Date of Birth
September 13, 1951
Place of Birth
Seattle, Washington, USA
Jean Elizabeth Smart
5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
Richard Gilliland (7 June 1987 – present)
Connor Douglas Gilliland & Bonnie Kathleen Gilliland
Smart was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Kay and Douglas Smart, a teacher. She is the second of four children. Smart was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13 years old. On the finale of Season 10 of the television show Who Do You Think You Are?, Smart discovered she was a direct descendant of Dorcas Hoar, one of the last women convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.
She is a 1969 graduate of Ballard High School in Seattle; it was there that she gained an interest in acting in the drama program. She graduated from the University of Washington Professional Actors Training Program with a BFA. Smart is a member of the University of Washington chapter of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
– I think that people get to a certain point in their life and they think that nothing can change.
– We all fantasize about a relationship we’d like to do over or something we’d like to change about our past. I think there are a lot more opportunities for second chances in our lives than we think.
– You know as far as diet goes, for a while I was really obsessed with counting fat grams along with the rest of the world.
– Lately, I just let myself eat it more because I think, ‘Oh, my God, a piece of cheese tastes so good’. I think it’s your body telling you something.
– I quit smoking the day I found out I was pregnant, which was nine years ago. But I’ll still smoke in a movie. I have other vices, you know, like potato chips and chardonnay – but not together.
– Personally, I think life offers us the opportunity to take chances and make changes all the time.
– I’ve never met a woman ever, anywhere, bar none, that was more feminine than Dixie Carter.
– Appeared in original cast of the Broadway show, “Piaf,” 1979. Also appeared at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, same year.
– Left Designing Women (1986) in 1991 to pursue other projects and to focus on her family.
– She is the 2nd of 4 children. Her parents were a teacher and a homemaker.
– At age 13, Jean was diagnosed with diabetes. Originally planned to be a veterinarian, but got interested in theater during her senior year in high school. Studied theater at the University of Washington.
– Met her husband when he guest-starred on Designing Women (1986). Delta Burke arranged for the two to meet.
– Is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
– Graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle, Washington, in 1969.
– Gave birth to her 1st child at age 38. She and her husband adopted their daughter when she was 57.