Jane Alexander (née Quigley; born October 28, 1939) is an American actress and author. She is the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and nominations for four Academy Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards. From 1993 to 1997, Alexander served as the chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Alexander won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in the Broadway production of The Great White Hope. Other Broadway credits include 6 Rms Riv Vu (1972), The Night of the Iguana (1988), The Sisters Rosensweig (1993) and Honour (1998). She has received a total of eight Tony Award nominations and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1994.Her film breakthrough came with the romantic drama The Great White Hope (1970), which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her subsequent Oscar nominations were for her roles in All the President's Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and Testament (1983). An eight-time Emmy nominee, she received her first nomination for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in Eleanor and Franklin (1976), a role that required her to age from 18 to 60. She has won two Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Playing for Time (1980) and Warm Springs (2005).
Alexander met her first husband, Robert Alexander, in the early 1960s in New York City, where both were pursuing acting careers. They had one son, Jace Alexander, in 1964, and the couple divorced a decade later. Alexander had been acting regularly in various regional theaters when she met producer/director Edwin Sherin in Washington, DC, where he was artistic director at Arena Stage. Alexander starred in the original theatrical production of The Great White Hope under Sherin's direction at Arena Stage prior to the play's Broadway debut. The two became good friends and, once divorced from their respective spouses, became romantically involved, marrying in 1975. Between the two, they have four children, Alexander's son Jace and Sherin's three sons, Tony, Geoffrey, and Jon. Edwin Sherin died at the age of 87, on May 4, 2017.
Alexander was born Jane Quigley in Boston, Massachusetts, daughter of Ruth Elizabeth (née Pearson), a nurse, and Thomas B. Quigley, an orthopedic surgeon. She graduated from Beaver Country Day School, an all-girls school in Chestnut Hill outside of Boston, where she discovered her love of acting.Encouraged by her father to go to college before embarking on an acting career, Alexander attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she concentrated on theater, but also studied mathematics with an eye toward computer programming, in the event that she failed as an actress. Also while at Sarah Lawrence, she shared an apartment with Hope Cooke, who would become Queen Consort of Sikkim. Alexander spent her junior year studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where she participated in the Edinburgh University Dramatic Society. The experience solidified her determination to continue acting.
Based on 1.93 Million movie and tv ratings over time
1939-10-28 (82 years old)
Place of birth
Boston, United States of America
United States of America
Also known as
AAAS Fellow, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play, Theatre World Award, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, Radcliffe Medal