JoBeth Williams - born December 6, 1948 in Houston, Texas - is an American film, television and stage actress (and director) who portrayed Sandra Harding in the season one episode Hell Hath No Fury on ABC's Scandal.

Personal BackgroundEdit

She was born "Margaret JoBeth Williams," the daughter of Frances Faye (née Adams), a dietitian, and Fredric Roger Williams, an opera singer and manager of a wire and cable company. She grew up in the South Park neighborhood of Houston, where she attended Jones High School.

JoBeth attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, intending to become a child psychologist. Instead she turned to theatre, training with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh as well as at the Trinity Repertory Company, taking voice lessons to neutralize her Texan accent. Then she moved to New York City where she began her television career in the mid-1970s.

She is married to TV and film director John Pasquin (with who she worked on Jungle 2 Jungle); they have two sons, Nick and Will.

Career BackgroundEdit

JoBeth rose to prominence appearing in many films in the early to mid 1980s. She is the current President of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.

Behind the scenes she was nominated for an Academy Award for her directorial debut of Showtime's On Hope (1994) and continues to seek out other directing projects. It doesn’t hurt being married to a director for encouragement.

TV RolesEdit

She had her first television role was on the Boston-produced first-run syndicated children's television series, Jabberwocky, which debuted in 1974. Her character was named, appropriately enough, JoBeth. She joined the Jabberwocky cast in season two; the series ran until 1978.

TV Recurring RolesEdit

TV Show Character No. of Episodes Year(s)
Hart of Dixie Candice Hart 3 2011-2012
Private Practice Bizzy Forbes 6 2009-20011
Dexter Gail Brandon 4 2007
The Nine Sheryl Kates 2 2006-2007
Miss Match Lianne Fox 3 2003
Payne Constance "Connie" Payne 9 1999
The Client Regina "Reggie" Love 21 1995-1996
Frasier Madeline Marshall 2 1994
Guiding Light Brandy Schlooe 14 1977-1981

TV Guest RolesEdit

TV Show Character Episode Year
Law & Order: LA Mrs. Walker Benedict Canyon 2011
NCIS Leona Phelps One Last Score 2011
Criminal Minds Professor Ursula Kent Empty Planet 2006
Numb3rs Margaret Eppes Hot Shot 2006
24 Miriam Henderson Day 5: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. 2006
Las Vegas Liz The Real McCoy 2005
Judging Amy Gemma Lawnsdale Judging Eric 2003
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mrs. Rawley Waste 2002
Jabberwocky JoBeth Unknown 1974


JoBeth is perhaps best known for her roles in Stir Crazy (1980), Poltergeist (1982), The Big Chill (1983), The Day After (1983), Teachers (1984) and Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986); these are just a short list of the motion pictures she is most recognized for. She is also known for starring opposite Kris Kristofferson in Oscar-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner's final film, the Vietnam POW drama Welcome Home (1989). In October 2011 she appeared with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Rashida Jones, and Jack Black in the bird-watching comedy, The Big Year.

Title Character Year Type
Love's Christmas Journey Mrs. Beatrice Thompson 2011 TV Movie
The Big Year Edith Preissler 2011 Feature Film
Uncorked Sophia Browning 2009 TV Movie
Sybil Hattie Dorsett 2007 TV Movie
In the Land of Woman Agnes Webb 2007 Feature Film
Stroller Wars Roberta 2006 TV Movie
Call It Fiction Cassie 2006 Feature Film
Into the Fire June Sicles 2005 TV Movie
Fever Pitch Maureen Meeks 2005 Feature Film
Repossessed Tina Martin 2002 Short Film
Homeward Bound Elaine Ashton 2002 TV Movie
Jungle to Jungle Dr. Patricia Cromwell 1997 Feature Film
A Season of Hope Elizabeth Hackett 1995 TV Movie
Wyatt Earp Bessie Earp 1994 Feature Film
Welcome Home Sarah 1989 Feature Film
My Name Is Bill W. Lois 'Lo' Wilson 1989 TV Movie
Baby M Marybeth Whitehead 1988 TV Movie
Poltergeist II: The Other Side Diane Freeling 1986 Feature Film
American Dreamer Cathy Palmer/Rebecca Ryan 1984 Feature Film
Teachers Lisa Hammond 1984 Feature Film
The Day After Nurse Nancy Bauer 1983 TV Movie
The Big Chill Karen Bowens 1983 Feature Film
Poltergeist Diane Freeling 1982 Feature Film
Stir Crazy Meredith 1980 Feature Film
Kramer vs. Kramer Phyllis Bernard 1979 Feature Film


  • She had eye surgery.
  • She supposedly turned down the lead role in the sitcom Murphy Brown (1988), which had been created by Diane English with JoBeth in mind.
  • She was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 10, 2006 in Austin, Texas. The other inductees were Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, Cybill Shepherd and Lyle Lovett.
  • She has co-starred with Craig T. Nelson in three films: Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) and Stir Crazy (1980).

Awards & NominationsEdit

  • Awards (Won):
  • 1985 – KCFCC Award: Best Actress for American Dreamer
KCFCC = Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards
  • 2002 – Career Achievement Award from WorldFest Houston
  • 2002 – Award of Excellence from Bearfest – Big Bear Lake International Film Festival
  • Nominations:
  • 1983 – Saturn Award: Best Actress for Poltergeist
  • 1984 – Emmy Award: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Special for Adam
  • 1988 – Emmy Award: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-Series or a Special for Baby M
  • 1989 – Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV; for Baby M (1988)
  • 1995 – Academy Award: Best Short Film, Live Action for On Hope (shared with Michele McGuire)
  • 1995 – Emmy Award: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Frasier


External LinksEdit