Patricia Wettig
Patricia Wettig 1989 (3).jpg
Wettig at the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards in 1989
Patricia Anne Wettig

(1951-12-04) December 4, 1951 (age 70)
Alma materTemple University
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1982–present
(m. 1982)

Patricia Anne Wettig (born December 4, 1951) is an American actress and playwright.[1] She is best known for her role as Nancy Weston in the television series Thirtysomething (1987–1991), for which she received a Golden Globe Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards.

After her breakthrough role in Thirtysomething, Wettig has appeared in a number of films, including Guilty by Suspicion (1991), City Slickers (1991), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994), and The Langoliers (1995). She returned to television playing a leading role in the 1995 short-lived drama Courthouse and later played Caroline Reynolds in the Fox drama Prison Break (2005–2007) and Holly Harper in the ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters (2006–2011).

Early life

Wettig was born in Milford, Ohio, to Florence (née Morlock) and Clifford Neal Wettig, a high school basketball coach. She has three sisters: Pam, Phyllis, and Peggy. She was raised in Grove City, Pennsylvania and graduated in 1970.[2] She attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated from Temple University in 1975. She returned to her studies later in life and received a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from Smith College in 2001.[3] F2M, a play she authored, was performed in 2011 as part of the New York Stage and Film and Vassar College's 2011 Powerhouse Theater season.[4][5]


Wettig began her career on stage and worked as a personal dresser for Shirley MacLaine.[6] On television, she appeared in episodes of 1980s dramas Remington Steele, Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law, before taking a recurring role as Joanne McFadden in the NBC medical drama series St. Elsewhere from 1986 to 1987.[3] Later in 1987, Wettig was cast as Nancy Weston in the ABC drama series thirtysomething.

Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin on the red carpet at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards
Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin on the red carpet at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards

For her role in Thirtysomething, Wettig received critical acclaim. Her portrayal of Nancy's cancer struggle attracted considerable acclaim and attention.[7][8] She won three Primetime Emmy Awards: for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1988, and for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1990 and 1991.[9] In 1991, she won Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.[10] The series ended in 1991 after four seasons. Later that year, she made her big screen debut in the drama film Guilty by Suspicion starring opposite Robert De Niro and Annette Bening. She played Billy Crystal's wife in the comedy films City Slickers (1991) and City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994). In 1993, she had a leading role in the comedy-drama film Me and Veronica .[11]

Wettig has starred in a number of made-for-television movies, include Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story (1992) and Parallel Lives (1994). She played the role of Laurel Stevenson in the 1995 Stephen King's miniseries The Langoliers. Later in 1995, she returned to television with a leading role of tough female judge in the CBS drama series Courthouse. Wettig intended to leave the show due to "creative differences", with sources saying that she wanted the show to be more of a star vehicle for her, rather than an ensemble cast, but the show was cancelled before her character could be written out.[12]

In 2002, Wettig was a regular cast member in the short-lived Bravo drama series Breaking News. From 2002 to 2004, she played the recurring role of CIA psychotherapist Dr. Judy Barnett on Alias (on which her husband was an executive producer and director). From 2005 to 2007, Wettig appeared in 18 episodes of Fox television drama, Prison Break, playing fictional Vice President Caroline Reynolds. She turned down Fox's offer of becoming a series regular on Prison Break in order to pursue the ABC comedy-drama series Brothers & Sisters, which debuted in September 2006. Wettig starred in the series as the Walker family patriarch's mistress, Holly Harper. She left the show midway through the show's fifth and final season after her character executive Holly Harper followed her daughter to New York along with her fiancé David played by real life husband Ken Olin.[13]

In 2012, Wettig joined the national tour for Larry Kramer's production, The Normal Heart.[14] In 2014, she starred in the unsold the CW drama pilot Identity opposite Ahna O'Reilly[15] In 2019, she played a leading role in the episode of Netflix anthology series Heartstrings.[16] In 2020, ABC ordered a sequel for Thirtysomething and Wettig set to return alongside Olin, Timothy Busfield and Mel Harris.[17]

Personal life

Wettig is married to actor and producer Ken Olin; they have a son Clifford (born 1983) and a daughter Roxy (born 1985).[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Guilty by Suspicion Dorothy Nolan
1991 City Slickers Barbara Robbins
1993 Me and Veronica Veronica
1994 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold Barbara Robbins
1997 Bongwater Mom
1998 Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 Mrs. Lusk
1999 Nightmare in Big Sky Country Judge
2005 The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie Patricia Wettig Cameo appearance

Television films

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Parole Maureen
1988 Police Story: Cop Killer Dede Mandell
1991 Silent Motive Laura Bardell
1992 Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story Nancy Ziegenmeyer
1994 Parallel Lives Rebecca Ferguson Stone
1995 The Langoliers Laurel Stevenson Miniseries
1995 Nothing But the Truth Jill Ross
1995 Kansas Virginia 'Giny' Mae Farley Also producer
2005 Lackawanna Blues Laura's Mother
2010 The 19th Wife BeckyLyn

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Remington Steele Barbara Frick Episode: "Blood Is Thicker Than Steele"
1985 Hill Street Blues Mrs. Florio Episode: "The Life and Time of Dominic Florio Jr."
1986 Stingray Annie Murray Episode: "Below the Line"
1986–1987 St. Elsewhere Joanne 6 episodes
1987 L.A. Law Carolyn Glasband Episode: "Beef Jerky"
1987–1991 thirtysomething Nancy Krieger Weston 64 episodes
1995 Courthouse Judge Justine Parkes 11 episodes
1997 Frasier Stephanie Episode: "To Kill a Talking Bird"
1998–1999 L.A. Doctors Eleanor Riggs-Cattan 8 episodes
2002 Breaking News Alison Dunne 5 episodes
2002 Boomtown Nora Jean Flannery Episode: "Reelin' in the Years"
2002–2004 Alias Dr. Judy Barnett 11 episodes
2005–2007 Prison Break Caroline Reynolds 13 episodes
2006–2011 Brothers & Sisters Holly Harper 85 episodes
2014 Identity Liana Grant Unsold TV pilot
2015 Major Crimes Judge Virginia Ryan Episode: "Fifth Dynasty"
2019 Heartstrings Harper Cantrell Episode: "Sugar Hill"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1988 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series thirtysomething Won
1990 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
1990 Q Award Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
1991 Golden Globes Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Won
1991 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
1991 Q Award Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
2008 Gold Derby Awards Ensemble of the Year Brothers & Sisters Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Patricia Wettig biography". TV Guide. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "GHC417.html". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  3. ^ a b "Patricia Wettig- Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  4. ^ Wettig, Patricia. F2M. Dramatist Playservice. 2012. ISBN 9780822226338
  5. ^ Hetrick, Adam. “Patricia Wettig's F2M, With Keira Keeley, Ken Olin, Begins Powerhouse Run June 29”. Playbill. 29 June 2011 [1]
  6. ^ "Patricia Wettig | TV Guide".
  7. ^ TELEVISION; Life, Loss, Death And 'Thirtysomething' New York Times. 10 February 1991
  8. ^ Nancy Lives Entertainment Weekly. 22 February 1991
  9. ^ "Site Search". Television Academy.
  10. ^ "Patricia Wettig".
  11. ^ Young, Deborah (September 11, 1992). "Me and Veronica".
  12. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 251. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  13. ^ "Patricia Wettig Leaves Brothers & Sisters". TV Fanatic. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  14. ^ Patricia Wettig, Michael Berresse Will Join Patrick Breen, Luke MacFarlane, Christopher J. Hanke In Normal Heart Tour Archived 2012-09-03 at the Wayback Machine Playbill. 4 May 2012
  15. ^ Nikara Johns @NikaraJohns (2014-03-20). "Patricia Wettig Joins CW's 'Identity' Pilot". Variety. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  16. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (February 11, 2019). "Sarah Shahi, Scandal's Bellamy Young, thirtysomething Alums and More Join Netflix's Dolly Parton Anthology". TVLine.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 8, 2020). "'Thirtysomething': ABC Picks Up Sequel Series Pilot With Original Cast From Marshall Herskovitz & Ed Zwick".