×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Actress Janet Carroll dies at 71

Played the mother in 'Risky Business'

Actress Janet Carroll, who appeared on television and onstage but was perhaps most recognized for her first film role, as Tom Cruise’s oblivious mother in “Risky Business,” died May 22 in New York after a long illness. She was 71.

The role in the highly successful “Risky Business” led to parts in more than 20 other movies over the next three decades, including “Memories of Me,” “Destiny Turns on the Radio,” “Family Business,” “Talent for the Game,” “Enough,” “The Killing Time,” “Forces of Nature” and “My Guaranteed Student Loan.”

Carroll was even busier on television, recurring on series including “Murphy Brown,” “Married With Children” and “Melrose Place” and guesting on dozens of shows, including “Cagney and Lacey,” “Hill Street Blues,” “The Golden Girls,” “L.A. Law,” “7th Heaven,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Ally McBeal” and “Judging Amy.” More recently she had guested on “Scrubs,” “Brothers and Sisters” and “Law and Order: SVU.”

Carroll was born in Chicago and began her stage career immediately after high school, appearing in numerous productions at the Kansas City Starlight Theatre as well as in local Chicago theaters. She appeared in “Mame,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Guys and Dolls,” “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game,” “Carousel” and “Gypsy” before moving to California, where she continued her stage work. Other notable productions include “Lady Windemere’s Fan,” with Lynn Redgrave and John Lithgow; “A Couple of White Chicks,” co-starring Cloris Leachman; and Ezra Pound’s “Elektra,” in which she starred as Klytemnestra and received the Los Angeles Drama Logue Critics’ Award. In 2005 she appeared on Broadway with Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern in the original musical “Little Women.”

Survivors include her son George Brown.

A memorial service will be held at Manhattan’s Advent Lutheran Church, located at 93rd and Broadway, at 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 26. Her ashes will be spread in the Edgebrook Lutheran Church Memorial Garden alongside her parents in Chicago in a ceremony to take place at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10.

More Scene

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content