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Born: Dec. 21, 1955 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Born December 21st, 1955 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jane Kaczmarek studied at the University of Wisconsin and met fellow actor Tony Shalhoub performing in school productions. After that, they both went to the Yale School of Drama and were part of the Yale Repertory Company.
Jane’s first taste of the small screen was with the failed pilot For Lover’s Only in 1982. She followed that with a small role in 1983’s Uncommon Valor with Gene Hackman. That same year, Jane joined the cast of The Paper Chase for one season.
She then had a string of guest starring roles including St. Elsewhere (1983), Remington Steele (1983), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983), Hill Street Blues (1984) and Crazy Like a Fox (1984).
Jane had a supporting role in 1984’s powerful made-for-TV movie about incest, Something About Amelia, which starred Ted Danson and Glenn Close. That same year, she had a supporting role in Falling in Love with Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Harvey Keitel. In 1985, she played opposite Jason Gedrick in The Heavenly Kid.
Kaczmarek’s first TV series came in the form of Hometown (1985), but it failed to get picked up. She followed that TV show with the TV movies The Right of the People, The Christmas Gift, the mini series I’ll Take Manhattan and the made-for-TV movie The Three Kings.
Jane went on to co-star in 1988’s disappointing Vice Versa, the personality switch movie starring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage. Also that year, she appeared in D.O.A. starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.
Another short-lived TV series followed with Equal Justice in 1990. More made-for-TV movies and feature films were in Jane’s future with the made-for-TV movie Without Warning (1994), the feature The Chamber (starring Gene Hackman and Chris O’ Donnell), Educating Mom, TV movie Apollo 11, the TV series Cybil starring Cybil Sheppard and Christine Baranski and 1997’s The Spittin’ Image with husband Bradley Whitford.
In 2000, Jane was cast in a series that would finally last more than a season, Malcolm in the Middle. She was the battling mother in a household that also featured Frankie Muniz and Bryan Cranston. The show run until 2006. That was followed by Help Me Help You, a series with Ted Danson that ran for only four episodes. In 2008, Jane joined the cast of Raising the Bar, which also starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Jane married Bradley Whitford in 1992. The couple, who have 3 children, filed for divorce in 2009.
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