Jane Anderson
Bornc. 1954 (age 67–68)
OccupationActress, playwright, screenwriter, director
Years active1982–present
SpouseTess Ayers

Jane Anderson (born c. 1954 in California) is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and director. She wrote and directed the feature film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005), and wrote the Nicolas Cage film It Could Happen to You (1994). She won an Emmy Award for writing the screenplay for the miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014).


Prior to film directing, Anderson wrote and directed several critically acclaimed television movies, notably Normal (2003), starring Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson; The Baby Dance (1998), starring Stockard Channing and Laura Dern; The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993), When Billie Beat Bobby starring Holly Hunter; and If These Walls Could Talk 2 (segment "1961") (2000), which won Vanessa Redgrave an Emmy Award for her portrayal of an elderly lesbian prevented from hospital visitation with her dying long-time companion.

She became a writer for the AMC television drama Mad Men for the show's second season. She was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Dramatic Series for her work on the second season.[1]

In 2015, Anderson wrote the documentary Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson about her great aunt, Edith Lake Wilkinson, a lesbian and painter who was institutionalized in the 1920s and spent the rest of her life in an asylum for the mentally ill.[2] Anderson cites Wilkinson as an inspiration for own drawing.[2]

As of 2016, Anderson was working on a project with HBO, partnering again with Frances McDormand following their collaboration on Olive Kitteridge, to do a miniseries.[3] In 2017, Anderson wrote the Glenn Close-starring The Wife.


As writer / director

Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Facts of Life Writer "The Apartment", "Ready or Not", "Write and Wrong"
1988 Raising Miranda Writer "Black Monday", "Home for the Holidays"
1989 The Wonder Years Writer "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation"
1991 The Hidden Room Writer "Dream Child", "A Type of Love Story"
1993 The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Writer TV film
1994 It Could Happen to You Writer
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Writer
1998 The Baby Dance Writer & director TV film
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Writer & director TV film, segment "1961"
2001 When Billie Beat Bobby Writer & director TV film
2003 Normal Writer & director TV film
2005 The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Writer & director
2008 Mad Men Writer "The Gold Violin"
2014 Olive Kitteridge Writer TV miniseries
2015 Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson Writer Documentary
2017 The Wife Writer

As producer

Year Title Notes
1988 Raising Miranda 9 episodes
2008 Mad Men "The Gold Violin", "A Night to Remember"
2014 Olive Kitteridge TV miniseries
2015 Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson Documentary

As actress

Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour Regular performer TV series
1984 P.O.P. Dana McNeil TV film
1984 E/R Mrs. Grettie "Only a Nurse"
1985 The Facts of Life Karen "We Get Letters"

Other work

Year Title Role Notes
1985–86 The Facts of Life Program consultant 5 episodes
1986 Who's the Boss? Program consultant "Charmed Lives"
1989 The Wonder Years Executive story editor 7 episodes


See also


  1. ^ a b "2009 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced". WGA. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  2. ^ a b "A Heartfelt Documentary Unpacks the Work of a Forgotten Lesbian Artist | Bitch Media". Bitch Media. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  3. ^ "Jane Anderson and Michelle Boyaner talk "Packed in a Trunk" and new projects - Page 3 of 3 - AfterEllen". AfterEllen. 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  4. ^ "Past Recipients". Archived from the original on 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
  5. ^ "Brown, Guirgis, Letscher, Metcalf, et al. Win LADCC Awards". Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  6. ^ "2008 Ovation Award Winners Announced". Retrieved 18 October 2015.