Skip to main content

By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

JoBeth Williams

JoBeth Williams has starred in some of the most provocative and cult films throughout her career, including Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist (1982) and Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill (1983), Blake Edward’s comedy Switch (1991), American Dreamer (1984), Wyatt Earp (1994), the Farrelly brothers’ Fever Pitch (2005), The Big Year (2011), and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), to name just a few.  She has appeared in well over 30 feature films.

She has received three Emmy nominations for the television films Adam (1983) and Baby M (1988), as well for Frasier, and two Golden Globe nominations. She starred as the lead in the series John Grisham’s The Client, and opposite John Larroquette in the comedy series Payne. She has had recurring roles in the series Private Practice, Dexter, Marry Me, and Hart of Dixie, to name a few. Williams has lent her talent to many other hit television series, including 24 and Criminal Minds, and she has starred in four Linda Yellen films: Chantilly Lace (1993); Parallel Lives (1994) with Liza Minelli, Dudley Moore, Gena Rowlands, among other great actors; The Last Film Festival (2016), Dennis Hopper’s last movie, also starring Jacqueline Bisset; and Chantilly Bridge (2023).

Behind the camera, Williams received an Oscar nomination for her directing debut on the short film, On Hope (1994), starring Mercedes Ruehl, for which she was also a producer. Following her nomination, Williams directed the Showtime original movie Frankie & Hazel (2000), starring Joan Plowright, as well as the Warner Bros. Television production Night Visions (2001), starring Stephen Baldwin and Jane Adams.

Beyond her acclaim for on-camera performances, Williams also has extensive theatre credits both in New York and regional productions. Her theatre work in New York includes Annie Baker’s Body Awareness, Last Dance by Marsha Norman, Moonchildren, Ladyhouse Blues, A Couple of White Chicks, John Guare’s Gardenia, and The Vagina Monologues. In regional theatre she is credited for her leads in Antony and Cleopatra at the Old Globe, Idiot’s Delight opposite Stacy Keach at the Kennedy Center, The Threepenny Opera in Williamstown, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the McCarter theatre, Uncle Vanya, Tartuffe, School for Wives, and two seasons at Trinity Repertory Company. In Los Angeles, Williams has appeared on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life, for which she received a Backstage West Garland award, and Halley Feiffer’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Memorial Sloan Kettering; at the Taper in John Robin Baitz’s play Other Desert Cities; at Pasadena Playhouse in The Night Is a Child; and at the Odyssey in The Fall to Earth.

She is the president emeritus of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, a charity that provides extensive programs both for working actors and for actors in times of need, as well as national children’s literacy programs.  She currently serves as chairman of the SAG Awards Committee and produces the SAG Awards Show each year. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she is a graduate of Brown University.  She is married to director John Pasquin and is the proud mother of two sons.

Sunday, April 16
7:15 pm - 9:30 pm
Discussion before
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX