Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Jan lived in the comfortable LA suburb of Woodland Hills, the daughter of an attorney. She was injured in an automobile accident that left a scar on her chin. She swerved to avoid hitting another driver and crashed into a telephone pole. The impact smashed her face into the steering wheel, and the scar caused her to feel insecure about her looks.
At age 17, Jan was interviewed by Newsweek for a story about typical American teenagers, and she was photographed riding on the back of a motorcycle. That picture appeared on the March 21, 1966 cover of the magazine and the exposure led to modeling and commercial work.
Jan had little acting experience before “WKRP.” She appeared in episodes of TV shows “Starsky and Hutch” and “Love Story” in the early 1970s, and in the small budget films “When the North Wind Blows” and “Where the Lilies Bloom” in 1974.After “WKRP,” Jan guest starred in “The Love Boat,” “The Fall Guy,” and “Murder, She Wrote,” among other TV series. She met husband James Brolin on the set of “Hotel” in 1984. They divorced in 1995.
Jan retired from acting in 2004 and settled first in Halifax, Novia Scotia, then moved back to California.