Who is Kristen Johnston?

With over 60 acting credits to her name, Kristen Johnston is probably still known best for playing Sally Solomon in the hilarious comedy series “3rd Rock from the Sun”, which brought her numerous awards and nominations, including two Primetime Emmy Awardss for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Kristen is particularly known best for her television work, and besides the aforementioned role, she starred in “The Exes” and “Mom”, while movie fans will presumably recognize for her roles in the comedies “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Kristen Angela Johnston under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 20 September 1967, she’s today aged 55 (as of June 2023). A native of Washington DC, USA, Kristen holds American nationality, and comes from a family of Caucasian descent. Raised in her hometown by her parents alongside her two siblings, Julie and Scott, they and their mother prefer to keep their lives private, while their father, Rodney Kohler Johnston, is well-known to the public as a former Wisconsin State senator.

In her autobiography, Kristen shared all about her alcohol and pills addiction during her high school days, saying that at the height of her addiction, she used to drink two bottles of wine per evening. Through her charity organization, SLAM and NYC, Kristen now mentors teenage girls with self-esteem and addiction issues.

When it comes to her educational background, Kristen attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 1985, enrolled at New York University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1989.

Roles in movies

Kristen made her acting debut in the 1985 short movie “The Orkly Kid”. Her next role came in the 1993 short movie “The Debt”, also starring Scott Renderer and Paul Lazar, which had a total of ten award nominations and eight wins.

Two years later, Kristen was cast to play Kate in the comedy “Backfire!”, followed by her support role as Stalker Fan in “Colin Fitz Lives!” (1997) before she landed the role of Ivana Humpalot in the 1999 comedy adventure “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”, also starring Mike Myers and Heather Graham – the movie was nominated for the Oscar for Best Make-Up.

In the following year, Kristen played Wilma Slaghoople in “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas”, in which she starred opposite Stephen Baldwin and Mark Addy. The movie followed the story of the famous neighbors, Wilma, Fred, Barney and Betty on their trip to Las Vegas, where Wilma was pursued by a playboy, Chip Rockefeller – the movie ‘won’ the Stinker Award for Worst Resurrection of a TV Show.

The early 2000s saw Kristen in “Nobody Knows Anything” (2003), “Duane Incarnate” (2004), “Strangers with Candy” (2005), and “Music and Lyrics” (2007). She then mostly played support roles in romantic comedies such as “Bride War” (2009), followed by her appearance in “Life Happens” (2011), among others before she landed the lead role as Esmerelda in the 2016 fantasy adventure comedy “Thrill Ride”.

Kristen starred opposite Helen Sadler and Lucas Jade Zumann in this story of three kids who sneak into a theme park not knowing that the attractions magically come alive. For her performance in the movie, Kristen was nominated for the North Hollywood Cinefest Award for Best Actress in a Feature Film.

In 2018, Kristen was seen as Psychic Sara in “For the Love of George”, which earned her the Orlando Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Performance. One of her most notable roles was Kristen’s portrayal of Alicia in the 2020 comedy-drama “Small Town Wisconsin”. She starred opposite David Sullivan and Bill Heck in this story of a father who tries to be a good dad, but his alcohol addiction is a huge detriment. The movie won four awards, including The Gerold Award for Best Feature Film – this was Kristen’s most recent role.

Roles in series

Kristen made her first series appearance as Amazonia in an episode of the series “As the World Turns” in 1994. Later that year, she guest-starred as Doctor Wendy Smythe in “Chicago Hope”.

From 1996 through 2001, Kristen was seen playing her most notable TV series role, as Sally Solomon in “3rd Rock from the Sun”. She appeared in 139 episodes of this sitcom which followed the story of a group of aliens sent to experience life on the third planet from the sun, disguised as a human family. Sally Solomon was a military expert disguised as the sister of a college professor, Dick Solomon, who was actually the leader of the alien group. Kristen’s co-stars were John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, and French Stewart, and the show had 74 award nominations and 36 wins, including eight Primetime Emmys.

As mentioned, Kristen won two of them, and among many other awards, she was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television.

In the following years, Kristen mostly guest starred in several hit series, and then between 2011 and 2015, she was seen starring as Holly Franklin in 64 episodes of the comedy series “The Exes”, also starring Donald Faison, David Alan Basche and Wayne Knight. Her performance in the series earned Kristen a nomination for the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy or Musical.

She followed with her roles in “Not Today Bianca” (2016) and “Daytime Divas” (2017) before she was cast to play Tammy Diffendorf in the romantic comedy-drama “Mom”, about a newly-sober single mother trying to get her life together, while her passive-aggressive mother is full of criticism about her life. The series, starring Allison Janney and Anna Faris, aired from 2013 through 2021 – Kristen was seen in 57 episodes between 2018 and 2021.

Most recently, Kristen was seen as May-May Montgomery in the series “The Righteous Gemstones”, a comedy-drama about the world-popular televangelist family, appearing in less than five episodes of the show’s third season in 2023.

Love life and relationships

Kristen has been the subject of various rumors about her private life, and has been romantically linked to many of her male co-stars. However, for many people, most interesting about her dating history is that back in late 1999, she began dating the famous “Deadpool” actor, Ryan Reynolds. The two were a couple for a few months but separated in early 2000. In one of her interviews, Kristen said that Ryan is a ‘lovely person’.

Before this relationship Kristen dated actor David Newsom, perhaps known best for his role as Chase Porter in the movie “New Nightmare”;tThe two dated from 1996 to 1998.

Kristen once said that she believes that marriage is not an option for her, and as of June 2023, she seems to be single, hasn’t been married or engaged, and doesn’t have children.

What is she doing now? What happened to her?

Since 2013, Kristen has been suffering with lupus, a disorder that affects the skin, kidneys, lungs, joints, and brain. The actress has a rare form, known as lupus myelitis, which causes inflammation of the spinal cord. Her fans probably noticed her absence from the series “The Exes”, and the reason for that was her battle with lupus.

As mentioned, Kristen had suffered from alcohol and pills addiction, however, she’s been sober since 2006; Kristen is today an addiction recovery advocate. She hasn’t stopped acting, and her fans are hoping to see her soon on their TV screens.

How rich is Kristen Johnston?

Kristen was at the height of her career in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when she starred in the world-famous series “3rd Rock from the Sun”, and also her role in “The Exes” was quite important for her acting career. Starring in hit series, and making appearances in some critically acclaimed movies, besides fame, brought Kristen a hefty sum of money. According to sources, as of June 2023, her net worth has been estimated at over $6 million.

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1 Comment

  1. Kristen was a great chat on Twitter back in the day before Musk ruined it. Chatted to me many times after I enjoyed listening to her reading “Guts” on audible – a great story read in her unique style. She even sent me an autographed copy after a small contribution to her charity SLAM!
    May her present & future days be Happy & fulfilled – luv ya KJO xxxx

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