"I like America. I think it's pretty cool. I got into acting to avoid politics of any sort so I could remain in a fantasy world." Mary Lynn Rajskub
Czech descendant actress/comedienne Mary Lynn Rajskub is popular among TV audiences as the sour-faced CTU tech analyst Chloe O'Brian (2003-Present) on Fox's hit drama series “24.” The 5' 7'' tall dark-haired performer, whose trade marks are her deadpan face and comedic delivery, has appeared on such shows as "Mr. Show with Bob and David" (a.k.a. “Mr. Show,” 1995-1996) and “The Larry Sanders Show” (1996-1998). On the big screen, she was credited in The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996), Magnolia (1999), Dude, Where's My Car (2000), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), Firewall (2006) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Next, she will co-star opposite Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Amy Adams and Steve Zahn in director Christine Jeffs' upcoming comedy film, Sunshine Cleaning.
Rajskub dated David Cross during the first two seasons of “Mr. Show,” but left the show after they split up. From 1997 to the fall of 2002, she was involved with composer/musician Jon Brion (born in 1959), who wrote the score for 1999's Magnolia. She was then linked to Duncan Trussell in 2004.
"I'm not married and I don't think that's going to work out for me. I'm not even bitter, I'm just exhausted." Mary Lynn Rajskub
Childhood and Family:
In Detroit, Michigan, Mary Lynn Rajskub (her last name is pronounced “Rice-Cub”) was born on June 22, 1971, into a family of Czech-American heritage. She graduated from Trenton High School, in Trenton, Michigan in 1989. She took painting as a major in Detroit's College for Creative Studies before transferring to San Francisco Art Institute, in San Francisco, California, where she graduated as a painter.
An avid and prolific painter, Rajskub, nicknamed “Mare,” enjoys writing and painting in her free time. She often exhibits her work at art shows and art auctions. She is currently residing in Los Angeles, California, with her poodle named Claire.
"I have to paint at least two times a week, and there's not enough time in the day to do everything." Mary Lynn Rajskub
Girls Guitar Club
"I like the feeling that what happens on stage should be unpredictable. There's nothing better than having people totally relaxed and enjoying what's going on and then sort of gently guiding them into some weird area. But it's not fair just to be weird and obscure. You've got to get the audience involved first. Then get weird on them." Mary Lynn Rajskub
An avid and prolific painter, Mary Lynn Rajskub, who found her comic side while studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, later studied music and acting and began doing extensive work in performance art and comedic theater in California. She subsequently caught the attention of former Saturday Night Live writer/comedy actor Bob Odenkirk and stand up comedian/actor David Cross, who would cast her on their HBO concept comedy sketch series "Mr. Show with Bob and David" (a.k.a. “Mr. Show”) during its first and second seasons (1995-1996).
Departing from "Mr. Show with Bob and David," Rajskub went on to play inappropriate assistant/talent booker Mary Lou Collins (1996-1998) on HBO's satirical sitcom starring stand-up comedian Garry Shandling as the vain, neurotic talk show host, "The Larry Sanders Show." Meanwhile, she had a small role as a female radio caller in Michael Lehmann's romantic comedy film The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996; also starring Uma Thurman) and headlined the one-woman show "The Littlest Angel" on stage in Santa Monica. She also played a guest role, as Sgt. Tipton, in several episodes of The WB’s brief-running sitcom "The Army Show" (1998).
In the late 1990s, Rajskub appeared in Milos Foreman's biopic based on the unusual life and career of the deceased, eccentric, enigmatic, avant-garde performer Andy Kaufman (played by Jim Carrey), the Golden Globe-winning Man on the Moon. She was also featured in a cameo role as Tom Cruise's assistant in writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-nominated romantic drama film, Magnolia, which also stars Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and William H. Macy.
The new millennium saw Rajskub playing supporting roles in such popular comedy movies as Todd Phillips' Road Trip, starring Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, Paulo Costanzo and D.J. Qualls, and Danny Leiner's Dude, Where's My Car, starring Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott. She then was featured in Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming's romantic drama comedy The Anniversary Party (also featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Parker Posey, Phoebe Cates, John C. Reilly, Kevin Kline and Jennifer Beals) and was picked as a regular on the NBC midseason replacement series “The Downer Channel,” which she also wrote some sketches.
In 2001, Rajskub, alongside "Mr. Show" co-star Karen Kilgariff, wrote the 14-minute comedy Girls Guitar Club, a spoof on the sensitive female singer-songwriter. Afterward, she teamed with her friend, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, in his Golden Globe-nominated dark romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love (with Adam Sandler and Emily Watson; Rajskub played Watson’s co-worker) and was featured alongside Reeese Witherspoon in Andy Tennant's box office hit Sweet Home Alabama (also starring Josh Lucas).
2003 proved to be Rajskub’s breakout year when she joined the cast of the Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning drama/action/thriller series starring Kiefer Sutherland, "24." She played sour-faced CTU employee Chloe O'Brian in the third and fourth seasons before eventually becoming a regular in the fifth and sixth seasons (2007). Her performance has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award twice, in 2005 and in 2007, for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
During her “24” stint, Rajskub reunited with Reeese Witherspoon in Charles Herman-Wurmfeld's Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde (2003), the sequel to 2001's Legally Blonde, and was featured in a supporting role, as Harrison Ford’s secretary, in Richard Loncraine's action/thriller feature film Firewall (2006). She also appeared as a pageant assistant in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Oscar-winning dramatic comedy film Little Miss Sunshine (2006; starring Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell and Abigail Breslin). She is currently on set completing Christine Jeffs' comedy film, Sunshine Cleaning, in which she will play a blood bank technician who becomes the object of Emily Blunt’s sexual obsession. The film will also star Alan Arkin, Amy Adams and Steve Zahn.
A stand-up comedian, Rajskub has performed at comedy clubs around Los Angeles. She has performed her one-woman show, "The Littlest Angel," at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and recently performed another one woman show called "Complications of Purchasing a Poodle Pillow." She is also a skilled guitar player and has been part of the comic duo called “Girls Guitar Club,” with whom she has been performing locally in Hollywood and appeared on the NBC's “Late Friday” TV show. She appeared in Weezer's "The Good Life" video in 1996, Sheryl Crow's “A Change Would Do You Good,” and was the crying milk-drinking girl and screaming girl at the metal concert in Beck's "New Pollution" video. Additionally, she was one of the backup vocals on Jon Brion's solo album Meaningless.
"My comedy act is based on me being uncomfortable, so I got cast as a lot of quirky girls." Mary Lynn Rajskub