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Jones, Cherry (b. 1956)  
page: 1  2  

Although Jones acknowledges that film work is more lucrative, she prefers playing before live audiences instead of cameras. She won a Jason Robards Award "for artists devoted to live theater" in 2001, the inaugural year of the prize.

Jones won kudos in late 2002 for her seductive performance on Broadway as Mary McCarthy (opposite Swoosie Kurtz's Lillian Hellman) in Nora Ephron's "play with music," Imaginary Friends, an exploration of the famous literary feud between the two writers.

In 2004, Jones starred in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, which moved to Broadway in 2005 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Hailed by critics as mesmerizing and powerful, Jones's intense performance as a nun suspicious that a priest might be abusing students was rewarded with her second Tony Award.

In 2008, Jones joined the cast of the Fox television series, 24, playing the role of the President of the United States. For her work in this role, she received yet another accolade: a 2009 Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.

Jones's road to stardom has not been without bumps. In the early 1990s she suffered a bout of clinical depression and drank heavily, but she has overcome these problems.

Colleagues are impressed by her presence both on stage and off. Director Robert Falls, with whom she worked in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana, speaks of her "absolute command of the stage." Playwright Tina Howe, in whose Pride's Crossing Jones starred in New York, adds that "she's always adding feeling and color and light into any room she walks . . . . [Jones] is a very healthy woman and sort of shines, as if she has all these klieg lights inside her."

Quick to learn lines, eager to accept challenges, and generous in her appreciation of those with whom she works, Jones is considered a consummate professional. Andre Bishop, the artistic director of the Lincoln Center Theater, states that "[e]veryone adores Cherry because, number one, she's a first-rate person. Number two, she's a first-rate actress. And, number three, she's hardworking to a fault."

Jones has also been described as "genuinely and deeply modest." Indeed, she eschews the glamour that can come with stardom in favor of a simpler lifestyle.

After Jones received her first Tony Award, she and O'Connor celebrated her win--and coincidentally O'Connor's fortieth birthday--by driving to the home of some friends and drinking coffee in their farmyard as the sun came up.

However, in 2004, after 18 years together, Jones and O'Connor decided to break up. Jones subsequently entered into a relationship with actress Sarah Paulson.

Jones called the experience of being the first out lesbian to win a Tony "humbling," and spoke of the importance of the award to others, saying that "it means the world to all of those people in all of those places who can't be out."

Linda Rapp

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Dezell, Maureen. "Cherry's Jubilee: With a Return to ART, Jones Puts the Topping on Broadway, Hollywood Acclaim." Boston Globe (May 10, 2002): C 29.

Hoffman, Jan. "A Luminous Path Navigated by Stage Lights." New York Times (January 7, 1998): E 1.

"Jones, Cherry." Current Biography Yearbook 1998. Elizabeth A. Schick, ed. New York and Dublin: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1998. 324-327.

Pacheco, Patrick. "She's in L.A., Not Hollywood; Cherry Jones Comes to Town with 'The Heiress,' But She's Not Looking for Great Fame and Fortune. You Can Catch Her Onstage at the Ahmanson (Or Perhaps Trying to Sneak out the Back Door)." Los Angeles Times (September 8, 1996): 3.

"Role Models: Two Theatrical Treasures, Playwright Paula Vogel and Actor Cherry Jones, Talk about Women in the Arts, Lesbians Having Babies, and Ageism in America." The Advocate 778 (February 2, 1999): 42.

Scanlon, Dick. "Cherry Jones: Basking in Broadway Raves and a Girlfriend's Love, History's First Out Lesbian Tony Winner Remembers Her Fabulous 1995." The Advocate 698-699 (January 23, 1996): 76.

Stockwell, Anne. "One Family's Value: Exclusive; Advocate Cover Girl Brooke Shields and Gay Acting Goddess Cherry Jones Touch Hearts and Minds as Lesbian Moms in What Makes a Family." The Advocate 830 (January 30, 2001): 28.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Jones, Cherry  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated January 21, 2010  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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