Cusack in June 2010
Joan Mary Cusack
October 11, 1962
New York City, U.S.
Joan Mary Cusack (//; born October 11, 1962) is an American actress and comedian. She received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in the comedy-drama Working Girl (1988) and the romantic comedy In & Out (1997), as well as one Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the latter. She has also provided the voice of Jessie in the Toy Story franchise and Abby Mallard in Chicken Little.
Cusack was a cast member on the comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. She starred on the Showtime hit drama/comedy Shameless as Sheila Jackson, a role for which she has received five consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning for the first time in 2015. She is the sister of actress Ann Cusack and actor John Cusack.
Cusack was born on October 11, 1962 in New York City, New York, and was raised in Evanston, Illinois. Her mother, Ann Paula "Nancy" (née Carolan), is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. Her father, Dick Cusack (1925–2003), was an actor and filmmaker, and two of her four siblings, Ann (born 1961) and John (born 1966), are actors. Her family is Irish American and Catholic. Cusack is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1984).
Cusack has twice been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Working Girl and In & Out. She has appeared with her brother John in 10 movies: Class (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Grandview, U.S.A. (1984), Broadcast News (1987), Say Anything... (1989), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Cradle Will Rock (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Martian Child (2007), and War, Inc. (2008).
In the film Addams Family Values, she played serial divorcee and murderer Debbie Jellinsky. She also starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom What About Joan? in 2001–02 and the hit film Arlington Road. For many years, Cusack was also the commercial spokeswoman for U.S. Cellular. One of Cusack's most well-known roles was the principal of Horace Green Elementary School, Rosalie 'Roz' Mullins, in School of Rock. She also voiced Jessie in the Pixar hits Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4, and played Dr. Burton, the therapist of Charlie (Logan Lerman), in the teen film The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).
Cusack was a cast member on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. Her recurring characters on SNL included Salena, a socially inept girl who tries to ask out her boyfriend, Biff (played by Jon Lovitz), who is also socially inept. In addition, she did celebrity impersonations of Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda, and Queen Elizabeth II.
She has been nominated four times for the American Comedy Award in the category of Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and has won three times, for Runaway Bride (1999), In & Out (1997), and Working Girl (1988). She has also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for In & Out.
She also appeared as Justice Strauss in Netflix's adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, which premiered in 2017. She appeared as the tin foil lady in Netflix's movie Let It Snow which was released in November 2019.
In 2010, Cusack joined the Showtime drama/comedy Shameless as Sheila Jackson, the mother of Karen Jackson (Laura Slade Wiggins). The first season premiered on January 9, 2011, and had its first finale March 27, 2011. Cusack replaced actress Allison Janney, who originally portrayed the role in the first edit of the pilot episode, but was forced to drop out of the part owing to her series regular commitment on the ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine. Janney took the role with the understanding the character would be less prominent on the show, but when producers decided to increase the character's screen presence, she was forced to pull out of the part. Cusack has received critical acclaim for her performance, receiving Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nominations in 2011, 2012, and 2013, as well as a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015, winning in the later year.
Cusack married attorney Richard Burke, President and CEO of Envoy Global, Inc. in 1996. They have two sons: Dylan John (b. 1997) and Miles (b. 2000). She discovered she was pregnant with her first son, Dylan, on her first day of shooting the movie Mr. Wrong (1996). Cusack owns a home in Three Oaks Township, Michigan, and lives in Chicago, Illinois.
|1985–1986||Saturday Night Live||Various Characters||17 episodes|
|2001–2002||What About Joan?||Joan Gallagher||21 episodes|
|2004–2011||Peep and the Big Wide World||Narrator (voice)||55 episodes|
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
|2010||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Pamela Burton||Episode: "Locum"|
|2011–2015||Shameless||Sheila Gallagher (née Jackson)||44 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (2011–2013)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2014)
|2011||Phineas and Ferb||Glenda Wilkins (voice)||Episode: "Last Train to Bustville"|
|2013||The Office||Erin's Biological Mother||Episode: "Finale"|
|2013||Toy Story of Terror!||Jessie (voice)||Television special|
|2014||Toy Story That Time Forgot||Jessie (voice)||Television special|
|2016–2019||The Stinky & Dirty Show||Red (voice)||8 episodes|
|2017, 2019||A Series of Unfortunate Events||Justice Strauss||4 episodes|
|2017||The Christmas Train||Agnes||Television film|
|2020||Homecoming||Francine Bunda||3 episodes|
|1999||Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue||Jessie|
|2005||Chicken Little||Abby Mallard (archive footage)|
|2006||Chicken Little: Ace in Action||Abby Mallard|
|2010||Toy Story 3: The Video Game||Jessie|
|2011||Kinect Disneyland Adventures|
|2012||Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure|
|2016||Disney Magic Kingdoms|
- Joan Cusack Biography. Tribute.ca
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1228/1229). Time Inc. October 12–19, 2012. p. 23.
- Allan Johnson (January 3, 2001). "Cusack Puts Chicago on the Laugh Track". Archived from the original on January 6, 2009.
- "Cusack, Richard J." Chicago Tribune. June 3, 2003. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- "Miss Carolan, Newton Centre, Is Bride of Richard Cusack". Daily Boston Globe. February 14, 1960. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
- "Newton Girl Plans February Wedding". Daily Boston Globe. December 6, 1959. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
- "Q&A – Mars Needs Moms' Joan Cusack on Toy Story's Oscar and Irish-Catholic Guilt".
- "Cusack is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin–Madison". Celebrity Ping. July 4, 2018.
- "Exclusive: Joan Cusack Signs on to Law & Order: SVU". TVGuide.com.
- Sean Fitz-Gerald (January 13, 2017). "Every 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' Actor You Need to Know About". Thrillist. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- Larson, Lauren. "Joan Cusack Has a Tchotchke Shop of Her Own". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- Shropshire, Corilyn. "Joan Cusack playing 'intern' at Judy Maxwell Home store". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
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