Janet Carroll gambled on Risky Business and it paid off.

The clasically trained actress, whose first film role was playing Tom Cruise's mother in the 1983 cult classic, died yesterday in New York City after a long illness. She was 71.

And while "just use your best judgment, you know we trust you," may not have been the best advice for her "human fulfillment"-seeking son, Carroll made a lasting impression that led to more film work and dozens of appearances on TV series ranging from Knight Rider and 21 Jump Street to Law & Order: SVU and Scrubs.

Born in Chicago, Carroll launched her acting career in the theater before making her small-screen debut (with Dennis Franz and Craig T. Nelson) in the TV movie Chicago Story.

Her credits included Cagney & Lacey, Hill Street Blues, The Golden Girls, Designing Women, Quantum Leap, Matlock, Touched by an Angel, The Closer, 7th Heaven, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Judging Amy and Brothers & Sisters,

Carroll had recurring roles on Married With Children, Murphy Brown and Melrose Place, plus parts on the big screen in Enough, Forces of Nature and Family Business.

Survivors include her son, George Brown. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Manhattan.

She worked consistently throughout the last 30 years and also starred on Broadway as Aunt March in the 2004 production of Little Women.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.