Jan Maxwell

Jan Maxwell

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Birthday: Nov 20, 1956

Birthplace: Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Five-time Tony-nominated actress Jan Maxwell spent most of her career treading the boards, but also enjoyed recurring roles in "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007-2012), "Billy & Billie" (DirecTV, 2015-16) and "BrainDead" (CBS, 2016). Born in Fargo, ND, in 1956, Maxwell studied at the University of Utah and Moorhead State University before moving to New York where she worked as a script reader and member of the children's theatre company, Paper Bag Players. Her big break arrived at the relatively late age of 34 when she was chosen to play the dual roles of Alaura Kingsley and Carla Haywood in 1990 stage production "City of Angels." Maxwell subsequently became a Broadway regular, appearing in Tony Award-winning Best Play "Dancing at Lughnasa," starring opposite Janet McTeer in "A Doll's House" and playing Elsa Schraeder in the 1998 revival of "The Sound of Music." Following a leading role in Neil Simon's "The Dinner Party," she picked up her first Tony Award nod for her portrayal of Baroness Bomburst in "Chitty Bang." Maxwell later received nominations for her performances as housekeeper Mrs. Lynch in "Coram Boy," prima donna actress Julie Cavendish in "The Royal Family," long-suffering wife Maria in "Lend Me a Tenor" and ex-showgirl Phyllis Rogers Stone in "Follies," making her only the second performer in Tony Awards history to be recognised in all four acting categories. She also appeared in the likes of "Sixteen Wounded" and "To Be or Not to Be," and several off-Broadway productions including Alan Ayckbourn's "House," Arthur Kopit's "Wings" and Anthony Giardina's "The City of Conversation." Maxwell occasionally ventured into television during her rise to theater fame, too, making sporadic appearances in the "Law and Order" franchise over a nine-year period, enjoying multi-episode stints as Judge Myatt and Cindy on daytime soap operas "All My Children" (ABC, 1970-2013) and "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968-2013) respectively, and portraying Headmistress Queller on teen phenomenon "Gossip Girl" (The CW, 2007-2012). And during her later years she switched her focus from the stage to the screen, landing the roles of Maxine in legal drama "The Divide" (WE tv, 2014) and Camilla Vargas on "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009-2016) before retiring from the theater world altogether. Maxwell made a rare big-screen appearance playing Coltry in the biopic of gay activist-turned-Christian pastor Michael Glatze, "I Am Michael" (2015), was cast as Lisa Joyce's mother in Neil LaBute's step-siblings dramedy "Billy & Billie" (DirecTV, 2015-16) and scheming senator Ella Pollack in political satire "BrainDead" (CBS, 2016), and guested as journalist Margaret Hearst on "Gotham" (Fox, 2014-) and Vice President Tersea Hurst on "Madam Secretary" (CBS, 2014-). Jan Maxwell passed away from complications from breast cancer at her Manhattan home in 2018 aged just 61.

Photos

Filmography

TV

Credit
No Score Yet 78% Madam Secretary Vice President Teresa Hurst (Guest Star) 2017
77% 66% Gotham Unknown (Guest Star) 2017
65% 91% BrainDead Ella Pollack (Character) 2016
93% 91% The Good Wife Camilla Vargas (Guest Star) 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 2003 2000 1997 1994

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