Margaret Jobeth Williams is an American stage actress, director, and television personality born on December 6, 1948. A respected Hollywood veteran, Williams was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Frances Faye and Frederic Roger Williams.
Jobeth attended Jones High School in the South Park district of Houston, which she graduated from in 1966. During her school days, she was interested in acting, but her high school tutor saw it differently. She took her advice and was accepted into Pembroke College at Brown University in Rhode Island. She graduated from Pembroke in 1970 with a B.A. in English.
After graduation, Jobeth made the crucial decision to pursue a career in the performing arts. She decided to train in the performing arts at the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, where she trained alongside Jim Barnhill and John Emigh for more than two and a half years. After her training, she moved to New York to begin her acting career and began appearing in various television series in the mid-1970s.
Her first recognized role on television was in 1972 when she starred in the children’s television series Jabberwocky and her character was named after her real name JoBeth. After she had appeared in various series in the 70s, Williams’ made her acting debut in 1979 in the film Kramer Gegen Kramer.
She is best remembered for her roles in the following films: “Stir Crazy” in 1980 alongside the adult comedian Richard Pryor and “Poltergeist” in 1982 and the sequel “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” in 1986. She also received an Emmy nomination in 1983 for her role as Reve Walsh – Wife of John Walsh in the film Adam 1983.
Jobeth’s next appearance was in CBS’s Murder Ordained in 1987, followed by Baby M in 1988. She starred in much smaller supporting roles such as the 1991 sex comedy Switch, starring Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits.
After a period away from the limelight and surviving in supporting roles, she was cast in Me, Myself & I in 1992, starring George Segal.
Jobeth’s versatility became apparent when she tried her hand at animation, providing a voice for CBS’s experimental fish police in 1992. It was a short-lived prime-time animated series in which John Ritter also starred.
Jobeth Williams scored with an impressive performance as a director in a 30-minute feature film, On Hope, starring Annette O’Toole and Mercedes Ruehl. The production was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film. She also directed an episode of the supernatural TV series Night Visions in 2001.
Five Facts You Need To Know About Jobeth Williams
1. Jobeth has been married but unable to bear children
Williams is married to the television director John Pasquin. The couple met at the beginning and lost no time in tying the knot. The couple was unable to have biological children and decided to adopt two children.
2. Inducted Into The Texas Film Hall Of Fame
In recognition of her outstanding services to her profession, she was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas, on March 10, 2006.
3. Phobia for Skeletons
On the set of the horror movie “Poltergeist,” the production team decided to use plastic instead of plastic because of the low price of the real skeletons in the pool. Little did they know that skeletons were a taboo for Jobeth. To calm her down, producer Steven Speilberg crawled into the pool and told her, “When the lights go down, we both die”. And his strategy worked, and she went on with the scene.
4. She had to change Her accent
Born and raised in Texas, Jobeth Williams had developed a very strong and striking Texas twang from birth. During her training with the Trinity Repertory Company, Williams was told by her instructors that in order to make it to the top, she had to drop the Texas accent to get to the top. Before Williams moved to New York, she began voice training to suppress her Texas accent.
5. President of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
In 2009 Jobeth Williams was elected President of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to provide assistance and programs to professionals registered with the Guild.