Image of Jean Smart

Jean Smart

Blonde, buxom and noticeably tall Seattle native Jean Smart was born on September 13, 1951. Not your average-looking ingénue, she earned her stardom taking another route. 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 resumé 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.

Read bio at Wikipedia
Sep 13, 1951 In Seattle, Washington, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Alice 1976-08-31
Latest Project:
Series Halt and Catch Fire 2014-06-01

Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 10 nominations.

Known For
Poster of Halt and Catch Fire
Poster of Fargo
Poster of Psych
Poster of 24
Halt and Catch Fire Unknown 2014-06-01
Sirens Unknown 2014
Fargo Floyd Gerhardt 9 episodes, 2015 2014-04-15
Harry's Law Unknown 2011-01-17
Hawaii Five-0 Unknown 2010-09-20
Hot in Cleveland Unknown 2010-06-16
$#*! My Dad Says Unknown 2010-09-23
Samantha Who? Regina Newly 35 episodes, 2007-2009 2007-10-15
Psych Unknown 2006-07-07
American Dad! Unknown 2005-02-06
Robot Chicken Unknown 2005-02-20
Kim Possible Dr. Ann Possible / ... 42 episodes, 2002-2007 2002-06-07
The Oblongs Pickles Oblong 11 episodes, 2001 2001-04-01
24 Unknown 2001-11-06
Static Shock Unknown 2000-09-20
The District Unknown 2000-10-07
Hercules Unknown 1998-08-31
The View Unknown 1997-08-11
Hey Arnold! Unknown 1996-10-07
Frasier Unknown 1993-09-16
Batman: The Animated Series Unknown 1992-09-05
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Unknown 1992-05-25
Remington Steele Unknown 1982-10-01
Newhart Unknown 1982-10-25
The Facts of Life Unknown 1979-08-24
Alice Unknown 1976-08-31