Alumni Awards: Laurie Metcalf
Distinguished Alumni Award
Laurie Metcalf ’76
Actress, International Creative Management
Valley Village, California
Laurie Metcalf ’76 grew up in Edwardsville. Her mother was a librarian and her father Southern Illinois University’s comptroller. An ISU theatre major, she honed her talent on the University’s stages before becoming recognized as one of Hollywood’s most enduring actors.
At ISU Metcalf met fellow students John Malkovich ’76, Jeff Perry ’78, and Terry Kinney ’76. Together with Gary Sinise they founded Steppenwolf Theater in 1976, initially staging productions in a Highland Park church basement. Today Steppenwolf is one of Chicago’s most recognized theaters, consistently garnering national acclaim.
Metcalf has starred in more than 30 productions at Steppenwolf, including Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, My Thing of Love, The Glass Menagerie, Little Egypt, and Purple Heart. Her role in Balm in Gilead—in which she delivered a 30-minute monologue—earned her the 1984 Obie award for best actress and the 1985 Theatre World award.
She is most famous for playing Jackie Harris on the ABC sitcom Roseanne. She captured an Emmy for best supporting actress in 1992, 1993, and 1994 for that role. Metcalf’s television success continued during the three years she appeared on the ABC sitcom Norm.
Fans have also seen her on Saturday Night Live, Grey’s Anatomy, Frasier, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Metcalf’s film roles include Blink, Chicago Cab, Desperately Seeking Susan, JFK, Runaway Bride, Secret Life of Houses, Scream II, The Long Island Incident, Toy Story, and Uncle Buck. She has appeared on Broadway in Brighton Beach Memoir, My Thing of Love, and November, for which she received a Tony nomination.
A recipient of Illinois State’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1993, Metcalf resides in California with her husband, Matt Roth, and their three children.