Laurie Metcalf

Active - 1985 - 2019  |   Born - Jun 16, 1955 in Carbondale, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Children's/Family

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Matriculating from Illinois State University, actress Laurie Metcalf was one of the charter members of Chicago's groundbreaking Steppenwolf Theatre troupe. She moved on to New York in the early '80s, winning a 1984 Theatre World Award and an Obie for her performance in Balm in Gilead. In films since 1985, the flexible Metcalf has been seen in director Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) and Making Mr. Right (1987), and also in several other highly regarded productions, notably Uncle Buck (1989), JFK (1991), and Mistress (1992). Metcalf is best known to the TV-watching public for her Emmy-winning portrayal of Roseanne Conner's police-officer sister, Jackie Harris, on the long-running sitcom Roseanne. In 1997, following the demise of her television series, Metcalf turned in a deliciously over-the-top performance as the tightly wound aspiring reporter Debbie Salt in Scream 2. In the decades to come, Metcalfe would find success on shows like Norm and The Big Bang Theory, as well as movies like Stop-Loss Georgia Rule. Despite her hectic schedule, Laurie Metcalf still finds time for an occasional return-to-the-womb appearance at the Steppenwolf Theatre, usually in the company of fellow Steppenwolfians John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, and/or Glenne Headly.

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  • Originally majored in German in college before switching to theatre.
  • A founding member of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater (along with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise).
  • Was a short-lived feature player on Saturday Night Live in 1981.
  • Won an Obie Award for playing a prostitute in the stage play Balm in Gilead in 1983.
  • Made film debut in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan.
  • Starred with daughter Zoe Perry in the stage play Pot Mom.
  • Plays the recurring role of Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, reuniting her with her former Roseanne co-star Johnny Galecki.