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Jane Kaczmarek

Kaczmarek attends an event at the Griffith Observatory to honor Air Force members during Air Force Week Los Angeles, CA, November 17, 2008
Born Jane Frances Kaczmarek
December 21, 1955 (1955-12-21) (age 54)
Greendale, Wisconsin, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Bradley Whitford (1992-2009) (separated) 3 children

Jane Frances Kaczmarek (born December 21, 1955) is an American actress. She is best known for playing the character of Lois on the television series Malcolm in the Middle. She lives in San Marino, California.


Early life & career

Kaczmarek, a Polish American, was born in Greendale, Wisconsin, the daughter of Evelyn, a teacher, and Edward Kaczmarek, a defense department worker.[1] She majored in theater at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She later studied at the Yale School of Drama for her graduate degree and was a part of its theater company. She has had several Broadway hits, including Lost In Yonkers and Raised In Captivity, where she won an LA Drama Critics’ Award. Her first television role was that of Margie Spoletto on For Lovers Only (1982). Her first major role was that of Linda Bauer on Equal Justice from 1990-1991.[2]

Kaczmarek has also appeared in over forty television roles, the most notable including:[2]


Malcolm in the Middle

In 2000, Kaczmarek was cast to play Lois in the FOX mid-season replacement Malcolm in the Middle.[3] TV Guide dubbed her role in the series as a "true breakout; a female Homer Simpson", and critics hailed her for her comic talents.[4] Later, Kaczmarek would credit the show for bringing out her comedic side, claiming, "[Before Malcolm] I couldn’t even get auditions for comedies. I played very unfunny people."[5]

Kaczmarek was nominated seven times for an Emmy for her performance on the show, one for every year. She also earned three Golden Globe nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, was honored with a Television Critics Association Award in 2000 and 2001, plus an American Comedy Award and a Family Television Award in 2001.


Following the end of Malcolm in the Middle, Kaczmarek went on to star in the short-lived series Help Me Help You co-starring Ted Danson.

Starting Fall 2008, she is starring in the hour long TNT series Raising the Bar as Judge Trudy Kessler. She also continues to voice Judge Constance Harm on several Simpsons episodes as mentioned above.

On November 19, 2009, Kaczmarek played against Julie Bowen and Robin Quivers in the Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational, on which she won $50,000 for a charity.

Personal life

Kaczmarek married West Wing actor and fellow Wisconsin native Bradley Whitford on August 15, 1992. They lived in Los Angeles with their three children: Frances Genevieve (b. January 1997), George Edward (b. December 23, 1999) and Mary Louisa (b. November 25, 2002). Both were very active with charity, and were seen attending many major award shows together. She is the founder of “Clothes Off Our Back” which auctions celebrity clothing for children’s charities. In June 2009, the couple filed for divorce after almost 17 years of marriage.[6][7] One of the last times they were seen together publicly was in September 2008, at the opening of a Los Angeles production of The House of Blue Leaves,[8] in which Kaczmarek was starring. According to a June 2009 magazine interview with conducted prior to announcement of the divorce, she replied "That's a big no comment" when asked to sum up her love life. She also added that she used to believe that she could "“go it alone and as long as I had some fabulous boy on my arm, or man, and my career was sailing, that’s all I needed" whereas she now had grown to appreciate the support of her girlfriends "to talk about kids, to talk about marriages, to talk about just life".[9]

Kaczmarek underwent a hip replacement in April 2004, due to chronic arthritis[10] She recovered quickly, and used an X-ray of her new hip for her Emmy campaign the following summer, advertising herself as "the only Emmy nominee with an artificial hip (except for Anthony LaPaglia)".[11]

In 2006, Kaczmarek and Malcolm in the Middle co-star Erik Per Sullivan contributed the afterword for the children’s book, Together, that shows the importance of domestic animals to impoverished people in the world, and was inspired by the mission of the nonprofit charitable organization, Heifer International.

Awards and nominations

Golden Globe Awards:

Emmy Awards:

Screen Actors Guild Awards:

Satellite Awards:


External links


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