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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.

Joanna Gleason
Joanne Hall[1]

(1950-06-02) June 2, 1950 (age 69)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1977–present
Paul G. Gleason
(m. 1975; div. 1982)

Michael Bennahum
(m. 1984; div. 1990)

Chris Sarandon
(m. 1994)
Parent(s)Monty Hall
Marilyn Hall

Early lifeEdit

Joanne Hall was born in Toronto, Ontario, 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, California.

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, 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 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 was married twice previously. She was married to acting coach Paul G. Gleason (not the late 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's siblings are television writer/director Sharon Hall Kessler and Emmy award-winning television writer/director Richard Hall.[20]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b Monty Hall; Bill Libby (1973). Emcee Monty Hall. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-448-01551-X.
  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. 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