Jane Lynch is an American actress, comedian and singer who first rose to fame thanks to her outsized performances in Christopher Guest mockumentaries such as “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” She is currently best known for her role as Sue Sylvester, the outrageous head cheerleading coach on the hit television series “Glee.”
For her work on “Glee,” Lynch has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. Audiences love her signature salty brand of tough-talking comedy and her affable off-screen persona.
Lynch was born in Dolton, Ill., in 1960. She received a bachelor’s degree in theater from Illinois State University and an MFA in theater from Cornell University. She spent the first 15 years of her career in Chicago with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and developed her comedic chops with the Second City comedy troupe and also with the Annoyance Theater.
Breaking into film did not happen quickly for Lynch, who scored her first bit part in 1988’s “Vice Versa,” and another small role in “The Fugitive” in 1993. Her breakthrough role came in 2000 when Guest cast her as a lesbian personal dog trainer in “Best in Show.” Critically lauded character roles in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Talladega Nights” and “Role Models” solidified her reputation as a comic to watch.
Lynch is openly gay and in 2005 was named one of Power Up’s “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz.” In 2010 she married the clinical psychologist Lara Embry, but the couple announced they were getting a divorce in June 2013. That same summer Lynch made her Broadway debut playing Miss Hannigan in “Annie.”