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Cherry Jones
Cherry Jones 2009 (3459834246).jpg
Jones in 2009
Born November 21, 1956
Education Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1980–present
Sophie Huber
(m. 2015)
Partner(s) Mary O'Connor (1986–2004) Sarah Paulson (2004-2009)

Cherry Jones is an American actress. She started her career in theater as a founding member of the American Repertory Theater in 1980 before transitioning into film and television. Celebrated for her dynamic roles on stage and screen, she has received various accolades, including three Primetime Emmy Awards and two Tony Awards, as well as nominations for an Olivier Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Jones made her Broadway debut in the 1987 play Stepping Out. She went on to receive two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Play for The Heiress in 1995 and Doubt in 2005. Her other Tony-nominated roles were in Our Country's Good in 1991, A Moon for the Misbegotten in 2000, and The Glass Menagerie in 2014. Her most recent Broadway performance was in The Lifespan of a Fact in 2018.

She is also known for her work on television with breakthrough roles as Barbara Layton in The West Wing and President Allison Taylor in 24, the latter of which won her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2009. She received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Transparent in 2015 and earned two Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her roles in the Hulu drama series The Handmaid's Tale in 2019 and the HBO drama series Succession in 2020.

Her film appearances include The Horse Whisperer (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), The Perfect Storm (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), Amelia (2009), The Beaver (2011), A Rainy Day in New York (2019), and The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021).

Early life and education

Jones was born in Paris, Tennessee. Her mother was a high school teacher, and her father owned a flower shop. Her parents were very supportive of her theatrical ambitions, encouraging her interest by sending her to classes with local drama teacher, Ruby Krider. Jones takes great pains to credit her high school speech teacher, Linda Wilson, with her first real preparatory work. She is a 1978 graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. While at CMU, she was one of the earliest actors to work at City Theatre, a fixture of Pittsburgh theatre.


Most of her career has been in theater, beginning in 1980 as a founding member of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her Broadway performances include Lincoln Center's 1995 production of The Heiress and also a 2005 production of John Patrick Shanley's play Doubt at the Walter Kerr Theatre. For both roles, she earned a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play.

Other Broadway credits include Nora Ephron's play Imaginary Friends (with Swoosie Kurtz), the 2000 revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, for which she earned her first Tony nomination. She is considered to be one of the foremost theater actresses in the United States. In 1994, she also appeared in the Broadway run of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika as the Angel, replacing Ellen McLaughlin, who had originated the role.

She has narrated the audiobook adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series including, Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, and Little Town on the Prairie. In recent years, Jones has ventured into feature films. Her screen credits include Cradle Will Rock, The Perfect Storm, Signs, Ocean's Twelve, and The Village.

Jones played President Taylor on the Fox series 24, a role for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She played the role in the seventh season, from January to May 2009, as well as eighth season, which aired from January to May 2010.

In 2012, Jones starred in the NBC drama series Awake as psychiatrist Dr. Judith Evans.

Also in 2012, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in the Loeb Drama Center's revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie alongside Zachary Quinto, Brian J. Smith and Celia Keenan-Bolger.

In 2014, Cherry Jones was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

In 2015 and 2016 Jones had a recurring role on the Primetime Emmy Award-winning Amazon comedy-drama series Transparent in its second and third seasons. She was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series for her work in the 2015 season.

In 2016, she appeared in "Nosedive", an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.

In 2018, Jones played Holly, the feminist mother to June/Offred in The Handmaid's Tale. She won an Emmy for her performance.

In 2019, Jones played the role of a grouchy psychic and tarot card reader in the comedy Wine Country, directed by Amy Poehler.

Personal life

In 1995, when Jones accepted her first Tony Award, she thanked her then-partner, architect Mary O'Connor, with whom she had an 18-year relationship.

She started dating actress Sarah Paulson in 2004. When she accepted her Best Actress Tony in 2005 for her work in Doubt, she thanked "Laura Wingfield", the Glass Menagerie character being played in the Broadway revival by Paulson. In 2007, Paulson and Jones declared their love for each other in an interview with Velvetpark at Women's Event 10 for the LGBT Center of New York. Paulson and Jones ended their relationship amicably in 2009.

In mid-2015, Jones married filmmaker Sophie Huber.



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Light of Day Cindy Montgomery
The Big Town Ginger McDonald
1992 Housesitter Patty
1995 Polio Water Virginia Short film
1997 Julian Po Lucy
1998 The Horse Whisperer Liz Hammond
1999 Cradle Will Rock Hallie Flanagan
2000 Erin Brockovich Pamela Duncan
The Perfect Storm Edie Bailey
2002 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Buggy Abbott
Signs Officer Paski
2004 The Village Mrs. Clack
Ocean's Twelve Molly Star/Mrs. Caldwell
2005 Swimmers Julia Tyler
2009 Amelia Eleanor Roosevelt
Mother and Child Sister Joanne
2011 The Beaver Vice President
New Year's Eve Mrs. Rose Ahern
2013 Days and Nights Mary
2015 Knight of Cups Ruth
I Saw the Light Lillie Williams
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Geri Taub
2017 The Party Martha
2018 Boy Erased Dr. Muldoon
2019 Wine Country Lady Sunshine
A Rainy Day in New York Mrs. Welles
Motherless Brooklyn Gabby Horowitz
Our Friend Faith Pruett
2021 The Eyes of Tammy Faye Rachel LaValley
2022 The Sky Is Everywhere Gram Walker


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Alex: The Life of a Child Tina Crawford Television film
1987 Spenser: For Hire Tracy Kincaid Episode: "Sleepless Dream"
1992 Loving Frankie Unknown episodes
1993 Tribeca Tough Woman Episode: "The Loft"
1999 Murder in a Small Town Mimi Barnes Television film
The Lady in Question
2000 Cora Unashamed Lizbeth Studevant
2001 What Makes a Family Sandy Cataldi
Frasier Janet Episode: "Junior Agent"
2002 American Experience Narrator Episode: "Miss America"
2004 The West Wing Barbara Layton Episode: "Eppur Si Muove"
2004–2005 Clubhouse Sister Marie 3 episodes
2008 24: Redemption President-Elect Allison Taylor Television film
2009–2010 24 President Allison Taylor 44 episodes
2012 Awake Dr. Judith Evans 11 episodes
2015–2019 Transparent Leslie Mackinaw 12 episodes
2016 Mercy Street Dorothea Dix 2 episodes
11.22.63 Marguerite Oswald 5 episodes
Black Mirror Susan Episode: "Nosedive"
2017 American Crime Laurie Ann Hesby 4 episodes
2018 Portlandia Ms. Mayor Episode: "Rose Route"
2018–2019 The Handmaid's Tale Holly Maddox 3 episodes
2019 Chimerica Mel Kincaid 4 episodes
2019–2023 Succession Nan Pierce 3 episodes
2020 Defending Jacob Joanna Klein 8 episodes
Close Enough (voice) Episode: "Robot Tutor/Golden Gamer"
2022 Five Days at Memorial Susan Mulderick 7 episodes
2023–2024 Velma Victoria Jones (voice) 11 episodes
2023 Poker Face Laura Episode: "The Orpheus Syndrome"
Extrapolations President Elizabeth Burdick Episode: "2059: Face of God"


Year Title Role Venue
1983 The Philanthropist Liz
1984 The Ballad of Soapy Smith Kitty Chase
1985–1996 The Importance of Being Earnest Cecily Cardew
1987 Claptrap Sarah Littlefield
1987 Stepping Out Lynne
1987 Tartuffe Dorine Portland Stage Company (Maine)
1988 Macbeth Lady Macduff
1991 Our Country's Good Reverend Johnson/Liz Morden
1991 Light Shining in Buckinghamshire N/A
1992 The Baltimore Waltz Anna
1992 Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) Constance Ledbelly
1993–1994 Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Various replacements Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway
1993–1994 Angels in America: Perestroika Various replacements
1993 And Baby Makes Seven Anna
1993 Desdemona Bianca
1995 The Heiress Catherine Sloper Cort Theatre, Broadway
1996 The Night of the Iguana Hannah Jelkes Roundabout Theatre Company
1997–1998 Pride's Crossing Mabel Tidings/Bigelow Lincoln Center
1999 Tongue of a Bird Maxine The Public Theater
2000 A Moon for the Misbegotten Josie Hogan Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway
2001 Major Barbara Barbara Undershaft American Airlines Theatre, Broadway
2002–2003 Imaginary Friends Mary McCarthy Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
2003 Flesh and Blood Mary Stassos New York Theatre Workshop
2005–2006 Doubt Sister Aloysius Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway
2006 Faith Healer Grace Booth Theatre, Broadway
2010 Mrs. Warren's Profession Mrs. Kitty Warren American Airlines Theatre, Broadway
2013–2014 The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield Booth Theatre, Broadway
2014 When We Were Young and Unafraid Agnes Manhattan Theatre Club
2017 The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield Duke of York's Theatre, West End
2018 The Lifespan of a Fact Emily Studio 54, Broadway

Awards and nominations

See also

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