Joanna Gleason (born June 2, 1950) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is a Tony Award-winning musical theatre actress and has also had a number of notable film and TV roles.

Early life

Joanne Hall was born in Toronto, Ontario, the eldest of three siblings born to television producer and game show personality Monty Hall, and his wife, Marilyn (née Plottel).[2]

At the time of her birth, her father was working at the Canadian Wheat Board and had changed his name from Halparin to Hall. He later started his TV career and went on to fame as host of Let's Make a Deal. In May 1956, the Hall family moved to New York and, in the early 1960s, they again moved to Los Angeles, California. Gleason graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1968.[1]

While attending BHHS she was in the school's productions of The Music Man, The Mikado, The Grass Harp, and The Madwoman of Chaillot. In high school Gleason received acting instruction from John Ingle, the soap opera star, who taught at BHHS from 1955-85. She continued her education at UCLA,[3] then Occidental College, from which she graduated. Gleason has been a teacher herself, holding classes and workshops all over the country.[citation needed]


Although Gleason started her acting career in television, she is best known for her stage and musical theatre work. She made her Broadway debut in 1977 in I Love My Wife, for which she was honored with a Theatre World Award. Additional Broadway credits include Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Nick & Nora, Into the Woods (for which she won several awards including a Tony Award in the lead role of the Baker's Wife, which she also played in the PBS Great Performances production of the musical), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The Cartells.

Her film and television career began in 1977 with her first appearance on Let's Make A Deal, then in Hello, Larry. She had film roles in Hannah and Her Sisters and Heartburn (both 1986). Gleason would work again with Woody Allen in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), this time playing the wife of Allen's character.

Gleason appeared in several films in the 1990s, including F/X2, Mr. Holland's Opus, Boogie Nights, and The Boys. More recently she has appeared in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Wedding Planner, and The Newsroom. On television, she played the role of Nadine Berkus on the show Love & War (1992–95), several episodes of which she also directed.

She played Joan Silver on Temporarily Yours (1997). Gleason starred in the Lifetime series Oh Baby as Charlotte from 1998–2000, also directing episodes of this show. Shortly following the end of this series, she starred opposite Bette Midler and Lindsay Lohan on Bette as agent Connie Randolph. Her numerous guest starring TV credits include episodes of The West Wing, The Practice, King of the Hill, Friends, Tracey Takes On..., Murphy Brown, ER and Outer Limits.

In 2007, Gleason was honored by the New England Theatre Conference with a Special Award for Achievement in Theatre.[citation needed]

Personal life

Gleason has been married to actor Chris Sarandon since 1994. The two met while performing in Broadway's 1991 short-lived musical Nick & Nora, returned to the stage together in 1998's Thorn and Bloom and have also collaborated on several films, such as Road Ends, Edie & Pen, Let the Devil Wear Black and American Perfekt.

Gleason was twice married previously. She was married to acting coach Paul G. Gleason (not the late actor Paul X. Gleason, also known as Paul Gleason), whose surname she kept professionally. Later, she married Michael Bennahum. Gleason and Chris Sarandon have four children between them: Aaron David Gleason, from her first marriage, and Stephanie, Alexis and Michael Sarandon, from Sarandon's second marriage.

Gleason's siblings are television writer/director, Sharon Hall Kessler and Emmy-award winning television writer/director, Richard Hall.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Monty Hall; Bill Libby (1973). Emcee Monty Hall. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 0-448-01551-X. 
  2. ^ "Joanna Gleason profile". Retrieved March 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ "NOTABLE ALUMNI ACTORS". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 

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