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Annette O'Toole
O'Toole in a 2020 episode of the series Kidding
Annette Toole

(1952-04-01) April 1, 1952 (age 72)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1967–present
Bill Geisslinger
(m. 1983; div. 1993)
(m. 1999)
Children 2

Annette O'Toole (born Annette Toole; April 1, 1952) is an American actress. She is known for portraying Lisa Bridges in the television series Nash Bridges, adult Beverly Marsh in the 1990 television mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's epic horror novel It, Lana Lang in Superman III, Kathy in the romantic-comedy film Cross My Heart, and Martha Kent (the adoptive mother of Clark Kent) on the television series Smallville.

Early life and career

O'Toole was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Dorothy Geraldine (née Niland) and William West Toole Jr. Her mother taught dance, which O'Toole herself began learning at the age of three. She started taking acting lessons after her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 13. Her first television appearance was in 1967 on The Danny Kaye Show, followed over the next few years with guest appearances in shows such as My Three Sons, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, and The Partridge Family.


O'Toole's first major film role was as a jaded beauty pageant contestant in the 1975 satire Smile; she got the role after doing an impression of a "dead cockroach" at the audition. She also appeared as the tutor and girlfriend of Robby Benson's character in the college basketball story One on One in 1977. She co-starred opposite Gary Busey in the 1980 film Foolin' Around. In 1981, she starred in the HBO onstage production of Vanities, as well as in the TV movie Stand By Your Man, which detailed the life of country music legend Tammy Wynette. Later on in 1982, she appeared briefly as Nick Nolte's girlfriend in 48 Hrs. That same year, she played Alice Perrin in Cat People, and then in 1983 she played Lana Lang (love interest to Clark Kent/Superman), and single mother of Ricky in Superman III.

In 1985, she co-starred with Barry Manilow in the CBS television movie Copacabana playing Lola La Mar to Manilow's Tony Starr. Also in 1985, she had a starring role as Ms. Edmunds in the original Bridge to Terabithia, and appeared in the TV adaptation of Strong Medicine the following year. In 1987's Cross My Heart, a romantic comedy, O'Toole had a leading role opposite Martin Short.


In 1990, O'Toole had roles in two ABC television mini-series. She played the adult Beverly Marsh in the television mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's epic horror novel It and also portrayed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. She next starred in the 1992 NBC mini-series Jewels, based on the Danielle Steel novel of the same name.

In 1993, O'Toole starred in Desperate Justice as Ellen Wells. In 1995, she starred as Cheryl Keeton in the 1995 Lifetime television film based on Ann Rule's true crime novel Dead by Sunset. She had a recurring role on the television show Nash Bridges (1996) and starred in her own series The Huntress (2000) as a female bounty hunter. In 1997 O'Toole starred in the TV movie Keeping the Promise.

In October 2001, 18 years after portraying Lana Lang in Superman III, O'Toole returned to the Superman mythos in the role of Martha Kent, Superman's adoptive mother, in the television series Smallville. She remained part of the show's main cast, though at times in the background, until the end of its sixth season. On January 19, 2010, it was announced that O'Toole would be returning to Smallville for at least one episode.


On November 22, 2010, O'Toole played the role of Veronica, a middle-aged woman with a severe case of Alzheimer's, in season 3 episode 7 of the TV series Lie to Me. In March 2013 she appeared in Grey's Anatomy as a school teacher who finds out, after surgery, that she will die from cancer. O'Toole portrayed Susan Emerson in six episodes of the first two seasons of Halt and Catch Fire. In 2016, O'Toole returned to the Stephen King realm as boarding house owner Edna Price in 'The Kill Floor' episode of the King mini-series 11.22.63. O'Toole filled the role of Hope McCrea in the Netflix series Virgin River.

Musical career

O'Toole can date the beginning of her songwriting career to events during a car ride after the September 11 attacks; as her husband Michael McKean describes it, "On September 11, 2001, Annette found herself without an airline to carry her back down to Los Angeles from Vancouver, where she films Smallville. So she drove a rental car down. The two of us drove it back up together, and on the long drive up there, somewhere between Portland and Seattle, she told me she had a tune in her head." The "tune in her head" became "Potato's in the Paddy Wagon", one of three songs the couple wrote for A Mighty Wind, including the Oscar-nominated song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow."

O'Toole sang "What Could Be Better?"—a song she and her husband co-wrote – for the 2004 Disney children's album A World of Happiness.

In May–June 2005, the couple did a cabaret act for "Feinstein's at the Regency" in New York City.

On July 7, 2007, O'Toole appeared as a backing singer for her husband's fictional band Spinal Tap at the London leg of the Live Earth concerts. She has also performed on the band's 2009 Unwigged and Unplugged tour, and contributed lyrics to "Short and Sweet" on the 2009 Spinal Tap album Back from the Dead.

In 2011 she starred in CAP21's production of the new musical Southern Comfort, based on the Sundance award-winning documentary, by Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis.

Personal life

Annette O'Toole and Michael McKean sing on Employee of the Month
Singer-songwriter spouses Annette O'Toole and Michael McKean perform their song "Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" on Employee of the Month in 2016

O'Toole married actor Bill Geisslinger on April 8, 1983; they divorced in 1993. The couple had two daughters. O'Toole married Michael McKean on the 20th of March 1999. She and McKean share a musical career.


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1970 Little Big Man Passerby Uncredited
1975 Smile Doria – Young American Miss
1977 One on One Janet Hays
1978 King of the Gypsies Sharon
1980 Foolin' Around Susan
1981 Stand By Your Man Tammy Wynette
1982 Cat People Alice Perrin
1982 48 Hrs. Elaine Marshall
1983 Superman III Lana Lang
1987 Cross My Heart Kathy
1990 Love at Large Mrs. King
1990 A Girl Of The Limberlost Kate Comstock
1994 Andre Adult Toni (voice)
1994 On Hope Hope Short film
1994 Imaginary Crimes Ginny Rucklehaus
2000 Here on Earth Jo Cavanaugh
2003 Temptation Nora
2009 Falling Up Grace O' Shea
2013 Stuff Mother Short film
2014 Beach Pillows Rita Midwood
2016 We Go On Charlotte
2016 Women Who Kill Lila
2018 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Stephanie Kenney
2018 The Incoherents Mrs. Graham
2019 Blow the Man Down Gail Maguire
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1967 My Three Sons Tina Episode: "The Chaperones"
1967 This Is the Life Debbie Episode: "Debbie"
1969 Bright Promise Gypsy 1 episode
1970 Dan August Robbie Wagner Episode: "Love Is a Nickel Bag"
1970 The Virginian Lark Walters Episode: "The Mysterious Mr. Tate"
1970 Gunsmoke Edda Sprague Episode: "The Witness"
1971 The Mod Squad Lorrie Coleman Episode: "A Bummer for R.J."
1971 The Partridge Family Carol Episode: "Partridge Up a Pear Tree"
1971 Hawaii Five-O Sue Episode: "...And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots"
1973 Search Terry Bain Episode: "The 24 Carat Hit"
1973 The Girl Most Likely to... Jenny TV movie
1973 The Rookies Pregnant Woman Episode: "Frozen Smoke"
Bank Teller Episode: "Lots of Trees and a Running Stream"
1974 The F.B.I. Brenda Porter Episode: "The Lost Man"
1974 Dirty Sally George Episode: "My Fair Laddie"
1974 Police Woman Donna Hess Episode: "Shoefly"
1975 S.W.A.T. Rita Bonelli Episode: "The Killing Ground"
1975 Petrocelli Tina Episode: "Terror on Wheels"
1975 The Entertainer Bambi Pasko TV movie
1976 Serpico Heather Episode: "The Indian"
1976 Barnaby Jones Cas Carter Episode: "Band of Evil"
1977 The War Between the Tates Wendy Geoghegan TV movie
1977 What Really Happened to the Class of '65? Kathy Adams Miller Episode: "Everybody's Girl"
1977–1978 The Tony Randall Show Melissa 2 episodes
1979 Visions Sandy Episode: "Ladies in Waiting"
1979 Love for Rent Carol Martin TV movie
1981 Standing Room Only Kathy Episode: "Vanities"
1981 Stand by Your Man Tammy Wynette TV movie
1984 The Best Legs in the Eighth Grade Rachel Blackstone TV movie
1985 Bridge to Terabithia Miss Edmunds TV movie
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stella Pilot (segment: "An Unlocked Window")
1985 Copacabana Lola Lamar TV movie
1987 Broken Vows Nana Marie 'Nim' Fitzpatrick TV movie
1986 Strong Medicine Jessica Weitz TV movie
1989 Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North Betsy North TV movie
1990 The Kennedys of Massachusetts Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy TV mini-series; Main cast
1990 It Beverly Marsh TV mini-series; Main cast
1990 The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story Maud Gage Baum TV movie
1990 A Girl of the Limberlost Kate Comstock TV movie
1991 General Motors Playwrights Theater Carol Episode: "Unpublished Letters"
1991 White Lie Helen Lester TV movie
1992 Jewels Sarah Thompson Whitfield TV mini-series; Main cast
1993 Kiss of a Killer Kate Wilson TV movie
 1993 Love Matters Julie TV movie
1993 Desperate Justice Ellen Wells TV movie; A.K.A. A Mother's Revenge
1995 My Brother's Keeper Joann Bradley TV movie
1995 The Outer Limits Commander Lydia Manning Episode: "Dark Matters"
1995 Dream On Bess Justin Episode: "Bess You Is Not My Woman Now"
1995 Dead By Sunset Cheryl Keeton Cunningham TV mini-series; Main cast
1995 The Christmas Box Keri Evans TV movie
1995 Lonesome Dove: The Series Claudia Harrell Episode: "Traveller"
1996 The Man Next Door Annie Hodges TV movie
1996–1998 Nash Bridges Lisa Bridges Main cast (season 1–2)
Guest (season 4)
1997 Keeping the Promise Anne Hallowell TV movie
1997 Final Descent Connie Phipps TV movie
1998 Final Justice Gwen Saticoy TV movie
1999 Boy Meets World Rhiannon Lawrence Episode: "State of the Unions"
2000 Law & Order Valerie Grace Episode: "Mega"
2000–2001 The Huntress Dorothy 'Dottie' Thorson Main cast
2001–2011 Smallville Martha Kent / The Red Queen Main cast (season 1–6)
Guest (season 9–10)
2006 Aquaman Atlanna (voice) TV pilot
2010 Lie to Me Veronica Episode: "Veronica"
2011 Private Practice Janet Episode: "Blind Love"
2012 The Finder Elaine Sherman Episode: "The Boy with the Bucket"
2013 Grey's Anatomy Madeleine Skurski Episode: "Idle Hands"
2014 F to 7th Diane Web series; 2 episodes
2014–2015 Halt and Catch Fire Susan Emerson Recurring (season 1–2)
2015 Battle Creek Amelia Zuransky Episode: "Homecoming"
2016 11.22.63 Edna Price Episode: "The Kill Floor"
2019 The Punisher Eliza Schultz Recurring role (Season 2); 4 episodes
2019–present Virgin River Hope McCrea Main role
2020 The Good Doctor Caroline Reznik 1 episode
2020 Kidding Louise Episode 7 Season 2"
2020 Search Party Diana Fontaine Episode: "In God We Trust"

See also

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