Kristen Johnston

Kristen Johnston Headshot

Actress

Birth Name: Kristen Angela Johnston

Birth Date: September 20, 1967

Age: 56 years old

Birth Place: Washington, D.C.

A comedic powerhouse, statuesque Kristen Johnston broke out as the alien-turned-bombshell Sally Solomon on "3rd Rock from the Sun" (NBC, 1996-2001). Displaying impeccable timing and fearless comedic instincts, the husky-voiced Johnston won two Best Supporting Actress Emmys. She made a fun cameo as Ivana Humpalot in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999), starred as the young Wilma in the live-action prequel "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000) and dazzled as the bitchy Sylvia Fowler in a filmed stage production of "The Women" (PBS, 2002).

Her subsequent big-screen supporting turns included colorful roles as a gym teacher in "Strangers with Candy" (2005), Drew Barrymore's protective big sister in "Music and Lyrics" (2007), and Anne Hathaway's bullying coworker in "Bride Wars" (2009). On television, notched a dark comic guest spot on "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004) as a bad girl who exits a fancy party by tumbling to her death out a window. Although her American remake of "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC One, 1992-2004) failed to launch, Johnston resurfaced in Amy Heckerling's horror comedy "Vamps" (2011). Displaying a go-for-broke comic gusto that matched her force-of-nature physicality, Kristen Johnston always proved a fascinating addition to any project in which she appeared, leaving fans with the hopes she would once again find a breakout role suitable to her talents.

Born Sept. 20, 1967 in Washington, DC, Kristen Johnston grew up in Wisconsin, but completed exchange student programs in both Sweden and South America. After graduating NYU with a degree in drama, she made the transition to professional actor as a member of David Mamet's Atlantic Theater Company, earning a slew of stage credits. Her performance in the off-Broadway play "The Lights" earned her a Best Supporting Actress Drama Desk Award nomination and landed her on the radar of casting agents. After a flurry of TV guest spots, including roles on "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000), "The 5 Mrs. Buchanans" (CBS, 1994-95) and "Hearts Afire" (CBS, 1992-95), Johnston landed her star-making role on "3rd Rock from the Sun" (NBC, 1996-2001). The delightfully over-the-top series featured a group of aliens (John Lithgow, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, French Stewart and Johnston) forced to become human as part of an extraterrestrial research mission. Johnston's Sally Solomon was arguably the most interesting of the group: a fearsome warrior who materializes in a bombshell beauty's body.

Making excellent use of her Amazonian stature, husky voice and penchant for physical comedy, the actress charmed critics and fans alike, displaying crackling comedic chemistry with her beta-male boyfriend, Officer Don Orville (Wayne Knight). The series was an instant smash and was showered with awards, with Johnston winning two Best Supporting Actress Emmys as well as four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. A playful, genre-bending smash, "3rd Rock" showcased its cast at their best, and made them instantly recognizable. Making the most of her raised profile, the actress made a fun cameo as the slinky Ivana Humpalot in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999), starred as Wilma in the big-screen, live-action prequel "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000), and appeared on the cover of Bad Religion's No Substance album.

Johnston next flexed her considerable comedic chops as the acidic Sylvia Fowler in "Stage on Screen: The Women" (PBS, 2002) and lensed perhaps the most memorable guest spot in the history of "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004) as aging party girl Lexi Featherston, who falls to her death out of a window in the appropriately titled installment, "Splat!" Continuing to delight in small roles, she played a tough gym teacher in the "Strangers with Candy" (2005) film, recurred on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) as chief nurse Eve Peyton, and essayed Drew Barrymore's protective but wild-at-heart big sister in the Hugh Grant charmer "Music and Lyrics" (2007). Johnston lent her unmistakable pipes to a recurring role as the ultimate alien villainess Warmonga on "Kim Possible" (Disney Channel, 2002-07) and was cast as the outrageous Patsy in a failed-to-launch American adaptation of the British cult classic "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC One, 1992-2004). Continuing to reign as a supreme second, the actress stole scenes in the lackluster "Bride Wars" (2009) as Anne Hathaway's overbearing coworker. Continuing to work on stage and to teach acting at NYU, Johnston recurred on "Ugly Betty" (ABC, 2006-2010), cracked a mean whip as a dominatrix on "Bored to Death" (HBO, 2009-11) and landed a juicy supporting role as the suspicious mom of a man dating a socialite vampire in Amy Heckerling's horror comedy "Vamps" (2011).

By Jonathan Riggs

Credits

Small Town Wisconsin

Actor
Alicia
Movie
2020

Tamron HallStream

Guest
Talk
2019

AmphibiaStream

Guest Voice
Braddock
Series
2019

The Wedding Year

Actor
Barbara
Movie
2019

For the Love of George

Actor
Psychic Sara
Movie
2018

Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate

Actor
Roksana
Movie
2018

Swiped

Actor
Professor Barnes
Movie
2018

The MayorStream

Guest Star
Chief Fox
Series
2017
81%

Not Today Bianca

Guest Star
Show
2016

Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaulStream

Guest Star
Game Show
2016

Thrill Ride

Actor
Esmerelda
Movie
2016

Celebrity Food Fight

Contestant
Show
2015

Rupaul's Drag Race: RuVealed

Judge
Show
2015

Lovesick

Actor
Movie
2014

MomStream

Actor
Tammy
Series
2013

MomStream

Guest Star
Tammy
Series
2013

Katie

Guest
Talk
2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Guest
Talk
2012

Good Afternoon America

Guest
Show
2012

Brand XStream

Guest
Talk
2012

Bad Parents

Actor
Tracy
Movie
2012

VampsStream

Actor
Mrs. Van Helsing
Movie
2012
56%

Billy on the StreetStream

Guest
Reality
2011

The ExesStream

Actor
Holly
Series
2011

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Show
2011

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Talk
2011

Anderson

Guest
Show
2011

Anderson

Host
Show
2011

Life Happens

Actor
Francesca
Movie
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

The Joy Behar Show

Guest
Show
2009

Modern FamilyStream

Guest Star
Brenda
Series
2009
85%

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

RuPaul's Drag RaceStream

Judge
Series
2009

Bride WarsStream

Actor
Deb
Movie
2009
10%

Finding Bliss

Actor
Irene Fox
Movie
2009

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

Music and Lyrics

Actor
Rhonda Fisher
Movie
2007

Ugly BettyStream

Guest Star
Helen
Series
2006
97%

The New Adventures of Old ChristineStream

Guest Star
Series
2006

Strangers With Candy

Actor
Coach Muffy Divers
Movie
2005

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Duane Incarnate

Actor
Fran
Movie
2004

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Queens Supreme

Guest Star
Show
2003

Nobody Knows Anything

Actor
Miranda
Movie
2003

The Flintstones in Viva Rock VegasStream

Actor
Wilma Slaghoople
Movie
2000
25%

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeStream

Actor
Ivana Humpalot
Movie
1999
53%

Sex and the CityStream

Guest Star
Lexi Featherston
Series
1998
70%

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

3rd Rock from the SunStream

Actor
Sally Solomon
Series
1996

London Suite

Actor
Grace CHapman
Movie
1996

ERStream

Actor
Series
1994

ERStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

20/20Stream

Guest
News
1978

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

News aboutKristen Johnston