Jean Elizabeth Smart (born September 13, 1951) is an actress from the United States. She began her career in regional theatre in the Pacific Northwest before making her Broadway debut as Marlene Dietrich in the biographical play Piaf in 1981. Smart went on to play Charlene Frazier Stillfield in the CBS series Designing Women, in which she appeared from 1986 to 1991. Smart was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress. She was in a Play for her performance as Lana Gardner on the NBC comedy Frasier in 2000. She got two Primetime Emmy Awards for her role as Lana Gardner on the NBC sitcom Frasier (2000–01). Did Jean receive her third Emmy nomination for her role as Regina Newley on the ABC sitcom Samantha Who?
Jean Smart’s Surgery Updates
Smart is recovering from a recent cardiac operation. The cast of Hacks updated PEOPLE on their costar, nominated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series on the red carpet at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards. “We adore her. We’re sending her all of our love, and she’s doing great, “Rose Abdoo spoke out. “We’re having a dirty martini for Jean tonight,” Johnny Sibilly, who portrays Wilson on HBO’s Max, added.
Mark Indelicato, their costar on Hacks, talked about working with Smart, 71, who is nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.
“She’s a true actor’s actor,” he says. “I think working with her and just witnessing her is truly like a masterclass, and I believe we all feel that way, so it’s great to share the stage with her simply.”
Jean Smarts Early Life
Smart was born and reared in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of teacher Douglas Alexander Smart and Kathleen Marie “Kay” (Sanders). She is the youngest of four children. Smart was 13 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her father was a Scottish-American of the first generation.
Smart found she is a maternal descendant of Dorcas Hoar, one of the last people convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, during Season 10 of the television show Who Do You Think You Are? She graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle in 1969, when she became interested in acting through the drama programme.
She earned a BFA in acting from the University of Washington Professional Actors Training Program.
Jean Smarts Career
Smart began her career after graduating from college, appearing in regional theatre around the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Alaska, and Oregon. She has occurred with the Seattle Repertory Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. She went to New York City in the mid-1970s with her college companion and fellow actor, Elizabeth Wingate (Lavery).
And began acting in Off-Broadway and professional regional shows. She played Lady Macbeth at the Pittsburgh Public Theater in 1980, alongside Tom Atkins as Macbeth and Keith Fowler as Macduff. Smart received a Drama Desk Award nomination in 1981 for her performance in the Off-Broadway drama Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.
Smart began her career on television in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with minor to mid-sized guest appearances on The Facts of Life, Alice, and Remington Steele, among others. According to Smart, after appearing in the short-lived shows Teachers Only and Reggie in 1983, he moved on to other projects “Casting directors thought I was amusing. When that happens, you’re usually pigeonholed, but I was lucky. I was able to move back and forth.” The following year, she appeared in the thriller Flashpoint as a supporting character (1984).
Jean’s Personal Life
Smart married actor Richard Gilliland, whom she met on the set of Designing Women (he played J.D. Shackelford, Annie Potts’ character Mary Jo Shively’s boyfriend). They are the parents of two sons. In 24, Gilliland played Captain Stan Cotter, while Smart later played First Lady Martha Logan on the same show. Gilliland died in March 2021 after a brief illness.