Joanna Gleason

Joanna Gleason (née Hall; born June 2, 1950) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is a Tony Award–winning musical theatre actress and has also had a number of notable film and TV roles. She's known for originating the role of the Baker's Wife in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods where she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She is also known for her film work in Mike Nichols' Heartburn (1985), Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), and Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997). She has had television roles in shows such as Friends, The West Wing, The Good Wife and The Affair.

Joanna Gleason
Joanne Hall[1]

(1950-06-02) June 2, 1950 (age 71)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1977–present
  • Paul G. Gleason
    (m. 1975; div. 1982)
  • Michael Bennahum
    (m. 1984; div. 1990)
  • (m. 1994)

Early lifeEdit

Joanne Hall was born in Toronto, the eldest of three siblings born to television producer and game show personality Monty Hall, and his wife, Marilyn (née Plottel), both of whom died in 2017.[2] At the time of her birth, her father was working at the Canada Wheat Board and had changed his name from Halparin to Hall. He later started his TV career and went on to fame as host of Let's Make a Deal.[3]

In May 1956, the Hall family moved to New York and, in the early 1960s, they again moved to Los Angeles.

Hall graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1968.[1] She was in the school's productions of The Music Man, The Mikado, The Grass Harp, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. In high school, Gleason received acting instruction from John Ingle, the soap opera star, who taught at BHHS from 1955 to 1985. She continued her education at UCLA,[4] then Occidental College, from which she graduated. Gleason has been a teacher herself, holding classes and workshops all over the country.[5]


Although Gleason started her acting career in television, she is best known for her stage and musical theatre work. She made her Broadway debut in 1977 in I Love My Wife,[6] for which she was honored with a Theatre World Award.[7]

Additional Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,[8] Nick & Nora,[9] Into the Woods (for which she won several awards including a Tony Award in the lead role of the Baker's Wife,[10] which she also played in the PBS Great Performances production of the musical), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,[11] and The Cartells.[12]

Her film and television career began in 1977 with her first appearance on her father's program Let's Make A Deal. In 1979, she was cast as a supporting character in Hello, Larry, a role she held throughout the oft-maligned sitcom's two-season run. She had film roles in Hannah and Her Sisters and Heartburn (both 1986).[7] In the television movie Still the Beaver she played Beaver's ex-wife, Kimberly. Gleason worked again with Woody Allen in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), this time playing the wife of Allen's character.[13] Gleason appeared in several films in the 1990s, including F/X2,[14] Mr. Holland's Opus, Boogie Nights, and The Boys. More recently she has appeared in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Wedding Planner,[15] and The Newsroom. On television, she played the role of Nadine Berkus on the show Love & War (1992–95), several episodes of which she also directed.

She played Joan Silver on Temporarily Yours (1997).[16] Gleason starred in the Lifetime series Oh Baby as Charlotte from 1998 to 2000, also directing episodes of this show. Shortly following the end of this series, she starred opposite Bette Midler and Lindsay Lohan on Bette as agent Connie Randolph.[17] Her numerous guest starring TV credits include episodes of The West Wing, The Practice, King of the Hill, Friends, ‘’Password Plus’’,Tracey Takes On..., Murphy Brown, ER and The Outer Limits. Gleason appeared in 6 episodes of the Canadian black comedy series Sensitive Skin as Veronica, from 2014 to 2016.

In 2007, Gleason was honoured by the New England Theatre Conference with a Special Award for Achievement in Theatre.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Gleason has been married three times. She was married to acting coach Paul G. Gleason (not the actor Paul X. Gleason, also known as Paul Gleason), whose surname she kept professionally, although they divorced on June 28, 1982, in Nevada. Later, she married Michael Bennahum.[3] Gleason has one child, Aaron David Gleason, from her first marriage.

Gleason has been married to actor Chris Sarandon since 1994. The two met while performing in Broadway's short-lived 1991 musical Nick & Nora, returned to the stage together in 1998's Thorn and Bloom,[19] and collaborated on several films, such as Road Ends, Edie & Pen, Let the Devil Wear Black, and American Perfekt.

Gleason's siblings are television writer/director Sharon Hall Kessler and Emmy award-winning television writer/director Richard Hall.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters Carol
1986 Heartburn Diana
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors Wendy Stern
1991 F/X2 Liz Kennedy
1995 Mr. Holland's Opus Adult Gertrude
1996 Edie & Pen Maudie
1997 American Perfekt Shirley
1997 Boogie Nights Dirk's Mother
1997 Road Ends Armacost
1999 Let the Devil Wear Black Dr. Rona Hackley
2001 The Wedding Planner Mrs. Donolly
2006 Wedding Daze Lois
2007 The Girl in the Park Sarah
2008 Sex and the City Therapist
2008 My Sassy Girl Kitty/Aunt Sally
2008 The Women Barbara
2009 The Rebound Roberta Finklestein
2013 Last Vegas Miriam Harris
2014 The Skeleton Twins Judy


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Diff'rent Strokes Morgan Winslow 3 episodes
1979-80 Hello, Larry 37 episodes
1981 Bosom Buddies Faith Crane Episode: What Price Glory?
1982 Love, Sidney Gail Episode: The Activist
1983 The New Leave It to Beaver Kimberly Episode: Still the Beaver
1983 Great Day Jennifer Simpson Television movie
1987 Into the Woods Baker's Wife Televised Broadway Performance
1991 The Boys Marie Television Movie
1992 For Richer, for Poorer Irene Television Movie
1993 Born Too Soon Annemarie Television Movie
1994 For the Love of Aaron Shirley Television Movie
1992-95 Love & War Nadine Berkus 67 episodes
1996 The Outer Limits Leslie Episode: Inconstant Moon
1996 ER Iris 3 episodes
1996 If These Walls Could Talk Julia (segment: 1974) Television Movie
1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues Delia Young Voice; Episode: Generosity
1997 Temporarily Yours Joan Silver 6 episodes
1997 Perversions of Science Mrs. Rabe Episode: Anatomy Lesson
1997 Murphy Brown Athena Gillington Episode: Petty Woman
1998 George & Leo Performer Episode: The Teacher
1996-98 Tracey Takes On... Katherine Hawkins
LeAnne the Stewardess
2 episodes
1999 Friends Kim Clozzi 2 episodes
1998-00 Oh Baby Charlotte St. John 28 episodes
2000-01 Bette Connie Randolph 18 episodes
2001 The Practice Henrietta Lightstone 2 episodes
2001-02 The West Wing Jordan Kendall 5 episodes
1997-04 King of the Hill Various Roles Voice; 8 episodes
2005 Fathers and Sons Silvia Television Movie
2010 How to Make It in America Ben's Mother Episode: Paper, Denim + Dollars
2010 Delocated Dr. Mitchell Episode: Conversions
2011 Royal Pains Evelyn Woodward Episode: Rash Talk
2009-12 The Good Wife Judge Romano 3 episodes
2013 Blue Bloods Grace Newhouse 2 episodes
2014 The Newsroom Nancy Skinner Episode: What Kind of Day Has it Been
2015 The Affair Yvonne 3 episodes
2014-16 Sensitive Skin Veronica 6 episodes
2019 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Janice Hoffman Episode: Kimmy is in a Love Square!


Year Title Role Notes
1977-79 I Love My Wife Monica Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
1985 A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Pam Longacre Theatre, Broadway
1986 It's Only a Play Virginia Noyles Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
1986-87 Social Security Trudy Heyman Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
1987-88 Into the Woods The Baker's Wife Martin Beck Theatre, Broadway
1991 The Odd Couple Gwendolyn Belasco Theatre, Broadway
1991 Nick & Nora Nora Charles Marquis Theatre, Broadway
2004 The Normal Heart Dr. Emma Brookner The Public Theatre, Off-Broadway
2005-06 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Muriel Eubanks Imperial Theatre, Broadway
2008 Something You Did Alison Primary Stages, Off-Broadway
2009 Happiness Arlene Lincoln Center Theatre, Off-Broadway
2011-12 Sons of the Prophet Gloria Roundabout Theatre Company, Off-Broadway

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Project Result
1985 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Nominated
1988 Best Actress in a Musical Into the Woods Won
2005 Best Featured Actress in a Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Nominated
1985 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Joe Egg Nominated
1986 It's Only a Play Won
Social Security Won
1988 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Into the Woods Won
2005 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Nominated
1988 Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Actress in a Musical Into the Woods Won
2005 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Nominated
2012 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Sons of the Prophet Nominated
1977 Theatre World Award N/A I Love My Wife Won


  1. ^ a b Hall, Monty; Bill Libby (1973). Emcee Monty Hall. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 978-0-4480-1551-4.
  2. ^ "Joanna Gleason profile". Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Kleiman, Dena (May 4, 1986). "Joanna Gleason keeps a secret as acting tool". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Notable Alumni Actors". UCLA School of Theater, Film and television. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Susan Stroman, Joanna Gleason & More to Teach Masterclasses at Open Jar Institute's 10th Anniversary, 8/2". Broadway World. July 12, 2013.
  6. ^ Berkvist, Robert (May 27, 1977). "New Face: Joanna Gleason". The New York Times.
  7. ^ a b Klein, Alvin (February 23, 1986). "THEATER; Joanna Gleason: At age 35, a character actress emerges". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Rich, Frank (January 7, 1985). "Stage: Dale and Channing in Nichols's 'Joe Egg'". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Rich, Frank (December 9, 1991). "Review/Theater: Bostwick and Gleason in 'Nick and Nora'". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "The Tony Winners". The New York Times. June 7, 1988.
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth (July 16, 2004). "Complete Casting Announced for 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' Musical". Playbill.
  12. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (October 19, 2006). "Fit for a Soap, Made for the Stage, the Tribulations of an Oil Family". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Canby, Vincent (October 13, 1989). "Review/Film: 'Crimes and Misdemeanors', New from Woody Allen". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Holden, Stephen (May 10, 1991). "Review/Film; The Old Gift for Gadgetry And a New Robotic Sidekick". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Scott, A.O. (January 26, 2001). "FILM REVIEW; Some Things Just Can't Be Planned". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Marks, Peter (March 30, 1997). "Like 'Mary Tyler Moore', With Attitude and Accent". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Salamon, Julie (October 11, 2000). "TELEVISION REVIEW: Divining Miss M, So Supremely Anxiety-Ridden". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Joanna Gleason". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Simonson, Robert (July 9, 1988). "Joanna Gleason and Chris Sarandon Pluck L.A. Thorn & Bloom July 9". Playbill.
  20. ^ Simonson, Robert (September 28, 2011). "Joanna Gleason: Choosing Parts Wisely". Playbill.

External linksEdit