Judith Ivey

Judith Lee Ivey (born September 4, 1951) is an American actress and theatre director. She received two Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performances in Steaming (1981) and Hurlyburly (1984).

Judith Ivey
Judith Lee Ivey

(1951-09-04) September 4, 1951
EducationIllinois State University
OccupationActress & Theatre director
Years active1982–present
Ricardo Gutierrez
(m. 1973; div. 1978)

Tim Braine (m. 1989)
Children2 (with Braine)

Ivey also appeared in several films and television series. For her role in What the Deaf Man Heard (1997), she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

Early life

Ivey was born in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Nathan Aldean Ivey, a college instructor and dean and Dorothy Lee (née Lewis), a teacher.[1]

She spent 1965–68 in Dowagiac, Michigan, where she attended Union High School through tenth grade.[2] She graduated from Marion High School in Marion, Illinois, in 1970, and is an alumna of John A. Logan College, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), and Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois).


Ivey won two Tony Awards as Best Featured Actress in a Play for Steaming in 1983 and Hurlyburly in 1985. She was also nominated for Park Your Car in Harvard Yard in 1992 and a revival of The Heiress in 2013. Other Broadway theatre credits include Piaf, Bedroom Farce, Blithe Spirit, Voices in the Dark, and Follies.[3]

She portrayed Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at the Long Wharf Theatre and reprised the role in March 2010 at the Roundabout Theatre in New York,[4] as well as the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actress for that portrayal. Ivey portrayed Ann Landers in the solo play The Lady With All the Answers at the Cherry Lane Theatre (off-Broadway) in October 2009.[5] She was nominated for Best Solo Performance for the Lucille Lortel Award[6] and Drama Desk Award.[7] In 2016, she returned to the Cherry Lane Theatre in Israel Horovitz's play Out Of The Mouths Of Babes with Estelle Parsons, directed by Barnet Kellman.[8]

Ivey has appeared in numerous films, including Brighton Beach Memoirs, Miles from Home, Compromising Positions, Harry & Son, The Woman in Red, Sister, Sister, In Country, Hello Again, The Lonely Guy, There Goes the Neighborhood, The Devil's Advocate, What Alice Found, and Flags of Our Fathers.[9]

Despite a long history of theater and film performances, Ivey is often associated with the role of B.J. Poteet in the final season of Designing Women. She appeared on Will & Grace as the mother of Dr. Leo Markus, and also appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Person of Interest, White Collar, Nurse Jackie, Big Love, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[9]

Other television roles include starring roles as Kate McCrorey in the 1990–91 series Down Home, set in a Texas coastal town, Alexandra Buchanan in the short-lived series The 5 Mrs. Buchanans, and "Buddies" with Dave Chappelle. Ivey was also in the 1985 TV remake of The Long Hot Summer, in the role of Noel Varner (Joanne Woodward's role in the 1958 film version). The miniseries also starred Jason Robards and Don Johnson. Ivey was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in What the Deaf Man Heard, a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. She also provided the voice of Eleanor Sherman in the animated series The Critic. Ivey appeared in the television miniseries Rose Red (based on a Stephen King novel) as Cathy, one of the psychics investigating a haunted house.[9]

Personal life

Ivey was married to actor Ricardo Gutierrez. They divorced before her move to New York.[10] She is now married to Tim Braine and the couple has two children.[11] Ms. Ivey has a sister and a brother, Sara and James, respectively. Sara is a writer/producer/director who lives in Dallas, Texas, and James is a former professor of theater at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Stage directing credits

  • Vanities: A New Musical[12]
  • FugueCherry Lane Theatre, off-Broadway
  • Southern Comforts – Primary Stages, off-Broadway
  • Secrets of a Soccer Mom – Snapple Theatre (Off-Broadway)
  • Bad Dates – Northlight Repertory Theatre, Chicago
  • Bad Dates – Laguna Playhouse
  • Steel MagnoliasAlley Theatre
  • More – Union Square Theatre, off-Broadway
  • More – Falcon Theatre, Los Angeles
  • The Butcher of Baraboo – Second Stage Theatre, NYC
  • Two for the Seesaw – Westport Playhouse
  • The Go-For-It GuyAspen Comedy Festival
  • Soccer Moms – Fleetwood Stage
  • Carapace – The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta
  • Our Suburb – Theatre J, Washington, DC
  • Steel Magnolias – The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta


  1. Judith Ivey profile, filmreference.com; accessed September 3, 2015.
  2. Judith Ivey biodata, theh-p.com; accessed September 3, 2015.
  3. Judith Ivey at the Internet Broadway Database
  4. Isherwood, Christopher."Theater Review;'The Glass Menagerie'", nytimes.com, March 25, 2010.
  5. Isherwood, Christopher."Dear Ann Landers: What’s a Girl to Do Now?" The New York Times, October 15, 2009.
  6. "2010 Nominations and Recipients". lortelaward.com. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  7. "The 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards nominations". May 3, 2010.
  8. http://www.cherrylanetheatre.org/, Cherry Lane Theatre. "- Cherry Lane Theatre". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  9. Judith Ivey on IMDb
  10. Andrea Chambers, "Broadway's Bare Market Is Bullish on Hurlyburly Star Judith Ivey", people.com, August 13, 1984.
  11. Onofri, Adrienne. "BWW Interviews: Stage & Screen Star Judith Ivey". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  12. Official Website: Vanities: A New Musical, vanitiesthemusical.com; accessed September 3, 2015.
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