Movie Talk

‘Risky Business’ mom Janet Carroll dies at 71

(Photo: Jean Paul Aussenard/Wireimage)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: