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Janet Margolin (July 25, 1943 – December 17, 1993) was an American theater, television and film actress.

Janet Margolin
Janet Margolin.jpg
Born(1943-07-25)July 25, 1943
DiedDecember 17, 1993(1993-12-17) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeWestwood Memorial Park
EducationHigh School of Performing Arts
Jerry Brandt
(m. 1968; div. 1971)

Ted Wass (m. 1979–1993)


Early lifeEdit

Margolin was born in New York City, the daughter of Jewish parents Benjamin and Annette (née Lief) Margolin. Her father was a Russian-born accountant who founded the Nephrosis Foundation, now the Kidney Foundation of New York.

She attended the High School of Performing Arts. In 1961 at the age of 18, while a prop girl at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Margolin won a pivotal Broadway stage role as Anna in Morris West's Daughter of Silence.[1] The New York Times in reviewing the play listed her among leaders of "a fine cast" and said that "her Anna has a fragile, haunted dewiness."[2]


In 1962, Margolin played her first movie role as the female lead in David and Lisa. She co-starred with Marlon Brando in 1965's Morituri and with Steve McQueen in the western Nevada Smith. She later played Wanda, the love interest of the lead character David Kolowitz, in the movie Enter Laughing (1967).

In Take the Money and Run (1969), she played the love interest of the bumbling thief played by Woody Allen, and in Annie Hall (1977), she played the social-climbing wife of Allen's character.

In 1979, Margolin co-starred with Roy Scheider in director Jonathan Demme's thriller Last Embrace.

Margolin's last film appearance was in Ghostbusters II in 1989, and her last television roles were as a killer in an episode of Murder, She Wrote ("Deadly Misunderstanding") and as a victim in Columbo: Murder in Malibu in 1990.

Personal lifeEdit

Margolin died of ovarian cancer at the age of 50 on December 17, 1993, in Los Angeles, California. She was cremated and her ashes were placed in an urn garden at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. She and her husband actor/director Ted Wass had two children, Julian and Matilda.

Margolin frequently and erroneously has been identified as the sister of actor Stuart Margolin and director Arnold Margolin, though she acted alongside Stuart Margolin in the pilot episode of the TV series Lanigan's Rabbi, where they appeared as husband and wife. She was close friends with producer/actress Jennifer Salt, who had co-starred with Wass in the 1970s sitcom Soap.[3][4]


Year Title Role Notes
1962 David and Lisa Lisa Brandt
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told Mary of Bethany
1965 Bus Riley's Back in Town Judy
1965 Morituri Esther Alternative title: Saboteur: Code Name Morituri
1966 The Eavesdropper Inés Alternative title: El ojo que espía
1966 Nevada Smith Neesa
1967 Enter Laughing Wanda
1968 Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell Gia Campbell
1969 Take the Money and Run Louise
1973 Your Three Minutes Are Up Betty
1977 Annie Hall Robin
1979 Last Embrace Ellie Fabian
1988 Distant Thunder Barbara Lambert
1989 Ghostbusters II The Prosecutor
Year Title Role Notes
1961 The Edge of Night Betty Morrissey August 17, 1961 episode
1962 Ben Casey Illyana Trivas Episode: "Legacy from a Stranger"
1962 Alcoa Premiere Barbara Episode: "The Hands of Danofrio"
1963 East Side/West Side Doris Arno Episode: "You Can't Beat the System"
1963 The Defenders Dinah Caldwell Episode: "Old Lady Ironsides"
1964 Arrest and Trial Helen Kazar Episode: "A Circle of Strangers"
1966 Ten Blocks on the Camino Real Esmerelda TV movie
1967 Coronet Blue Riva Episode: "The Assassins"
1971 Medical Center Terri Spencer Episode: "Web of Darkness"
1971 The Young Lawyers Celia Bradbury Episode: "The Bradbury War"
1971 The Interns Rose Episode: "The Manly Arts"
1971 The Last Child Karen Miller TV movie
1971 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Jan Herron Episode: "The Forest and the Trees"
1972 The Mod Squad Cathy Episode: "Eyes of the Beholder"
1972 Family Flight Carol Rutledge TV movie
1973-1975 Police Story Various 3 episodes
1974 Pray for the Wildcats Krissie Kincaid TV movie
1974 Planet Earth Harper-Smythe TV movie
1974 Lucas Tanner Zeta Alexander Episode: "By the Numbers"
1975 The Wide World of Mystery Susan Browning Episode: "Please Call It Murder"
1975 Police Woman Lisa Tibbett Episode: "Pattern for Evil"
1975 S.W.A.T. Emily Episode: "Vigilante"
1976 Joe Forrester Episode: "The Promised Land"
1976 Serpico Helena Episode: "The Serbian Connection"
1976-1977 Lanigan's Rabbi Miriam Small 5 episodes
1977 Martinelli, Outside Man Rosalie TV movie
1977 Murder in Peyton Place Betty Anderson Roerick TV movie
1977 Sharon: Portrait of a Mistress Carol TV movie
1977 Starsky and Hutch Dr. Judith Kaufman 2 episodes
1978 The Eddie Capra Mysteries Daniella Episode: "Nightmare at Pendragon Castle"
1979 The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal Rose TV movie
1980 The Plutonium Incident Judith Longden TV movie
1987 Tonight's the Night Chris TV movie
1990 Murder C.O.D. Maye Walsh TV movie
1990 Columbo Theresa Goren Episode: "Murder In Malibu"
1990 Murder, She Wrote Rita Garrison Episode: "Deadly Misunderstanding" (final television appearance)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1962 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play Daughter of Silence Nominated
1962 Theatre World Award Daughter of Silence Won


  1. ^ Calta, Louis (1961), "Prop Girl, 18, Wins a Broadway Lead," The New York Times, September 6, 1961, p. 41
  2. ^ Taubman, Howard (1961), "The Theatre: 'Daughter of Silence,'", The New York Times, December 1, 1961, p. 28
  3. ^ "Benjamin Margolin". New York Times. 29 July 1982. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Janet Margolin, Film And TV Actress, 50". New York Times. 18 December 1993. Retrieved 26 June 2016.

External linksEdit