Christine Baranski

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Christine Baranski
Christine Baranski at Met Opera cropped.jpg
Baranski at Metropolitan Opera opening, 2008
Born Christine Jane Baranski
(1952-05-02) May 2, 1952 (age 62)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Education Juilliard School (1974)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Matthew Cowles (m. 1983; died 2014)
Children 2

Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American stage and screen actress. She is an Emmy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner.

Baranski made her stage debut in 1974 and her Broadway debut in Hide and Seek in 1980. She has won two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for The Real Thing in 1984 and Rumors in 1989. Other Broadway credits include, Hurlyburly (1984), The House of Blue Leaves (1986) and Boeing Boeing (2008).

On television, she is known for her Emmy Award-winning role as Maryanne Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill (1995-1998), and her Emmy-nominated portrayals of Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory and Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife. She has received a total of eleven Emmy nominations. Her film roles include, 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), Legal Eagles (1986), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Addams Family Values (1993), Jeffrey (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Bulworth (1998), Cruel Intentions (1999), Chicago (2002) and Mamma Mia! (2008).

Early life and education[edit]

Baranski was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Virginia (née Mazurowski) and Lucien Baranski, who edited a Polish-language newspaper.[1][2] She is of Polish descent and her grandparents were actors in the Polish theater.[3][4] Baranski attended high school at the Villa Maria Academy in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo.[5][6] She then studied at New York City's Juilliard School[7] (Drama Division Group 3: 1970–1974)[8] where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.[9]

Career[edit]

Stage[edit]

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[10] (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and as the titular Mame in 2006.[6]

In her first Broadway production since 1991, she was featured as the maid "Berthe" in the 2008 revival of Boeing Boeing.[11] 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.[12] The cast included Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Victor Garber, and Marc Kudisch, among others.

She has won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards twice.

Film[edit]

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.[13]

Television work[edit]

Baranski at the Metropolitan Opera 2010 opening night of Das Rheingold.

Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch,[14] 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[15] 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.

Personal life[edit]

Baranski married actor Matthew Cowles in October 1983. They were married until his death on May 22, 2014.[2][16] They have two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987).[17]

Filmography[edit]

Film and television
Year Project Role Notes
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
1983 Lovesick Nymphomaniac
1982 Another World Beverly Tucker TV series, unknown episodes
1984 Crackers Maxine
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
1996 Saturday Night Live Host TV series, episode: "Christine Baranski/The Cure"
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
1998 Bulworth Constance Bulworth
1999 Cruel Intentions Bunny Caldwell
1999 Bowfinger Carol
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 The Guru Shantal
2002 Chicago Mary Sunshine
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 Spellbound TV
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 Inseparable Barbara TV movie
2006 Falling for Grace Bree
2006 Relative Strangers Arleen Clayton
2006 Bonneville Francine
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", "The Status Quo Combustion"
2009 Psych Alice Clayton TV series, episode: "He Dead"
2009–present Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Diane Lockhart TV series, 90 episodes[18]
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"
2012 Foodfight! Hedda Shopper Voice
2014 Into The Woods[13] Cinderella's Stepmother Post-production
Video games
Year Project Role Notes
2013 Skylanders: Swap Force Kaos' Mother[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations in film, television and theatre
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
Tony Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Won
1989 Rumors Won
1992 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Lips Together, Teeth Apart Won
1995 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Cybill Television Won
1996 Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series shared with cast Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Won
1997 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage Film shared with cast Won
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Cybill Television Nominated
1998 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
1999 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Frasier Episode: "Dr. Nora Fairchild" Nominated
2000 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a TV Series 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 Won
2003 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Cast shared with cast Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture 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 Episode: "The Maternal Congruence" Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Episode: "Bang" Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series shared with cast Nominated
2011 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Episode: "Silver Bullet" Nominated
2012 Episode: "Alienation of Affection" Nominated
2013 Episode: "The Seven Day Rule" Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christine Baranski - Family and Companions - Yahoo!7 Movies" movies.yahoo.com
  2. ^ a b "Christine Baranski Biography (1952-)" filmreference.com, accessed April 29, 2011
  3. ^ "Western New York Public Broadcasting Association" wned.org
  4. ^ 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). 
  5. ^ Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 21, 2006). "The lady has it: Christine Baranski stars in 'Mame' for the 2nd time". The Baltimore Sun. 
  6. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (June 16, 2006). "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Mame's Christine Baranski". Playbill.com. 
  7. ^ Shulman, Randy (June 8, 2006). "Christine Baranski: TV and stage actress talks about starring in 'Mame' and 'Cybill'". MetroWeekly.com. 
  8. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Christine Baranski". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Adding Love To the Pies' Time-Tested Recipe", New York Times, May 15, 2002
  11. ^ Simonson, Robert. "PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Christine Baranski", playbill.com, May 7, 2008
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Starry A Little Night Music Concert Presented in Manhattan Jan. 12", playbill.com, January 12, 2009
  13. ^ a b WORLD EXCLUSIVE! New Confirmed Casting For the INTO THE WOODS Movie, Starring Streep & Depp Broadway World, Retrieved July 27, 2013
  14. ^ Christine Baranski: Wasn't Me on 'The Brady Bunch'!
  15. ^ "3rd Rock from the Sun"; Dick and the Single Girl (1997) — Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Matthew Cowles, Actor and Husband of Christine Baranski, Dies" playbill.com, May 27, 2014
  17. ^ Klein, Alvin (January 25, 1998). "THEATER; Being Irish And Being Married". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Filmography by TV series for Christine Baranski". IMDb.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  19. ^ Skylanders Swap Force E3 2013 - Epic Interview Pt 2 (Kaos's Mom, TarClops)

External links[edit]