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Dot-Marie Jones        

Emmy-Nominated Actress Known for Her Roles in "Glee" and "Lizzie McGuire," Among Many Others

Dot-Marie Jones was born in 1964 and was raised in Hilmar, California. She first got involved in strength competitions at a fairly young age and started track in middle school. While Jones attended Hilmar High School, she was a champion weight lifter and named female athlete of the year. She started arm wrestling on a whim, and won her first arm wrestling world championship at 19 years old and went on to win 14 more.

After graduating from Hilmar High School, Jones attended Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, where she continued her involvement with sports. She earned a scholarship in track which paid her way through junior college and university. Jones played softball and competed in shot put and powerlifting. She won All-America honors in shot put both at junior college and university, was state champion in 1983 and 1984 and set the national record at the junior college level from 1983 to 1990. Jones qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1988 for shot put and finished sixth. After college, Jones worked as a youth counselor at the Fresno County Juvenile Probation center while continuing her involvement with sports.

Jones, who had no intentions of acting, was discovered at a bodybuilding competition by Shirley Eson of American Gladiators fame. Eson urged Jones to audition for the Gladiators-like Knights and Warriors, and Jones got the part, becoming one of the few female warriors.

"Knights and Warriors" only lasted one season, but Jones' acting career was just starting. She became a bit actor, playing small roles in several television series throughout the 1990s and 2000s and breaking into feature films in the late 1990s, including the cult film "The Boondock Saints."

Jones' first recurring role after "Knights" was as a character named "Dot" on the popular show "Married... with Children" in the mid-90s. She appeared in five episodes over two seasons. Jones' next break was on the kids show "Lizzie McGuire" as Coach Kelly. Since then, she has appeared in popular shows "Nip/Tuck," "Desperate Housewives," and "Prison Break."

Jones, being a fan of "Glee" and having worked with series co-creator Ryan Murphy on "Nip/Tuck" and "Pretty/Handsome," asked co-executive producer Brad Falchuk during an encounter at a supermarket if she could be on the show. Soon after, the character of Coach Shannon Beiste was created for her.

For her role as Coach Beiste, she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011, 2012, and 2013.


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