Born: November 19, 1959
Famous for: Her award-winning portrayal of White House worker CJ Creg in The West Wing
As a child growing up in Ohio Allison Janney had dreams of becoming an Olympic skater, but a childhood accident scotched her plans. So when screen legend Paul Newman suggested she go to New York to study acting in after seeing her in a school play, she packed her bags and headed for the Big Apple. It proved a wise move, eventually leading to a seven-year stint on The West Wing as sharp-witted presidential secretary CJ Creg, a role which brought her four Emmys. She's also notched up a slew of notable silver screen appearances, including parts in American Beauty, Nicole Kidman vehicle The Hours and musical adventure Hairspray.