“I know I'm never going to be a hard body, and I'm okay with that. The more I've accepted myself the more attractive I am.” Jana Marie Hupp
American actress hailed from Washington Jana Marie Hupp has a magnetic screen presence that resulted from the combination of beguiling strength and pleasing weakness. She is probably most famous to television audiences as Nancy Burton on the popular NBC comedy/drama series “Ed” (2000-2004). Previously, she had regular roles in the short-lived shows “Wild Oats” (Fox, 1994) and “Public Morals” (CBS, 1996). Hupp is also known for her guest roles in a number of TV shows, most notably “Knots Landing” (1991), “Seinfeld” (1993), “Brooklyn South” (1997) and “Providence” (2000). More recently, in 2007, she played Susan Atlin on the Fox comedy series “Deeply Irresponsible.” Hupp's admirers can also see her in such movies as her debut, “Vision Quest” (1985), “Barton Fink” (1991), The Devil Takes a Holiday” (1996) and the box office hit “Independence Day” (1996).
Childhood and Family:
Jana Marie Hupp was born on April 2, 1964, in Spokane, Washington. She attended North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and studied literature and theater at the Western Washington University in Seattle, Washington. It was in Seattle that the dark-haired beauty began her stage career. She later moved to Los Angeles to become a full-time actress.
Jana is married to Brad Weston.
Jana Marie Hupp worked on stage in Seattle theater productions before making her big screen debut as Sally, a one-line-part in the coming-of-age drama “Vision Quest” (1985), starring Matthew Modine as a high school wrestler named Louden Swain. After relocating to Los Angeles, the Washington native continued to have guest roles in the CBS series “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “My Sister Sam” (both 1986) and a small part in the two-part “Disney Sunday Movie” presentation “Splash, Too” (ABC, 1988).
More TV guest spots ensued, including playing Rhonda in ABC's “Who's the Boss,” Tracy in NBC's “Empty Nest” (both 1989) and Lita in the short-lived sitcom “Doctor Doctor” (1990), before she landed a recurring role in the CBS popular night time soap opera “Knots Landing” (1991), playing Susie Richfield. Also in 1991, she also appeared in two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and returned to film by having a small but memorable turn as USO girl on the John Turturro vehicle “Barton Fink,” written by the Coen brothers.
Following guest appearances in NBC's “A Different World” and Fox's “Melrose Place” (both 1992), Hupp enjoyed a wider audience thanks to her impressive turn as Sasha, the girlfriend of George Costanza (played by Jason Alexander), in a 1993 episode of the long-running comedy series “Seinfeld” called “The Conversion.” A year later, she debuted on the small screen as a regular player on the Fox sitcom “Wild Oats,” in which she was cast as Liz Bradford, a hairstylist with awful taste in men. A comedy about Jack Slayton and Brian Grant, two twenty-somethings living together in Chicago, the series had a short life and was canceled after three weeks.
Next, Hupp appeared in episodes of “Dave's World” and “All-American Girl” (both 1995) and undertook a small role in the independent comedy “The Devil Takes a Holiday” (1996). Also in 1996, she teamed up with Adam Baldwin and Lindsay Frost for the made-for-TV drama “Smoke Jumpers,” appeared as Mindy in an episode of “Friends” and enjoyed a blockbuster hit with the science fiction movie “Independence Day,” in which she had a cameo role a scientist.
However, Hupp did not secure her next regular role until she was cast as tough police sergeant, Val Vandergroot, in the CBS sitcom “Public Morals” (also 1996). Unfortunately for her, the show also suffered a likewise immediate death. She then appeared in the comedy film “Who's the Caboose?” (1997) and joined the cast of the CBS police drama “Brooklyn South” in the recurring role of heavy-laden wife Yvonne Lowery (also 1997). The following year, she guest starred as Charlotte Ford and Margaret in the series “Nash Bridges” (CBS) and “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC), respectively.
Entering the new millennium, Hupp offered an impressive turn as a woman asking forceful surgery to avoid any risk of breast cancer in a 2000 episode of NBC's “Providence” named “Sibling Rivalry.” Later that same year, she reunited with fellow “Providence” guest star Tom Cavanagh to star in the comedy/drama series “Ed.” As Nancy Burton, the friend of contract lawyer Ed Stevens (played by Cavanagh) and wife of young doctor Mike Burton (played by Josh Randall), she proved powerful among other costars and scored a breakthrough with the role. Debuted on October 8, 2000, the show departed the airwaves in 2004 after enjoying a four-season run.
In 2007, Hupp resurfaced as Susan Atlin on the Fox new comedy series “Deeply Irresponsible.” Among her costars in the series were Larry Joe Campbell, Macey Cruthird, Allen Evangelista, Tom Conti, Nathan Gamble and Stella Hudgens.