The Big Bang Theory

Laurie Metcalf

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The Big Bang Theory Staff
"Laurie Metcalf"
Laurie Metcalf
Gender Female
Birthday June 16, 1955
First Episode The Luminous Fish Effect
Role(s) Actress
Portrays Mary Cooper
All of the Big Bang Theory Staff

Lauren Elizabeth "Laurie" Metcalf (born June 16, 1955) is an Emmy award-winning, Tony award-nominated American actress. She is widely known for her performance as "Jackie Harris" on Roseanne and the voice of Mrs. Davis in Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3. She is present in Chicago theater, where she is well-known for her performance in the 1983 revival of Balm in Gilead. She is also a part of Plan USA, a humanitarian organization which helps children in need around the world.

She is a three-time Emmy award winner, as well as being nominated for two Golden Globe awards, a Tony award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Mary Cooper

Personal lifeEdit

Metcalf was born in Carbondale, Illinois, the eldest of three children, and was raised in Edwardsville, Illinois. Her father was the budget director at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and her mother was a librarian.[1] Her great-aunt was the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Zoe Akins.[2]

Metcalf dated Steppenwolf Theater Company actor Terry Kinney and married Steppenwolf co-founding member Jeff Perry. With Perry, she had a daughter Zoe (1984; named after her great-aunt), and the two subsequently divorced. Metcalf met actor Matt Roth when he played Jackie's abusive boyfriend, "Fisher", on Roseanne. They married in 1993 and have two children: Will Theron Roth (born November 20, 1993) and Mae Akins (born July 3, 2005 via surrogate). In 2005, Metcalf and family moved to a ranch in Idaho. As of April 2008, the Metcalf-Roths have a young foster son.[3] Both Metcalf and Roth appeared in the same episode of Desperate Housewives.


Stage careerEdit

Metcalf attended Illinois State University and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theater in 1977. While at ISU, she met fellow theater students, among them John Malkovich, Glenne Headley, Joan Allen, and Gary Sinise - who went on to establish Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater Company. Metcalf began her professional career at Steppenwolf. It was in Steppenwolf that Metcalf got the nickname "crazy pants." In 1981, she was brought on as a performer on Saturday Night Live for their cast, but appeared in only one episode before the season abruptly ended due to a writer's strike; she was not asked back in the fall. In 1983, Metcalf went to New York to appear in a Steppenwolf production of Balm in Gilead, for which she received the 1984 Obie Award for Best Actress. Metcalf was showered with praise for her performance as, "Darlene," specifically for her tour de force twenty minute Act Two monologue. She relocated to Manhattan and began to work in both film and theater, most recently in David Mamet's November.

"There's a moment when Laurie Metcalf – who plays this poor young thing that comes to the big city and hangs out at this greasy spoon diner where the play is set – is talking about her once boyfriend who is an albino; I think it's a monologue of about five, six, seven minutes. Just to sit there and watch and hear Laurie unspool that story, it just brought tears coming down your eyes–oh, boy, it was something."
&ndashOn Balm in Gilead, Richard Christiansen

Through the end of June 2009, Metcalf starred in Justin Tanner's play, Voice Lesson, in Hollywood before beginning rehearsals to play Kate Jerome in the Broadway revival of Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical plays Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound directed by David Cromer. The former production's run, however, lasted but one week while the latter was canceled prior to opening.

Television-film careerEdit


Mary and Roseanne Barr on the Roseanne show.

.She has performed in roles that range from very large to very small in many films, including Desperately Seeking Susan, Making Mr. Right, Miles from Home, Internal Affairs, Stars and Bars, Uncle Buck, Beer League, A Dangerous Woman, Pacific Heights, Blink, The Secret Life of Houses, Treasure Planet, Toy Story, Runaway Bride, Bulworth, Meet the Robinsons, Georgia Rule, Fun with Dick and Jane, Leaving Las Vegas, and Stop Loss. In JFK, she played a dramatic role against type, as one of Jim Garrison's chief investigators. She appeared as the murderous mother of "Billy Loomis" in the horror film Scream 2 and portrayed real-life Carolyn McCarthy in the television movie The Long Island Incident.

Metcalf has appeared in several television series, including being a cast member for only one episode of Saturday Night Live, but she is best-known as "Jackie", sister to the title character in the hit series Roseanne. Her performance garnered her three consecutive Emmy Awards. Roseanne ran from 1988 to 1997, and Laurie appeared as Jackie over the show's entire run.

She subsequently appeared with Norm Macdonald on The Norm Show (or Norm), which ran for three seasons, and was also a regular character on the 2003 Nathan Lane series Charlie Lawrence, which was cancelled after only two episodes aired. She made guest appearances on Absolutely Fabulous, Malcolm in the Middle, Monk, My Boys, Dharma & Greg, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Frasier and Without a Trace.

She took a recurring role on Desperate Housewives–for which she received an Emmy and a Satellite Award nomination–and alongside her ex-husband Jeff Perry in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. In fall 2008, Metcalf starred in the 2008 CW dramedy Easy Money as the matriarch of a family of loan sharks. The series was canceled after only three episodes. She has also had a recurring guest star role as Sheldon Cooper's mother Mary on The Big Bang Theory, alongside former Roseanne cast-mates Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert.

In 2015, she played the mother in the family sitcom The McCarthys, which only ran one season.


Year Film Role Other notes
1978 A Wedding Maid Uncredited Role
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Leslie Glass
1987 Making Mr. Right Sandy
1988 Candy Mountain Alice
Stars and Bars Melissa
The Appointments of Dennis Jennings Emma Short film
Miles from Home Exotic Dancer
1989 Uncle Buck Marcie Dahlgren-Frost
1990 Internal Affairs Amy Wallace
Pacific Heights Stephanie MacDonald
1991 JFK Susie Cox
1992 Mistress Rachel Landisman
1993 A Dangerous Woman Anita Bell
1994 The Secret Life of Houses Ann
Blink Candice
1995 Leaving Las Vegas Landlady
Toy Story Andy's Mum Voice Role
1996 Dear God Rebecca Frazen
1997 U Turn Bus Station Clerk
Chicago Cab Female Ad Exec
Scream 2 Debbie Salt
1998 Bulworth Mimi
1999 Runaway Bride Betty Trout Uncredited Role
Toy Story 2 Andy's Mum Voice Role
2000 Timecode Dava Adair Scenes Deleted
2002 Treasure Planet Sarah Hawkins Voice Role
2005 Fun with Dick and Jane Phyllis Uncredited Role
2006 Steel City Marianne Karn
Beer League Artie's Mom
2007 Meet the Robinsons Lucille Krunklehorn Voice Role
Georgia Rule Paula Richards
2008 Stop-Loss Mrs. Colson
Persepolis Mother of a young teenage boy Voice Role
2010 Toy Story 3 Andy's Mum
Year Title Role Notes
1981 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Reporter Episode: Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
1985 The Execution of Raymond Graham Carol Graham TV-Movie
1986 The Equalizer Theresa Episode: No Conscience]
1988–97 Roseanne Jackie Harris 221 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1995–1996 Duckman Voice Role
Episode: Research and Destroy
Episode: Forbidden Fruit
1997 King of the Hill Cissy Cobb Episode: Peggy the Boggle Champ
The Eddie Files Special Agent Hicks Episode: Decimals - The Fake Money Caper
Life with Louie Miss Kinney Voice Role
Episode: The Kiss Is the Thing
Dharma & Greg Spyder Episode: Instant Dharma
1998 Always Outnumbered Halley Grimes TV-Movie
The Long Island Incident Carolyn McCarthy
3rd Rock from the Sun Jennifer Ravelli Episode: What's Love Got to Do, Got to Do With Dick?]]
Episode: I Am Dick Pentameter!
Episode: D3 - Judgment Day
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series
1999 Balloon Farm Casey Johnson TV-Movie
1999–01 The Norm Show Laurie Freeman 54 episodes
2000 God, the Devil and Bob Donna Allman Voice Role
13 episodes
2002 Two Families Unsold TV-Pilot
2003 Phil at the Gate Teddy Duffy
Charlie Lawrence Sarah Dolecek 7 episodes
2004 Malcolm in the Middle Susan Episode: Lois's Sister
Frasier Nanny G Episode: Caught in the Act
Absolutely Fabulous Crystalline Episode: White Box
2005 Without a Trace Susan Hopkins Episode: A Day in the Life
2006 Monk Cora Episode: Mr. Monk Bumps His Head
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series
Grey's Anatomy Beatrice Carver Episode: The Name of the Game
Desperate Housewives Carolyn Bigsby 4 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
My Boys Aunt Phyllis Episode: When Heroes Fall From Grace
2007 The Virgin of Akron, Ohio Lydia Episode: Pilot
Raines Alice Brody Episode: Reconstructing Alice
2007-09 The Big Bang Theory Mary Cooper

The Luminous Fish Effect
The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation

The Zazzy Substitution

2008–09 Easy Money Bobette Buffkin 8 episodes
2009 The Farm Warden Margaret Elder Unsold TV-Pilot

Awards and nominationsEdit

Emmy Awards
  • 1992 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for: Roseanne
  • 1993 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for: Roseanne
  • 1994 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for: Roseanne
  • 1995 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Roseanne
  • 1999 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for: 3rd Rock From the Sun
  • 2006 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for: Monk
  • 2007 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for: Desperate Housewives
Golden Globe Awards
  • 1993 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for: Roseanne
  • 1995 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for: Roseanne
Tony Awards
  • 2008 Best Featured Actress In A Play for: November


  • A Mary Cooper.
  • On the "Roseanne" television show.
  • In the "Toy Story" movie series.
  • "The Metcalfes" TV series.
  • On the "Roseanne" television show.
  • On the "Roseanne" television show.
  • JFK
  • "Getting On" show.
  • On the "Dear God" movie.
  • Mary Cooper
  • Mary prepares Sheldon's favorite toast.
  • Mary tells Leonard her theory on men.
  • Mary eats out at a sushi restaurant with Leonard and Sheldon.
  • Mary comes for a surprise visit to see Sheldon.
  • Mary helps Sheldon gets his job back.
  • Leonard invites Mary to his home out of concern over Sheldon.
  • Mary Cooper
  • Sheldon needs his mother.
  • Worried about Sheldon.
  • Sheldon and his mother.
  • Looking at Penny's clothes.
  • Sheldon wants her to cook.
  • Mary and Sheldon drinking tea.
  • Mary taking care of a sick Sheldon.
  • Mary taking care of a sick Sheldon.
  • Praying at his mother's table.
  • The guys come to take Sheldon back to Pasadena.
  • Reaching for his pancakes.
  • Let's do some praying.
  • Mary Cooper is visiting.
  • Leonard, Mary and Sheldon.
  • Mary Cooper shocked by all his cats.
  • Leonard called Sheldon's mother.
  • Soft kitty, warm kitty...
  • You are burning up.
  • Singing "Soft Kitty" to her son.
  • Mary Cooper sends her son to his room.
  • Serious talk with his mother.
  • Confronting her mother's sex life.
  • Serious talk with her son.
  • Mary happy to see her son on a surprise visit.


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