Caroline In the City
American actress Amy Pietz is famous among television audiences for portraying Annie in the hit sitcom “Caroline in the City” (NBC, 1995-1999), from which she picked up a Screen Actors Guild nomination. Starting out on the Chicago theater circuit right after college, Pietz headed to Hollywood in the early 1990s where she enjoyed her first breakthrough with “Caroline in the City.” More recently, she portrayed Charlie in the ABC sitcom “Rodney” (2004-2006) and Franny Tolchuck in the CW sitcom “Aliens In America” (The CW, 2007-2008). She also had regular roles in the short lived comedy series “Muscle” (1995) and “The Weber Show” (2000), recurring roles on “Ally McBeal” (2002), “I'm with Her” (2004) and “Trust Me” (2009), and guest starred on such popular shows such as “ER,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Pietz has also acted in several movies, including “Rudy” (1993), “Jingle All the Way” (1996), “Every 9 Seconds” (1997, TV), “Newton” (2003, TV), “The Whole Ten Yards” (2004), “Reunion” (2009) and “You” (2009) and appeared on stage in such productions as “A View From the Bridge,” “The Boswell Sisters,” “Christmas In Naples,” “You Can't Take It with You” and “Lobby Hero” (also a producer).
Pietz is divorced from actor Kenneth Alan Williams. Currently a Los Angeles resident, she enjoys skiing and golfing and mentions “They Might Be Giants” as her favorite band. She has worked extensively for charities, including the Winter Special Olympics.
Childhood and Family:
Amy Pietz was born on March 6, 1969, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was adopted by Nancy and Arnold Pietz, a nurse and truck driver, respectively, when she was young. During her childhood, she trained as a ballet dancer but decided to not go professional because of financial reasons. She eventually turned her attention to acting thanks in part to her seventh grade social studies teacher who cast her in the lead in “Oliver.” She was also inspired by comediennes Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett.
Amy attended the Milwaukee High School of the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She performed in plays and musicals throughout high school. After high school, she enrolled at DePaul University in Chicago and graduated with a B.F.A. in acting in 1991. Amy later earned an Award for Excellence in the Arts from DePaul.
On May 25, 1997, Amy married actor Kenneth Alan Williams (born on October 18, 1963). The couple has since divorced.
Aliens In America
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Amy Pietz moved to Chicago to attend college and work in theater. She performed in a number of Chicago stage productions, such as “A View from The Bridge” and “You Can't Take It with You” at the Steppenwolf Theater, “In the Flesh” with the Organic Theater Company, “The Love of the Nightingale” at the Next Theater, and “Waiting for Lefty” at the Artistic Home. She also co-founded the Chicago based Eclipse Theatre Company. After two years, she moved to Los Angeles in hope of more opportunities.
Pietz made her TV acting debut as a reporter in a 1992 episode of “Highlander.” The next year, she broke into the big screen with a small part in the biopic “Rudy,” based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (played by Sean Austin), who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite substantial obstacles. After guest roles in the ABC police drama “Missing Persons” (1993) and the syndication science fiction series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1994), she landed her first regular role on the short lived comedy series “Muscle” (1995), where she portrayed Bronwyn Jones.
It was not long before Pietz got her big break on the NBC hit situation comedy series “Caroline In the City,” which starred Lea Thompson. In the series she played Annie Spadaro, the neighbor and best friend of Caroline, from September 21, 1995, to April 26, 1999. She was nominated for a 1999 Screen Actors Guild in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for her role. While working on the series, she could also be seen playing Liza Tisch in the film “Jingle All the Way” (1996, starred Arnold Schwarzenegger), Terri Paxton in the TV movie “All Lies End in Murder” (1997, with Kim Delaney and Jamey Sheridan), Carrie in the NBC television movie “Every 9 Seconds” (also 1997, opposite Gail O'Grady) and Bonnie in a 1998 episode of “Conrad Bloom” called “Gone with the Re-Wind.”
Pietz returned to series TV as a regular in the NBC sitcom “The Weber Show” (2000), costarring with Steven Weber, Chris Elliott, and Wendell Pierce. The show, however, was canceled after one season after failing to attract audiences. She then appeared with her then-husband Kenneth Alan Williams in the short film “Jell-Ohh Lady,” which premiered at the 2001 Wisconsin Film Festival, and returned to stage in the musical “The Boswell Sisters” at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California, where she originated the role of Martha Boswell. Since then, she has actively worked in theater and in a number of charity fundraisers. Her additional stage credits include “Christmas In Naples,” “Fiorello” and “Company.” She also produced the musical “Xanadu Live” at the Gasco Center Theater and produced and starred in “Lobby Hero,” which was directed by Kenneth Lonergan at the Odyssey Theater.
Pietz pursued her screen career by making guest appearances on TV series such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2003), “The Drew Carey Show” (2003), “ER” (2003), “All About the Andersons” (2004), “The Division” (2004) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2005). She also had recurring roles in two episodes of “Ally McBeal” (2002, as Bonnie) and three episodes of “I'm with Her” (2004, as Samantha). She also played Alice Pryor in the science fiction TV film “Newton” (2003, UPN), teamed up with Alexis Bledel, Sarah Winter and Laura Kightlinger in the award winning short “DysEnchanted” (2004, directed and written Terri Miller), appeared in Mikael Forsberg's 19 minute comedy “Marty and Sven” (2004), and was featured as a waitress in the Howard Deutch directed comedy “The Whole Ten Yards” (2004), which starred Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Kevin Pollak and Natasha Henstridge. Also in 2004, Pietz landed the role of Charlie in the ABC sitcom “Rodney,” starring Rodney Carrington and Jennifer Aspen. Created by Ric Swartzlander, the show debuted on September 21, 2004, and concluded its 22 episode first season on April 26, 2005. The show was renewed for a second season of 22 episodes, but was axed after 16 episodes because of poor ratings.
Undaunted, Pietz resurfaced as the mother of Justin (played by Dan Byrd), in The CW's situation comedy series “Aliens In America.” The show ran from October 2007 to May 2008. Following the cancellation of the series, Pietz guest starred in “Burn Notice,” “Ghost Whisperer” (both 2008), “The Closer,” “Bones,” “Hawthorne,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Medium” (all 2009) and received a recurring role in the TNT drama “Trust Me” (also 2009).
Recently playing the supporting roles of Sadie in Alan Hruska's drama “Reunion” and Sam in “You,” a drama directed and starring Melora Hardin (both 2009), Pietz is scheduled to costar with Lea Thompson and Wendie Malick in the upcoming family movie “I Was a 7th Grade Dragon Slayer,” directed by Andrew Lauer and written by Jamie Nash. It will be released in America in 2010.