Family & Companions
A dark-haired actress with an attractive screen presence that combined alluring strength with charming vulnerability, Jana Marie Hupp paid her dues with guest appearances in numerous TV series and small supporting turns in several features before landing a regular role on the hit NBC comedy-drama series "Ed" in 2000. A Washington native, Hupp appeared in Seattle theater productions before landing her first film role, a one-line part in the coming-of-age drama "Vision Quest" (1985). This led to a move to Los Angeles, where the actress took guest roles on episodes of the CBS series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "My Sister Sam" in 1986. A featured part in the "Disney Sunday Movie" presentation "Splash, Too" followed in 1988.
Hupp racked up more TV series guest credits, with appearances in episodes of "Who's the Boss" (ABC) and "Empty Nest" (NBC) in 1989, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated) and "Knots Landing" in 1991 and "A Different World" (NBC), "Melrose Place" (Fox) and "Camp Wilder" (ABC) in 1992. These frequent appearances and a small but impressive turn as the USO girl who shares a dance with "Barton Fink" in the 1991 film made Hupp a fairly recognizable performer despite her lack of starring roles. In 1993 she would reach a wider audience with a memorable role as the woman for whom George (Jason Alexander) considers religiously converting on "Seinfeld" (NBC). The following year the actress made her TV series regular debut on Fox's short-lived risque sitcom "Wild Oats," playing a hairdresser with bad taste in men. Hupp rebounded with a regular role as a sharp police sergeant in "Public Morals," a CBS sitcom that suffered a similarly quick demise. Sandwiched between these two series was her cameo role as a scientist in the 1996 summer blockbuster "Independence Day."
The gritty CBS 1997 police drama "Brooklyn South" offered the actress a challenge, portraying the troubled wife of a police officer (Titus Welliver). Guest roles in "Nash Bridges" (CBS) and "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC) followed (both 1998), and in 2000, Hupp had a memorable guest role on "Providence" (NBC) as a woman who elects to have radical preventative surgery in order to avoid the trauma of breast cancer that has plagued her family. She teamed up with fellow "Providence" guest star Tom Cavanagh on "Ed," a quirky hour-long comedy-drama series chronicling a New York City lawyer's return to his small hometown. Hupp played Nancy Burton, a successful career woman returning to work after the birth of her child who is plagued by guilt and worries that the baby will forget her in the hours she is away from home. Hupp proved a strong addition to the cast, and had a comfortable chemistry with onscreen husband Josh Randall. Sure to last longer than her other series outings, "Ed" could serve as the vehicle for Hupp's latter-day breakthrough.
Made feature debut in "Vision Quest"
Had early TV credits with guest roles on "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "My Sister Sam" (both CBS)
Featured in the two-part "Disney Sunday Movie" presentation "Splash, Too" (ABC)
Was a guest star on "Empty Nest" (NBC) and "Who's the Boss" (ABC)
Guest starred in episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated) and "Knots Landing" (CBS)
Had a role as a USO girl in "Barton Fink"
Appeared on episodes of "A Different World" (NBC), "Melrose Place" (Fox) and "Camp Wilder" (ABC)
Acted in the L.A. Theatre Works production "Earth & Sky"
Was one of George's girlfriend's on "Seinfeld" (NBC)
Made regular series debut on the short-lived sitcom "Wild Oats" (Fox)
Played the lone female on a team of daredevil firefighters in the NBC TV-movie "In the Line of Duty: Smoke Jumpers"
Was featured in the sci-fi summer blockbuster "Independence Day"
Featured in the independent film "The Devil Takes a Holiday"
Had a regular role on the CBS sitcom "Public Morals", playing a tough police sergeant
Had a recurring role on "Brooklyn South" (CBS), playing the wife of a police officer
Guest starred in episodes of "Nash Bridges" (CBS) and "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC)
Co-starred as a working mother married to a young doctor (Josh Randall) in NBC's "Ed"
Played a woman requesting drastic surgery in order to avoid any chance of breast cancer in an episode of NBC's "Providence"