Michelle Forbes at the True Blood premiere party, June 2009.
|Born||Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo
January 8, 1965
Austin, Texas, US
|Spouse(s)||Ross Kettle (1990–?; divorced)|
Michelle Renee Forbes Guajardo (born January 8, 1965), known professionally as Michelle Forbes, is an American actress who has built a career of work in television and independent film and has acted in productions in both the United States and in the United Kingdom. Forbes first gained attention from her dual role in daytime soap opera Guiding Light, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. She has also been nominated for multiple Screen Actors Guild- and Saturn Awards during her career.
Although she has appeared in significant roles in movies such as Escape from L.A., Kalifornia and Swimming with Sharks, Forbes is known for her recurring appearances on genre and drama shows such as Ensign Ro Laren in Star Trek: The Next Generation and her regular role as Dr. Julianna Cox on Homicide: Life on the Street during the 1990s, while building her career with recurring roles throughout the 2000s in Battlestar Galactica, 24, In Treatment, Durham County, Prison Break and her series regular role as Maryann Forrester on True Blood.
Life and career
Born in Austin, Texas, Forbes hoped to become a ballet dancer. She began receiving formal acting training at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. While on vacation in New York City at the age of 16, she found herself auditioning for a film; although she was not selected, she signed with the William Morris Agency and began her professional acting career. In 1987, at age 22, she landed the dual roles of Solita Carrera and Sonni Carrera Lewis on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light. She performed on the show for two years, receiving a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for her performance in 1990.
After this role, she continued in theater, which was an early love of hers, and began appearing in small guest roles on television to raise her profile. She went on to make guest appearances on a few other TV shows (including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Father Dowling Mysteries) before landing the recurring role of Ro Laren, a fiery, yet reserved Bajoran, towards the end of the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Her portrayal of disgraced Bajoran Starfleet officer Ensign Ro won her many fans among the genre community, and her character quickly became a favorite despite appearing in just eight episodes.
The producers of Star Trek invited Forbes to reprise Ro in the spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but Forbes declined the offer and decided to focus on a career in films. She received praise, as well as a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for her performance as the photographer Carrie Laughlin in the 1993 thriller Kalifornia. This was followed with the lead female role in the acclaimed 1994 black comedy Swimming with Sharks, as well as supporting roles in such films as The Road Killers, Just Looking and John Carpenter's 1996 science fiction/action sequel Escape from L.A. She continued performing on television during this period, with guest spots on Seinfeld, The Outer Limits, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, to which she returned to tie up the Ro Laren storyline in the series' penultimate episode.
In 1996, Forbes joined the cast of NBC's popular police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, playing chief medical examiner Julianna Cox. She remained with the show for two years, then was let go as part of a major cast overhaul (the series would be canceled after one more season). However, she would reprise the role in the 2000 TV special Homicide: The Movie. That same year, Forbes became a regular on Wonderland, an ABC series, but it was pulled from the air after only two episodes. Forbes was next seen in a recurring role on the police drama The District.
She was subsequently given roles in films such as 2001's Perfume and 2002's American Girl, as well as the 2001 British TV movie Messiah (for which she studied British sign language for a week) and its sequel installments: Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine in 2002 and Messiah III in 2003. During the 2002–2003 TV season, Forbes played the recurring character of Lynne Kresge, the aide to the President of the United States, on the second season of the action series 24. Actor Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer, reportedly was a big Star Trek fan and excited to work with her given her history with the show. She followed her role on 24 with a guest spot on Alias, then went on to play Admiral Helena Cain in three episodes of the re-imagining of the classic sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, as well as starring in the TV movie Battlestar Galactica: Razor. She followed this up with a recurring role as Agent Samantha Brinker on the drama Prison Break and guest starred on Boston Legal and Lost.
Forbes starred as the lead in the adaptation of the comic-book Global Frequency, the single produced episode of which infamously leaked online the following year, eight months after the series failed to be picked up by Warner Bros. networks. This was the first instance of an unaired pilot episode leaking via P2P and BitTorrent clients.
Forbes returned to British television screens with guest roles in both Holby City and as a Mossad agent in Waking the Dead. In 2008, Forbes starred in two HBO drama series; In Treatment, portraying the wife of the central character, and in True Blood as a Maenad named Maryann Forrester. She reprised her semi-regular roles in both series in their respective second seasons in 2009, as well as joining the cast of the Canadian psychological drama series Durham County for its second season as Dr. Penelope Verity.
Credits and appearances
|Year||Title||Role||Notes (All works are U.S. productions unless stated)|
|Kalifornia||Carrie Laughlin||Nomination for a Saturn Award for Best Actress|
|1994||Swimming with Sharks||Dawn Lockhard|
|The Chosen One||The Mother|
|Black Day Blue Night||Rinda Woolley|
|1996||Escape from L.A.||Brazen|
|2002||Confessions of an American Girl||Madge Grubb|
|Al Roach: Private Investigator||Dede Dragonfly||Voice-over, animated feature|
|2009||Diplomacy||U.S. Secretary of State|
|Year||Title||Role||Notes (All works are U.S. productions unless stated)|
|1987–1989||Guiding Light||Dr. Sonni Carrera-Lewis||Multiple episodes|
|1991||Father Dowling Mysteries||Gym Instructor||1 episode|
|Shannon's Deal||1 episode|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation||Dara||1 episode|
|1991–94||Ensign / Lt. Ro Laren||8 episodes|
|1996||The Outer Limits||Jamie Pratt||1 episode|
|The Prosecutors||Dist. Atty. Rachel Simone||TV movie|
|1996–98||Homicide: Life on the Street||Dr. Julianna Cox||32 episodes|
|1998||Brimstone||Assistant D.A. Julia Trent||1 episode|
|2000||Homicide: The Movie||Dr. Julianna Cox||TV movie|
|The District||Helen York||7 episodes|
|Wonderland||Dr. Lyla Garrity||8 episodes (cancelled by ABC after 2 shows, remaining episodes broadcast by DirecTV in 2008)|
|2001–04||Messiah||Susan Metcalfe||3 serial stories shown in multiple parts (UK production)|
|2002||Johnson County War||Rory Hammett||TV movie|
|Strong Medicine||Assistant District Attorney Jill Sorenson||2 episodes|
|Fastlane||Lena||1 episode (uncredited)|
|2002–03||24||Lynne Kresge||18 episodes|
|2004||Love is the Drug||Reena||3 episodes (Irish production)|
|Global Frequency||Miranda Zero||1 unaired pilot, leaked online in 2005|
|2005||Alias||Dr. Maggie Sinclair||1 episode|
|The Inside||Zoya Petikof||1 episode|
|2005–06||Battlestar Galactica||Admiral Helena Cain||3 episodes|
|Prison Break||Samantha Brinker||7 episodes|
|2006||Holby City||Rhetta Slattery||1 episode (UK production)|
|Boston Legal||Juliette Monroe||1 episode|
|2007||Unthinkable||Jamie McDowell||TV movie|
|Battlestar Galactica: Razor||Admiral Helena Cain||TV movie|
|2007–08||Waking the Dead||Sarah||3 episodes (UK production)|
|2008||Lost||Karen Decker||1 episode|
|2008–09||In Treatment||Kate||15 episodes|
|True Blood||Maryann Forrester||15 episodes|
|2009||Durham County||Dr. Pen Verrity||6 episodes (Canadian production)|
|2011-2012||The Killing||Mitch Larsen||26 episodes|
|2013||Chicago Fire||Gail McLeod||Recurring|
|2004||Half-Life 2||Dr. Judith Mossman||Voice-over|
|2006||Half-Life 2: Episode One|
|2007||Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
|2009||The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena||Captain Gail Revas||Voice-over|
|2011||DC Universe Online||Circe||Voice-over|
Awards and nominations
|1990||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Guiding Light||Nominated|
|Soap Opera Digest Award||Outstanding Daytime Villainess||Nominated|
|1993||Saturn Award||Best Actress||Kalifornia||Nominated|
|2003||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||24||Nominated (shared with co-stars of 24)|
|2010||Saturn Award||Best Guest Starring Role in Television||True Blood||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated (shared with co-stars of True Blood)|
|2011||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Killing||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|38th Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress in Television||Won|
- Zeitchik, Steven (2011-07-14). "Emmys: Michelle Forbes on her nomination and the 'Killing' backlash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
- Nemecek, Larry. Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 164.
- Reeves-Stevens, Judith & Garfield (1994). The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Pocket Books. pp. 70, 105. ISBN 0-671-87430-6.
- "Rejected TV Pilot Thrives on P2P". Wired.com. June 27, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
- Biography TV.com
- "Michelle Forbes Delves Into The Darkness Of Durham County" November 2, 2008, Blogg Critics
- "2011 Emmy Nominations". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- Published Monday, Jun 6 2011, 14:20 BST (2011-06-06). "2011 Critics Choice Nominees". Digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- "RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and SUPER 8 lead Saturn Awards with 3 awards each.". saturnawards.org. July 26, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
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