A Mighty Wind
American writer, actress and comedian who earned wide-ranging theater background by touring with the Second City comedy troupe and playing Carol Brady in “The Real Live Brady Bunch,” among other performances, Jane Lynch is known as the writer of the award-winning play “Oh Sister, My Sister.” Originally produced in 1988, the play kicked off the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center in 2004.
A slim six-feet-tall player who usually wears her blonde hair cropped in an elf cut, Lynch first gained the attention of public with her role as butch Christy Cummings in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best in Show (2000). Their next collaboration in the musical spoof A Mighty Wind (2003), where Lynch portrayed a porn actress turn singer, handed the prolific actress a shared award from the Florida Film Critics Circle. More recently, Lynch re-teamed with Christopher Guest in For Your Consideration (2006). Other film credits include Straight Talk (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Collateral Damage (2002), Surviving Eden (2004), Sleepover (2004), The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and the Adam McKay-directed comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006, opposite Will Ferrell).
A veteran television performer, Lynch has guest starred in a number of series like “Married... with Children,” “Frasier,” “Judging Amy,” “The West Wing,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Gilmore Girls,” “7th Heaven,” “The X-Files,” “Felicity,” “Friends,” “Veronica Mars,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The L Word.” She plays Victoria Ratchford in the comedy series “Lovespring International” (2006-?), with Mystro Clark.
Childhood and Family:
In Dolton, Illinois, Jane Lynch was born on July 14, 1960. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in theater from Illinois State University and earned her MFA (also in theater) from Cornell University in New York.
The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Born and raised in Illinois, Jane Lynch had her extensive theater background with the renowned Second City comedy troupe and by portraying Carol Brady in “The Real Live Brady Bunch” (1991) at Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre. She also penned and starred in the award-winning “Oh Sister, My Sister” (1989), a play that started the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center in 2004, as well as performed in “Tales of the Lost Formicans,” “Ennui” and “Waiting for Iggy.”
Lynch’s movie career took place in 1988 with the small role of Ms. Lindstrom in the body-switching comedy Vice Versa. Other assignments followed, including parts in movies Straight Talk (1992, starred Dolly Parton and James Woods), The Fugitive (1993, with Harrison Ford), Carl Reiner’s comedy Fatal Instinct (1993) and the Amanda Peet and Michael Vartan starring vehicle Touch Me (1997). While on television, Lynch, who made her TV debut in the 1992 Lifetime movie In the Best Interest of the Children, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, guest starred on numerous series such as “Married with Children” (1994), “Party of Five” (1994), “The John Larroquette Show” (1994), “Cybill” (1995),” 3rd Rock from the Sun” (1996), “Frasier” (1997) and “Dharma & Greg” (1999).
Following feature roles in What Planet Are You From? and Red Lipstick, Lynch finally got her breakthrough screen role when director Christopher Guest had her play the role of the butch private dog trainer, Christy Cummings, in the mockumentary Best in Show (all in 2000). A series of guest spots ensued, including in “Judging Amy,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Popular,” “The West Wing,” “Boston Public,” “The X Files,” “Family Guy,” “Felicity” and “7th Heaven,” before Lynch starred opposite William Fichtner and John Hannah in the ABC medical comedy “MDs” (2002), portraying a mocking nurse named Aileen Poole. Also in 2002, she was seen as a government agent in the Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie Collateral Damage, and a 1940s-style receptionist in the TNT film The Big Time.
In addition to guest starring in episodes of “Watching Ellie,” “The Dead Zone” and “According to Jim,” and appearing in the comedy film Exposed, 2003 also saw Lynch rejoin Christopher Guest for the musical parody A Mighty Wind, where she was cast as porn actress-turn-singer Laurie Bohner. For her performance in the film, she won a Florida Film Critics Circle for Best Ensemble Cast, an award she shared with costars Catherine O’Hara, Jim Piddock, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, Deborah Theaker and Fred Willard.
Over the next two years, she played a coked-up producer of a reality TV show in the mockumentary Surviving Eden (2004), Gabby Corky in the teen comedy Sleepover (2004), Blanche Monroe in Memoirs of an Evil Stepmother (2004), Mimi Nimby in Promtroversy (2005), Paula in The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), Darlene in Bam Bam and Celeste (2005) and Sybill Platt in The Californians (2005). During the same periods, she also kept herself busy on TV, guest starring in such popular shows as “NYPD Blue,” “Friends,” “Veronica Mars” (all 2004) and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2005), having recurring roles in the CBS “Two and a Half Men” (2004, as Dr. Linda Freeman), “Unscripted” (2005, as Jane), “Blind Justice” (as Dr. Taylor), as well as starring in the short-lived show “Illeanarama” (2005).
Still on the small screen, Lynch reprised the role of Dr. Linda Freeman in “Two and a Half Men” in the 2006 episode of “That Special Tug,” had a five episodic role as lesbian attorney Joyce Wischnia in the Showtime series “The L Word” (2005-2006) and made a guest starring role as Maxine Bennett in an episode of “Desperate Housewives” (2006). She also played Diana Reid in two episodes of the crime series “Criminal Minds” (2006) and now stars as Victoria Ratchford in the comedy series “Lovespring International” (2006-?), opposite Mystro Clark. On the silver screen, Lynch was cast as the mother of Will Ferrell in the comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, directed by Adam McKay and co-written by McKay and Ferrell, and reunited with Christopher Guest for the comedic take on Hollywood’s award season For Your Consideration (2006).
The demanding performer has completed the made-for-TV film Separated at Worth (2006), co-starring with Elizabeth Beckwith, Marisa Coughlan and Kelley Daugherty. She will play roles in Man Maid (2006), Suffering Man’s Charity (2006), Eye of the Dolphin (2006), I Do & I Don’t (2007) and Smiley Face (2007), and now is filming Spring Breakdown (2007), a comedy helmed by Ryan Shiraki and starring Mona Weiss.
- Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Ensemble Cast, A Mighty Wind, 2004