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Jayne Houdyshell stars as Mrs. Shinn in the Hugh Jackman-led revival of The Music Man, which will start performances on Broadway on April 7, 2021.
Houdyshell was born on September 25, 1953 in Topeka, Kansas, and is a Tony Award-winning Broadway favorite.
She attended Topeka High School, graduating in 1971, and would go on to study at Oakland University's Academy of Dramatic Art in Rochester, Michigan, graduating with honors in 1974. For the rest of the 1970s, Houdyshell appeared in regional productions across the country until finally moving to New York City in 1980.
She continued her career as a traveling actor but would later establish herself on both the Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre scenes. She appeared in True Love at the Zipper Theatre in 2001, and her breakthrough role came with the 2004 Public Theater production of Lisa Kron's Well. Her performance as Ann earned her an Obie Award, as well as Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. The production would also transfer to Broadway in March 2006, marking Houdyshell's Broadway debut, and she went on to earn her first Tony Award nomination and received a Theatre World Award for her performance.
From then on, she became a regular on the Broadway stage. She took on the role of Madame Morrible in the smash hit musical Wicked from November 2006 to August 2007 (reprising the role on Broadway in June 2008 and on the national tour in May 2010) and starred as Mae Peterson in the 2009 Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie. After assuming the role of Miss Prism in the 2011 revival of The Importance of Being Earnest (from March to June), she was cast as Hattie Walker in the 2011 revival of Follies, running from August 2011 through to January 2012 and resulting in her second Tony Award nomination. In fall 2012, she starred as Barbara in the Broadway premiere of Dead Accounts, and in 2013, she received a special Drama Desk Award for "her artistry as an exceptionally versatile and distinctive Broadway and Off-Broadway performer." Later that same year, she returned to Broadway to star as the Nurse in an Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad-led revival of Romeo and Juliet, which was also broadcast in cinemas in 2014.
She went on to star as Gloria Drexel opposite Larry David in his self-penned comedy Fish in the Dark from February to August 2015 and, following a hugely successful run with Roundabout Theatre Company at off-Broadway's Laura Pels Theatre in the fall of 2015, The Humans transferred to Broadway in January 2016. For her performance as Deirdre Blake, Houdyshell won her first Tony Award and also picked up a Drama Desk Award. In 2017, she played Anne Marie in Lucas Hnath's Broadway premiere of A Doll's House, Part 2, running from March to September 2017 and earning her another Tony Award nomination.
Houdyshell's numerous Off-Broadway credits include the 2004 Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, the 2006 Playwrights Horizons production of The Pain and the Itch, a Lucille Lortel-nominated performance in the 2007 Manhattan Theatre Club production of The Receptionist, an Outer Critics Circle-nominated performance in Lincoln Center Theater's 2008 production of The New Century, a Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk-nominated performance in the title role of MCC Theater's Coraline in 2009, The Language Archive for Roundabout Theatre Company in 2010, Harrison, TX: Three Plays by Horton Foote for Primary Stages in 2012, and the 2018 MCC Theater production of Relevance.
On screen, Houdyshell's most notable credits include recurring roles as Judge Ruth Linden on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and as Rose Offer in Odyssey, as well as guest roles in series such as Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Blue Bloods, Elementary, The Accidental Wolf, The Good Fight, and Quantico. Her film credits include Changing Lanes, Maid in Manhattan, Garden State, Trust the Man, Everybody's Fine, The Bounty Hunter, and Downsizing.