Jane Galloway Heitz, an actress and former casting agent who appeared in several films and TV shows, has died. The actress’s daughter, Amie Richardson told The Hollywood Reporter that her mum had died on 13 November of congestive heart failure at a hospital in Highland Park, Illinois.
The 78-year-old was known for her short but significant cameo’s in Glee as former club director, Lillian Adler.
Her photo was often seen on display in the choir room even though she she only appeared in person twice in the extended director’s cut of the pilot and in the 2015 series finale.
Beneath the frames photo sat a plaque that contained her character’s birth and death years, read: “By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.”
The quote helped inspire Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) to direct the glee club.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jane was born in Minneapolis where she attended the University of Minnesota before later relocating to Chicago.
She apparently operated her own casting business before she decided to have a career move and transitioned into the acting world in her early 20s.
In addition to her screen work, she also appeared in productions at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
While continuing her passion for acting, she opened her own casting business and helped nurture the early careers of esteemed actors Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Richard Kind and Eric Stonestreet, who always credited her for his success.
She was married to her TV producer-director husband, Bill Heitz for 37 years, who died in 2002.
She leaves behind three grandchildren as well as her daughter, Amie.
Glee ran from 2009 to 2015 on Fox in the US.
Over it’s six season’s it aired 121 episodes and over 729 music performances, some of which were number one hit singles.
During its first season, it received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, six Satellite Awards and 57 other awards.
In 2013 one of the lead actors, Cory Monteith died aged 31, of a drug overdose which left fans in mourning for years to come.
An episode called “The Quarterback,” in which his character also died, was dedicated to the actor.
In 2016 after the show had finished running, another lead actor, Mark Salling died, aged 35.
Authorities ruled the death a suicide after finding his body hanging from a tree in a riverbed near his home in Sunland, California, according to a report from TMZ.