Jenny O'Hara

Biography

O'Hara was born in Sonora, California. Her father, John B. O'Hara, was a salesman, and her mother, Edith (née Hopkins), was a journalist and drama teacher, who founded and continues to run the storied 13th Street Repertory Company in New York City. Jenny, her singer/actress younger sister Jill O'Hara, and her singer/guitarist brother Jack O'Hara, grew up amid their mother's pursuit of a theatrical career. Edith O'Hara directed a children's theater in Warren, where the two daughters occasionally acted. She spent a year at Carnegie Tech (now CMU) in Pittsburgh and a summer playing in stock theater, and then came to New York to study with Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner. In the 1960s she appeared in the dramatic play Dylan opposite Sir Alec Guinness, and in the short-lived musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling with Dorothy Loudon. In 1970, O'Hara succeeded her younger sister, Jill (who had been nominated for a Tony Award) in the musical Promises, Promises. By the mid-1970s, Edith O'Hara was running the 13th Street Theatre in Greenwich Village (a major venue for off-off-Broadway and children's theater), and her brother Jack was in London, playing guitar and bass and singing with the band Eggs Over Easy, pioneering the pub rock scene in England. She graduated to television, both in series and made-for-TV features, including starring roles in: Brink's: The Great Robbery, The Return of the World's Greatest Detective, Blind Ambition and Blinded by the Light with Kristy McNichol. She later worked in movies such as Career Opportunities, A Mother's Prayer, Mystic River, Matchstick Men, Extract and Devil, and had guest roles on television series such as Kojak, Charlies Angels, The Facts of Life, Barney Miller, My Sister Sam, Law & Order, Beverly Hills, 90210, NYPD Blue, ER, House M.D., Reba, Six Feet Under, and Big Love. She had a recurring role as Doug Heffernan's mother, Janet Heffernan, on the 1998-2007 sitcom The King of Queens. She also had roles in the 2009 film, Extract, and the 2010 horror film, Devil.

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Known For
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The Truth About Jane

Beth

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Poor Greg Drowning

Patricia

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30 Nights of Sex

Dorothy

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An Unexpected Life

Harriet Rothman

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The Sacred

Ms. Jenson

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As High as the Sky

Aunt Barbara (voice)

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The Last Song

Deb Pierce

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Terminal

Margaret Desmond

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The Color of Courage

Dorothy Renfrew

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Sassy Pants

Starring In
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30 Nights of Sex

Dorothy

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Duck Butter

Nathalie

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Poor Greg Drowning

Patricia

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Pushing Dead

Dan's Mother (voice)

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You Cast a Spell on Me

Great Grandmother

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Sassy Pants

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The Sacred

Ms. Jenson

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As High as the Sky

Aunt Barbara (voice)

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Devil

Old Woman

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Extract

Joel's Secretary

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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Mrs. Hickey

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Two Weeks

Julia

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Right at Your Door

Lexi's Mother

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Forty Shades of Blue

Celia

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Mystic River

Esther Harris

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Matchstick Men

Mrs. Schaffer

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The Truth About Jane

Beth

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If These Walls Could Talk 2

Marge Carpenter (segment "1961")

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The Color of Courage

Dorothy Renfrew

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An Unexpected Life

Harriet Rothman

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Wishmaster

Wendy Derleth

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Terminal

Margaret Desmond

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Angie

Kathy

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Career Opportunities

Dotty Dodge

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Heart Beat

Betty Bendix

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The Last Married Couple in America

Dancing Lady at First Party

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The Last Song

Deb Pierce

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A Fire in the Sky

Ann Webster

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Good Against Evil

The Woman

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Family: The Complete First and Second Seasons

Miss Chase / ... (2 episodes, 1978-1980)

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