‘Risky Business’ mom Janet Carroll dies at 71

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
May 23, 2012

Film, stage and television actress Janet Carroll, perhaps best known for playing Tom Cruise's clueless mother in 1983's "Risky Business," died Tuesday at the age of 71 after a long illness.

A Chicago native, Carroll played Joel's mother in the classic Tom Cruise star-making '80s film -- where she and hubby famously leave town, entrusting Joel with their house and Porsche that later get turned into a brothel and a sunken Lake Michigan treasure, respectively.

After her role on "Risky," Carroll enjoyed a long career filled with mostly small television roles on shows including "Knight Rider," "Cagney & Lacey," "Hill Street Blues," "21 Jump Street," "L.A. Law," "The Golden Girls," "Murphy Brown," and most recently on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

No stranger to theater, Carroll debuted on Broadway in a 2005 production of "Little Women," and has shared the stage with John Lithgow and Lynn Redgrave in "Lady Windermere's Fan."

Carroll had been cast in a low budget movie "Laid Off," a comedy that is said to be currently filming, and she also plays a grandmother in a completed film that is set to be released in 2013 called "College Debts."

Watch Janet Carroll (:10 and :53 seconds in) in this 'Risky Business' trailer:

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