Her father is a jazz musician, and she has two brothers who are also both musicians. She had dreams of becoming an Olympic skater before a freak accident derailed that -- she ran blindly through a glass door and was severely injured. She was educated at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; Neighborhood Playhouse, New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, England.
She won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for "Present Laughter" in 1997. She shared the award with Deborah Findlay and Celia Weston.
Formerly resided with Dennis Gagomiros, a computer programmer, in a Manhattan loft (2001). They first met at the New York City Playhouse in 1982.
While struggling to succeed as an actress, she told people who inquired about what she did for a living that she was a photographer for "National Geographic".
Was discovered by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward while acting in a play, directed by Newman, at Kenyon College, Ohio. They encouraged her to head to New York City after graduation in order to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
Announced live on WCBM Radio's "Tom Marr Show" that she had accepted actor Richard Jenik's proposal and was engaged to be married around Christmas, 2004. The couple broke off their engagement in November 2006.
Resides across the street from her The West Wing (1999) co-star Janel Moloney.
Nominated for Broadway's 1998 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge".
Her great-uncle, Stuart Janney, owned many racehorses, including Ruffian.
Most admires Susan B. Anthony.
In the film The Object of My Affection (1998), she played Alan Alda's wife. In the early 1990s, she attended Kenyon College with Alda's daughter, Elizabeth Alda. Alda co-starred on The West Wing (1999) from 2005-2006 with Janney, though they have not appeared together on camera.
In an article praising the most exceptional women of the year ("Those we loved in 2005," The Guardian, 16 December 2005), Laura Barton gave "a big thank you" to Allison Janney, "aka C.J. from The West Wing (1999) -- her mere existence is reason enough to give thanks".
Her character on The West Wing (1999), C.J. Cregg, also came from Dayton, Ohio.
Is one of 105 people invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 2008.
Nominated for Broadway's 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Leading Actress in a Musical for "9 to 5: The Musical".
In 2009, she won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her performance as Violet Newstead in "9 to 5", the musical version of the film 9 to 5 (1980). She was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, but lost to Alice Ripley for her performance in "Next to Normal".
Called Mariska Hargitay up on the stage with her after Janney won the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama, after noticing that they were both wearing similar green dresses. After Hargitay went up on stage with her, she called up the other nominees, who all declined.
Allison provides the voice for the Star Tours Hostess Aly San San. The updated version of the Walt Disney World/Disneyland Attraction opened May/June 2011.
Daughter of Jervis Spencer Jr. and Macy Brooks Janney.
Stepcousin of Michael Weatherly.
Attended and graduated from Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Attended and graduated from Kenton College in Gambier, Ohio (1982).
Has played Melissa McCarthy's mother in Tammy (2014) and later Melissa's boss in Spy (2015).
As of 2016, has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: American Beauty (1999), The Hours (2002), Juno (2007) and The Help (2011). Of those, American Beauty (1999) is a winner in the category.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6100 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 17, 2016.
Is a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party. Janney endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election.
She has English, and smaller amounts of German and Scottish, ancestry. Her lineage in the U.S. goes back to the 1600s, rooted in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts.
Allison's mother Macy once roomed with actress Eileen Brennan.
Her very close friend Steven Rogers wrote the biopic I, Tonya (2017) character LaVona Golden expressly for her, which brought her a degree of mixed amusement.
Counts This Is Spinal Tap (1984) as one of her all-time favorite films.
Is a big fan of rap music.
Childhood celebrity crush was Davy Jones of The Monkees fame.
Is one of 15 actresses to win the Critic's Choice Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar in the film I, Tonya (2017). The others to achieve this are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010), Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013), Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014), Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014) and Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).
Won her only Oscar the same year as a former colleague won his only Oscar. They both won in 2018. Allison Janney for "I, Tonya" (2016, and Sam Rockwell for "3 Billboards Outside Ebbing County" (2017), they both co-starred in "The Way Way Back" (2013).
Nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category for her role as Bonnie in Mom (2013), but lost to Rachel Brosnahan from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017).
She was born on November 19th 1959 which was when Rocky and His Friends (1959) debuted on television and stared in Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) which is based on the segments from that show.