Jean Elizabeth Smart happens to be a well known Television as well as film actress. She is also known for playing various iconic roles in several well known theatres around the country.

Personal Life

Jean was born on 13th September in the year 1951. She was raised in the beautiful city of Seattle, situated in Washington. Her mother was Kay Smart and her Father was Douglas Smart, who happened to be a renowned teacher in a local school. Growing up in a middle class but well off family, she had three siblings of which she was the second one. When she was around thirteen years, she was diagnosed with mild case of type 1 diabetes. She belongs to the White ethnicity. Currently, she is happily married to a well known and equally talented actor, Richard Gilliland.

Jean and Richard got to know each other while they were working as co-artists at the set of a movie, Designing Women. In the movie, Richard plays the character of JD Shakelford, who happens to be the boyfriend of Mary Jo Shively, played by Annie Pott. The couple leads a successful family life and has two children, a daughter named Bonnie Kathleen (adopted from an orphanage in China in the year of 2009) and a son named Connor Douglas (born in the year of 1989).


Smart was inclined towards the interesting art of role playing, at a very early age. She started participating in various theatre plays and small skits during her early schooling years. Eventually, she discovered her talents in acting. She joined the official drama and theatre society of her school and started contributing a significant time of her day into practicing and performing various roles in several plays that the group performed.

Jean’s talent was widely appreciated by her fellow artist's as well as the small audience she performed for during those days. The actress started gaining more and more respect from her colleagues. She graduated from the locally reputed Ballard High School in the year 1969. Even during her high school years, she was almost a local celebrity, owing to her unquestionable talent in the field of acting.

Jean was starred as the lead character in almost every play, she performed . Her professional career began when started working in the regional theatre, situated in the Pacific Northwest. She later also worked in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. Later on, she was starred as the lively character of Marlene Dietrich on Broadway in the city of Piaf in 1981. This role of was widely acknowledged by the concerned audience as well as theatre groups.

Throughout out her career, she kept performing with reputed theatres like the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the iconic Oregon Shakespeare Theatre. She worked with both of them in the beautiful city of Ashland, in Oregon.

Eventually, in the middle years of 1970s, Jean Smart permanently shifted to the New York City. During the years, she was living with her collage batch mate and very good friend, Elizabeth Wingate, who herself was a struggling actress. Along with her, she started working in regional productions, mostly Off-Broadway.

Last Modified: Mar 6, 2020

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