For the last 40 or so years, Jean Smart has been many different people. She was the naïve and sweet Charlene on Designing Women; the serial killer Aileen Wuornos; Frasier Crane’s old high school crush Lana Gardner; Melanie Bird, a psychiatrist to a powerful mutant on LegionFargo‘s Floyd Gerhart, the head of a crime family; and to viewers now she’s Watchmen‘s Laurie Blake, the former vigilante known as the Silk Spectre who is now working as an FBI agent to bring down white supremacists.

It’s safe to say there isn’t a lot of audience overlap between Watchmen and Designing Women. The HBO drama is as far from laughing with the Sugarbaker women as one can go. But no matter the genre, audiences still take notice of Smart.

“I love that. I feel incredibly grateful for that…First of all, the fact that I’m still working so much is fantastic, and the fact that I still haven’t been typecast, I know that that is kind of a rare thing. And so, I don’t take that for granted at all. You know, I’m just enjoying it all enormously,” Smart told E! News.

Smart grew up in Seattle, fell in with the drama department in high school, and received a BFA from the University of Washington Professional Actors Training Program. Designing Women would come in 1986, but before that Smart was on the stage. She said her first show in New York City, the play Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, will always hold a special place in her heart.

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

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