An Entertainer's Biography
Ann Jillian as
Performer & Entertainer
A three time Emmy Nominee and Golden Globe award winning actress, singer and motivational speaker, Ann is an accomplished performer in all areas of show business. She has starred in motion pictures, television, nightclubs and the Broadway stage. Ann Jillian has been a part of show business for almost all her life.
Good Housekeeping Magazine named her one of the most admired women of the
world. Her prowess extends from the worlds concert halls to feature film, and the
Broadway stage; she has starred in over 25 TV movies, and hundreds of other TV
appearances. Her TV movie, "The Ann Jillian Story" which recounted her victory
over breast cancer was the #1 film of the TV season, but more importantly, it
delivered Ann's message about the hopeful side of breast cancer to it's millions of
viewers. Ann's latest television appearance came when she starred in episode #608 of the popular program, "Touched by an Angel". With the birth of her Son after cancer, she now adds the title "Working
Mom" to her impressive accomplishments. In addition, she is the President
of her own production company, 9-J.
Her interest in show business was fostered at age six by her Lithuanian-born mother when her family moved from her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles. After appearances on Art Linkletter's TV Show's, she obtained an agent. On her tenth birthday, she won the role of "Little Bo Peep" in Walt Disney's film classic "Babes In Toyland". Exactly one year later she played the memorable role of "Dainty June" in the film musical "Gypsy", with Natalie Wood, Rosalind Russell and Karl Malden. Ann obtained a scholarship to the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, which gave her chance to study acting, and music with some of the finest teachers in the country.
Ann made her Broadway debut in the original company of the hit musical "Sugar Babies" with Mickey Rooney in 1979. After Sugar Babies, she headed straight from Broadway to Hollywood, a trip that has certainly proven worthwhile.
Ann has starred in over twenty-five television movies and mini-series, including most recently, "My Son, The Match Maker". Some other recent TV movies are, "The Care & Handling of Roses" from Hearst Entertainment, a romantic fantasy. "It's Him Or Us", (CBS & Warner Bros.), a true story exposing domestic violence, filmed on location in Utah, and "Heart of a Child" for NBC-TV, a true story about the first infant heart transplant. "The Disappearance of Vonnie", also a true story, dealing with domestic violence. A romantic comedy entitled "Fast Company". In development, is a two hour movie titled "Pinned For Live".
"Ann Jillian, "In The Middle Of Love" is a CD release where Ann displays her three octave vocal
styling on songs composed by the multi-talented Steve Allen. The Chicago Tribune raves the CD is a "class act between singer and composer", most record stores are sold out, it's in very limited supply.
Her second CD has two songs on it, "Wind Beneath My Wings" & "Please Don't Be Scared", also in very limited supply. "Please Don't Be Scared" could be the "anthem" for women going through breast cancer.
In 1988 Ann won the "Best Actress", Golden Globe Award for her starring in the poignant NBC television film "The Ann Jillian Story" which also received two EMMY nominations for her and the film. Award winning actor Tony Lo Bianco played Ann's husband, Andy. This autobiographical film received great
critical acclaim as well as a tremendous viewing audience (35 share, 23.8 rating), making it the highest-rated, #1, two hour film for the 1987-88 season. Most importantly, "The Ann Jillian Story" brought Ann's positive message about the hopeful side of breast cancer to millions of viewers.
Ann's illustrious career also includes EMMY nominations for her performance in "Ellis Island", a 1984 CBS mini-series which starred the late Richard Burton. And for starring in the life story of "Mae West", a 1982 ABC TV film with music (Ann did all her own singing) for which she also received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress. Ann lost both the EMMY & Golden Globe to the late Ingrid Bergman, who won that year for "Golda". Ann considers it a personal career high for any actress to come in second to Ms. Bergman any day.
Some additional TV films and mini-series include, "Little White Lies" a romantic comedy filmed in Rome, directed by Anson Williams, "Original Sin" co-starring Charlton Heston, "Convicted: A Mother's Story" co-starring the late Kiel Martin, "Killer In The Mirror", co-starring the award winning actor Len Cariou, the musical mini-series "Alice In Wonderland" co-starring Sammy Davis Jr., Kim Novak and Eva Marie Saint to name a few.
She starred in the ABC TV series, "It's A Living", as "Cassie" the blond wise cracking waitress, and on NBC "Jennifer Slept Here" as well as her own "The Ann Jillian Series".
Her feature film credits include the hits "Mr. Mom", and classic musicals such as "Gypsy" (Warner Bros.), in the June Havoc role, as "Dainty June" and "Babes In Toyland" as "Little Bo Peep".
Her very productive TV career started when she was in her teens co-starring roles in "Ben Casey", "Twilight Zone", and "Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color", as well as a semi-regular role on the hit series "Hazel", starring Shirley Booth.
Ann has sung with the L.A. Pops, Atlanta, Delaware, Ohio, San Diego, & Oklahoma City, Symphony Orchestras, and when her schedule permits, she takes her concert act to stages around the world. Ann was the premiere act to open the Hilton Hotel Casino in Brisbane Australia some years ago.
Ann recently made her third performance with the Delaware Symphony - she's always a sellout.
She headlines regularly in Atlantic City.
Ann has frequently performed with Bob Hope (Bob says she's his favorite song and dance partner) including USO shows with him in Beirut, Christmas week 1983. And in Saudi, Arabia and the Gulf during Christmas week and Desert Shield/Storm. She has performed on many of his TV specials including his 80th in Paris, France and Bob's 90th birthday shows, for NBC-TV, to name a few.
Ann was voted one of the most admired women of the world by Good Housekeeping Magazine's 1990 poll. She is a volunteer performer for St. Vincents Meals On Wheels (feed the elderly program), a life time board member of the American Cancer Society, and the St. Jude Children's Hospital. Ann also works for the USO, and the D.A.V. (Disabled American Veterans Hospital visiting program) and many other charities. Ann is very proud of her past association with the late Doctor Jonas Salk in San Diego who was seeking a cure for HIV/AIDS/CANCER at the time of his death.
She performs one of the most sought after motivational lecture series program on the circuit today. The titles are, "Never Had A Bad Day In My Life", "The Winner In You", "Surviving & Thriving" and "A Conversation With Ann Jillian". They are filled with humor, music, and information about life, health, and the joys of being a mom. When she brings her pianist her words are accentuated with song. Ann employs all of her talents to make sure all her lectures are entertaining as well as informative.
Throughout her career, the talented Ann Jillian has avoided being slotted into any one category. As an actress, singer, and a humanitarian, be it drama, comedy, or music, she can do it all while she continues to grow and make friends along the way.