Comedian, actress and political activist Janeane Garofalo was born on September 28, 1964 in Newton, New Jersey. Of Italian and Irish descent, she spent her childhood moving in various places across the United States and Canada. She got her first break during her years at Providence College in Rhode Island; she entered, and subsequently won, a comedy talent search sponsored by Showtime. After graduating with degrees in history and American studies, she began a career as a stand-up comedian, rising to prominence in the Los Angeles alternative comedy scene with her self-deprecating style.
Initially, Garofalo aimed to become a writer on The Late Show with David Letterman; however, she ended up performing in front of the camera. Her first significant television appearance was in the short-lived The Ben Stiller Show in 1992. From there, she took a role in the acclaimed HBO series The Larry Sanders Show; through that, she earned two Emmy nominations, in 1996 and 1997. More controversial, however, was her run on Saturday Night Live; she entered during the universally-panned 20th season, and did not get along with most of the show’s cast. She left the show after only six months.
Garofalo kept herself afloat with roles on television and film. Apart from her run on The Larry Sanders Show, she took guest roles in NewsRadio and The West Wing, aside from participation in some unsuccessful pilots. She joined the cast of the action series 24, as FBI agent Janis Gold. She also earned success in films, beginning with the 1996 release The Truth About Cats & Dogs, and later starred in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, The Cable Guy, The Wild and Clay Pigeons in differing capacities. She also provided the voice to Colette in the Disney/Pixar release Ratatouille.
Garofalo is also known for her outspoken political views, rising to prominence through her vocal opposition to the 2003 Iraq war, and later, through a slot in Air America Radio’s liberal talk show, The Majority Report.
At present, she stars as Beth Griffith on the spin-off series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.
She won the Jury Award for Best Actress for The Independent in 2000.
She won the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Slamdunk Film Festival.
She won the VES Award, along with the cast of Ratatouille, in 2008.
Late for Dinner (1991)
That's What Women Want (1992)
Reality Bites (1994)
Bye Bye Love (1995)
I Shot a Man in Vegas (1995)
Now and Then (1995)
The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) (Abbey Barnes)
The Cable Guy (1996)
Larger Than Life (1996)
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) (Heather Mooney)
The MatchMaker (1997) (Marcy Tizard)
Cop Land (1997)
Clay Pigeons (1998)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1998) (voice)
Thick as Thieves (1998)
Permanent Midnight (1998)
Half Baked (1998)
The Thin Pink Line (1998)
The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999)
Torrance Rises (1999)
Can't Stop Dancing (1999)
Mystery Men (1999) (The Bowler)
The Independent (1999)
200 Cigarettes (1999)
The Minus Man (1999)
Dog Park (2000)
Steal This Movie! (2000) (Anita Hoffman)
Titan A.E. (2000) (voice)
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
What Planet Are You From? (2000)
The Laramie Project (2001)
The Search for John Gissing (2001)
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) (Beth)
Martin & Orloff (2002)
Big Trouble (2002)
Manhood (Showtime; 2003)
Nobody Knows Anything! (2003)
Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)
Duane Hopwood (2005)
Nadine in Date Land, Oxygen Network; (2005) (Nadine Barnes)
Stay (2005) (Dr. Beth Levy)
Southland Tales (2005)
The Wild (2006) (voice)
Ratatouille (2007) (voice)
The Ten (2007)
Girl's Best Friend (2008)
Labor Pains (Made For TV Film)(2009)
"I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half-empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth."
"The world would be better off with multiple superpowers. When Communist USSR was a superpower, the world was better off."
"We're our own worst enemies a lot of the time, but I still blame men."