Thursday, April 12, 2018

Actress Annette O'Toole

With her auburn hair and her light Texas accent, Annette O'Toole has made an indelible impression on the screen, big and small alike.

She first gained notoriety as a jaded beauty pageant contestant in Smile, a satirical film about the pageant world.  Two years later she played Janet Hays, the tutor and girlfriend of an aspiring basketball player, in One On One.  By the time she appeared in a live TV production of Vanities, a play about a trio of women maturing from high school to adulthood, she was quite well-established.

Ms. O'Toole soon found a second home in a fictional place - Smallville, the appropriately named town where Clark Kent grew up before becoming Superman.  She played his old small-town girlfriend Lana Lang in Superman III, and eighteen years later, returned to to that little town to play Martha Clark Kent, Superman's adoptive mother in the "Smallville" TV series.

Ms,. O'Toole is probably best known for playing Beverly Marsh as an adult in the miniseries version of Stephen King's It and as Susan Emerson in "Halt and Catch Fire," a basic-cable period drama series about the beginning of the modern tech industry in the early 1980s.  Her most rewarding role, though. might have been that of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in  ABC miniseries "The Kennedys of Massachusetts," which got her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. 

Fun fact: Annette O'Toole is married to comedian Michael McKean, one of the geniuses behind This Is Spinal Tap.  She started singing and writing songs in the early years of her marriage and co-wrote three songs for the folk-music documentary-parody A Mighty Wind, in which McKean, Christopher Guest (who directed) and Harry Shearer reunited as the Folksmen. :-)

And here are the happy couple! 

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