Mary Lynn Rajskub

An actress on living in the Valley, her art and her next act.

At first glimpse of Mary Lynn Rajskub (pronounced “rice-cub”) in a Ventura Boulevard Starbucks, you can’t help but do a double-take. The actress looks nothing like her plain-Jane character, computer analyst Chloe, on the FOX show 24. She’s much prettier and more petite.
And while the super-serious Chloe hardly ever cracked a smile, Mary Lynn is funny. In fact, she started out her career as a comedic actress. “I had regular roles on shows like Veronica’s Closet and The Larry Sanders Show. I hadn’t had a single dramatic role when I auditioned for 24,” she remarks. 

So when she went on a casting call in season three, she wasn’t expecting much. “I hadn’t watched the show, but implied I had. Not a good start!” she laughs.  The commitment was originally for four episodes. “That stretched to six. And then they just kept hiring me. Ultimately I became more than just an analyst but Jack’s confidant.”

24, turns out, was what introduced Mary Lynn to the Valley. The show taped in Chatsworth, and the actress was living in Venice. “Aside from being closer to work, I was attracted to the amount of space you could get.” Mary Lynn now lives with her husband, a personal trainer, and toddler son in a sprawling ranch-style house. “Every time we think of moving, we think of what we have: a yard for the dogs, the pool, the circular driveway. Our guest house is the size of my entire Venice apartment!” she says.

That guesthouse is also where Mary Lynn, a Detroit native, indulges her passion. “I took a watercolor class at a strip mall when I was younger. You basically copied greeting cards. That got me started painting.” She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in college. “My work nowadays is very colorful and expressive. I particularly love primitive and kids’ art.”


Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub in her Woodland Hills guest house-turned-art studio. Photographed by Lauren Devon.

She won’t have much time to paint in upcoming months though. The actress has a co-starring role in the new CBS sitcom How to be a Gentleman, debuting  in September. “I could’ve gone either way, doing another drama or a comedy. I loved doing 24, but this is lighter which will be a fun change.” Another positive—with the new show’s studio located in Studio City, her west Valley hub remains a plus.