June 2, 1950
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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.
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. 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.
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. 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, then Occidental College, from which she graduated. Gleason has been a teacher herself, holding classes and workshops all over the country.
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, for which she was honored with a Theatre World Award.
Additional Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Nick & Nora, Into the Woods (for which she won several awards including a Tony Award in the lead role of the Baker's Wife, which she also played in the PBS Great Performances production of the musical), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The Cartells.
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). 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. Gleason appeared in several films in the 1990s, including F/X2, Mr. Holland's Opus, Boogie Nights, and The Boys. More recently she has appeared in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Wedding Planner, 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). 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. 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.
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. 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, 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.
|1986||Hannah and Her Sisters||Carol|
|1989||Crimes and Misdemeanors||Wendy Stern|
|1995||Mr. Holland's Opus||Adult Gertrude|
|1996||Edie & Pen||Maudie|
|1997||Boogie Nights||Dirk's Mother|
|1999||Let the Devil Wear Black||Dr. Rona Hackley|
|2001||The Wedding Planner||Mrs. Donolly|
|2007||The Girl in the Park||Sarah|
|2008||Sex and the City||Therapist|
|2008||My Sassy Girl||Kitty/Aunt Sally|
|2009||The Rebound||Roberta Finklestein|
|2013||Last Vegas||Miriam Harris|
|2014||The Skeleton Twins||Judy|
|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||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
|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!|
|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|
|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|
|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|