Jane Krakowski (/krÉËkaÊski/; born Jane Krajkowski; October 11, 1968) is an American actress and singer. She is perhaps best known for her role as Jenna Maroney on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, for which she received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She also received acclaim for her performance as Elaine Vassal on Ally McBeal, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Krakowski regularly performs on stage and has won both a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of Nine, as well as an Olivier Award for her performance as Miss Adelaide in the West End revival of Guys and Dolls. She is also known as the voice of Giselle in Open Season and Open Season 2, and for her role as Irene in the film Go. She is currently starring in the Netflix original sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Jacqueline Voorhees, for which she was nominated for her 7th Emmy Award.
Krakowski was born in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey. Her father, Ed, is a chemical engineer and her mother, Barbara Krajkowski (nÃ©e Benoit), is a college theater instructor and producing artistic director for the Women's Theater Company. She has an older brother. Her father's family is entirely Polish, and although she knows only a few words in Polish, her father and grandparents are fluent.
Krakowski grew up immersed in the local theater scene as a result of her parents' activities, saying in one interview: "Instead of hiring baby sitters, they brought me along with them." She took ballet lessons from age four, but later stopped because she had the wrong body shape, instead moving more towards Broadway dancing. She attended the Professional Children's School in New York City and Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
In 1981, she starred in a TV commercial for the video game Solar Fox, a title published for the Atari 2600, ColecoVision and Intellivision by CBS Electronics.
In her first major television role, Krakowski joined the soap opera Search for Tomorrow in 1984, playing the role of Theresa Rebecca (T.R.) Kendall, a role she played until the show ended in 1986. She was nominated for two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards for the role in 1986 and 1987.
In 1996, she made an appearance on the television series Early Edition as Dr. Handleman (season 1, episode 3 "Baby").
In 1997, she played office assistant Elaine Vassal on the television series Ally McBeal for five seasons until 2002; her role earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1999. In 2003, Krakowski guest-starred in the TV drama Everwood as psychologist Dr. Gretchen Trott, a love interest for Treat Williams' Dr Andrew Brown. In 2003, she guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Emma Spevak, a serial killer of elderly women. In 2006, Krakowski was cast in the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, where she played Jenna Maroney, a cast member of the fictional late night sketch show TGS with Tracy Jordan. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013, she received nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in 30 Rock. In 2013, she appeared on The Simpsons episode "The Fabulous Faker Boy".
After her film debut, National Lampoon's Vacation in 1983, Krakowski appeared in Fatal Attraction, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (where she played Betty Rubble), Marci X, Alfie, Go, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Dance with Me, Stepping Out, Pretty Persuasion, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, and Mom at Sixteen. Krakowski was originally cast in the horror film Sleepaway Camp, but dropped out just before filming began because she felt her character's death scene with a curling iron was too violent. She appeared in When Zachary Beaver Came to Town as a mother who wants to become a singer. In 2004, she starred in Alan Menken's TV movie version of A Christmas Carol, featured as The Ghost of Christmas Past. In 2006, she provided the voice of the deer Giselle in the Sony animated film, Open Season.
A trained singer, Krakowski has made numerous appearances on stage. At age 18, she originated the role of Dinah the Dining Car in the 1987 Broadway production of Starlight Express. She appeared in the 1989 Broadway musical Grand Hotel as the typist and would-be-film-star Flaemmchen, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Her solo number, "I Want to Go to Hollywood", is included on the original cast recording. At the 2000 American Comedy Awards, Krakowski won rave reviews when she performed a sexually charged musical tribute and love letter to Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates.
In 1995, she played the ditzy flight attendant April in The Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Company. In 1996, she starred alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress.
In January 2002, Windham Hill Records released an album that Jim Brickman had recorded, titled Love Songs & Lullabies; this album featured Krakowski as a vocalist for the song "You", which became a hit on adult contemporary radio stations. Brickman and Krakowski also recorded an alternate Christmas version of the song. She also appeared on the album Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays, singing the song "Santa Baby". In 2003, she starred in the Broadway revival of Nine playing Carla, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Krakowski is known for her famous anti-gravity stunt during the number "A Call from the Vatican". Krakowski and the director struggled finding a company that would let her do air stunts without a harness; Krakowski came up with the idea of using the method previously portrayed in Broadway Bares. Krakowski recalled that the material took a long time to arrive, and the second time she ever did it was on the first performance.
In 2005, she starred as Miss Adelaide in Michael Grandage's West End revival of Guys and Dolls at London's Piccadilly Theatre. She starred alongside Jenna Russell, Ewan MacGregor and Douglas Hodge. Krakowski received the 2006 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. and performed a cabaret show called Better When It's Banned, which featured various songs from the 1920s and '30s that were all deemed racy at the times of their original popularity.
Krakowski performed in a January 2007 workshop production and backers's audition for a Broadway musical adaption of the 1980 film, Xanadu, with music from the film's soundtrack and a book by Douglas Carter Beane. Xanadu premiered on Broadway summer 2007, although Krakowski's role is played by Kerry Butler.
In 2008, Krakowski starred as Lola in New York City Center's production of Damn Yankees opposite Sean Hayes and Cheyenne Jackson.
On July 30 and 31, 2009, Krakowski played the title character in a reading of Mrs. Sharp, with music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver and book by Kirsten A. Guenther, at Playwrights Horizons.
Krakowski played Wanda in the music video for the Dixie Chicks' song "Goodbye Earl" in 2000, alongside Dennis Franz and Lauren Holly. She guest starred in an episode of Due South, and in a season 5 episode of Modern Family.
In 2007, it was reported that Krakowski was in a relationship with English documentarian Marc Singer, whom she met at a screening for Children of Men in 2006. Before that, she dated Julian Ovenden.
She became engaged to Robert Godley in 2009; they separated in 2013. On April 13, 2011, their son, Bennett Robert Godley, was born in New York City.
Krakowski released her debut solo album on July 15, 2010Â â" an album of cover versions called Laziest Gal in TownÂ â" on DRG Records.
Selected recordings include:
- 1992: Grand Hotel, Studio Cast Recording (Mostly Original Broadway Cast)
- 1995: Company, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
- 1997: Once Upon a Mattress, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
- 1997: Sondheim at the Movies (singing the Academy Award-winning song "Sooner or Later" from Dick Tracy)
- 1998: The Burt Bacharach Album
- 2002: A Broadway Valentine
- 2003: Nine, Broadway Revival Cast Recording
- 2004: A Christmas Carol, Television Cast Recording
- 2010: The Laziest Gal in Town, solo album
Awards and nominations
- Jane Krakowski at the Internet Movie Database
- Jane Krakowski at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jane Krakowski at AllMovie