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Annie Potts

Annie Potts
File:Annie Potts Emmys.jpg
Potts at the Governor's Ball following the 41st Annual Emmy Awards in 1989.
Born Anne Hampton Potts
(1952-10-28) October 28, 1952 (age 67)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Steven Hartley
(1973–78; divorced)
Greg Antonacci
(1978–80; divorced)
B. Scott Senechal
(1981–89; divorced)
James Hayman

Anne Hampton "Annie" Potts (born October 28, 1952) is an American film, television and stage actress. She is known for her roles in popular 1980s films such as Ghostbusters (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), and Ghostbusters II (1989). Potts also voiced Bo Peep in the animated films Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

Potts is also known for playing Mary Jo Jackson Shively on CBS sitcom Designing Women (1986–93), Dana Palladino on Love & War (1993–95), for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, and Mary Elizabeth Sims in the Lifetime drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002), for which she was twice nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In 2012, she starred as Gigi Stopper on the ABC comedy-drama series GCB.

Early life and education

Potts was born in Nashville, Tennessee,[1] as the third daughter of Powell Grisette Potts and Dorothy Harris (née Billingslea) Potts. Her older sisters are: Mary Eleanor (Potts) Hovious, and Elizabeth Grissette ("Dollie") Potts. They grew up in Franklin, Kentucky, where she graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School.

She received a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree (in theater arts) from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. At the age of 21, Potts was the victim of a car accident which left nearly every bone below her waist broken.[2]


Potts made her debut on the big screen in 1978 in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer comedy film Corvette Summer, with Mark Hamill. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1979 for her role in the film.[3] In 1982 she won Genie Awards for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress for role in the film Heartaches, about a young woman, married to a stock car racer and carrying his friend's child. In 1980, she played Edith Bedelmeyer, a woman who shared an attic apartment with three other women (played by Georgia Engel, Lorna Patterson and Francine Tacker) on the short-lived comedy series, Goodtime Girls.

Potts played receptionist Janine Melnitz in the Ghostbusters film series and then achieved fame as the pragmatic interior designer Mary Jo Shively on the CBS television sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993), and has had a wide variety of prominent roles in both television and film. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1994 for role as Dana Palladino on Love & War (1993-1995). Other notable roles include Mary Elizabeth (O'Brien) Sims on the Lifetime Television drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the voice of Little Bo Peep in the first two Toy Story films, a supporting role in John Hughes's Pretty in Pink as well as guest-starring roles on such CBS's television series as Magnum, P.I., Joan of Arcadia, Close to Home, Two and a Half Men and ABC' Men in Trees, Ugly Betty and Boston Legal. She played a recurring role as Sophie Devere in the NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2005 to 2009.

Potts has done work on audio books, including as the narrator and heroine of Larry McMurtry's Telegraph Days. She starred in the film version of McMurtry's Texasville, a sequel to The Last Picture Show. She made her Broadway debut upon joining the cast of the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, succeeding Hope Davis in the role.[4]

In 2012, Potts starred as Elizabeth "Gigi" Stopper in ABC's Comedy-drama series GCB, with Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor and Marisol Nichols.[5] She says she based her portrayal of the character on Dixie Carter, adding, "Were she still alive, the role would have been hers and should have been."[6] Potts also played a leading role in the 2012 Hallmark Channel original musical movie The Music Teacher, about a high school music teacher who is on the brink of losing her beloved school music program because of district budget cuts. In an effort to spare the program, Daley's former students band together to stage a musical to raise money to keep the program alive.[7]

In March 2013, Potts signed on for the lead role of the ABC comedy-drama pilot Murder in Manhattan about mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths.[8] ABC later looked for a cable network to distribute the series, opting not to air it on network television.[9] In late 2013, it was announced that Potts would join Diane Paulus' critically acclaimed revival of Pippin beginning January 21, 2014. She replaced Tony award nominee Tovah Feldshuh in the role of Pippin's grandmother Berthe. This marked her first appearance in a Broadway musical.[10]

Personal life

Potts has been married four times, currently to television director James Hayman. She is the mother of three sons, Clay (with third husband Scott Senechal, born 1981), and two with Hayman, James (called Doc, born 1992), and Harry (born 1996). She is a Board Member of Stephens College, and has been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the college for many years. Potts is currently a visiting professor of Drama at the college.



Year Film Role Notes
1977 Black Market Baby Linda Cleary Television film
1978 Corvette Summer Vanessa Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
King of the Gypsies Persa
1979 Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers Flatbed Annie Television film
1981 Heartaches Bonnie Howard Genie Awards for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1982 Something So Right Sunday
Bayou Romance Lily
1983 Cowboy D.G. Television film
1984 Ghostbusters Janine Melnitz
Why Me? Daria Television film
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear Cindy Mills Television film
Crimes of Passion Amy Grady
1986 Pretty in Pink Iona
Jumpin' Jack Flash Liz Carlson
1987 The Man Who Fell to Earth Louise
1988 Pass the Ammo Darla
1988 She's Having a Baby Herself Cameo
1989 Who's Harry Crumb? Helen Downing
Ghostbusters II Janine Melnitz
1990 Texasville Karla Jackson
1992 Breaking the Rules Mary Klinglitch
1995 Her Deadly Rival Kris Lansford Television film
Toy Story Bo Peep Voice
1999 Toy Story 2 Bo Peep Voice
2003 Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story Julie Posey Television film
2004 Elvis Has Left the Building Shirl
2007 The Sunday Man Mrs. Culp Short film
2008 Queen Sized Joan Baker Television film
2011 Five Charlotte's Mom Television film
2012 The Music Teacher Alyson Daley Television film
2014 Chu and Blossom Unknown
2015 As Good As You Dr. Laura Berg


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Busting Loose Helene 3 episodes
1978 Family Caddy Wilde 1 episode
1979 Visions Ellen 1 episode
1980 Goodtime Girls Edith Bedelmeyer 13 episodes
1983 Remington Steele Annie Carpenter 1 episode
1985 The Twilight Zone Cathy Lowery 1 episode (Wordplay)
1983–86 Magnum, P.I. Tracy Spencer 2 episodes
1987 CBS Schoolbreak Special Kathy Sanders 1 episode
Amazing Stories Mrs. Bev Binford (voice) 1 episode (The Family Dog)
1986–93 Designing Women Mary Jo Shively 163 episodes
Nominated — Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (1989)
1993–95 Love & War Dana Palladino 44 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1994)
1996–97 Dangerous Minds LouAnne Johnson 17 episodes
Nominated — Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (1997)
1997 Over the Top Hadley Martin 12 episodes
1998 Hercules Syrinx the Muse (voice) 1 episode
1999 Johnny Bravo Wrangler (voice) 1 episode
1998–02 Any Day Now Mary Elizabeth 'M.E.' Sims 88 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series(1999–2000)
Nominated — Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (1999)
2003 Stuck in the Middle with You TV pilot
2004 Huff Doris Johnson 4 episodes
2004–05 Joan of Arcadia Lieutenant Lucy Preston 11 episodes
2005 Close to Home Dr. Marla Dodds 1 episode
2006 Julie Reno, Bounty Hunter Angel TV pilot
2007 Men in Trees Mary Alice O'Donnell 4 episodes
2008 Ugly Betty Linda 1 episode
Boston Legal Joy Espenson 1 episode
2005–09 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sophie Devere 4 episodes
2009 Two and a Half Men Lenore 1 episode
2010 Marry Me Vivienne Carter TV mini-series
Fish Hooks Nurse Fishington (voice) Animated TV series
2012 GCB Gigi Stopper 10 episodes
Animal Practice Virginia Coleman 2 episodes
2013 Murder in Manhattan Blythe Sutton TV pilot
The Fosters Sharon Foster 3 episodes
Grey's Anatomy Joyce 1 episode


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Janine Melnitz (voice) Video Game
2009–10 God of Carnage Annette Broadway Play
2010 Toy Story 3: The Video Game Bo Peep (voice) Video Game
2014 Pippin (musical) Berthe Broadway Play


  1. ^ Allport, Brandy Hilboldt (2006-10-28). "A.M.Stir". The Florida Times-Union. 
  2. ^ "Tips From Greg Vanvakaris, DC, CSCS". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Awards for Annie Potts". IMDb. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Potts's Broadway debut
  5. ^ "Good Christian Belles". ABC. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Elavksy, Cindy (2012-03-05). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  7. ^ Annie Potts to Star in Hallmark Movie 'The Music Teacher' (Exclusive), The Hollywood Reporter, 2/21/2012 by Lesley Goldberg
  8. ^ "Annie Potts To Star In ABC Pilot 'Murder In Manhattan'". Deadline. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Lesley Goldberg (9 May 2013). "ABC Studios to Shop 'Murder in Manhattan' to Other Networks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Annie Potts Will Join Tony Award-Winning Broadway Revival of Pippin in 2014". Playbill. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 

External links

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