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Bess Armstrong (born December 11, 1953) is an Americanmarker film and television actress.


Armstrong was born Elizabeth Key Armstrong in Baltimore, Marylandmarker. She attended the Bryn Mawr School for Girls and Brown Universitymarker, from which she graduated with degrees in Latin and Theater (studying acting with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh). While at Bryn Mawr and Brown, Armstrong appeared in over one hundred stage plays. Armstrong's professional acting career began in 1975 with the Off-Off Broadway debut, Harmony House. In 1977, Armstrong made her television debut as Julia Peters on the CBS sitcom, On Our Own. In 1978 Armstrong starred opposite Richard Thomas in her first TV-movie Getting Married. This was followed by her first film on the big screen, The House of God in 1979. Armstrong continued to make several films for both the big and small screens in the 1980s, her highest profile movie in this era probably being Jaws 3-D. Notably, she appeared as the sympathetic new wife, Ginny Newley, in Alan Alda's comedy, The Four Seasons in 1981 and in 1984, she appeared in the hit TV miniseries Lace as Judy Hale, a magazine publisher and one of the three women whom Phoebe Cates rounds up in her quest for her mother. The 1990s brought Armstrong to her best-known role, playing Patty Chase on the critically acclaimed series My So-Called Life. In 2000, she appeared on the sitcom Frasier, in the episode "Mary Christmas." In 2008, Armstrong played Penelope Kendall on Boston Legal. She played a woman accused of murdering her high-profile husband, and was acquitted after being represented by her attorney, Denny Crane (William Shatner). Armstrong remains active in films, television, and the stage.



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