Jessica Hecht
Hecht in 2015
Born1965 or 1966 (age 58–59)
EducationConnecticut College
New York University (BFA)
  • Actress
  • stonemason
Years active1990–present
(m. 1995)

Jessica Hecht (born 1965/1966)[1] is an American actress and singer known for her roles as Gretchen Schwartz on Breaking Bad, Susan Bunch on Friends, Carol on The Boys, and Karen on Special. She is also known for her expansive work on Broadway, earning Tony Award nominations for her roles in A View from the Bridge (2010) and Summer, 1976 (2023).

Early life and education

Hecht was born in Princeton, New Jersey. When she was three, she moved with her parents and sister to Bloomfield, Connecticut. After her parents divorced, her mother married psychiatrist Howard Iger, and they raised Jessica and her sisters Elizabeth and Andrea, and her brother, Russell. Hecht attended Connecticut College for a year and a half before graduating from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 1987 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama.[1][2]

Hecht was raised in a culturally Jewish family, with a secular socialist father, but nonetheless expressed interest in religion and had a Bat Mitzvah.[3][4] She has stated that she is Reconstructionist Jewish and "fairly spiritual".[5]


Hecht has appeared in numerous television series, including Dickinson, Bored to Death, Red Oaks, Jessica Jones, The Loudest Voice, and Succession. In 2020 she played Sonya Barzel on The Sinner, and was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series in 2019 for her role as Karen in the Netflix series Special.[6] She is known for her roles as Gretchen Schwartz on Breaking Bad (5 episodes) and Susan Bunch, the wife of Ross Geller's ex-wife Carol Willick, on Friends (12 episodes).[7] She was also a featured cast member in the Jonathan Silverman sitcom The Single Guy.[1][8]

Hecht had the supporting role of Amy Burns in the comedy drama Dan in Real Life (2007), with Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. She also appeared in Whatever Works, Sideways, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

At the 2010 Tony Awards, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for her role in A View from the Bridge. In 2012, she performed on Broadway with Jim Parsons in Harvey.[9] In 2016, she played Golde in the 2015 Bartlett Sher-directed revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Broadway Theatre, and was in The Price with Mark Ruffalo, in 2017. At the 2018 Obie Awards for Off-Broadway productions, she won the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress for her performance in Admissions at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.[10] At the 2023 Tony Awards, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, for her role in Summer, 1976.[11]

In 2017, she and producer Jenny Gersten founded The Campfire Project, a theatre based wellness project that creates plays in refugee camps.[12]

Personal life

Hecht has been married to director Adam Bernstein since August 1995.[1] The couple has two children together, Stella and Carlo, who were both teenagers as of 2013.[3][4]

Theatre roles

Year Title Role Venue
1990 Othello Bianca Classic Stage Company
1997 Plunge Val Nyquist Playwrights Horizons
The Last Night of Ballyhoo Lala Levy Helen Hayes Theatre
1998 Stop Kiss Callie The Public Theater
The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told Mabel Williamstown Theatre Festival
1999 Lobster Alice Alice Horowitz Playwrights Horizons
2002 The Fourth Sister Wiera Vineyard Theater
2003 Flesh and Blood Susan New York Theatre Workshop
2004 After the Fall Louise American Airlines Theater
2006 The House in Town Amy Hammer Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
2005 Julius Caesar Portia / Ensemble Belasco Theater
2007 Howard Katz Jess Laura Pels Theater
2009 Brighton Beach Memoirs Blanche Morton Nederlander Theater
The Torch-Bearers Mrs. Ritter Williamstown Theatre Festival
2010 A View from the Bridge Beatrice Cort Theater
2011 Three Sisters Olga Prozorov Classic Stage Company
2012 Harvey Veta Louise Simmons Studio 54
2013 The Assembled Parties Julie Bascov Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
2014 Stage Kiss She Playwrights Horizons
King Lear Regan Delacorte Theater
2015 Fiddler on the Roof Golde Broadway Theater
2017 The Price Esther Franz American Airlines Theater
2018 Admissions Sherri Rosen-Mason Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
2022 The Orchard Lyubov Ranevskaya Baryshnikov Arts Center
2023 Letters From Max Sarah Ruhl Signature Theatre Company
Summer, 1976 Alice Samuel J. Friedman Theatre



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Joe's Rotten World Annie
1995 Kicking and Screaming Airline ticket saleswoman
1998 Anarchy TV Natalie
1999 Jump Carol
2004 Saving Face Randi
Sideways Victoria Cortland
The Forgotten Eliot
2005 At Last Laura
2006 Rabbits Wife Short film
2007 Starting Out in the Evening Sandra Bennett
Dan in Real Life Amy Burns
2008 Quid Pro Quo Edie
Calling It Quits Cynthia
2009 The Winning Season Stacey
Reunion Beth
Whatever Works Helena
2010 Helena from the Wedding Lynn
Fair Game Sue
My Soul to Take May Hellerman
2011 J. Edgar Emma Goldman
The Sitter Sandy Griffith
2012 The Arm Mrs. Bearmush Short film
The Magic of Belle Isle Karen Loop
The Composer Piccolo Player Short film
Good Sister Helene Shuster Short film
2013 Northern Borders Liz Kittredge
Space Cadet Linda Agnello
The English Teacher Principal Trudie Slocum
2014 Le Refuge Gemma Short film
The Sisterhood of Night Sue Parris
2015 Anesthesia Jill
2018 Write When You Get Work Ellen Hazard
Banana Split Susan
2019 The Sunlit Night Mirela
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Lila Vogel
2020 The Atlantic City Story Jane


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Lois & Clark Female Staffer Episode: "Madame Ex"
Seinfeld Lindsay Episodes: "The Couch", "The Gymnast"
Party of Five Amanda Episode: "Something Out of Nothing"
1994–2000 Friends Susan Bunch 12 episodes
1995 The Wayans Bros. Agent Johnson Episode: "First Class"
The Heidi Chronicles Chloe Television film
Aphrodisia Rachel's Friend Episode: "Dominatrix"
1995–1996 The Single Guy Janeane Percy-Parker Main role; 22 episodes
1996 Harvey Miss Ruth Kelly Television film
The Christmas Tree Sister Mary Television film
Intimate Betrayal Katie Television film
1997 Promised Land Marie Episode: "Independence Day"
Early Edition Abby Episode: "A Bris Is Just a Bris"
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Miss Kreutzer Episode: "Uncivilized"
Homicide: Life on the Street Sister Mary Catherine Episode: "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"
2001 What About Joan? Betsy Morgan Main role; 13 episodes
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Meredith Breen Episode: "Undaunted Mettle"
2004 Century City Rose Krell Episode: "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Lose"
The Jury Mrs. Sheridan Episode: "Three Boys and a Gun"
2005 ER Stephanie Lowenstein 2 episodes
2006 3 lbs Rebecca Ellis Episode: "Heart Stopping"
2008 Eleventh Hour Mrs. Beatrice Brown Episode: "Cardiac"
2008–2013 Breaking Bad Gretchen Schwartz 5 episodes
2009 Law & Order Miriam Johnson Episode: "Chattel"
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice Stephanie Morton Television film
U.S. Attorney Dr. Amy Webber Unaired pilot
2010 The Good Wife Carla Browning Episode: "Infamy"
Medium Judy Bennette Episode: "The Match Game"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Carly Beck Episode: "Cold Blooded"
Bored to Death Dr. Donna Kenwood 3 episodes
2011 Nurse Jackie Mimi Episode: "Enough Rope"
Spring/Fall Unknown Unaired pilot
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jillian Webster Episode: "Vanity's Bonfire"
2013 Elementary Patricia Ennis Episode: "The Deductionist"
2013–2015 Person of Interest Beth Bridges / Psychiatrist 3 episodes
2014 Manhattan Miriam Rubins Episode: "The Second Coming"
2015 Limitless Ubient Worker Episode: "Side Effects May Include..."
Jessica Jones Audrey Eastman Episode: "AKA 99 Friends"
2016 The Interestings Lois Jacobson Television film
Falling Water Miranda 2 episodes
2016–2017 Red Oaks Rebecca Horowitz 10 episodes
2017 Madam Secretary Julia MacDonald Episode: "Persona Non Grata"
Blindspot Dr. Margaret Palmer Episode: "Fix My Present Havoc"
The Tap Sophie Butler Unaired pilot
2018 High Maintenance Laurie Episode: "Ghost"
Quantico Elizabeth Nutting Episode: "The Blood of Romeo"
2019 The Loudest Voice Nancy Erika Smith 2 episodes
Succession Michelle Pantsil 2 episodes
The Affair Carolina Episode: "505"
2019–2021 Dickinson Aunt Lavinia 4 episodes
Special Karen Hayes Main role; 16 episodes
2020 Little America Professor Episode: "The Cowboy"
High Fidelity Rob's Mom Episode: "Fun Rob"
The Boys Carol Mannheim 5 episodes
2020–2021 The Sinner Sonya Barzel Main role; 13 episodes
2021 Younger Susan Abbott Episode: "Fallout"
Hudson Falls Laura Walsh Episode #1
10 Days Cheryl Miles Main role
2022 Super Pumped Amy Gurley 2+ episodes
2022 Tokyo Vice Jake's Mother 2 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Terror T.R.A.X.: Track of the Vampire Wendolyn
The Dark Eye Unknown


  1. ^ a b c d Keveney, Bill (January 17, 1996). "A Single Goes Double". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on May 19, 2022. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Lefkowitz, David (January 18, 2000). "Playbill On-Line's Brief Encounter with Jessica Hecht". Playbill. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Elkin, Michael (January 14, 2010). "'Bridge' Works". The Jewish Exponent. Archived from the original on June 14, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Schleier, Curt (April 16, 2013). "Jessica Hecht Talks Broadway vs. Hollywood". The Jewish Daily Forward. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Jessica Hecht on Broadway's 'The Assembled Parties'". The Wall Street Journal. April 17, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Schaffstall, Katherine (August 30, 2019). "Emmys: 46 of This Year's First-Time Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 23, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  7. ^ "Jessica Hecht Buys Flat in Landmark Building". The New York Times. May 20, 2010. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  8. ^ Kolson, Ann (September 28, 1997). "Up & Coming: Jessica Hecht; Working All the Time Is Her Idea of Fun". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Isherwood, Charles (June 14, 2012). "Hope Is a Thing With Long, Fuzzy Ears". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "2018 Obies Winners and Performances". (Press release). American Theatre Wing. May 19, 2018. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  11. ^ Rubin, Rebecca; Lang, Brent (May 2, 2023). "Tony Award Nominations 2023: 'Some Like It Hot' Dominates, Followed by '& Juliet,' 'Shucked,' 'New York, New York'". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  12. ^ "The Campfire Project". Archived from the original on April 21, 2023. Retrieved February 16, 2020.