Jane Alexander was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, and attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Edinburgh. Alexander has appeared in more than 70 films including Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All the President’s Men, and The Great White Hope for the big screen, each of which graced her with Academy Award nominations, and on television in award winning roles in Eleanor and Franklin, The White House Years, Warm Springs, Playing for Time, Calamity Jane, and Malice and Wonderland. She has performed in more than 100 plays, among them The Great White Hope, The Visit and The Sisters Rosensweig, appearing on Broadway, London’s West End, and in regional theaters from Atlanta to LA garnering, in addition to a Tony, an Obie, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award, as well as being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Alexander was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1997 and her book about those turbulent years, Command Performance; An Actress in the Theatre of Politics was a New York Times Notable Book.
The Indianapolis Prize recognized her dedication to wildlife conservation in 2012 when she received the inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award. She served on the boards of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Birding Association, the American Bird Conservancy, and as a NY State Parks Commissioner. She is currently active on the board of the Audubon Society.
Jane Alexander lives in upstate New York and Nova Scotia with her husband, Ed Sherin, the award-winning director of the TV series Law & Order and the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and The First Monday in October, among many others.
They have three sons and six grandchildren.