Academy Award nominee Allison Janney, who is 58 years of age, is not married and doesn’t have children, and she has said she likely will never have a husband. She was raised by an actress mother and jazz musician father in Ohio.
Janney’s family was marked by some tragedy. Janney is up for an Oscar for her campy portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden, in the movie, I, Tonya. That has a lot of people wondering about Janney’s family, including her parents and siblings and recent boyfriend.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Janney’s Brother Committed Suicide, Which Shook Her World
Allison Janney’s family has experienced tragedy. She has spoken openly about it. She told Esquire Magazine that her brother took his own life, saying, “It’s shaken my world the way my world was never shaken before. He was an addict. Anyone who has to deal with an addict learns that it’s devastating to want something more for someone than they want for themselves.”
She drew on the experience in the show Mom, in which she played a recently sober single mother. “I thought it was time to show a family struggling with this, because it seems like these days everybody is struggling with recovering from something,” she told NPR. “I wanted to be part of that. I wanted to show what that’s like.”
She told NPR of her brother’s struggles, “The loss of my brother was a huge moment, a life-changer for me. I spent a long time trying to help him get sober. I sent him to countless rehabs — I tried to be there to help him.”
Janney was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but she and her three siblings were raised in Dayton, Ohio. “She spent her childhood with three siblings in Dayton, Ohio, where she attended The Miami Valley School. Later, she went to the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, after which she enrolled at Kenyon College, where one of her teachers was renowned actor Paul Newman,” according to Celebrity Net Worth (which puts her net worth at around $4 million).
2. Her Mother, an Actress, Was a Stickler for Manners
According to Esquire Magazine, Janney’s mother stressed manners. “…manners are very important. She’d say, ‘The ship goes out to sea.’ Meaning: The spoon moves out to the soup. Then it picks up its cargo and comes back to port,” Janney recalled.
Allison Janney was born November 19, 1959, according to IMDB. Her mother was Macy Brooks (Putnam), a former actress, IMDB reports. In case you’re wondering, Allison Janney stands 6 feet tall.
Janney once told NPR that her “mother and father got married in their early 20s, and she doesn’t believe her mother had sex with anyone else.”
3. Her Father Played Piano But Wasn’t Very Talkative
Janney often plays talkative characters, but her father was anything but. “…my father learned to play the piano so he wouldn’t have to talk to anybody. I wish I could play the way he did so I could go to parties and be present but not have to be called upon for small talk,” she told Esquire.
IMDB reports that Janney’s father is Jervis Spencer Janney, Jr., “a real estate developer and jazz musician.” Janney’s parents were married in 1957 in Long Island.
According to ethniccelebs.com, “Allison’s patrilineal line can be traced back to Thomas Worthington Janney, who was born, c. 1633, in Wilmslow, Cheshire, England.”
4. Janney Says She Will Probably Never Get Married & Says People Often Think She Is a Lesbian
Janney has said that people think she’s gay because she’s tall and not married. However, she has said she is not a lesbian.
“If people think I’m gay, I’m fine with it. I’ll probably never get married, and I don’t think I really want to be. I’ve never had a lesbian experience, but I’m beginning to wish I were gay. I think I’d be a lot happier!” she told The Advocate.
She also told The Advocate that she wouldn’t mind marrying a gay man. “I have gay friends that I would marry in a heartbeat and be perfectly happy. That might be my next step,” she said of whether a gay man could become her husband. Janney played a lesbian in the movie, The Hours, kissing Meryl Streep.
5. Allison Janney Was Dating a Production Coordinator Named Philip Joncas
In 2015, Janney got tongues wagging when she showed up with a much younger mystery man at the 2015 Emmy Awards. According to EOnline, he was identified as a “35-year-old production coordinator by the name of Philip Joncas who actually worked with Janney a few years ago.”
The two were also photographed at a movie premiere that same year. Janney, then 55, referred to the much younger Joncas as her boyfriend, telling US Weekly, “I’ve been doing the Pilates, and I have three dogs that I hike with and a boyfriend who loves to work out so that helps.”
They’ve been captured in embraces on the red carpet in the past.