Patricia Wettig

  • Birth Place: Not Available
  • Profession: Actor, Writer, Producer
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A passionate small-screen player who often collaborates with her husband, actor-director-producer Ken Olin, Wettig appeared in a number of '80s series before landing her signature role as a cancer-stricken wife and mother on the seminal yuppie drama thirtysomething. During the show's four-year run, Wettig won a Golden Globe and three Emmys, acted alongside her husband (although they didn't play on-screen spouses) and made her film debut as an unstable movie star in Guilty by Suspicion. As Olin transitioned from actor to TV writer-director, he helped his wife snag recurring roles in a number of series (L.A. Doctors, Breaking News, Alias) but she enjoyed one of her highest-profile parts in years on a show he had nothing to do with: Prison Break, as the manipulative vice president of the United States. Her follow-up series, the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters, became a true family affair, with Olin producing, Olin and daughter Roxy costarring, and son Cliff writing. Taking a cue from her prolific spouse, she also pursued other artistic avenues besides acting, getting an MFA in playwriting and earning kudos for penning My Andy, about the relationship between Andy Warhol and his mother.

Fast Facts

  • Early in career, she worked as a personal dresser for Shirley MacLaine.
  • Met Ken Olin on a train to New England, where the two were slated to appear in a Portsmouth, NH, production of A Streetcar Named Desire; they were married a few months later.
  • Subsequently worked with Olin on a number of projects. They acted opposite each other on an episode of Hill Street Blues, the series thirtysomething and L.A. Doctors (playing lovers); the TV-movies Police Story: Cop Killer (playing spouses) and Nothing but the Truth (playing lovers); and he directed her in thirtysomething, L.A. Doctors, Alias and Brothers & Sisters.
  • Son Clifford went to preschool with producer Marshall Herskovitz's daughter Lizzie; Wettig and Olin were later cast in Herskovitz and Edward Zwick's hit thirtysomething.
  • A 2005 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, honoring outstanding work by female playwrights, for her play My Andy.


  • 1988, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Winner
  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Winner


  • Clifford Wettig — Father
  • Cliff Olin — Son
  • Roxy Olin — Daughter
  • Ken Olin — Husband
  • Florence Wettig — Mother


  • Attended Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, United States (1974); Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, United States (MFA in Playwriting, 2001)
Cord-Cutting Guide. Credit: Robert Rodriguez / TV Guide
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