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Jean Smart Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Seattle, Washington, USA
Birth NameJean Elizabeth Smart
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Seattle native Jean Smart was born on September 13, 1951. Attending the University of Washington after high school, she received her BA degree in fine arts. Her first professional season was with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she performed in "Much Ado About Nothing," among others. During this time she built up a strong resume in regional theater with such companies as the Hartford Stage Company, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre and Alliance Theatre. Her first significant break came with a starring role in the potent, critically-acclaimed lesbian drama "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove," which earned her an Off-Broadway Drama Desk nomination in 1980. She capped this honor with a Los Angeles Drama Critics award in 1983 when she repeated her triumph on the West Coast. Jean made an auspicious Broadway debut in 1981 playing Marlene Dietrich in "Piaf", and it was the subsequent TV taping of that show that brought about Hollywood interest. She struggled for a time in unsuccessful sitcoms (Teachers Only (1982), Reggie (1983) and Maximum Security (1984)) before hitting gold as the feather-brained Charlene Frazier on Designing Women (1986). She met future husband Richard Gilliland on the set of the hit show; he played the recurring role of Annie Potts' boyfriend for a few seasons. Jean and Richard's son Connor was born in 1989. Feeling confined and typecast in light material, Jean left the show in 1991 to branch out and drew major acclaim in such made-for-TV movies as Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story (1992). She gave a chilling portrayal as the well-known serial killer more than a decade before Charlize Theron copped an Oscar for her cinematic version. On the other side of the coin, Jean offered gentle, heartfelt performances in such TV films as The Yarn Princess (1994), in which she played a mentally disabled mom, and the TV remake of The Yearling (1994), allowing audiences to rediscover her amazing versatility. On stage she earned a Tony nomination for her delightfully madcap part in the Broadway farce "The Man Who Came to Dinner" opposite Nathan Lane, and on TV won bookend Emmy awards for her guest appearances on the sitcom Frasier (1993). Films would never be a reliable venue for Jean, who made her big-screen debut in Flashpoint (1984). She did, however, receive an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her part in Guinevere (1999). Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 13, Jean has played an active part over the years in public awareness.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Richard Gilliland (7 June 1987 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Often portrays divorcees who are libertarian and free-willed (Youth in Revolt, Barry Munday)

Trivia (10)

Appeared in original cast of the Broadway show, "Piaf," 1979. Also appeared at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, same year.
Left Designing Women (1986) in 1991 to pursue other projects and to focus on her family.
She is the 2nd of 4 children. Her parents were a teacher and a homemaker.
At age 13, Jean was diagnosed with diabetes. Originally planned to be a veterinarian, but got interested in theater during her senior year in high school. Studied theater at the University of Washington.
Met her husband when he guest-starred on Designing Women (1986). Delta Burke arranged for the two to meet.
Is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
Graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle, Washington, in 1969.
Was married to Richard Gilliland in Designing Women (1986) co-star Dixie Carter's rose garden.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 38, a son Connor Douglas Gilliland on October 25, 1989. Child's father is her husband, Richard Gilliland.
Became a mother for the second time, at age 57, when she adopted her daughter, Bonnie Kathleen Gilliland (b.July 2008) in May 2009. Child's father is her husband, Richard Gilliland.

Personal Quotes (7)

I think that people get to a certain point in their life and they think that nothing can change.
We all fantasize about a relationship we'd like to do over or something we'd like to change about our past. I think there are a lot more opportunities for second chances in our lives than we think.
You know as far as diet goes, for a while I was really obsessed with counting fat grams along with the rest of the world.
Lately, I just let myself eat it more because I think, 'Oh, my God, a piece of cheese tastes so good'. I think it's your body telling you something.
I quit smoking the day I found out I was pregnant, which was nine years ago. But I'll still smoke in a movie. I have other vices, you know, like potato chips and chardonnay - but not together.
Personally, I think life offers us the opportunity to take chances and make changes all the time.
I've never met a woman ever, anywhere, bar none, that was more feminine than Dixie Carter.

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