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Joan Cusack was born on October 11, 1962, in New York City, New York. She is an actress and received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in the films Working Girl and In & Out, as well as one Golden Globe nomination. She has appeared in other films. such as Addams Family Values, Broadcast News, Stars and Bars, Married to the Mob, Say Anything..., Arlington Road, Runaway Bride, School of Rock, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3.

Joan was a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1986. Joan currently stars on the Showtime hit dramedy Shameless, as Sheila Jackson for which she has received three Emmy nominations.

Early Life

Joan, the second of five children, was born in New York City, New York, and raised in Evanston, Illinois. Her mother, Anna Paul, is a former mathematics teacher and political activist. Her late father, Dick Cusack, as well as her siblings Ann, Bill, John, and Susie, have also been or are actors. Her family is Irish American and Catholic. Joan is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin - Madison.


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Joan has twice been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her work in Working Girl and In & Out. She appeared with her brother John in the movies Sixteen Candles, Grandview, U.S.A., Class, High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank, Say Anything..., Cradle Will Rock, Martian Child, and most recently, War Inc. In the film Addams Family Values she played serial divorcee and murderer Debbie Jellinsky. She also starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom What About Joan? in 2001-02 and the hit film Arlington Road For many years, Joan was also the commercial spokeswoman for U.S. Cellular. She's very well known as the head-teacher of Horace Green Elementary School as Rosalie Roz Mullins in School of Rock. She also voiced Jessie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, and played Dr. Burton, the therapist of Charlie, in the teen film The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Joan was a cast member of the NBC sketch show, Saturday Night Live, from 1985 to 1986. Her recurring characters on Saturday Night Live included, Salena a socially inept girl who tries to ask out her boyfriend, Biff, who is also socially inept. In addition, she did celebrity impersonations of Brooke Shields, Jane Fonda and Queen Elizabeth II.

She has been nominated four times for the American Comedy Award, in the category of Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and has won three times, for Runaway Brides, In & Out, and Working Girl and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress for In & Out.

In 2003, both Joan and her brother John signed the Not in My Name resolution opposing the invasion of Iraq.

Joan narrates the public TV animated series Peep and the Big Wide World. In September 2010, Joan guest starred on NBC's Law & Order: SVU.



In 2010, Joan joined the Showtime dramedy Shameless as Sheila Jackson, the mother of Karen Jackson. Joan replaced actress Allison Janney, who originally portrayed the role in the first edit of the pilot episode, but was forced to drop out of the part due to her series regular commitment on the ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine. Janney took the role understanding the character would be less prominent on the show, but when the producers decided to increase the character's screen presence, she was forced to pull out of the part. Joan has received critical acclaim for her performance, receiving Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama series nomination in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Personal Life

She is married to attorney Richard Burke, the head of Corporate Services for Classified Ventures. They have two sons, Dylan John and Miles. Joan owns a home in Three Oaks Township, Michigan, and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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