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Lynch, Jane (b. 1960)  
page: 1  2  

As her career was taking off, she no longer felt any need to hide her lesbianism. She realizes that being out is easier for her as a character actor than it would be as a leading lady. Although she acknowledges the persistence of in the entertainment industry that has led stars from Albert Lunt and Lynn Fontanne to Rock Hudson to conceal their true sexuality, Lynch has felt free to be open and speak out as a woman-loving woman.

She was honored by POWER UP in 2005 as one the Ten Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz of the year.

Lynch's versatility as a character actress has earned her guest roles on a wide variety of television shows, from comedies including Frasier, Arrested Development, and Desperate Housewives, to dramatic series such as The X Files, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Boston Legal. She also co-starred in the improvised comedy Lovespring International (2006) on the Lifetime channel.

Lynch is proud to have had a recurring role on The L Word, which she admires because "the lesbianism is a given. Sexuality is a given, and then we just tell stories about people."

Lynch describes her L Word lawyer character as an "old-school butch" type and has enjoyed portraying her. But she adds, "I want to be an actor more than I want to be a 'gay actor.'" She counts herself lucky not to be pigeonholed. "I don't just play gay people," she remarks, but she has never hesitated to do so.

Lynch's cinematic credits include Adam McKay's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and Lorene Machado's Bam Bam and Celeste (2005), a vehicle for Margaret Cho, who wrote the screenplay. Lynch called her character in the latter "a backwoods mountain-type woman who falls for Margaret, who, though not gay [in the film], falls for me because I treat her like a real lady."

Lynch rejoined Guest's improvisational troupe to make A Mighty Wind (2003), another mockumentary, this time centering on veterans of 1960s folk-music groups coming together for a tribute concert in honor of a deceased promoter. Lynch did her own singing as Laurie Bohner, the lead female vocalist of the wholesome New Main Street Singers, who, it emerged, had a second career as a porn star.

Lynch's also appeared in another Guest film, For Your Consideration (2006). The movie takes aim at the Academy Awards and their attendant hype. It follow the fortunes of the cast of a second-rate film who dream of glory when rumors begin swirling on the Internet that the has-been performer playing the matriarch may be in line for an award. Lynch appears as the host of a television entertainment show contributing to the Oscar buzz.

Lynch's professional talents have been much in demand of late. Among her recent films are Alam Cumming's Suffering Men's Charity (2006); Greg Araki's Smiley Face (2006); and Steve Blair's I Do & I Don't (2006). Her performance as Julia Child's sister in Nora Ephron's Julie and Julia (2009) earned high critical praise.

In addition to her frequent guest appearances on television shows, Lynch has recurring roles in the series Two and a Half Men and Glee.

In 2009, she received acclaim (and a Golden Globe nomination as best supporting actress) for her work in Glee, which has attracted a large gay and lesbian audience.

In a 2004 interview Lynch lamented the lack of visibility of lesbian characters on film and network television but struck a hopeful note, saying, "Our history tells us we ultimately weave everyone into the fabric of society, . . . so I think it's just a matter of time."

Lynch has expressed an interest in directing, so it may be that she will make even more contributions to the positive change she envisions.

In January 2010, Lynch and her girlfriend, psychologist Lara Embry, announced their plan to marry.

The two tied the knot in Sunderland, Massachusetts on May 31, 2010. Among the vows Lynch made was to be a good parent to Embry's eight-year-old daughter. The ceremony was followed by a small dinner party at a local restaurant.

Linda Rapp

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   Related Entries
arts >> Overview:  American Television, Drama

American television has made significant strides in its portrayal of homosexuals in dramatic series and movies, but cable networks have been more daring than the "big three" broadcast networks.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Situation Comedies

American television sitcoms have consistently reflected the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, often in distorted and stereotyped ways, but occasionally in ways that acknowledge our humanity and complexity.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Soap Operas

Treatments of gay relationships on network soap operas have always been limited; recently, however, gays and lesbians have created their own soap operas to tell the convoluted stories of lesbian and gay entanglements.

arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Lesbian

Lesbian actresses have played a significant role in Hollywood, but their contributions have rarely been recognized or spoken of openly; the "lavender marriage" is by no means a relic of the past.

arts >> Overview:  Stage Actors and Actresses

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual actors and actresses are among the elite of contemporary theater, but only recently have many come out publicly.

arts >> Araki, Gregg

The poster boy of radical and militant queer cinema, Gregg Araki disdains the ghettoizing label of "gay filmmaker."

arts >> Cho, Margaret

Korean-American bisexual actress turned stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has become one of the most prominent Asian Americans in show business and in glbtq culture.

arts >> Cumming, Alan

Versatile actor Alan Cumming has performed a wide variety of roles on stage, screen, and television, earning numerous awards for his acting and also for his support of glbtq causes.

arts >> Hudson, Rock

A product of Hollywood's star system, Rock Hudson became an international symbol of heterosexuality, wearing a mask until it was savagely ripped off when he was diagnosed with AIDS.

arts >> Lunt, Alfred (1892-1977), and Lynn Fontanne (1887-1983)

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were known as the first family of the American theater, but theirs was a lavender marriage and their presentation of themselves as the ideal married couple may have been their greatest performance.


Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "No Shrinking Violet." Curve 15.7 (November 2005): 28-30.

Clark, Mike. "'Wind' Spoofs Folk Music with a Lingering Twang." USA Today (April 16, 2003): 1D.

Stewart, Jenny. "What You Don't Know about Jane Lynch." PlanetOut Entertainment (2006).

Thompson, Bob. "Bring Home the Back Bacon: For Your Consideration." National Post (Canada) (September 12, 2006): B3.

Warn, Sarah. "Interview with Jane Lynch." (November 15, 2004).


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Lynch, Jane  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated December 12, 2011  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


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