Glee & The Big Bang Theory Actress Jane Galloway Heitz Dies at 78

Jane Galloway Heitz, a character actress who appeared in an array of movies and television shows since the 1990s, has passed away at the age of 78. Galloway Heitz's death was first confirmed by an obituary in the Chicago Tribune. The actress most notably played the character of Lillian Adler, the former Glee Club teacher of McKinley High School, in two episodes of Glee. Outside of that, she also made appearances on The Big Bang Theory, Shameless, and Monk. On the film side, Adler appeared in 1999's The Straight Story, 2001's Just Visiting, and 2007's I Know Who Killed Me.

Galloway Heitz was born in 1950, and her first credited role is the 1993 short film Welcome to the Max. In the years to come, Galloway Heitz appeared in episodes of ER, Grey's Anatomy, Prison Break, Without a Trace, and Monk. She also portrayed Mildred in "The Friendship Algorithm", a 2009 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Her film credits include playing Dorothy in David Lynch's 1999 movie The Straight Story. She also played "Dinah the Drunk" in Just Visiting, as well as a nurse in the Lindsay Lohan-led I Know Who Killed Me.

Prior to her death, her most recent credits included episodes of Save Me, Legit, and Shameless, as well as a small role in the 2013 vampire cop movie Blood Shot.

In the world of Glee, Lillian Adler was the longtime Glee Club director at McKinley High, whose students included a young William Schuester (Matthew Morrison). She appeared in person in the "director's cut" of the show's pilot episode, during a flashback to Will's high school days in the Glee Club. Throughout much of the series, Adler appeared as in framed photo and plaque hanging in the club's classroom, with the quote "By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy". That plaque made an uncredited appearance in the show's 2015 series finale, alongside a plaque commemorating Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith).

Galloway Heitz is survived by her daughter Amie (Rod) Richardson and three grandchildren. Her memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 30th at 11 a.m. at the Church of Our Savior in Elmhurst, IL. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association be made in Galloway Heitz's honor.

Our thoughts are with Galloway Heitz's family, friends, and fans at this time.