Fast Facts

  • At age 3, started taking dance lessons at her mother's dance school in Houston.
  • Joined The Danny Kaye Show as a professional dancer when she was 16.
  • First acting gig was a guest-starring role on a 1970 episode of Gunsmoke.
  • Made feature-film debut as a scheming beauty-pageant contestant in the 1975 comedy Smile.
  • Played country singer Tammy Wynette in the 1981 TV movie Stand by Your Man.
  • Was cast as Clark Kent's high school sweetheart Lana Lang in 1983's Superman III opposite Christopher Reeve; and then as Clark's adoptive mother Martha Kent in the 2001 TV series Smallville.
  • Landed guest-starring roles with husband Michael McKean in a number of TV series, including a 1999 episode of Boy Meets World and a 2000 episode of Law & Order.
  • Cowrote, with husband McKean, an Oscar-nominated song (the second they had ever written together) for the Christopher Guest musical mockumentary A Mighty Wind (2003).
  • In 2011, starred in Southern Comfort, a musical based on a Sundance award-winning documentary about Georgian transgender friends; the New York Times praised her "moving performance."
  • Appeared on The Finder in 2012 as Eileen Sherman, Walter's mother.


  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 2003, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee


  • Bill Geisslinger — Ex-husband
  • Anna Geisslinger — Daughter
  • Michael McKean — Husband
  • Nell Geisslinger — Daughter


  • Attended University of California, Los Angeles, CA


  • Birth Place: Houston, TX
  • Profession: Actor, Writer, Songwriter, Producer

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