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A versatile performer whose career spans stage, screen, and television roles, in addition to commercial work and musical recording activity, 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.

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