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Why Dr. Gallo From The Big Bang Theory Looks So Familiar

Besides having an incredibly catchy theme song, "The Big Bang Theory" is known for its zany characters and even wackier storylines. The main characters are always getting roped into harebrained schemes despite their impressive intellect, a trope that serves the sitcom well. You never quite know what to expect from Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), Raj (Kunal Nayyar), and Penny (Kaley Cuoco), though it's sure to involve a "Bazinga!" or two. The series also features an interesting cast of supporting characters, as well as a few fan-favorite guest stars.

Actress Jane Kaczmarek gets a cameo in a Season 9 episode of the series titled "The Sales Call Sublimation." One of several storylines in the episode revolves around Penny's attempts to convince a psychiatrist named Dr. Gallo (Kaczmarek) to prescribe a drug she's representing. When Dr. Gallo won't take a meeting with her, Penny asks Leonard to pose as a patient. However, this plan backfires spectacularly when Dr. Gallo's keen observations distract Penny and Leonard from their mission. If you're wondering where you've seen Kaczmarek before, then you've come to the right place. Let's look at some of the most notable roles in Kaczmarek's filmography.

Jane Kaczmarek appeared as David and Jennifer's mom in Pleasantville

Starring Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon, "Pleasantville" focuses on two siblings who couldn't be more different. Jennifer (Witherspoon) is a self-centered rebel who loves MTV and smoking cigarettes in low-rise jeans. Meanwhile, David (Maguire) is a sweet but socially awkward teen who idealizes the saccharine version of reality portrayed in his favorite 1950s sitcom, "Pleasantville." One night when their mother is out of town, a visit from a mysterious repairman turns their world upside down when an argument over the remote control sends the kids into the television universe of Pleasantville. As David and Jennifer explore their new lives in the seemingly perfect town, they are challenged to grow. 

Jane Kaczmarek portrays David and Jennifer's mother, who doesn't get a name in this flick. Although Kaczmarek is only seen at the beginning and the end of the movie, David's relationship with his mother parallels his journey throughout the narrative. David loves the world depicted in Pleasantville because of its optimistic simplicity. His disillusionment with the real world is shown when he listens to his mother argue on the phone with the kids' estranged father at the film's start. In the end, David offers words of comfort to his mother over her failed relationships, demonstrating that his idea of perfection has changed.

Jane Kaczmarek played Lois on Malcolm in the Middle

Jane Kaczmarek has undergone quite the transformation throughout her career, though her most prominent role remains to be her portrayal of the title character's mother in "Malcolm in the Middle." Kaczmarek's performance as Lois is one of the series' highlights as a constant source of both amusement and tension. As the primary caretaker of Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) and his brothers, Francis (Christopher Masterson), Reese (Justin Berfield), and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), Lois is a force to be reckoned with. Although she's often stubborn and quick to anger, Lois is frequently just as childish as her kids. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in this chaotic family.

Lois can't catch a break between her tedious job at the local drugstore, her incompetent husband, Hal (Bryan Cranston), and her rambunctious sons. The character can come off a bit intense, though Kaczmarek manages to strike a careful balance between overbearing and absurd in a way that makes Lois instantly relatable. Kaczmarek's fabulous line delivery packs a punch every time, making her stand out among the ranks of the talented ensemble cast.

Jane Kaczmarek portrayed a district attorney on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Jane Kaczmarek appears in a Season 14 episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" titled "Beautiful Frame." The installment focuses on a young woman named Jessie Sturgis (Yvonne Zima), who's been accused of murdering her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Tommy Bandolce (Joseph Masi). However, Jessie claims that she's innocent. Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) previously investigated Jessie as the victim of an unsolved assault, prompting the team to review her initial case. A bit of digging leads them to Michael Provo (Enver Gjokaj), Jessie's former flame, though their attempts to question him quickly become challenging.

As it turns out, Provo is a private investigator and an informant for the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Kaczmarek plays a tough-as-nails district attorney named Pam James, who's ardently committed to keeping Provo out of trouble so he can continue to be an asset to her office. Provo knows more than he's letting on, but no matter what tactic Benson and her team employ to prove Provo's involvement, James is one step ahead of them. Kaczmarek does a great job portraying her character's misdirected faith in Provo, and James goes toe-to-toe with Barba (Raúl Esparza) in every scene they share. Ultimately, James is forced to accept Provo's guilt, an emotional shift that Kaczmarek effortlessly portrays.

Jane Kaczmarek guest starred on This Is Us

Jane Kaczmarek guest stars in a Season 3 episode of "This Is Us" titled "Katie Girls." As with most of the show's episodes, the plot revolves around the Pearson family's past, present, and future. The installment features several storylines, including Kevin (Justin Hartley) coming to terms with his unanswered questions about his father and Kate (Chrissy Metz) struggling with doubts about motherhood. However, the episode's most touching moments revolve around the early days of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca's (Mandy Moore) relationship.

Rebecca is at a crossroads. She's had one date with Jack, but she's blindsided by the sudden arrival of her old boyfriend, Alan Philips (Hunter Parrish). Alan wants Rebecca to reignite their relationship and move to New York City with him. Although she seemingly buys into the idea, her dream is to go to Los Angeles and pursue a singing career. Plus, she can't get Jack off her mind. Jane Kaczmarek portrays Alan's mother, who offers Rebecca some surprisingly sage advice about following her heart. Kaczmarek's grounded performance perfectly fits the episode's tone, and Mrs. Philip's speech pushes Rebecca to give Jack a chance.