Joan Mary Cusack
October 11, 1962
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
|Parent(s)||Dick Cusack (father)|
Joan Mary Cusack (//; born October 11, 1962) is an American actress and comedian. She received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in the comedy-drama Working Girl (1988) and the romantic comedy In & Out (1997), as well as one Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the latter. She has also provided the voice of Jessie in the Toy Story franchise and Abby Mallard in Chicken Little.
Cusack was a cast member on the comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. She starred on the Showtime hit drama/comedy Shameless as Sheila Jackson, a role for which she has received five consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning for the first time in 2015. She is the sister of actress Ann Cusack and actor John Cusack.
Cusack was born on October 11, 1962 in New York City and was raised in Evanston, Illinois. Her mother, Ann Paula "Nancy" Cusack (née Carolan), is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. Her father, Dick Cusack (1925–2003), was an actor and filmmaker, and two of her four siblings, Ann (born 1961) and John (born 1966), are actors. Her family is Irish American and Catholic. Cusack is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1984).
Cusack has twice been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Working Girl and In & Out. She has appeared with her brother John in 10 movies: Class (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), Broadcast News (1987), Say Anything... (1989), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Cradle Will Rock (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Martian Child (2007), and War, Inc. (2008).
In the film Addams Family Values, she played serial divorcee and murderer Debbie Jellinsky. She also starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom What About Joan? in 2001–02 and the hit film Arlington Road. For many years, Cusack was also the commercial spokeswoman for U.S. Cellular. One of Cusack's most well-known roles was the principal of Horace Green Elementary School, Rosalie 'Roz' Mullins, in School of Rock. She also voiced Jessie in the Pixar hits Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4, and played Dr. Burton, the therapist of Charlie (Logan Lerman), in the teen film The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012). She also played Erin's mom in the final season of NBC's The Office.
Cusack was a cast member on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. Her recurring characters on SNL included Salena, a socially inept girl who tries to ask out her boyfriend, Biff (played by Jon Lovitz), who is also socially inept. In addition, she did celebrity impersonations of Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda, and Queen Elizabeth II.
She has been nominated four times for the American Comedy Award in the category of Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and has won three times, for Runaway Bride (1999), In & Out (1997), and Working Girl (1988). She has also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for In & Out.
Cusack narrates the public-TV animated series Peep and the Big Wide World. In September 2010, Cusack guest-starred on NBC's Law & Order: SVU.
She also appeared as Justice Strauss in Netflix's adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, which premiered in 2017. She appeared as the tin foil lady in Netflix's movie Let It Snow which was released in November 2019.
In 2010, Cusack joined the Showtime drama/comedy Shameless as Sheila Jackson, the mother of Karen Jackson (Laura Slade Wiggins). The first season premiered on January 9, 2011, and had its first finale March 27, 2011. Cusack replaced actress Allison Janney, who originally portrayed the role in the first edit of the pilot episode, but was forced to drop out of the part owing to her series regular commitment on the ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine. Janney took the role with the understanding the character would be less prominent on the show, but when producers decided to increase the character's screen presence, she was forced to pull out of the part. Cusack has received critical acclaim for her performance, receiving Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nominations in 2011, 2012, and 2013, as well as a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015, winning in the later year.
Cusack married attorney Richard Burke, President and CEO of Envoy Global, Inc. in 1996. They have two sons: Dylan John (b. 1997) and Miles (b. 2000). She discovered she was pregnant with her first son, Dylan, on her first day of shooting the movie Mr. Wrong (1996). Cusack owns a home in Three Oaks Township, Michigan, and lives in Chicago, Illinois.
In 2003, both Joan and her brother John signed the "Not in My Name" resolution (along with people such as Noam Chomsky and Susan Sarandon) opposing the invasion of Iraq.
Since 2011, Cusack has owned Judy Maxwell Home, a gift shop in Old Town, Chicago. The shop is named for Barbra Streisand's character in What's Up Doc?, Cusack's favorite movie.
|1984||Sixteen Candles||Geek Girl #1|
|1984||Grandview, U.S.A.||Mary Maine|
|1987||Broadcast News||Blair Litton|
|1988||Stars and Bars||Irene Stein||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1988||Married to the Mob||Rose||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1988||Working Girl||Cyn||American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
|1989||Say Anything...||Constance Dobler|
|1990||Men Don't Leave||Jody|
|1990||My Blue Heaven||Hannah Stubs|
|1991||The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez||Cathy||Also writer|
|1992||Accidental Hero||Evelyn Laplante|
|1993||Addams Family Values||Debbie Jellinsky||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1995||Nine Months||Gail Dwyer||Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
|1996||Mr. Wrong||Inga Gunther|
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Marcella Mayes||Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1997||A Smile Like Yours||Nancy Tellen|
|1997||In & Out||Emily Montgomery||American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Comedy
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
|1999||Arlington Road||Cheryl Lang||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||Hazel Huffman|
|1999||Runaway Bride||Peggy Flemming||American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture|
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy/Romance
|1999||Toy Story 2||Jessie (voice)||Annie Award for Female Voice Acting in a Feature Production|
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Film – Choice Hissy Fit
|2000||Where the Heart Is||Ruth Meyers|
|2002||It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie||Rachel Bitterman|
|2003||School of Rock||Rosalie Mullins|
|2003||Looney Tunes: Back in Action||Mother|
|2004||Raising Helen||Jenny Portman|
|2004||The Last Shot||Fanny Nash|
|2005||Ice Princess||Joan Carlyle|
|2005||Chicken Little||Abby Mallard (voice)|
|2006||Friends with Money||Franny|
|2007||Martian Child||Liz Gordon|
|2008||War, Inc.||Marsha Dillon|
|2008||Kit Kittredge: An American Girl||Miss Lucinda Bond|
|2009||Confessions of a Shopaholic||Jane Bloomwood|
|2009||My Sister's Keeper||Judge De Salvo|
|2010||Toy Story 3||Jessie (voice)|
|2011||Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil||Verushka (voice)|
|2011||Mars Needs Moms||Milo's Mom (voice)||Also motion-capture|
|2011||Hawaiian Vacation||Jessie (voice)||Short film|
|2011||Small Fry||Jessie (voice)||Short film|
|2011||Arthur Christmas||Mission Control Elf (voice)|
|2012||Partysaurus Rex||Jessie (voice)||Short film|
|2012||The Perks of Being a Wallflower||Dr. Burton|
|2014||Welcome to Me||Dawn Hurley|
|2015||The End of the Tour||Patty Gunderson|
|2015||Freaks of Nature||Peg Parker|
|2016||Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping||Tilly Friel|
|2018||Instant Family||Mrs. Howard|
|2019||Toy Story 4||Jessie (voice)|
|2019||Klaus||Mrs. Tammy Krum (voice)|
|2019||Let It Snow||Tin Foil Woman|
|1985–1986||Saturday Night Live||Various Characters||17 episodes|
|2001–2002||What About Joan?||Joan Gallagher||21 episodes|
|2004–2011||Peep and the Big Wide World||Narrator (voice)||55 episodes|
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
|2010||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Pamela Burton||Episode: "Locum"|
|2011–2015||Shameless||Sheila Gallagher (née Jackson)||44 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (2011–2013)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2014)
|2011||Phineas and Ferb||Glenda Wilkins (voice)||Episode: "Last Train to Bustville"|
|2013||The Office||Erin's Biological Mother||Episode: "Finale"|
|2013||Toy Story of Terror!||Jessie (voice)||Television special|
|2014||Toy Story That Time Forgot||Jessie (voice)||Television special|
|2016–2019||The Stinky & Dirty Show||Red (voice)||8 episodes|
|2017, 2019||A Series of Unfortunate Events||Justice Strauss||4 episodes|
|2017||The Christmas Train||Agnes||Television film|
|2020||Homecoming||Francine Bunda||3 episodes|
|1999||Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue||Jessie|
|2005||Chicken Little||Abby Mallard (archive footage)|
|2006||Chicken Little: Ace in Action||Abby Mallard|
|2010||Toy Story 3: The Video Game||Jessie|
|2011||Kinect Disneyland Adventures|
|2012||Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure|
|2016||Disney Magic Kingdoms|