Allison Brooks Janney (born November 19, 1959) is an American actress. A prolific character actress, Janney has received many accolades, including an Academy Award, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in two cities in Ohio, Janney won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the summer of 1984, following her graduation from Kenyon College. After years of minor and uncredited film and television appearances, Janney’s breakthrough came with the role of C. J. Cregg in the NBC political drama The West Wing (1999–2006), for which she received four Primetime Emmy Awards. The character was widely popular during the airing of the series and was later recognized as one of the greatest female characters on American television. In 2014, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Margaret Scully on the Showtime period drama Masters of Sex. Since 2013, she has starred as a cynical recovering addict in the CBS sitcom Mom. Her performance on the show has gained her five consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations and won her two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Janney made her professional stage debut with the Off-Broadway production Ladies and followed with numerous bit parts in various similar productions, before making her Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of Present Laughter. She won Drama Desk Awards and received Tony Award nominations for her performances in the 1997 Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, and the 2009 original Broadway production of the musical 9 to 5.
Her film roles include Private Parts (1997), Primary Colors (1998), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), American Beauty (1999), The Hours (2002), Hairspray (2007), Juno (2007), The Help (2011), The Way, Way Back (2013), Tammy (2014), Spy (2015), Tallulah (2016), and The Girl on the Train (2016), Bad Education (2019), and The Addams Family (2019). In 2017, for her performance as LaVona Golden in the black comedy I, Tonya, Janney won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.