Jill Hennessy (born November 25, 1968) is a Canadian actress, and
musician known for her television roles on Law & Order and Crossing Jordan.
Jill was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Her father, John Hennessy, was a meat salesman, a job that required considerable travel and resulted in frequent moves for the family. Her mother, Maxine, left the family in 1982, leaving her daughter to be partially raised by her paternal grandmother, Eleanor, in Kitchener, Ontario. She has a younger brother, John Hennessy Jr., and an identical twin sister, Jacqueline, who is a magazine writer and TV show host in Canada. Hennessy has Irish, French, Swedish and Italian ancestry on her father's side, and mostly Ukrainian, as well as Austrian, ancestry on her mother's. Jill Hennessy graduated from Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, Ontario and used to busk in the Toronto Subway.
Jill and her sister played twin call girls in 1988's Dead Ringers. She was short-listed for the role of Dana Scully, on The X-Files. Hennessy is most well-known for playing assistant district attorney Claire Kincaid on Law & Order (1993 – 1996) and for playing the lead role as medical examiner Jordan Cavanaugh on Crossing Jordan. In 1999 she played Lisa in Chutney Popcorn. In 2000, Hennessy wrote, produced, and co-directed with Elizabeth Holder an independent film called The Acting Class. Inspired by a true story, the mockumentary looks at the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional acting class. The film co-starred her sister, and included cameos by a number of Hennessy's former Law & Order co-stars.
In 2001 she portrayed Jackie Kennedy in the film Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot. In 2003 she made a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer. She appeared on Broadway in the musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story in 1990. Most recently, she portrayed Tim Allen's wife in the 2007 film Wild Hogs. On June 9, 2007, she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. She also has been recording an album in Austin, Texas. The album Ghost in My Head will be out in June 2009.
Jill is multi-lingual, and speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish and German. Jill Hennessy married Paolo Mastropietro, a former bartender and sometime actor, on October 1, 2000. Her husband opened a tavern in Northvale, New Jersey, in 1999, and named it Hennessy Tavern, after his wife. Hennessy enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband. They had a second marriage ceremony in January 2001, which took place at New York City Hall with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani officiating. Their son, Marco, was born on September 17, 2003 and son Gianni on November 21, 2007.
The Minneapolis-based band Mollycuddle wrote the song "The Ballad of Jill Hennessy" in honor of the actress. Jill was reportedly very pleased, and offered to perform with the band on rhythm guitar.
This Jill Hennessy Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub