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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 09/18/2011

Jane Lynch: Five things you may not know about the Emmy host and ‘Glee star’


Jane Lynch: Emmy host, “Glee” star, admirer of Charlie Sheen. (Williams & Hirakawa - FOX)
You probably know Jane Lynch best as Sue Sylvester, the track-suited, show choir-threatening, Matthew Morrison-insulting menace on “Glee.” But tonight you’ll become acquainted with the comedy veteran in a new role: host of the Emmy Awards.

In a convenient bit of publicity timing, Lynch’s gig as the master of television-awards-show ceremonies happens to coincide with the publication of her first book, a memoir called “Happy Accidents” released earlier this week. In the book — which I reviewed in mostly complimentary fashion — Lynch, 51, mines her own experiences for stories of struggle, success and, of course, comedy. And in the process, she shares some interesting facts that many people may not know about the Illinois native.

Before watching her onstage during tonight’s Emmy Awards, peruse this list of five things you may not know about Lynch. (Hint: one of them involves Charlie Sheen.)

More Emmy coverage:

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Follow tweets from Celebritology during tonight’s telecast , as well as ongoing blogging right here in Celebritology

1. Lynch overcame a drinking problem.

After starting to get drunk regularly in high school, imbibing alcohol became a daily vice for Lynch. (Her drink of choice? Miller Lite.) But at the age of 30, while drinking a rare glass of wine instead of beer, she poured the whole thing down the kitchen sink and vowed never to drink again. And she hasn’t.

2. She praises Charlie Sheen for his work ethic.

Lynch was a recurring player on “Two and Half Men,” playing Charlie Harper’s therapist. And she describes working with Sheen and on the show as a pure pleasure.

“The writing was just outstanding and it was a very happy set, and Charlie Sheen was also such a pro ... Twenty-some shows a season for so many years: he was a machine,” she writes. “He was also a kindhearted gentleman who was loved by the cast and crew. He further won me over by texting words of praise to me whenever he happened to catch me in a guest spot or movie.”

3. Lynch named her lhasa apso after Olivia Newton-John.

ONJ was one of Lynch’s big celebrity crushes in high school, and inspired the name of her dog. Lynch and “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy even approached John Farrar, writer of many of Newton-John’s hit songs, at a restaurant to ask if the “Grease” star would be interested in doing a guest spot on “Glee.” “I asked if he thought it might help if I told I had named my dog after her,” Lynch writes. “{On this, he was noncommittal.)” As “Glee” fans know, Newton-John did appear on the show and, with Lynch, reenacted her “Physical” video.

4. The “Guatemalan Love Song” Lynch croons to Steve Carell in “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” was ripped from her high school Spanish textbook.

“The song set the pedestrian words of the dialogue to a sweet romantic melody,” she explains and, later, translates: “‘¿Dónde vas con tanta prisa? Al partido de futbol.’ ‘Where are you going with such haste? To a football game.’”

5. Cybill Shepherd got a little overzealous while shooting love with Lynch for “The L Word.”

“She snuggled into my armpit, and I made a joke about how well we’d shaved our underarms for each other,” Lynch writes. “When it came time for the kissing, in her spirited attempt to get past the discomfort, Cybill wound up taking the lead and dove in with enthusiasm, cutting me off with kisses before I could finish any of my lines. I appreciated her commitment, but I did need to get my lines out, so we eventually had to map out the scene, planning each kiss.”

By  |  11:44 AM ET, 09/18/2011

Tags:  Emmy Awards

 
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