Two-time Tony winner Judith Lee Ivey was born in El Paso, Texas. Her father's work as a college administrator required the family to move a great deal, and Judith became adept at fitting in at new schools by being a cheerleader, a student council secretary and editor of a school paper. At one school she became involved in theater and decided to make acting her career.
Judith attended Illinois State University and, upon graduation, started working immediately at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and in television commercials. In 1978, she moved to New York and had her first Broadway role within a year of arriving --- performing on the stages of the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Public Theater, the Second Stage and La Mama, as well as many regional theaters throughout the US. David Rabe's Hurlyburly marked her fourth appearance on Broadway and won her her second Tony Award --- her portrayal of Josie in Steaming winning her the first Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for 1983.
Among her other Broadway credits are Piaf, Bedroom Farce and Blithe Spirit. Her off-broadway roles have included Two Small Bodies, Pastorale, Sunday Runners in the Rain, Fish, and Mrs. Dally Has a Lover.
Judith made her film debut in Paul Newman's Harry and Son --- with roles in other feature films including In Country, Sister, Sister, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Lonely Guy, Without Limits, and The Devil's Advocate. Besides the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of Decoration Day, her many television appearances include the telefilms Almost Golden and The Long, Hot Summer with Don Johnson. Series roles include that of B.J. Poteet on Designing Women as well as leads in the Down Home and The Five Mrs. Buchanans. She has also appeared in numerous TV commercials for products such as Greyhound buses, StaPuf fabric softener, Red Lobster restaurants and Gerber baby food.
Ms. Ivey also starred in Half a Dozen Babies for ABC, and prior to that she was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal in What the Deaf Man Heard, another Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. She also returned to Broadway for her 70th stage production in Voices In the Dark, followed by a 2001 run with Follies.
In 2003, Judith earned rave reviews for her role in the independent film What Alice Found and has continued to appear on stage, including roles in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Women of Lockerbie.
On a personal note, Judith is married to Tim Braine, and they have two children, Maggie and Tom.
Designing Women Online, Designing Women Tribute, Women of the House Magazine
and Belled Online ©1998-Present. All Rights Reserved.