“I was never in the closet. From the moment…I stepped onto the theatrical stage, I was always out. It was never an issue.”
Cherry Jones is a theater, film and television actress best known for her role as president of the United States on the FOX series “24.” A Broadway veteran, Jones is considered one of America’s foremost stage actresses. She has received two Tony Awards.
Jones grew up in the small town of Paris, Tennessee. Her mother taught high school and her father owned a flower shop. “I came from a very loving family where I knew I had their unconditional love no matter what,” Jones says.
With her sights set on acting, Jones enrolled at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where in 1978, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1980, Jones became a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she played a wide range of roles.
In the mid-1980’s, Jones moved to New York and performed in Broadway productions including “Angels in America,” “The Night of the Iguana” and “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” In 1995, she received a Tony Award for her role in “The Heiress” and made headlines by being the first award winner to publicly thank her same-sex partner.
In 1998, Jones narrated a documentary film about the history of the gay rights movement, “Out of the Past.”
On the silver screen, Jones appeared in “The Horse Whisperer” (1998), “Cradle Will Rock” (1999), “Erin Brockovich” (2000) and “The Perfect Storm” (2000), among others.
In 2001, Jones costarred with Brooke Shields in the Lifetime Television movie “What Makes a Family,” based on the true story of a lesbian couple and a custody battle. “I’m more proud of that than anything I’ve ever done. There’s so much social worth to that film,” Jones says.
Jones is an outspoken advocate of gay rights. In 2004, she received GLAAD’s Vito Russo Media Award for her contribution toward eliminating homophobia.
In 2005, Jones was honored with a second Tony Award for her portrayal of Sister Aloysius in “Doubt.” After receiving the award, Jones thanked and kissed her partner, actress Sarah Paulson.
In 2009, Jones received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a drama series for her role on “24."
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- “Jones, Cherry." GLBTQ: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer encyclopedia. 26 June 2009
- Moore, David. Q-Notes Online. 26 June 2009
- Setoodeh, Ramin. "Cherry Jones Q&A.” Newsweek. 26 June 2009
- Loving (1993)
- The West (1996)
- Out of the Past: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in America (1998)
- Murder in a Small Town (1999)
- In the Life (2001)
- 24 (2008)
- Macbeth (1988)
- Angels in America (1994)
- The Heiress (1995)
- The Night of the Iguana (1996)
- A Moon for the Misbegotten (2000)
- Doubt (2005)
- Faith Healer (2006)
- The Horse Whisperer (1998)
- Cradle Will Rock (1999)
- Erin Brockovich (2000)
- Signs (2002)
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
- The Perfect Storm (2003)
- Ocean’s Twelve (2005)