Jane Galloway Heitz, an actress and former casting agent who appeared in several films and TV shows, has died. She was 78.
Heitz was known for her brief but significant appearances on Glee as former glee club director Lillian Adler. Heitz only appeared in person twice on the show, in flashback — in the extended director’s cut of the pilot (which aired on Fox in 2009), and in the 2015 series finale — but her photo was often seen on display in the choir room, including in the show’s very last shot. A plaque underneath Adler’s photo read, “By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy,” and helped inspire Will (Matthew Morrison) to step up to direct the glee club.
The actress made her film debut in David Lynch‘s The Straight Story in 1999, opposite Richard Farnsworth and Sissy Spacek. She went on to appear on such series as The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, and Shameless.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Heitz was born in Minneapolis on Sept. 18, 1941, later relocating to Chicago. She operated her own casting business before making the transition to acting. In addition to her screen work, she appeared in productions at Chicago’s revered Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Heitz’s daughter, Amie Richardson, told THR that Heitz died Nov. 13 of congestive heart failure in Highland Park, Ill. She is survived by three grandchildren as well as Richardson. Heitz’s husband of 37 years, Bill, died in 2002.