“I can still remember her as Laura in Glass Menagerie” Jeff Perry started as the sixth annual luncheon of Women in the Arts took place at The Standard Club on Monday. Three hundred of Chicago’s civic and business leaders gathered to honor Laurie Metcalf. First , the attendees dined on the signature salad and flourless chocolate dessert. After that, Jeff had told wonderful stories of his association with Laurie and her contributions to the early company. It was obvious that the longtime actor had nothing but praise for her. Next came a video presentation of clips of various roles throughout her career that was assembled by Donna LaPietra and Curtis Productions. Finally Laurie engaged in a lively conversation with Steppenwolf Artistic Director, Martha Lavey. They discussed Laurie’s take on her roles and who she admired as an actress. The event raised 175,000 dollars for Steppenwolf Programs like Steppenwolf for Young Adults, the School for Steppenwolf , and the Professional Leadership Program for future leaders in the Arts.
Jeff is one of the original founders of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company along with Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney. From a church basement in Highland Park, Jeff has certainly had an illustrious career. He is a teacher, director, and actor. Along with his movie roles, Jeff’s best known roles include Harvey Leek on “Nash Bridges” Thatcher Grey, the father of Meredith on “Grey’s Anatomy” and his current role of Cyrus Beane , Chief of Staff to President Grant, on “Scandal” Jeff shares a child ,Zoey, with Laurie.
Laurie has won three Emmies and two Tony’s for her work. Along with her theatre work, she is best known for her role on “Roseanne” as Jackie Harris. Recently , she has appeared on “Getting On” and a semi regular role on “The Big Bang Theory” as Mary Cooper, mother of Shelton. She also has appeared in such movies as “Desperately Seeking Susan,” JFK” and “Scream 2.” Laurie first appeared in “The Balm of Gilead” at Steppenwolf.