomas Howell and James Lafferty. It follows the life of dairy farm owner Elizabeth James Liz, and the film won one of its two award nominations.

Jane’s three most recent film roles have been in the 2018 drama “6 Balloons”, the 2020 comedy “Killing Eleanor”, and the 2021 short comedy “2 Timers”.

Roles in TV series

Jane’s debut TV series role was playing Sandy Burns in three episodes of the 1983 comedy “St. Elsewhere”, and the remainder of the decade saw her appear in an episode of various series, such as the action adventure comedy “Remington Steele”, the romantic adventure comedy “Scarecrow and Mrs King” and the crime mystery comedy “Crazy Like a Fox”.

In 1995 and 1996, she portrayed Holly in the popular comedy “Cybill”, created by Chuck Lorre, and which starred Cybill Shepherd, Christine Baranski and Alicia Witt. It follows a middle-aged actress who’s trying to become famous; the series won 11 of its 36 award nominations.

Jane began attracting attention in 2000, when cast to star as Lois Wilkerson in “Malcolm in the Middle”, the critically acclaimed family comedy which Michael Glouberman and Linwood Boomer created, and which also starred Justin Berfield, Bryan Cranston and Frankie Muniz. It follows the lives of a gifted teenager and his dysfunctional family, the series aired from 2000 to 2006 and won 53 of its 172 award nominations. The remainder of the 2000s saw Jane appear in the romantic comedy “Help Me Help You”, the comedy “Head Case” and the drama “Raising the Bar”.

From 2012 through 2015, she voiced Red Jessica in the animated family adventure “Captain Jack and the Never Land Pirates”, created by Bobs Gannaway, and which starred David Arquette, Corey Burton and Jeff Bennett. It follows a group of pirates as they’re competing against Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, and the series won three of its 12 award nominations.

Jane’s three most recent TV series roles have been in the 2020 episode “True Colors” of the family comedy “Mixed-ish”, the 2021 episode “Phoning It In” of the comedy “Viral Vignettes” and the 2022 episode “One Angry Lisa” of the comedy “The Simpsons” (voice role).

Other credits

Jane sang the song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” in three episodes of the series “Malcolm in the Middle”.

She received special thanks for the 2021 short comedy “2 Timers”.

Jane’s recently made a guest appearance in talk-shows “The Real”, “Stars in the House” and “History of the Sitcom”.

Awards and nominations

Jane’s won seven of her 32 award nominations. Some of her wins include a 2001 American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role), a  Family Television Award for Actress and Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, all  in  2001 for “Malcolm in the Middle”.

Jane was nominated for seven Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series from 2000 through 2006, as well as for three Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical in 2001, 2002 and 2003, again all for “Malcolm in the Middle”.

Love life and marriage

On 15 August 1992, Jane exchanged vows with American actor and movie producer Bradley Whitford; he’s had roles in nearly 150 movies and TV series, and is perhaps known best for playing Dean Armitage in the 2017 mystery horror thriller movie “Get Out”. Jane gave birth to their daughter Frances Whitford in January 1997, and their son George Whitford followed on 23 December 1999; she gave birth to their second daughter Mary Louisa Whitford on 25 November 2002. No reasons was given, but Jane and Bradley’s divorce was finalized in October 2010, following a one-year separation.

She hasn’t spoken of anyone she’s perhaps dated since then, and Jane seems to be unattached as of January 2023, was married to Bradley Whitford, and has three children with him.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Prior to becoming an actress, Jane dreamed of teaching at the University of Wisconsin.

In 2002, she and her now former husband Bradley founded the charity organization Clothes off our Back; it auctioned celebrities’ clothes on the internet, with all proceeds donated to The Children’s Defense Fund and Cure Autism Now.

Her favorite food is Polish sausage, but she hates cooking.

Close to 20,000 people are following Jane on Instagram today, but she’s uploaded only nine pictures onto the social media network.

She enjoys spending her spare time with her children.

Jane’s favorite actors are Anthony Hopkins and Joaquin Phoenix, and some of her favorite movies are “The Father”, “Elyse” and “Hitchcock”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Jane’s age is 67. Her eyes and hair are brown, she’s 5ft 6ins (1.69m) tall and weighs about 135lbs (62kgs).

Jane’s net worth’s been estimated at over $9 million, as of early 2023.

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