Actress Allison Janney received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday in recognition of a glittering film and television career that has seen her scoop multiple awards.
Best known for her portrayal of White House press secretary C.J. Cregg in NBC drama “The West Wing,” the statuesque 56-year-old has appeared in some of the largest-grossing films of all time.
An emotional Janney fought back tears as she paid tribute to her family as well as cast and crew members from “The West Wing,” many of whom had turned up to cheer her on as she accepted her star.
“We shared a truly extraordinary experience and it has connected us forever,” she said of her seven years on the show.
“I didn’t even know it was going to be a series. None of us thought it would go on — not because it wasn’t brilliant but because it was about politics and who wants to watch a show about politics? Apparently a lot of people!”
Janney was named best supporting actress twice and lead actress twice for “The West Wing.” In 2014, she became the third performer to win Emmys for different roles in the same year — supporting comedy actress in the CBS sitcom “Mom” and outstanding guest actress in Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.”
She won her seventh Emmy in 2015 to tie with Edward Asner and Mary Tyler Moore for second most by a performer, behind Cloris Leachman on eight.
She recalled moving into an apartment block in Gower Street, Hollywood, in 1999 with other actors, writers, directors, choreographers and costume designers and forming the fictional “Gower Academy of Dramatic Arts.”
“When I won my first Emmy, I thanked GADA and most people assumed I’d just thanked God and didn’t question it. I was like ‘Why didn’t anyone ask me what GADA was?’ Not that God doesn’t deserve to be thanked too,” she said.
Raised in Dayton, Ohio, Janney appears in Tim Burton’s dark fantasy “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and mystery thriller “The Girl on the Train,” both currently riding high at the North American box office.
She also supplied the voice of the pink starfish Peach in the Pixar animated adventure “Finding Dory,” the year’s largest-grossing movie, and appeared in two of 2015’s biggest hits, the live-action caper “Spy” and animated comedy “Minions.”
Her other film credits include “The Help,” “Juno,” “The Hours” and “American Beauty.”
Richard Schiff, who played White House communications chief Toby Ziegler in “The West Wing,” described Janney as “the most amazing talent to grace large screen and small,” adding: “You astonish us, thrill us, make us laugh until it hurts so much we cry.”
The fourth season premiere of “Mom” begins next week.