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Joanna Kerns

Joanna Kerns

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Also Known As: Joanna Devarona, Joanna De Varona Died:
Born: February 12, 1953 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, screenwriter, director, gymnast

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This tall, blonde actress went from being the journalist mother on the ABC sitcom "Growing Pains" to becoming one of the queens of TV-movies in the 1990s. Joanna Kerns began her career as a dancer and gymnast and turned to acting after realizing that a chorine's career is short and if she wanted to be in show business, she had better learn how to act. As such, Kerns, then billed as Joanna de Varona danced in "Clown Around", a show which closed before reaching Broadway, and at Disneyland, before being cast in the touring company of John Guare's musicalization of Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona". Kerns then moved to New York where she studied acting with Lee Strasberg and was cast in several small parts in the Broadway production of "Ulysses in Nighttown" (1974). She also was successful in TV commercials--at one point she had an extraordinary 18 national spots running simultaneously. But although Kerns would later direct an L.A. stage production of "What Every Woman Knows" (1989), her New York period of study was just a preamble to her career in TV, and to a lesser extent, in films

This tall, blonde actress went from being the journalist mother on the ABC sitcom "Growing Pains" to becoming one of the queens of TV-movies in the 1990s. Joanna Kerns began her career as a dancer and gymnast and turned to acting after realizing that a chorine's career is short and if she wanted to be in show business, she had better learn how to act. As such, Kerns, then billed as Joanna de Varona danced in "Clown Around", a show which closed before reaching Broadway, and at Disneyland, before being cast in the touring company of John Guare's musicalization of Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona". Kerns then moved to New York where she studied acting with Lee Strasberg and was cast in several small parts in the Broadway production of "Ulysses in Nighttown" (1974). She also was successful in TV commercials--at one point she had an extraordinary 18 national spots running simultaneously. But although Kerns would later direct an L.A. stage production of "What Every Woman Knows" (1989), her New York period of study was just a preamble to her career in TV, and to a lesser extent, in films

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Knocked Up (2007)
2.
 Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004) Maggie Seaver
3.
 All Over the Guy (2001) Lydia
4.
 Growing Pains Movie, The (2000) Maggie Seaver
5.
 Girl, Interrupted (1999) Annette
6.
 At the Mercy of a Stranger (1999) Elizabeth Cooper
7.
 Emma's Wish (1998) Emma Bridges
8.
 Mother Knows Best (1997) Celeste Cooper
9.
 Sisters and Other Strangers (1997) Gail Connelly
10.
 No One Could Protect Her (1996) Jessica Rayner
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Santa Clara, California
1966:
At age 13, moved to Fresno to pursue gymnastics
:
Tried out for 1968 Olympic gymnastics team; placed 14th out of a field of 28
:
Turned to dancing when a knee injury fored her to abandon gymnastics
:
Won role in "Clown Around", a Broadway-bound musical; show closed in San Francisco
:
Began performing at Disneyland
1973:
Toured US and Canada in company of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" (billed as Joanna de Varona)
1974:
Broadway debut, "Ulysses in Nightown" (billed as Joanna de Varona)
:
Cast in touring company of "My Fair Lady"
:
Moved to L.A.; began to be cast in TV commercials
1976:
TV-movie debut, "The Million Dollar Rip-Off" (NBC)
1978:
Film debut, "Coma" (billed as Joanna Kerns)
:
Appeared as guest on numerous TV shows
1984:
Debut as series regular playing stuntwoman Pat Devon on the CBS sitcom "The Four Seasons"
1985:
Cast as journalist Maggie Seaver on the long-running ABC sitcom "Growing Pains"
1987:
Had featured role in short film "Love Struck"; film earned Oscar nomination as Best Short Subject (Live Action)
1989:
Directed "What Every Woman Knows" at the Coast Ensemble Theatre in L.A.
1989:
Wrote episode of "Growing Pains" entitled "Gues Who's Coming to Dinner?"
1990:
Starred in miniseries, "The Big One: The Great Los Angeles Earthquake"
1996:
Starred in TV-movie, "No One Could Protect Her"
:
Directed episodes of the UPN sitcom "Clueless"
1999:
Played Winona Ryder's mother in "Girl, Interrupted"
:
Directed episodes of "Beggars and Choosers" (Showtime)
2001:
Cast as the alcoholic WASP mother of a gay man (Richard Ruccolo) in "All Over the Guy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Richard Kerns. Director. Married c. 1977; divorced 1985.
companion:
Marc Francis Appleton. Architect. Dating since February 1991, announced engagement in 1995.

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Donna de Varona. Sportscaster. Won two gold medals in swimming at the 1964 summer Olympics.
brother:
David de Varona.
daughter:
Ashley Kerns. Born 1978; father Richard Kerns.

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