Jill Hennessy (Actress) - Crossing Jordan
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Updated: 11/16/21

Name: Jill Hennessy

Birth Name: Jillian Noel Hennessy

Born: November 25, 1968 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Claim To Fame: Jill Hennessy is a Canadian actress and singer best known for her roles on the American television series Law & Order, on which she played prosecutor Claire Kincaid, and for three seasons and Crossing Jordan, on which she played the lead character, Jordan Cavanaugh, for six seasons.

Family Life: In 2000, Hennessy married Paolo Mastropietro. Together they have two children; sons Marco and Gianni.

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Info: Her father, John Hennessy, was a meat salesman and sales/marketing executive. Her mother, Maxine, a secretary, left the family in 1982, leaving her daughter to be partially raised by her paternal grandmother, Eleanor.

She has a younger brother, John Paul "J.P." Hennessy, Jr., and an identical twin sister, Jacqueline, who is a magazine writer and TV show host in Canada.

Hennessy has Irish, French, Swedish, Austrian, Ukrainian and Italian ancestry.

Hennessy is multilingual, speaking English, Italian, French, Spanish and German.

Attended Stanley Park Senior Public School and graduated from Grand River Collegiate Institute.

She used to busk (play the guitar and sing for money) in the New York City subway.

In 2001, Hennessy and husband Paolo Mastropietro had a second marriage ceremony which took place at New York City Hall with Mayor Rudy Giuliani officiating.

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Trivia: Hennessy and her sister made their acting debut playing twin call girls in 1988's Dead Ringers.

Was on the short list for the role of Dana Scully on The X-Files (1993); eventually lost out to Gillian Anderson.

Credits Steven Hill as her acting mentor.

In 1990, she appeared on Broadway in the musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story.

In 1993, Dick Wolf signed Hennessy as assistant district attorney Claire Kincaid in the NBC crime drama Law & Order. She played the role for three seasons, leaving the show in 1996.

In 1999, she opened Hennessy's Tavern in Northvale, New Jersey. It was known for its "comfort food." Unfortunately, it closed in 2011.

In 2000, Hennessy wrote, produced, and jointly directed (with Elizabeth Holder) an independent film mockumentary titled The Acting Class, which looked at the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional acting class.

In 2001, Hennessy won a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Nuremberg (2000).

In 2001, Hennessy starred on the TV show Crossing Jordan as the title character, Boston medical examiner Jordan Cavanaugh.

She's such a fan of the folk duo Indigo Girls that a poster of the act hangs in the kitchen set of her character.

Hennessy even recorded songs for the show's soundtrack.

The launch of the third season was delayed for about half a year to accommodate her real-life pregnancy.

In 2002, voted one of the "Fun and Fearless Females" by Cosmopolitan Magazine.

In 2007, Hennessy won a Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead in a Drama Series for Crossing Jordan (2001).

In 2007, she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

In 2009, Hennessy recorded her first album Ghost in My Head.

In 2015, her second album, I Do, was released.

The Minneapolis-based band Mollycuddle wrote the song "The Ballad of Jill Hennessy" in honor of the actress.

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Where Are They Now: Hennessy is one of the busiest actresses working today. She is currently playing Jenny Rohr on the Showtime series with co-stars Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge. Plus, Hennessy has a role in the drama The Road to Galena, which is now in post-production; no release date has been announced.


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