Judith Ivey
Judith Lee Ivey

(1951-09-04) September 4, 1951 (age 72)
EducationIllinois State University
Occupation(s)actress, theatre director
Years active1980–present
(m. 1973; div. 1978)
Tim Braine
(m. 1989)

Judith Lee Ivey (born September 4, 1951) is an American actress and theatre director. She twice won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play: for Steaming (1981) and Hurlyburly (1984). She also received Best Actress In A Play nomination for Park Your Car in Harvard Yard (1992) and another Best Featured Actress in a Play nomination for The Heiress.[1]

Ivey made her big screen debut playing the female lead role in the 1984 romantic comedy film, The Lonely Guy. She later appeared in the comedy films The Woman in Red (1984), Compromising Positions (1985), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), Sister, Sister (1987), and the drama films The Devil's Advocate (1997) and Women Talking (2022), for which she received critical acclaim.[2] On television, Ivey played the leading role in the NBC sitcom Down Home (1990-91), and played Bonnie Jean "BJ" Poteet during the final season of CBS sitcom Designing Women (1992-93). For her role in the television film What the Deaf Man Heard (1997), she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Early life and education

Judith Lee Ivey was born on September 4, 1951, in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Nathan Aldean Ivey, a college instructor and dean, and Dorothy Lee (née Lewis), a teacher.[3]

From 1965 to 1968, she attended Union High School through tenth grade in Dowagiac, Michigan.[4][citation needed] She graduated from Marion High School in Marion, Illinois, in 1970, and then attended John A. Logan College, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), and Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois).[citation needed]


Ivey won two Tony Awards as Best Featured Actress in a Play for Steaming in 1983 and Hurlyburly in 1985. She was nominated for Park Your Car in Harvard Yard in 1992 and a revival of The Heiress in 2013. Other Broadway theatre credits include Piaf, Bedroom Farce, Blithe Spirit, Voices in the Dark, and Follies.[5]

She portrayed Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at the Long Wharf Theatre and reprised the role in March 2010 at the Roundabout Theatre in New York,[6] as well as the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress for that portrayal. Ivey portrayed Ann Landers in the solo play The Lady with All the Answers at the Cherry Lane Theatre (off-Broadway) in October 2009.[7] She was nominated for Best Solo Performance for the Lucille Lortel Award[8] and Drama Desk Award.[9] In 2016, she returned to the Cherry Lane Theatre in Israel Horovitz's play Out Of The Mouths Of Babes with Estelle Parsons, directed by Barnet Kellman.[10]

Ivey has appeared in numerous films, including Brighton Beach Memoirs, Miles from Home, Compromising Positions, Harry & Son, The Woman in Red, Sister, Sister, In Country, Hello Again, The Lonely Guy, There Goes the Neighborhood, The Devil's Advocate, What Alice Found, and Flags of Our Fathers.[citation needed]

Despite a long history of theater and film performances, Ivey often is associated with the role of B.J. Poteet in the final season of Designing Women. She appeared on Will & Grace as the mother of Dr. Leo Markus and appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Person of Interest, White Collar, Nurse Jackie, Big Love, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[citation needed]

Ivey had lead role of Kate McCrorey in the two season series Down Home (1990–1991), set in a Texas coastal town. This was followed by lead roles in single season series The 5 Mrs. Buchanans (1994-1995, "Alexandria Buchanan"), and Dave Chappelle's Buddies (1996, "Maureen DeMoss"). Ivey was also in the 1985 TV remake of The Long Hot Summer, in the role of Noel Varner (Joanne Woodward's role in the 1958 film version). The miniseries also starred Jason Robards and Don Johnson. Ivey was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in What the Deaf Man Heard, a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. She also provided the voice of Eleanor Sherman in the animated series The Critic. Ivey appeared in the television miniseries Rose Red (with a screenplay by Stephen King) as Cathy, one of the psychics investigating a haunted house.[citation needed]

Personal life

Ivey was married to actor Ricardo Gutierrez. They divorced before her move to New York.[when?][11] She is now married to Tim Braine, and they have two children.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Lonely Guy Iris
1984 Harry & Son Sally
1984 The Woman in Red Didi Pierce
1985 Compromising Positions Nancy Miller
1986 Brighton Beach Memoirs Blanche
1987 Sister, Sister Charlotte Bonnard
1987 Hello Again Zelda
1988 Miles from Home Frances
1989 In Country Anita
1990 Everybody Wins Connie
1990 Love Hurts Susan Volcheck
1990 Alice Gossiping Matron uncredited
1992 There Goes the Neighborhood Peedi Rutledge
1997 Washington Square Aunt Elizabeth Almond
1997 The Devil's Advocate Mrs. Alice Lomax
1997 A Life Less Ordinary Celine's Mom
1998 Without Limits Barbara Bowerman
1999 Mystery, Alaska Joanne Burns
1999 The Stand-In Mrs. Rosensweig
2003 What Alice Found Sandra
2006 Sweet Tornado DVD Extras Margo Jones direct-to-video
2006 Flags of Our Fathers Belle Block
2010 The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield direct-to-video
2011 A Bird of the Air Eleanor Reeves
2014 Big Stone Gap Nan MacChesney
2017 Cortez Sandy
2018 The Bit Player Betty Shannon documentary
2020 Through the Glass Darkly Mama Carmichael
2022 Women Talking Agata Friesen Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Female Actor in a Canadian Film
AARP Movies for Grownups Award for Best Supporting Actress
Independent Spirit Robert Altman AwardNational Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Search for Tomorrow Marilyn 3 episodes
1982 American Playhouse Louise Episode: "The Shady Hill Kidnapping"
1982 Cagney & Lacey Gwen Episode: "Mr. Lonelyhearts"
1983 Dixie: Changing Habits Sister Margaret TV movie
1984 Piaf Madeline
1985 The Long Hot Summer Noel Varner
1987 We Are the Children Brenda Hayes
1990 Decoration Day Terry Novis
1990–1991 Down Home Kate McCrorey 19 episodes
1992 Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter Dist. Atty. Kerry Wells TV movie
1992 Do Not Bring That Python in the House Mrs. Miller
1992–1993 Designing Women B.J. Poteet 22 episodes
1993 Frogs! Passionatta TV movie
1993 Frasier Lorraine (voice only) Episode: "I Hate Frasier Crane"
1993 CBS Schoolbreak Special Counselor Episode: "Other Mothers"
1994 Duckman Mother Mirabelle Episode: "T.V. or Not to Be"
1994 On Promised Land Olivia TV movie
1994–1995 The 5 Mrs. Buchanans Alexandria Buchanan 17 episodes
1994–1995 The Critic Eleanor Sherman 23 episodes
1995 Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story Laura McCormick TV movie
1996 Buddies Maureen DeMoss 14 episodes
1996 The Summer of Ben Tyler Narrator TV movie
1997 What the Deaf Man Heard Lucille Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1999 Half a Dozen Babies Doris Stauffer TV movie
2002 Rose Red Cathy Kramer 3 episodes
2002 Will & Grace Eleanor Markus
2003 Queens Supreme Susan Kelly Episode: "Mad About You"
2005 Related Bob's Mom Episode: "Have Yourself a Sorelli Little Christmas"
2005, 2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Alice Parker / Jenny's Attorney 2 episodes
2007 Pictures of Hollis Woods Beatrice Gilcrest TV movie
2009 Nurse Jackie Paula Episode: "Tiny Bubbles"
2010 Past Life Laney 2 episodes
2010 The Whole Truth Bernadette Peale Episode: "Liars"
2011 Big Love Renee Clayton Episode: "D.I.V.O.R.C.E."
2011 Grey's Anatomy Barbara Robbins Episode: "White Wedding"
2012 Person of Interest Sharon Episode: "Many Happy Returns"
2012 White Collar Ellen Parker 5 episodes
2012 Modern Love Molly McElvane TV movie
2013 Assistance Susan Johnson
2014 Elementary Ruth Colville Episode: "The Many Mouths of Aaron Colville"
2016 The Family Mrs. Asher 4 episodes
2017 Bloodline Belle's Mother Episode: "Part 27"
2018 Instinct Social Worker Sheila Episode: "Tribal"
2019 New Amsterdam Dr. Virginia Stauton 4 episodes


  1. ^ "Judith Ivey – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
  2. ^ Donnelly, Matt (23 December 2022). "How Judith Ivey's Quiet Grace Made Her the MVP of Sarah Polley's 'Women Talking'".
  3. ^ "Ivey, Judith 1951-". Encyclopedia.com. Cengage.
  4. ^ Judith Ivey biodata[permanent dead link], theh-p.com; accessed September 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Judith Ivey at the Internet Broadway Database
  6. ^ Isherwood, Christopher."Theater Review;'The Glass Menagerie'", nytimes.com, March 25, 2010.
  7. ^ Isherwood, Christopher."Dear Ann Landers: What’s a Girl to Do Now?" The New York Times, October 15, 2009.
  8. ^ "2010 Nominations and Recipients". lortelaward.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  9. ^ "The 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards nominations". 3 May 2010.
  10. ^ "| Cherry Lane Theatre". Cherry Lane Theatre. Archived from the original on 22 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  11. ^ Andrea Chambers, "Broadway's Bare Market Is Bullish on Hurlyburly Star Judith Ivey", people.com, August 13, 1984.
  12. ^ Onofri, Adrienne. "BWW Interviews: Stage & Screen Star Judith Ivey". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 30 January 2018.