Date of Birth : Dec 6th 1948
Williams’ first television role was on the Boston-produced children’s, first run syndicated television series Jabberwocky, which debuted in 1974. Her character was named, appropriately enough, JoBeth. She joined the “Jabberwocky” cast in season two, replacing the original hostess, Joanne Sopko. The series ran until 1978. She was a regular on two soap operas, playing Carrie Wheeler on Somerset and Brandi Sheloo on Guiding Light. Williams’ feature film debut came in 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer as a girlfriend of Dustin Hoffman’s character, memorably quizzed by his son after being discovered walking nude to the bathroom.
She is perhaps most recognized for her role in Stir Crazy with Gene Wilder, Poltergeist (1982) as suburban housewife Diane Freeling (she reprised her character in the sequel, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, 1986). A year later she was part of the ensemble comedy-drama The Big Chill (1983). This led to her only major starring role in a studio feature film, American Dreamer (1984) opposite Tom Conti.
Williams continued with a number of performances in notable television movies, including the nuclear holocaust film The Day After (1983), Murder Ordained (1987) and My Name is Bill W. (1989). She earned Emmy nominations for starring as real-life characters Reve Walsh (the wife of John Walsh), in the film Adam (1983) and for her portrayal of Mary Beth Whitehead in Baby M (1988). She also had an Emmy-nominated guest starring role on Frasier and played Reggie Love in the short-lived TV version of the film The Client. In 1995 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her 1994 live action short, On Hope. It was her debut as a director. She appeared on an episode of 24 as Christopher Henderson (Peter Weller)’s wife, Miriam, who literally takes a (non-fatal) bullet for her husband.