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Janet Thiese Edit Profile

also known as Janet Carroll

singer , stage and television character actress

Janet Carroll was an American film, stage and television character actress. Janet Carroll's career spanned more than four decades and included major roles in Broadway musicals and Hollywood productions, but was perhaps most recognized for her portrayal of the oblivious mother of Joel (Tom Cruise) in the 1983 film Risky Business.


Carroll died from brain cancer at her home on Manhattan, aged 71.


In Chicago she received formal theatrical training and began acting professionally in the late 1960s, appearing in numerous productions in local theaters. She then became a regular at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, where she acted during five seasons.

Vocally, she began classical training at age 12 with Dr. Greta Allum in Chicago. Over the years she continued building and expanding her voice and repertoire in formal study with Douglas Susu-Mago. With a fluent 3½ octave vocal range she was able to sing everything from opera to jazz and Broadway style to gospel music and dixieland genre.


Janet Carroll first drew the attention of audiences with her portrayal of Tom Cruise's mother in the 1983 Risky Business. Over the following decades, she went on to grace similar character roles in such big-screen outings as Secret Admirer (1985), Memories of Me (1988), and Family Business (1989). During the 1990s and 2000s, Carroll placed a heightened emphasis on television work, appearing on such series as Touched by an Angel, Ally McBeal, Scrubs, and Brothers & Sisters, as well as playing recurring roles on Murphy Brown, Married...With Children, and Melrose Place. Meanwhile, Carroll also began promulgating brands including Diet Coke, Holiday Inn, and Outback Steakhouse in television spots, delivered portrayals in stage productions including Elektra, Shadow of Heroes, Gypsy, and Mame, and traveled extensively as the vocalist with a seven-piece swing, jazz, and blues band.


  • In 2004-2005, she starred on Broadway creating the role of "Aunt March" in the new musical "Little Women".

    Was classically and theatrically trained in every area of performance art in her hometown of Chicago.


It takes talent, patience, perseverance, persistence, hard work and above all correct guidance in order to become a great singer.

Those with the most successful singing careers are the ones who stay focused, positive and love to sing.


  • Actor's Equity Association

  • Screen Actors Guild

  • American Federation television and Radio Artists.


  • Other Interests

    Metaphysics, music

  • Music & Bands

    American music, swing, jazz, and blues band


George Thiese - American

Hilda Thiese - American

George Brown - American

Tom Brown

Died in 1978

Lauren Shpall