Jane Lynch

A scene-stealing character actress first known to fans of Christopher Guest films for her breakout role as dog trainer Christy Cummings in "Best in Show" (2000), Jane Lynch eventually went on to earn lead actor status in a variety of projects. Lynch's talent for playing confident and normal characters with a suggestion of something slightly twisted beneath the surface made her a perfect fit for mainstream comedies like "The 40-Year Old Virgin" (2005) and "Talladega Nights" (2006) - both of which established her persona. Her prolific film work and dizzying schedule as a TV guest star led to recurring roles on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15), "The L Word" (Showtime, 2005-09), and eventually starring status on "Glee" (Fox, 2009-2015), the high school theater send-up that showcased Lynch's talent for putting her offbeat spin on typically buttoned-up characters. In fact, it was her turn as the high school gym teacher and arch-nemesis Sue Sylvester on "Glee" that catapulted the always funny Lynch into a household name. Meanwhile, Lynch became the unofficial spokesperson for LGBT rights when she married her longtime partner, Lara Embry, in 2010. (The couple divorced in 2014.) Whether on television or the silver screen - or even as host of the Emmy Awards - Lynch always elevated the material with her biting wit and unending comic talent.