Annette O'Toole was first exposed to performing at a young age, when her mother gave her dancing lessons at age 3. She started acting lessons at age 13, after her family moved to Los Angeles. Her earliest on-screen appearance was in the 1960s variety show The Danny Kaye Show; this was followed by guest roles in shows such as Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, and THe Partridge Family.
O'Toole landed her first major film role in 1975, when she appeared as a jaded beauty pageant contestant on the satirical flick Smile. This was followed by roles in other films, such as One on One, 48 Hours and Superman III. At the time she also kept busy with work on several television movies. It was only in 1996 when she took a regular role on a television series, with an extended stint on Nash Bridges.
In 2000, O'Toole starred in her own show, the short-lived The Huntress. The following year, she was cast as Martha Kent, the adoptive mother of Tom Welling's Clark Kent, on the television series Smallville. Her stint ended after the sixth season, although she appeared again in one episode in the tenth and final season.
O'Toole also recently established herself as a singer and songwriter, a career she followed after planes were grounded in light of the 9/11 attacks. The songs that came out of it eventually appeared in Christopher Guest's 2003 mockumentary A Mighty Wind: one of the songs, "A Kiss At The End of the Rainbow", was nominated for an Oscar.
O'Toole was married to actor Bill Geisslinger, with whom she has two children. She is currently married to fellow actor Michael McKean.
- She married Michael McKean on March 20, 1999 after divorcing Bill Geisslinger in 1993.
- She was trained by Peggy Feury at the Loft Studio in California.
- The musical group The Davenports wrote a song for and about her.
- She can play the mandolin.
- She is featured in a cookbook of southern recipes that benefits a literacy center in Georgia, along with a hundred other celebrities.
- With her passion for knitting, she raised funds for the Maryland chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and taught several of her 'Smallville' co-stars to knit.
- New York International Film and Video Festival, Best Actress, 2003 (for Temptation)
- Seattle Film Critics Award, Best Music, 2003 (for A Mighty Wind)
- Smile (1975)
- One on One (1977)
- King of the Gypsies (1978)
- Foolin' Around (1980)
- Cat People (1982)
- 48 Hrs. (1982)
- Superman III (1983)
- Cross My Heart (1987)
- Love at Large (1990)
- Andre (voice, 1994)
- On Hope (1994)
- Imaginary Crimes (1994)
- Here on Earth (2000)
- Temptation (2003)
- Falling Up (2009)
- Nash Bridges (recurring, 1996-1998)
- The Huntress (regular, 2000-2001)
- Smallville (regular, 2001-2011)
"He's not Superman at home, we just have a kid who's kind of weird."
"I don't want this big stardom thing. I just want a good script."