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Anne Hampton "Annie" Potts (born October 28, 1952) is an American film and television actress. She played parts in 1980s popular films such as Ghostbusters (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), and Ghostbusters II (1989). Potts is also a voice-actress. She played Bo Peep in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

Potts also played Mary Jo Jackson Shively on CBS sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993), Dana Palladino on Love & War (1993-1995), for which she was nominated for Emmy Award, and Mary Elizabeth Sims in the Lifetime drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In 2012, she starred as Gigi Stopper on the ABC comedy-drama series GCB.

She currently stars as Sheldon's grandma on Young Sheldon.

Early Life and Education

Potts was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in Franklin, Kentucky, where she graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School. She is the daughter of Powell Grisette Potts and Dorothy Harris (Billingslea) Potts and has two older sisters, Mary Eleanor (Potts) Hovious, and Elizabeth Grissette ("Dollie") Potts. She received a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree (in theater arts) from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

At the age of 21, Potts was the victim of a car accident which left nearly every bone below her waist broken.


Potts made her debut on the big screen in 1978 in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer comedy film Corvette Summer, with Mark Hamill. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1979 for her role in the film. In 1982 she won Genie Awards for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress for role in the film Heartaches, about a young woman, married to a stock car racer and carrying his friend's child. In 1980, she played Edith Bedelmeyer, a woman who shared an attic apartment with three other women (played by Georgia Engel, Lorna Patterson and Francine Tacker) on the short-lived comedy series, Goodtime Girls.

Potts played receptionist Janine Melnitz in the Ghostbusters film series and then achieved fame as the pragmatic interior designer Mary Jo Shively on the CBS television sitcom Designing Women (1986–1993), and has had a wide variety of prominent roles in both television and film. She was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1994 for role as Dana Palladino on Love & War (1993-1995). Other notable roles include Mary Elizabeth (O'Brien) Sims on the Lifetime Television drama series Any Day Now (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, the voice of Little Bo Peep in the first two Toy Story films, a supporting role in John Hughes's Pretty in Pink as well as guest-starring roles on such CBS's television series as Magnum, P.I., Joan of Arcadia, Close to Home, Two and a Half Men and ABC' Men in Trees, Ugly Betty and Boston Legal. She played a recurring role as Sophie Devere in the NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2005 to 2009.

Potts has done work on audio books, including as the narrator and heroine of Larry McMurtry's "Telegraph Days." She starred in the film version of McMurtry's Texasville, a sequel to The Last Picture Show. She made her Broadway debut upon joining the cast of the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, succeeding Hope Davis in the role.

In 2012 Potts starred as Elizabeth "Gigi" Stopper in ABC's Comedy-drama series GCB, with Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor and Marisol Nichols. She says she based her portrayal of the character on Dixie Carter, adding, "Were she still alive, the role would have been hers and should have been."

Potts played a leading role in the 2012 Hallmark Channel original musical movie The Music Teacher, about a high school music teacher who is on the brink of losing her beloved school music program because of district budget cuts. In an effort to spare the program, Daley's former students band together to stage a musical to raise money to keep the program alive.

In March 2013, Potts signed on for the lead role of the ABC comedy-drama pilot Murder in Manhattan about mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths.

Personal Life

Potts has been married four times, currently to television director James Hayman. She is the mother of three sons, Clay (with third husband Scott Senechal, born 1981), and two with Hayman, James (called Doc, born 1992), and Harry (born 1996). She is a Board Member of Stephens College, and has been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the college for many years. Potts is currently a visiting professor of Drama at the college.



Year Film Role Notes
1977 Black Market Baby Linda Cleary
1978 Corvette Summer Vanessa Nominated - Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
King of the Gypsies Persa
1979 Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers Flatbed Annie
1981 Heartaches Bonnie Howard Genie Awards for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1982 Something So Right Sunday
Bayou Romance Lily
1983 Cowboy D.G.
1984 Ghostbusters Janine Melnitz
Why Me? Daria
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear Cindy Mills
Crimes of Passion Amy Grady
1986 Pretty in Pink Iona
Jumpin' Jack Flash Liz Carlson
1987 The Man Who Fell to Earth Louise
1988 Pass the Ammo Darla
1989 Who's Harry Crumb? Helen Downing
Ghostbusters II Janine Melnitz
1990 Texasville Karla Jackson
1992 Breaking the Rules Mary Klinglitch
1995 Her Deadly Rival Kris Lansford
Toy Story Bo Peep voice
1999 Toy Story 2 Bo Peep voice
2003 Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story Julie Posey
2004 Elvis Has Left the Building Shirl
2007 The Sunday Man Mrs. Culp
2008 Queen Sized Joan Baker
2011 Five Charlotte's Mom
2012 The Music Teacher Alyson Daley
2013 Chu and Blossom post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Bustin' Loose Helene 3 episodes
1978 Family Caddy Wilde 1 episode
1979 Visions Ellen 1 episode
1980 Goodtime Girls Edith Bedelmeyer 13 episodes
1983 Remington Steele Annie Carpenter 1 episode
1985 The Twilight Zone Cathy Lowery 1 episode
1983-1986 Magnum, P.I. Tracy Spencer 2 episodes
1987 CBS Schoolbreak Special Kathy Sanders 1 episode
Amazing Stories Mrs. Bev Binford 1 episode, voice
1986–1993 Designing Women Mary Jo Shively 163 episodes
1993-1995 Love & War Dana Palladino 44 episodes
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1994)
1996-1997 Dangerous Minds LousAnne Johnson 17 episodes
1997 Over the Top Hadley Martin 12 episodes
1998 Hercules Syrinx the Muse 1 episode, voice
1999 Johnny Bravo Wrangler 1 episode
1998-2002 Any Day Now Mary Elizabeth 'M.E.' Sims 88 episodes
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1999)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2000)
2003 Stuck in the Middle with You TV Pilot
2004 Huff Doris Johnson 4 episodes
2004-2005 Joan of Arcadia Lieutenant Lucy Preston 11 episodes
2005 Close to Home Dr. Marla Dodds 1 episode
2006 Julie Reno, Bounty Hunter Angel TV Pilot
2007 Men in Trees Mary Alice O'Donnell 4 episodes
2008 Ugly Betty Linda 1 episode
Boston Legal Joy Espenson 1 episode
2005-2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sophie Devere 4 episodes
2009 Two and a Half Men Lenore 1 episode
2010 Marry Me Vivienne Carter TV mini-series
2012 GCB Gigi Stopper 10 episodes
2012 Animal Practice Virginia Coleman 2 episodes
2013 Murder In Manhattan Blythe Sutton
2013-2016 The Fosters Sharon 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Janine Melnitz Video Game, voice
2009-2010 God of Carnage Annette Broadway Play
2010 Toy Story 3: The Video Game Bo Peep

Video Game, voice


  • Three sons: Clay Senechal (b. 1981), Doc (b. 1992), & Harry (b. 1996).
  • Stephens College in Missouri is the same one Joan Crawford attended in the 1920s before beginning her career as an actress.
  • Original choice for Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987), but dropped out to star in the TV series Designing Women (1986). Glenn Close eventually took the part.
  • Born at 8:30 AM (CST).
  • Returning to Stephens College and joining students in a production of "A Little Night Music" [December 2003]
  • Currently starring in the production "Diva" at the Pasadena Playhouse running January 13-February 19th, 2006 [January 2006]


Click here to see Annie's gallery.