Laurie Metcalf

Actress Laurie Metcalf was born on June 16, 1955, in Carbondale, Ill., and raised in rural Edwardsville, Ill. While attending Illinois State University, the major-hopping Metcalf settled on theater at the urging of classmate Terry Kinney.

A few years later, the pair would join an extraordinary crop of young actors in the Chicago suburbs to form the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, whose initial members included Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, Joan Allen and Gary Cole. In 1984, Metcalf won an Obie Award as the prostitute Darlene in the Steppenwolf production of "Balm in Gilead."

In the ensuing years, Metcalf proved a reliable and compelling supporting actress on screen, but it was her turn as Jackie Harris in the groundbreaking sitcom "Roseanne" that made Metcalf a star and earned her three Emmys. Metcalf's other TV credits include "3rd Rock from the Sun," "Monk" and "Desperate Housewives."