The character Joanne Herring is based on the Houston socialite, business woman, political activist and former talk show host of the same name. Born July 3, 1929, Mrs. Herring is a fixture on the Houston social scene and in conservative politics nationwide. She was also a hidden player in American/Mid-East relations in the 1970s and 80s, as portrayed in the book and film "Charlie Wilson's War."
In addition to "Charlie Wilson," Mrs. Herring appears as herself in the comic 1998 documentary feature Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me, and in one episode of the 1970s German television news series V.I.P.-Schaukel: (#7.2). In the former - the story of a Houston businessman who marries five times - Mrs. Herring playfully introduces herself by saying, "Well, my name is Joanne Johnson King Herring Davis, and I've had almost as many husbands as he's had wives."