Jane Krakowski

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Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski, Red Dress Collection 2007.jpg
Krakowski at the 2007 Red Dress Collection for The Heart Truth
Born Jane Krajkowski[1]
October 11, 1968 (1968-10-11) (age 49)
Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 1983–present

Jane Krakowski (how to say: /krəˈkaʊski/; born October 11, 1968) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her performance as Elaine Vassal on Ally McBeal, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and for her current role as "Jenna Maroney" on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, for which she has been nominated for three Emmy Awards. She also regularly performs on the stage and won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of Nine and an Olivier Award for Guys and Dolls in London's West End.

Early life[change | change source]

Krakowski was born Jane Krajkowski in Parsippany, New Jersey. Her mother, Barbara (née Benoit), is a college theater instructor and producing artistic director for the Women's Theater Company, and her father, Ed Krajkowski, is a chemical engineer.[2][3][4] She has an older brother.[5] Krakowski's father's family is entirely Polish and comes from Kraków,[6] and although she only knows a few words in Polish, her father and grandparents are fluent.[7] Krakowski was a childhood classmate of astronaut Garrett Reisman.[8]

Krakowski grew up immersed in the local theater scene as a result of her parents' activities, saying in one interview, "Instead of hiring baby sitters, they brought me along with them."[2] She took ballet lessons from age four, but later stopped because she was the wrong body shape, instead moving more towards Broadway dancing.[5] She attended the Professional Children's School in New York City.[9][10]

She dropped the "j" from the family last name when she began working as an actress.[1]

Career[change | change source]

Television[change | change source]

In her first major television role, Krakowski joined the soap opera Search for Tomorrow in 1984, playing the role of Theresa Rebecca (T.R.) Kendall,[11] a role she played until the show ended in 1986. She was nominated for two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards for the role in 1986 and 1987.[source?]

In 1996, she made an appearance on the television series Early Edition as Dr. Handleman (season 1, episode 3 "Baby").

In 1997, she played office assistant Elaine Vassal on the television series Ally McBeal for five seasons until 2002; her role earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1999.[12] In 2003, Krakowski guest-starred in the TV drama Everwood as psychologist Dr Gretchen Trott, a love interest for Treat Williams' Dr Andrew Brown. In 2003, she guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Emma Spevak, a serial killer of elderly women.[source?] In 2006, Krakowski was cast in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, where she plays Jenna Maroney, a cast member of the fictional late night sketch show TGS with Tracy Jordan. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, she received Emmy nominations for her role in 30 Rock.[13][14]

Movies[change | change source]

Krakowski made her movie debut in National Lampoon's Vacation;[12] she has also appeared in Fatal Attraction, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (where she played Betty Rubble), Marci X, Alfie, Go, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Dance with Me, Stepping Out, Pretty Persuasion, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, and Mom at Sixteen. Krakowski was originally cast in the horror movie Sleepaway Camp, but dropped out just before filming began because she felt her character's death scene with a curling iron was so violent.[source?] She appeared in When Zachary Beaver Came to Town as a mother who wants to become a singer. In 2004, she starred in Alan Menken's TV movie version of A Christmas Carol, featured as The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Stage[change | change source]

Krakowski at the Sundance Film festival, 2005

A trained singer, Krakowski has made numerous appearances on stage. At age 18 she originated the role of Dinah the Dining Car in the 1987 Broadway production of Starlight Express. She appeared in the 1989 Broadway musical Grand Hotel as the typist and would-be-movie-star Flaemmchen, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.[11] Her solo number "I Want to go to Hollywood" is included on the original cast recording. At the 2000 American Comedy Awards, Krakowski won rave reviews when she performed a sexually-charged musical tribute and love letter to Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates.[source?]

In 1995, she played the ditzy flight attendant April in The Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Company. In 1996, she starred alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress.

In January 2002, Windham Hill Records released a Jim Brickman album titled Love Songs & Lullabies featuring Krakowski as a vocalist for the song "You",[12] which became a hit on adult contemporary radio stations.[source?] Brickman and Krakowski also recorded an alternate Christmas version of the song. She also appeared on the album Broadway Cares: Home For The Holidays, singing the song "Santa Baby".

In 2003, she starred in the Broadway revival of Nine playing Carla,[15] for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.[12] Krakowski is known for her famous anti-gravity stunt during the number "A Call From The Vatican". Krakowski and the director struggled finding a company that would let her do air stunts without a harness; Krakowski came up with the idea of using the method previously portrayed in Broadway Bares. Krakowski recalled that the material took a long time to arrive, and the second time she ever did it was on the first performance.[16]

In 2005, she starred as Miss Adelaide alongside Ewan McGregor in the new production of Guys and Dolls[17] in London (Piccadilly Theatre) a role for which she won the 2006 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[12]

In 2005, she performed a cabaret show called Better When It's Banned, which featured various songs deemed racy from the 1920s and '30s.[18]

Krakowski performed in a January 2007 workshop production and backers' audition for a Broadway musical adaption of the 1980 movie, Xanadu, with music from the movie's soundtrack and a book by Douglas Carter Beane.[19] Xanadu premiered on Broadway summer 2007, although Krakowski's role is played by Kerry Butler.

In 2008, Krakowski starred as Lola in New York City Center's production of Damn Yankees opposite Sean Hayes and Cheyenne Jackson.[20]

On July 30 and 31 of 2009, Krakowski played the title character in a reading of Mrs. Sharp, with music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver and book by Kirsten A. Guenther, at Playwrights Horizons.

Other works[change | change source]

Personal life[change | change source]

In 2007, it was reported that Krakowski was in a relationship with English documentarian Marc Singer, whom she met at a screening for Children of Men in 2006.[11] Before that, she dated Julian Ovenden.[5]

She married Robert Godley in 2010. On April 13, 2011, their son, Bennett Robert Godley, was born.[22]

Recordings[change | change source]

Krakowski released her debut solo album on July 15, 2010 – an album of cover versions called Laziest Gal in Town – on DRG Records.[23]

Selected recordings include:

  • 1992: Grand Hotel, Studio Cast Recording (Mostly Original Broadway Cast)
  • 1995: Company, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
  • 1997: Once Upon a Mattress, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
  • 1997: Sondheim at the Movies (singing the Academy Award-winning song "Sooner or Later" from Dick Tracy)
  • 1998: The Burt Bacharach Album
  • 2002: A Broadway Valentine
  • 2003: Nine, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
  • 2004: A Christmas Carol, Television Cast Recording
  • 2010: The Laziest Gal in Town, solo album

Filmography[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 National Lampoon's Vacation Cousin Vicki
1987 Fatal Attraction Babysitter
1991 Stepping Out Lynne
1996 Mrs. Winterbourne Christine
1998 Dance With Me Patricia
1999 Go Irene
2000 Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, TheThe Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas Betty O'Shale
2002 Ice Age Female Sloth Voice
2003 Marci X Lauren Farb
2003 When Zachary Beaver Came to Town Heather
2004 Alfie Dorie
2004 Christmas Carol, AA Christmas Carol Ghost of Christmas Past
2005 Pretty Persuasion Emily Klein
2005 Mom at Sixteen Donna Cooper
2006 Open Season Giselle Voice
2007 Surf's Up Sheila Limberfin Deleted scenes
2008 Rocker, TheThe Rocker Carol
2008 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Miss May Dooley
2008 Open Season 2 Giselle Direct-to-video
2009 Bygone Days: An Ally McBeal Retrospective Elaine
2009 Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Corma Limbs

Television work[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
2006–2013 30 Rock Jenna Maroney Series Regular
2006 Sex, Love, Power and Politics Sloan TV Movie
2003 Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Emma Spevak Episode: "Bound"
1997–2002 Ally McBeal Elaine Series Regular

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Year Award Title Work Result
1986 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series Search for Tomorrow Nominated
1987 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
1990 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Grand Hotel Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
1998 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Ally McBeal Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini Series or TV Movie Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2001 Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series: Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nine Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical Won
2006 Laurence Olivier Award Best Leading Actress in a Musical Guys and Dolls Won
2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series 30 Rock Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2010 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Critics Choice TV Award Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Pending

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Peter Filichia (2008-10-17). "Jane Krakowski to appear at theater fund-raiser". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/arts/index.ssf/2008/10/jane_krakowski_to_appear_at_th.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Margo Nash (2006-03-19). "Jersey Footlights". The New York Times. https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01EFDE1F31F93AA25750C0A9609C8B63. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  3. Jane Krakowski Biography (1968–)
  4. "Obituaries - Beulah U. Dudley Newsbank
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rebecca Tyrrel (2009-09-05). "The secretary's star turn". London: The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2005/05/09/btjane09.xml&page=1. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  6. Pol. Cała rodzina po stronie mojego ojca jest polska (En All my family from my father's side is Polish) 5 January 2006, Mojawyspa
  7. Jane Krakowski: Z Krakowa do "Ally McBeal" Pol. 5 January 2006, Mojayspa (...) mój tata rozmawiał po polsku. Moi dziadkowi rozmawiali na co dzień po angielsku, ale kłócili się tylko po polsku, żebyśmy ich nie zrozumieli! (En (...) my dad spoke Polish, and my grandparents spoke English at home, but they argued only in Polish, because they didn't want to be understood by us).
  8. Duffy, Jamie (March 29, 2009). "Actress Jane Krakowski, astronaut Garrett Reisman bring star power to Morris Tomorrow gala". NJ.com (New Jersey On-Line LLC). http://www.nj.com/helpinghands/jamieduffy/index.ssf/2009/03/actress_jane_krakowski_and_ast.html.
  9. "Taking a Bough". People. 1998-07-20. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20125812,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  10. "Ask a Star: Jane Krakowski". broadway.com. circa 2001 (based on the reference to Mack & Mabel). Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20090519122654/http://www.broadway.com/Jane-Krakowski/broadway_interview/4525. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Rachel Syme (2008-06-22). "Jane Krakowski is Poetry in Motion". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/pagesixmag/issues/20080622/Jane+Krakowski+Poetry+Motion. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "30 Rock Cast Biographies: Jane Krakowski". NBC. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20080510215435/http://www.nbc.com/30_Rock/bios/jane.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  13. "Emmy nominee reactions rundown". The Hollywood Reporter. 2009-07-16. http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/2009/07/emmy-nominee-reactions-rundown.html. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  14. "'Glee,' 'The Pacific' top Emmy noms". The Hollywood Reporter. 2010-07-09. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ic639ed027f3e13c9db61ce101917e812?pn=2. Retrieved 2010-07-09.[dead link]
  15. Ernio Hernandez (2003-05-20). "Nine Nominee Jane Krakowski "Calls" in a Showstopping Performance". Playbill. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/79628.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  16. "Jane Krakowski Takes Manhattan" June 24, 2003, Theater Mania
  17. Guys and Dolls The Tour
  18. Stephen Holden (2005-02-03). "Sorry, Santa, but Naughty Is More Fun Than Nice". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/03/arts/music/03krak.html?pagewanted=print&position=. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  19. "Krakowski takes off skates". Daily Variety. 2007-02-02. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-29971650_ITM. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  20. Andrew Gans (2008-07-27). "Diva Talk: Chatting with Damn Yankees' Jane Krakowski". Playbill. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/119012.html. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  21. "Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl" YouTube video
  22. Derschowitz, Jessica (2011-04-22). "Jane Krakowski and Robert Godley welcome a son". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20056464-10391698.html.
  23. "Jane Krakowski Releases 'The Laziest Gal in Town' Solo Album 7/15; Cover Art Revealed". broadwayworld.com. June 10, 2010. http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Jane_Krakowski_Releases_Laziest_Girl_in_Town_Solo_Album_715_Cover_Art_Revealed_20100610. Retrieved July 30, 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]