Baranski at Metropolitan Opera opening, 2008
|Born||Christine Jane Baranski
May 2, 1952
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Education||Juilliard School (1974)|
|Spouse(s)||Matthew Cowles (m. 1983)|
|Children||Isabel (b. 1984)
Lily (b. 1987)
Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American stage and screen actress, and is known for her Emmy Award-winning portrayal as Maryanne Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Leonard Hofstadter's mother) in The Big Bang Theory and her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife. Prior to her appearances in film and television, Baranski rose to prominence as a Broadway actress, winning two Tony Awards, and has continued to work in the theatre alongside her screen appearances.
Early life and education
Baranski was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Virginia (née Mazurowski) and Lucien Baranski, who edited a Polish-language newspaper. She is of Polish descent and her grandparents were actors in the Polish theater. Baranski attended high school at the Villa Maria Academy in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo. She then studied at New York City's Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 3: 1970–1974) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.
Baranski made her Off-Broadway debut in Coming Attractions at Playwrights Horizons in 1980, and has appeared in several Off Broadway productions at the Manhattan Theatre Club, starting with Sally and Marsha in 1982.
Baranski made her Broadway debut in Hide & Seek in 1980. For her next Broadway performance, in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, she won the 1984 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play. Other Broadway credits include: Hurlyburly, The House of Blue Leaves, Rumors (for which she won her second Tony), Regrets Only, Nick & Nora, and the Encores! concert staging of Follies.
At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Baranski starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd in 2002 (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and as the titular Mame in 2006.
In her first Broadway production since 1991, she was featured as the maid "Berthe" in the 2008 revival of Boeing Boeing. The show garnered two Tony Awards, one for Best Revival of a Play and the other for Best Actor (Mark Rylance). The original cast was Bradley Whitford (Bernard), Kathryn Hahn (Gloria), Christine Baranski (Berthe), Gina Gershon (Gabriella), and Mary McCormack (Gretchen). The show closed on January 4, 2009.
She also appeared in a one night only concert benefit performance of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music for Roundabout Theatre Company as Countess Charlotte Malcolm on January 12, 2009. The cast included Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Victor Garber, and Marc Kudisch, among others.
Baranski has also starred in various roles in films and television. In film, some of her better known roles are as Katherine Archer in The Birdcage, Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago, Martha May Whovier in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Connie Chasseur in The Ref and as Tanya Chisham-Leigh in the hit musical Mamma Mia! She will also play Cinderella's Stepmother in the film adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods.
Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch, adamant that "the first real TV show" that she worked on was Cybill.
Baranski was featured as Cybill Shepherd's hard-drinking friend Maryanne Thorpe in the CBS sitcom Cybill, which ran from 1995 until 1998, during which time she hosted Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy Award as best supporting actress in a comedy series along with three other nominations. The next year, Baranski received an Emmy nomination for a guest starring role as an intimidating radio psychiatrist on an episode of the NBC series Frasier. She had an uncredited role in the series Now and Again as the voice of Roger's overbearing wife Ruth, who was never seen by viewers.
She later appeared in the 2000–2001 sitcom Welcome to New York and, with John Laroquette, in the 2003–2004 NBC sitcom Happy Family. She co-starred with Bernadette Peters in a pilot for an ABC sitcom, Adopted, in 2005, which was not picked up. She also played Faith Clancy, the mother of Jim Clancy in Ghost Whisperer. Around the same time, she also portrayed a librarian named Sonja Umdahl in the episode "Dick and the Single Girl" of the series 3rd Rock from the Sun  and guest starred in The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, an unemotional expert in psychiatry and neuroscience who is the mother of one of the protagonists, Leonard Hofstadter. She appeared in the second season episode entitled "The Maternal Capacitance", for which she received an Emmy nomination. Due to the popularity of her first appearance, Baranski returned in the third season for the Christmas episode, "The Maternal Congruence" receiving another Emmy nomination.
Since 2009, she has played the role of Diane Lockhart, a top litigator and senior partner of a Chicago law firm on The Good Wife. She was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Besides her work on The Good Wife and the aforementioned guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, other recent appearances include Ugly Betty in 2009 as Victoria Hartley, the haughty mother of Betty's new boyfriend.
|1977||Busting Loose||Debbie||TV series: Episode "The Decision: Part 1"|
|1980||Playing for Time||Olga||TV movie|
|1982||Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream||Helena||TV movie|
|1982||Soup for One||Blonde in Bar|
|1983||The Outsiders||Girl at Dairy Queen asking for money|
|1982||Another World||Beverly Tucker||TV series, unknown episodes|
|1984||All My Children||Jewel Maniscalo||TV series, unknown episodes|
|1985||Big Shots in America||TV movie|
|1985||Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer||Victoria Baines||TV series, episode: "Mama's Boy"|
|1986||9 1/2 Weeks||Thea|
|1986||Legal Eagles||Carol Freeman|
|1987||House of Blue Leaves, TheThe House of Blue Leaves||Bunny Flingus||TV movie|
|1987||Pick-up Artist, TheThe Pick-up Artist||Harriet|
|1988||Thorns, TheThe Thorns||Polly||TV series, episode: "The Maid"|
|1990||Reversal of Fortune||Andrea Reynolds, Claus' Girlfriend|
|1991||Law & Order||Katherine Masucci Beigel||TV series, episodes: "The Torrents of Greed Parts 1 & 2"|
|1992||Screenplay||Blair Bennett||TV series, episode: "Buying a Landslide"|
|1993||Night We Never Met, TheThe Night We Never Met||Lucy|
|1993||Life with Mikey||Carol|
|1993||Addams Family Values||Becky Martin-Granger|
|1993||To Dance with the White Dog||Kate||TV movie|
|1994||Ref, TheThe Ref||Connie Chasseur|
|1994||Getting In||Mrs. Margaret "Maggie" Higgs|
|1994||War, TheThe War||Miss Strapford|
|1994||Law & Order||Rose Siegal||TV series, episode: "Nurture"|
|1995–1998||Cybill||Maryanne Thorpe||TV series, 87 episodes|
|1995||New Jersey Drive||Prosecutor|
|1995||Jeffrey||Ann Marwood Bartle|
|1996||Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage||Katherine Archer|
|1997||3rd Rock from the Sun||Sonja Umdahl||TV series, episode: "Dick and the Single Girl"|
|1998||Odd Couple II, TheThe Odd Couple II||Thelma|
|1999||Cruel Intentions||Bunny Caldwell|
|1999||Now and Again||Ruth Bender||Episode: "Origins" (voice, uncredited)|
|1999||Frasier||Dr. Nora Fairchild||TV series, episode: "Dr. Nora"|
|2000–2001||Welcome to New York||Marsha Bickner||TV series, 13 episodes|
|2000||Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Martha May Whovier|
|2001||Citizen Baines||Glenn Ferguson Baines Welch||TV series, episode: "Three Days in November"|
|2002||Speed Racer X||Trixie Fontaine||TV series, voice|
|2002||Presidio Med||Dr. Terry Howland||TV series, episodes: "Pick Your Battles", "Best of Enemies"|
|2003||Eloise at the Plaza||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003||Marci X||Mary Ellen Spinkle|
|2003||Eloise at Christmastime||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003–2004||Happy Family||Annie Brennan||TV series, 22 episodes|
|2004||Welcome to Mooseport||Charlotte Cole|
|2005||Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy?||Amelia Von Butch||voice, straight-to-video|
|2005||Recipe for a Perfect Christmas||Lee Bellmont||TV movie|
|2005||Adopted||Judy Rabinowitz||TV movie|
|2005||In The Game||TV pilot|
|2005||Ghost Whisperer||Faith Clancy||TV series, episodes: "Voices", "The Crossing"|
|2006||Falling for Grace||Bree|
|2006||Relative Strangers||Arleen Clayton|
|2006||American Dad!||Homeless Woman||TV series, episode: "Failure Is Not a Factory-installed Option" (voice)|
|2008||Mamma Mia!||Tanya Chisham-Leigh|
|2009||Ugly Betty||Victoria Hartley||TV series, 4 episodes|
|2009–present||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Dr. Beverly Hofstadter||Recurring character, episodes: "The Maternal Congruence", "The Maternal Capacitance", "The Skank Reflex Analysis", "The Raiders Minimization"|
|2009||Psych||Alice Clayton||TV series, episode: "He Dead"|
|2009–present||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Diane Lockhart||TV series, 90 episodes|
|2010||Bounty Hunter, TheThe Bounty Hunter||Kitty Hurley|
|2011||Who is Simon Miller?||Amanda||TV movie|
|2011||Ugly Americans||Grimes' mummy||TV series, episode 10, season 2 "Mummy Dearest"|
|2014||Into The Woods||Cinderella's Stepmother||Post-production|
|2013||Skylanders: Swap Force||Kaos' Mother |
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Medium||Notes||Result|
|1984||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Real Thing, TheThe Real Thing||Theatre||Won|
|1984||Tony Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Real Thing, TheThe Real Thing||Theatre||Won|
|1989||Tony Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Rumors||Theatre||Won|
|1992||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Lips Together, Teeth Apart||Theatre||Won|
|1995||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Won|
|1996||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1996||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1996||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Won|
|1996||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||shared with cast||Nominated|
|1996||Viewers for Quality Television Award||Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Won|
|1997||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1997||Golden Globe||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1997||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture||Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage||Film||shared with cast||Won|
|1997||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1998||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Cybill||Television||Nominated|
|1999||Emmy Award||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Frasier||Television||Episode: "Dr. Nora Fairchild"||Nominated|
|2000||American Comedy Award||Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a TV Series||Frasier||Television||Nominated|
|2001||Blockbuster Entertainment Award||Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy||How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Film||Nominated|
|2003||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Cast||Chicago||Film||Won|
|2003||Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Cast||Chicago||Film||shared with cast||Nominated|
|2003||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture||Chicago||Film||shared with cast||Won|
|2009||Emmy Award||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Television||Episode: "The Maternal Capacitance"||Nominated|
|2010||Emmy Award||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Television||Episode: "The Maternal Congruence"||Nominated|
|2010||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Television||Episode: "Bang"||Nominated|
|2010||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Television||shared with cast||Nominated|
|2011||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Good Wife||Television||Episode: "Silver Bullet"||Nominated|
|2012||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Good Wife||Television||Episode: "Alienation of Affection"||Nominated|
|2013||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Good Wife||Television||Episode: "The Seven Day Rule"||Nominated|
- "Christine Baranski - Family and Companions - Yahoo!7 Movies" movies.yahoo.com
- "Christine Baranski Biography (1952-)" filmreference.com, accessed April 29, 2011
- "Western New York Public Broadcasting Association" wned.org
- Triplett, William (May 12, 2002). "For Baranski, A Most Meaty Opportunity; In 'Sweeney Todd,' Actress Sinks Her Teeth Into a Singing Role". The Washington Post (HighBeam Research).
- Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 21, 2006). "The lady has it: Christine Baranski stars in 'Mame' for the 2nd time". The Baltimore Sun.
- Gans, Andrew (June 16, 2006). "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Mame's Christine Baranski". Playbill.com.
- Shulman, Randy (June 8, 2006). "Christine Baranski: TV and stage actress talks about starring in 'Mame' and 'Cybill'". MetroWeekly.com.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "Christine Baranski". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Brantley, Ben. "Adding Love To the Pies' Time-Tested Recipe", New York Times, May 15, 2002
- Simonson, Robert. "PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Christine Baranski", playbill.com, May 7, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. "Starry A Little Night Music Concert Presented in Manhattan Jan. 12", playbill.com, January 12, 2009
- WORLD EXCLUSIVE! New Confirmed Casting For the INTO THE WOODS Movie, Starring Streep & Depp Broadway World, Retrieved July 27, 2013
- Christine Baranski: Wasn't Me on 'The Brady Bunch'!
- "3rd Rock from the Sun"; Dick and the Single Girl (1997) — Internet Movie Database
- Klein, Alvin (January 25, 1998). "THEATER; Being Irish And Being Married". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- "Filmography by TV series for Christine Baranski". IMDb.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Skylanders Swap Force E3 2013 - Epic Interview Pt 2 (Kaos's Mom, TarClops)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christine Baranski.|
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Movie Database
- Christine Baranski at AllRovi
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Broadway Database
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Q&A: Christine Baranski