Could Cherry Jones outdo Allison Janney at this year’s Emmys? In 2014 Janney won both Best Comedy Supporting Actress (“Mom“) and Best Drama Guest Actress (“Masters of Sex”). This year Jones is a strong contender in those categories for her performances in “Transparent” and “Mercy Street.” And she could claim a third prize: Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for Hulu’s “11.22.63.” Not bad for a year’s work.
Jones joined the cast of “Transparent” in season two as Leslie, a lesbian poet and professor who piques the interest of Ali Pfefferman (Gaby Hoffmann); Jones’s performance was described as “magnetic” by James Poniewozik (New York Times), so it was no surprise that she was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award as a guest actor in January for that role. However, since she was in more than half of the season’s episodes (six out of 10), she’ll compete at the Emmys in Best Comedy Supporting Actress.
She then appeared in two episodes of “Mercy Street” as Dorothea Dix, the real-life activist who served as Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War.
And in “11.22.63,” a time-travel thriller about the attempt to thwart John F. Kennedy‘s assassination, she plays another true historical role: Marguerite Oswald, the mother of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. It’s a “fine supporting performance” according to Ken Tucker (Yahoo TV).
Jones has proven that it’s wise not to underestimate her at the Emmys. She won Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2009 for the role of President Allison Taylor on “24.” That victory was surprising for several reasons. Jones joined “24” in season seven, and most shows lose steam at the Emmys when they’re that far into their runs. And she was only the second actor ever to win for the series, following Kiefer Sutherland‘s Best Drama Actor win in 2006. She declined to submit her name for consideration the following year, telling our Tom O’Neil she knows “when to leave well enough alone and be grateful.”
Jones is perhaps even better known for her work on stage. She’s won two of her five Tony nominations for Best Actress (Play): “The Heiress” (1995) and “Doubt” (2005). She was most recently nominated in 2014 for the revival of “The Glass Menagerie.”
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