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Way Back When: Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch
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When did you guys first notice Jane Lynch? ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Role Models’ or maybe one of Christopher Guest’s films like ‘For Your Consideration’? In today’s Way Back When, we take a look at an actress who has been around a lot longer than you think.

‘Vice Versa’

Jane Lynch’s first legit film role was in the 1988 movie ‘Vice Versa,’ which was a riff on the ‘Freaky Friday’ story, featuring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage as a father and son who switch bodies when they come into contact with an oriental skull. Yeah. Lynch plays Mrs. Lindstrom, an assistant to an executive, and she shows up in this clip around the 3:00 mark:

‘In the Best Interest of the Children’

Lynch didn’t appear in another movie until 1992, when she starred as a lawyer in this Lifetime TV movie, which also starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Sally Struthers (THINK OF THE CHILDREN) and told the true story of a legal battle waged over the lives of five siblings. Remember when Lifetime didn’t make movies about rape and killer husbands?

‘Straight Talk’

You don’t get to see Lynch’s face, but you do get to hear her voice in this film, which starred Dolly Parton as a housewife who ditches her suburban life for the big city of Chicago and becomes an advice-giving radio show host. The film also stars James Woods and Griffin Dunn, but who cares because Dolly Parton, you guys:

Frosted Flakes Commercial

We’re not sure when this commercial first aired, but it’s how Jane Lynch first met director Christopher Guest, who went on to direct her in a few of his notorious faux-documentaries:

‘Married… With Children’ 

Lynch had a small role in the 1994 episode titled “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” in which she plays a wealthy hotel guest who mistakes Bud for a bellhop and pays him $50 to walk her massive rottweiler.

‘Frasier’

In 1996 Lynch guest-starred on ‘Frasier’ as one of a group of wealthy parents, including Frasier and Lillith, trying to get their kids into boarding school by attending a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the dean:

‘Best in Show’

Lynch’s first “big break” was starring in Christopher Guest’s hilarious mock-doc from 2000 about dog-owners trying to win top prize at a prestigious dog show. Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge play lesbian lovers who own a poodle:

‘The West Wing’

In 2000 and 2001, Lynch guest-starred on two episodes of ‘The West Wing’ as a brass reporter:

next: see Kate Winslet before she was famous

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