Annette O’Toole was born April 1, 1952.
Annette O’Toole is an American actress, dancer, and singer-songwriter. She is known for portraying Martha Kent, the mother of Clark Kent on the television series Smallville.
O’Toole was born Annette Toole in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Dorothy Geraldine (née Niland) and William West Toole, Jr. Her mother taught dance, something O’Toole learned at the age of 3. She started taking acting lessons after family moved to Los Angeles when she was 13. Her first television appearance was in 1967 on The Danny Kaye Show, followed over the next few years with guest appearances in shows such as My Three Sons, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, and The Partridge Family.
O’Toole’s first major film role was as a jaded beauty pageant contestant in the 1975 satire Smile; she got the role after doing an impression of a “dead cockroach” at the audition. She also appeared as Robby Benson’s character’s tutor/girlfriend in the college basketball story One on One in 1977. She co-starred opposite Gary Busey in the 1980 film Foolin’ Around. In 1981, she starred in the HBO onstage production of Vanities, as well as in the TV movie Stand By Your Man, which detailed the life of country music legend Tammy Wynette. Later on in 1982, she appeared briefly as Nick Nolte’s girlfriend in 48 Hours. That same year, she played Alice Perrin in Cat People, and then in 1983 she played Lana Lang (love interest to Clark Kent/Superman), and single mother of Ricky in Superman III. In 1985, she co-starred with Barry Manilow in the CBS television movie Copacabana playing Lola La Mar to Manilow’s Tony Starr. Also in 1985, she had a starring role as Ms. Edmunds in the original Bridge to Terabithia. In 1987’s Cross My Heart, a romantic comedy, O’Toole had a leading role opposite Martin Short.
In 1990, O’Toole had roles in two ABC television miniseries. She played the adult Beverly Marsh in the miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novel It, and also portrayed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in The Kennedys of Massachusetts, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. She next starred in the 1992 NBC miniseries Jewels, based on the Danielle Steel novel of the same name.
In 1993, O’Toole starred in Desperate Justice as Ellen Wells. However, in 1995, she starred as Cheryl Keeton in the 1995 Lifetime television film based on Ann Rule’s true crime novel Dead by Sunset. She had a recurring role on the television show Nash Bridges (1996) and starred in her own series The Huntress (2000) as a female bounty hunter. In 1997 O’Toole starred in the TV movie Keeping the Promise.
In October 2001, 18 years after portraying Lana Lang in Superman III, O’Toole returned to the Superman mythos in the role of Martha Kent, Superman’s adoptive mother, in the television series Smallville. She remained part of the show’s main cast, though at times in the background, until the end of its sixth season. On January 19, 2010, it was announced that O’Toole would be returning to Smallville for at least one episode.
On November 22, 2010, O’Toole played the role of Veronica, a middle aged woman suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer’s, in season 3 episode 7 of the TV series Lie to Me. In March 2013 she appeared in Grey’s Anatomy as a school teacher who finds out after surgery she will die from cancer.
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