Oliver Jones
May 25, 2009 12:00 PM

She’s stolen scenes in the movies Role Models, Best in Show and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and on TV her gigs playing everything from Charlie Sheen’s shrink on Two and a Half Men to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s pal in Healthy Choice ads have made Jane Lynch as ubiquitous as a ShamWow! infomercial. Jokes the lanky Dalton, Ill., native, 48: “If you have a problem with me, you better just throw out your TV.”

Jane haters, prepare for a miserable summer. Starting May 20, Lynch will be seen as an overzealous gym teacher in the FOX musical comedy series Glee (she bruised her hand slapping it in frustration while trying to master the Charleston), and in August she plays Meryl Streep’s sister in the movie Julie & Julia. Not bad for an actress who was last featured in PEOPLE 19 years ago for her role as Carol in the touring company of The Real Live Brady Bunch. “I’m what you call a late bloomer, which has been a blessing,” says Lynch. “Earlier in my life, I took myself too seriously and could never laugh at myself. But I’ve gotten over that with most things in my life—just not dancing.”

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