Jan Maxwell

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Jan Maxwell
Jan Maxwell (cropped).jpg
Maxwell in 2010
Born
Janice Elaine Maxwell [1]

(1956-11-20)November 20, 1956
Fargo, North Dakota, United States
DiedFebruary 11, 2018(2018-02-11) (aged 61)
Manhattan, New York, United States
Alma mater Moorhead State University
OccupationActress
Years active1989–2016
Spouse(s)Robert Emmet Lunney
Awards Drama Desk Award (2005, 2010)

Janice Elaine Maxwell (November 20, 1956 – February 11, 2018) was an American stage and television actress. She was a five-time Tony Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk Award winner. In a career spanning over thirty years, Maxwell was one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed stage actresses of her time.

Tony Award awards for live Broadway theatre

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

Drama Desk Award theater awards

The Drama Desk Awards are presented annually and were first awarded in 1955 to recognize excellence in New York theatre productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. Broadway productions were excluded until the 1968–69 award season. The awards are considered a significant American theater distinction.

Contents

Maxwell made her Broadway debut in 1989, as an understudy in the musical City of Angels . She received her first Tony nomination in 2005 for the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang . Her other nominations were for Coram Boy in 2007, Lend Me a Tenor and The Royal Family both in 2010, and Follies in 2012.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

<i>City of Angels</i> (musical) musical

City of Angels is a musical comedy with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and book by Larry Gelbart. The musical weaves together two plots, the "real" world of a writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, and the "reel" world of the fictional film. The musical is an homage to the film noir genre of motion pictures that rose to prominence in the 1940s.

<i>Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</i> (musical) musical

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a stage musical based on the 1968 film produced by Albert R. Broccoli. The music and lyrics were written by Richard and Robert Sherman with book by Jeremy Sams.

Her nominations in two separate Tony Award categories in 2010, made her only the fourth actress to achieve two nominations in a single year. Her 2012 nomination for Follies made her only the second actress to receive a Tony nomination in all four acting categories. Her other Broadway credits include Dancing at Lughnasa (1992), A Doll's House (1997), The Sound of Music (1998) and The Dinner Party (2001).

<i>Dancing at Lughnasa</i> 1990 play by dramatist Brian Friel

Dancing at Lughnasa is a 1990 play by dramatist Brian Friel set in Ireland's County Donegal in August 1936 in the fictional town of Ballybeg. It is a memory play told from the point of view of the adult Michael Evans, the narrator. He recounts the summer in his aunts' cottage when he was seven years old.

<i>A Dolls House</i> play by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House is a three-act play written by Norway's Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is set in a Norwegian town circa 1879.

<i>The Sound of Music</i> musical

The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children. Many songs from the musical have become standards, such as "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music".

Maxwell appeared in films and television shows such as I Am Michael with James Franco, Neil LaBute's Billy and Billie (2014–15), The Divide (2014), The Good Wife (2014), and Gossip Girl (2009–2011). From 1994-2003, she appeared in four episodes of the NBC drama Law & Order , each time as a different character. She also appeared in season 3 of Madam Secretary in 2016.

<i>I Am Michael</i> 2015 film by Justin Kelly

I Am Michael is a 2015 American biographical drama film written and directed by Justin Kelly. Based on Benoit Denizet-Lewis' New York Times Magazine article "My Ex-Gay Friend", the film stars James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts, and Charlie Carver. Franco plays Michael Glatze, a gay activist who renounces homosexuality and becomes a Christian pastor. Filming ran in New York City from August 11 to August 30, 2014.

James Franco American actor, writer, producer, director, and teacher

James Edward Franco is an American actor, filmmaker, and college instructor. For his role in 127 Hours (2010), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Franco is known for his roles in live-action films, such as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007); Milk (2008); Pineapple Express (2008); Eat, Pray, Love (2010); Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011); Spring Breakers (2012); Oz the Great and Powerful (2013); This Is the End (2013); and TheDisasterArtist (2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He is known for his collaborations with fellow actor Seth Rogen, having appeared in eight films and one television series with him.

Neil N. LaBute is an American playwright, film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is best-known for a play that he wrote and later adapted for film, In the Company of Men (1997), which won awards from the Sundance Film Festival, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the New York Film Critics Circle. He wrote and directed the films Your Friends & Neighbors (1998), Possession (2002), The Shape of Things (2003), The Wicker Man (2006), Some Velvet Morning (2013), and Dirty Weekend (2015). He directed the films Nurse Betty (2000), Lakeview Terrace (2008), and the American adaptation of Death at a Funeral (2010). LaBute created the TV series Billy & Billie, writing and directing all of the episodes and is also creator of the TV series Van Helsing. He also directed several episodes for shows such as Hell on Wheels and Billions.

Early life

Maxwell was born in Fargo, North Dakota, as the fifth of six children [1] to former First District Judge, Ralph B. Maxwell, who served in North Dakota from 1967 to 1978, [2] and his wife, Elizabeth "Liz" Maxwell (née Fargusson; 1926–2015), [3] later a lawyer for the EPA. [1] She attended West Fargo High School, West Fargo, North Dakota, University of Utah, and Moorhead State University. [4]

Ralph "Buzzy" Bernard Borden Maxwell was a jurist and athlete.

United States Environmental Protection Agency Agency of the U.S. Federal Government

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, who had been acting administrator since July 2018. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.

West Fargo High School public high school in North Dakota, United States of America

West Fargo High School is a public high school located in West Fargo, North Dakota. It serves about 1,478 students and is a part of the West Fargo Public Schools system. The school colors are green and white and the athletic teams are known as the Packers. It is the second largest high school in North Dakota as of the 2018-19 school year.

She played the lead role as Calamity Jane in her 1973 High School play Deadwood Dick.

Calamity Jane American scout and frontierswoman

Martha Jane Canary or Cannary, better known as Calamity Jane, was an American frontierswoman and professional scout known for being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok and fighting against Native Americans. Late in her life, she appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. She is said to have exhibited compassion to others, especially to the sick and needy. This facet of her character contrasted with her daredevil ways and helped to make her a noted frontier figure. She was also known for her habit of wearing men's attire. Much of what she claimed to have witnessed and participated in cannot be proven. It is known that she had no formal education and was an alcoholic.

Deadwood Dick

Deadwood Dick is a fictional character who appears in a series of stories, or dime novels, published between 1877 and 1897 by Edward Lytton Wheeler (1854/5–1885). The name became so widely known in its time that it was used to advantage by several men who actually resided in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Career

Maxwell made her Broadway debut as an understudy in the Cy ColemanDavid Zippel musical City of Angels in 1989. She eventually took over the dual roles of Carla Haywood and Alaura Kingsley. [5] [6]

She appeared in Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa in 1992, which won the Tony Award for Best Play. She replaced original cast member Brid Brennan in the role of Agnes. In 1997, she appeared in A Doll's House opposite Janet McTeer. In 1998, she played Elsa Schraeder in the first Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music . [7] [8] [9] She then starred opposite John Ritter and Henry Winkler in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party in 2000 and in Sixteen Wounded in 2004 with Judd Hirsch and Martha Plimpton. [10] On television during this time, between 1994 and 2003, she made four guest appearances in the long-running NBC crime drama Law & Order , each time as a different character.

In 2005, she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, [11] for the role of Baroness Bomburst in the stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang . [12] She also won the Drama Desk Award for this role. [13] In 2006, she starred in Roundabout Theatre Company's Off-Broadway revival of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane for which she received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Actress. [14] Also in 2006, she reunited with her Sound of Music co-star Richard Chamberlain in Hawaii Opera Theatre's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I in Honolulu, Hawaii. [15] In 2007, she starred as Mrs. Lynch in the Broadway production of Helen Edmundson's Coram Boy at the Imperial Theatre, [16] for which she received her second Tony Award nomination, for Best Featured Actress in a Play, as well as another Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. [17]

Her Off-Broadway and regional credits include performances in The Seagull at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1985, [18] in House & Garden at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2002, [19] in A Bad Friend at the Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center in 2003 [20] and at Carnegie Hall in the Stephen Sondheim concert, Opening Doors, in 2004. [21]

In 2008 she appeared Off-Broadway with the Potomac Theatre Project/NYC in Howard Barker's Scenes from an Execution and was nominated for a Drama Desk and NYITT award. [22] In 2008, Maxwell appeared on Broadway in the Manhattan Theater Club production of To Be or Not to Be in the role of Maria Tura at the Friedman Theatre. [23]

She appeared as Julie Cavendish in the Broadway revival of The Royal Family at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in late 2009. [24] [25] For this role she won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. [26] Maxwell starred as Maria in the Broadway revival of Lend Me a Tenor , which began performances at the Music Box Theatre on March 11, 2010. [27]

She won the Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for this role. [28] Maxwell received two 2010 Tony Award nominations: one for her leading role in The Royal Family in 2009 [29] and another for her featured role in Lend Me a Tenor in 2010. [30] She is only the fourth actress to receive double nominations in a single year. [31] [32]

Maxwell played the role of Phyllis Rogers Stone in the Kennedy Center production of the Stephen SondheimJames Goldman musical Follies , running from May 7 to June 19, 2011 at the Eisenhower Theater in Washington, DC. [33] Her co-stars were Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige, Ron Raines and Danny Burstein. She reprised her role in the Broadway limited engagement at the Marquis Theatre, which ran from August 7, 2011 (previews) through January 22, 2012. On October 29, 2012, after the Saturday matinee, Maxwell was hit by a minivan, suffering injuries to her arm and leg, fracturing her fibula. [24] She missed the following two shows, but was back a few days later. [34] Maxwell received Helen Hayes, Fred Astaire, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for this role. [33] The Tony nomination (her fifth) made her only the second actress to receive nominations in all four acting categories; the first was Angela Lansbury. [33] Maxwell reprised her role in this production's transfer to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, California from May 3 to June 9, 2012. [35]

She appeared in the PTP/NYC (The Potomac Theatre Project) Off-Broadway production of the Howard Barker play Victory: Choices in Reaction, in a limited engagement in July 2011. [36] In 2013, Maxwell played the role of Skinner in Howard Barker's The Castle, A Triumph with PTP/NYC at the Atlantic Theatre, Stage 2. [37] She appeared in the Off-Broadway production of the Anthony Giardina play, The City of Conversation at the Lincoln Center Mitzi Newhouse Theater, from May 5, 2014 to July 26, 2014. She was nominated for the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play, the 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Actress in a Play, the 2015 Drama Desk Award, Best Actress in a Play and 2015 Drama League Award, Distinguished Performance Award. [38] [39] In an interview with Time Out New York in July 2016, Maxwell announced that she was retiring from theatre after the run of her second production of Scenes from an Execution then in rehearsal. [40]

She was also a voice actress and read several audio books, including Mary Higgins Clark's Two Little Girls in Blue [41] and No Place Like Home . [42]

Maxwell starred as a "scheming Senator" in the CBS TV series BrainDead alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Tveit and Tony Shalhoub, which aired from June to September 2016. [43] [44]

Personal life and death

Maxwell was married to actor and playwright Robert Emmet Lunney, [45] and they had a son William "Will" Maxwell-Lunney. [46]

Maxwell died on February 11, 2018 from leptomeningeal carcinomatosis complicated from breast cancer at her Manhattan apartment at the age of 61. [33] [24] [47]

Awards and nominations

Stage

YearAward [48] CategoryNominated workResult
2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play My Old LadyNominated
2004 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Sixteen WoundedNominated
2005 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Won
2006 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Entertaining Mr. SloaneNominated
2007 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Coram BoyNominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
2009 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Scenes From an ExecutionNominated
2010 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play The Royal Family Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Won
Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Lend Me a Tenor Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Follies Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2014 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play The CastleNominated
2015 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play The City of ConversationNominated

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References

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