Today’s GLBT History Month Icon: Actress Jane Lynch

Today’s GLBT History Month Icon is actress Jane Lynch. Born July 14, 1960, Lynch is an award winning actress best known for her role as the outrageous Sue Sylvester in “Glee,” but she has also enjoyed prominent guest roles in shows like “The L Word” and “Arrested Development.”

From Equality Forum:

Lynch grew up in Dolton, Illinois, outside Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Illinois State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Cornell.

Lynch began her career on stage with the Second City comedy troupe, followed by a stint playing Carol Brady in the touring company of “The Real Live Brady Bunch.” In 1998, Lynch wrote and starred in “Oh Sister, My Sister.”

Six years later, Lynch’s play helped launch the Lesbians in Theater program at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

After playing bit parts and acting in commercials, Lynch caught the attention of film director Christopher Guest, who spotted her in a Frosted Flakes commercial and cast her in “Best in Show.” Lynch’s turn as a lesbian dog handler in the movie was her breakout role. She has appeared in more than 50 films, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Julie and Julia,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Talladega Nights” and “The Fugitive.”

On television, Lynch guest starred on dozens of series, including “Judging Amy,” “The West Wing,” “Arrested Development” and “Boston Legal.” She played recurring characters on “The L Word,” “Party Down,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Criminal Minds.”

As Sue Sylvester, the “Glee” cheerleading coach described as “pure evil,” Lynch is receiving rave reviews. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Lynch alone makes ‘Glee’ worth watching.”

In 2005, Jane Lynch was named one of the “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz” by the Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up (POWER UP).

In 2010, Outfest, the Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festival, honored Lynch with the 14th annual Achievement Award for her contributions to LGBT film and media.

In 2010, Lynch married her long-term partner, Dr. Lara Embry, in a Massachusetts ceremony.

I have a personal affection for the television show “Glee” and while I know it’s a program that tends to divide people down love and hate lines, most agree that Lynch as the indomitable and ever intolerant coach Sue Sylvester is supremely entertaining.

Ahead of a returning set of episodes of “Glee”, Fox released small trailers including a couple of “Sue’s Corner” items, a news segment on a fictional Ohio news service.

A particular favorite is the “Sneaky Gays” segment in which Sue Sylvester advises gays everywhere to “swish it up a bit” and asks the question, “If I can’t tell who’s gay, how will I know who to judge?”

Finally, here is Lynch accepting her first Emmy at the 2010 awards:


Videos of Jane Lynch:


Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS7 years ago

I'm a great admirer of Jane Lynch. She's a wonderful performer and an outstanding advocate for understanding and tolerance to all.

Lynn Marie M.
Lynn Marie M7 years ago

She's awesome.

Kathleen B.
Kathleen B7 years ago

Yes, I love the show, and her sinister ways.

Diana S.
Diana S7 years ago

What an amazing talent! If talent and brains and charm are universal, one can only hope that basic human rights will be also, some day....

Shirley H.
Shirley H7 years ago

I adore Jane Lynch - she is funny to watch and lovely inside & out.
Shirley H.

Talia P.
Talia P7 years ago

oh, i like her so much--she's just so spunky. I first noticed her in the movie "Post Grad" (one of my minor loves), and then as Dr. Reid's mom in "Criminal Minds"--my fave t.v. show EVER! I just loved the chemistry between their characters, and would love to see her more often on that show (and Matthew Gray Gubler's said often that he wished they'd write her in more because its so great to have her there--i just love watching those two)

hadn't really seen "Glee" before (schedule conflict), but i'll try to pick it up more often--seems like it'd be uber fun, especially after a bad day.

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan7 years ago

My favorite character in Glee is Sue Sylvester, don't think I would watch it if she wasn't in it. Funny in Two and a half men.

Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M7 years ago

Enjoying the series of articles Steve.

Mary Roberts
Mary Roberts7 years ago

(In 2005, Jane Lynch was named one of the “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz”)Awesome Lady, Thanks Steve.

Allan Y.
.7 years ago

Wow, love her on her every so often appearances on Two and a Half Men.