Mira Sorvino

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Mira Sorvino
Born Mira Katherine Sorvino
(1967-09-28) September 28, 1967 (age 47)
New York City, New York, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Christopher Backus (m. 2004)
Children 4
Parent(s) Paul Sorvino
Lorraine Ruth Davis
Mira Sorvino on Twitter

Mira Katherine Sorvino (born September 28, 1967) is an American actress. She came to prominence after winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her performance in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite (1995). She is also known for her roles in the films Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), Mimic (1997), The Replacement Killers (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), and Like Dandelion Dust (2009). She received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her role in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996), and a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Human Trafficking (2005).

Early life[edit]

Sorvino was born on September 28, 1967 in New York City, New York.[1] Her mother, Lorraine Ruth Davis, is a drama therapist for Alzheimer's disease patients and a former actress; her father, Paul Sorvino, is a character actor and director.[2][3] She has two siblings, Michael and Amanda. Sorvino is of Italian descent on her father's side.[4]

Sorvino was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey,[5] where she wrote and acted in backyard plays with her childhood friend Hope Davis and in theater productions at Dwight-Englewood School. Sorvino was accepted into Harvard University, and studied one year as an exchange student in Beijing, China, where she became fluent in Mandarin Chinese.[6] In 1989, she graduated from Harvard magna cum laude with a degree in East Asian Studies.[7] She also helped found the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones, one of Harvard's co-ed a cappella groups in 1985.[8]


Sorvino spent the next three years in New York City, trying to make a name for herself as an actress.[citation needed] When the 1993 film Amongst Friends entered pre-production, she was hired as third assistant director, then was promoted to casting director, then to assistant producer, and was finally offered a lead role. Positive reviews[9][10] opened doors for her.

After small roles in Robert Redford's Quiz Show and Whit Stillman's Barcelona, she was cast in the 1995 Woody Allen film Mighty Aphrodite. Her portrayal of a happy go lucky prostitute made her a star, winning her an Academy Award[11] and Golden Globe[12] for Best Supporting Actress. Other credits include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion alongside Lisa Kudrow, At First Sight with Val Kilmer, and Summer of Sam from Spike Lee. She portrayed Marilyn Monroe for the 1996 HBO film Norma Jean & Marilyn, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe,[13] and the lead role in the 1997 horror movie Mimic from Guillermo del Toro. In 1995, she portrayed Conchita Closson in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers based on Edith Wharton's last novel.

In recent years, Sorvino has starred in lower-budget and independent films.[citation needed] In 2006, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Lifetime film Human Trafficking.[14]

Sorvino at the premiere of Union Square, Austin Film Festival, October 28, 2011

In February 2008, she guest starred in the "Frozen" episode of the medical television drama House. There was talk of making her character, psychiatrist Cate Milton, a recurring character; however, the writers strike put a freeze on such discussions.[15]

She starred in Attack on Leningrad (2009), Multiple Sarcasms (2010) alongside Timothy Hutton and Stockard Channing, and Nancy Savoca's Union Square (release date, July 2012), with Patti Lupone and Tammy Blanchard.[16]

She was considered for the role of video game heroine Jill Valentine in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) before the role was played by British actress Sienna Guillory.[citation needed]

In 2012, she stars in the feature film Union Square by Nancy Savoca. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival[17] to good reviews.[18] [19]

In the same year, Sorvino played the mother of the lead in the film adaptation of Wendy Mass’s popular children’s book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.[20]

In 2014, she recurred as Head Detective Betsy Brannigan on the final season of Psych, and on the fourth season of Falling Skies as John Pope's love interest, Sara.[21] Sorvino also joined the cast of the television series Intruders, playing the role of Amy Whelan.

Personal life[edit]

Sorvino at the Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium in Washington, DC, January 30, 2013

Between 1996 and 1998, Mira Sorvino was romantically involved with director Quentin Tarantino, who was her escort to the Academy Awards ceremony where she won Best Supporting Actress for Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite.[22]

Sorvino met actor Christopher Backus at a friend's charades party in August 2003. On June 11, 2004, they married in a private civil ceremony at the Santa Barbara, California courthouse, then later had a hilltop ceremony in Capri, Italy. The couple have four children: daughters Mattea Angel (born 2004)[23] and Lucia (born 2012)[24] and sons Johnny Christopher King (born 2006)[25] and Holden Paul Terry Backus (born 2009).[26]

She has been affiliated with Amnesty International since 2004,[27] and, in 2006, was honored with Amnesty International’s Artist of Conscience Award given to those who have displayed longstanding philanthropic and humanist efforts. Sorvino has been a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking, since 2009 through 2012, and has lobbied Congress to abolish human trafficking in Darfur.[28]

In honor of Sorvino's role as Dr. Susan Tyler, an entomologist who was investigating deadly insect mutations in the feature film Mimic, a compound excreted by the sunburst diving beetle as a defensive mechanism was named "mirasorvone" by Thomas Eisner.[29],[30]

In September 2014 Sorvino gave a wide ranging interview on the The Nerdist Podcast in which she discusses her education, her life in China. and many of her varied interests.[31]

Sorvino is a devout Christian.[32][33]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Stuff Factory worker Uncredited[34]
1993 Obit Writer, TheThe Obit Writer Short film
1993 Amongst Friends Laura
1993 Nyû Yôku no koppu Maria
1994 Quiz Show Sandra Goodwin
1994 Barcelona Marta Ferrer
1995 Sweet Nothing Monika
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Linda Ash Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
1995 Blue in the Face Young Lady
1996 Beautiful Girls Sharon Cassidy
1996 Tales of Erotica Teresa Short film The Dutch Master
1996 Tarantella Diane
1997 Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Romy White Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence
1997 Mimic Dr. Susan Tyler Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1998 Replacement Killers, TheThe Replacement Killers Meg Coburn
1998 Lulu on the Bridge Celia Burns
1998 Too Tired to Die Death/Jean
1998 Free Money Agent Karen Polarski
1999 At First Sight Amy Benic
1999 Summer of Sam Dionna
2001 Grey Zone, TheThe Grey Zone Dina
2001 Triumph of Love, TheThe Triumph of Love The Princess
2002 WiseGirls Meg Kennedy
2002 Semana santa Maria Delgado
2002 Between Strangers Natalia Bauer
2003 Gods and Generals Fanny Chamberlain
2004 Final Cut, TheThe Final Cut Delila
2006 Covert One: The Hades Factor Randi Russell
2007 Reservation Road Ruth
2008 The Last Templar Tess
2009 Multiple Sarcasms Cari
2009 Like Dandelion Dust Wendy Porter New York VisionFest Award for Acting - Female Lead
Sonoma Valley Film Festival Award for Best Actress
San Diego Film Festival Award for Best Actress
2009 Trouble with Cali, TheThe Trouble with Cali The Balletmaster
2009 Sweet Flame Sheila
2009 Attack on Leningrad Kate Davis
2010 Presence, TheThe Presence The Woman
2011 Angels Crest Angie
2012 Union Square Lucy
2012 Perfect Sisters Linda
2012 Smitty Amanda
2012 Trade of Innocents Claire Becker Nominated—Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
2013 Space Warriors Sally Hawkins
2015 Do You Believe? Samantha
2015 Daughter of God Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Swans Crossing Sophia Eva McCormick De Castro 6 episodes
1994 Parallel Lives Matty Derosa Television film
1995 Buccaneers, TheThe Buccaneers Conchita Closson 5 episodes
1996 Norma Jean & Marilyn Marilyn Monroe Television film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2000 Great Gatsby, TheThe Great Gatsby Daisy Buchanan Television film
2003 Will & Grace Diane Episode "Last Ex To Brooklyn"
2005 Human Trafficking Kate Morozov Television film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2008 House Dr. Cate Milton Episode "Frozen"
2009 Last Templar, TheThe Last Templar Tess Chaykin Television film
2012 Finding Mrs. Claus Mrs. Claus Television film
2014 Psych Head Detective Betsy Brannigan 3 episodes
2014 Falling Skies Sara Recurring
2014 Intruders Amy Whelan Regular (8 episodes)
2015 Stalker Vicki Gregg Recurring


  1. ^ Bialas, Michael (July 10, 2012). "Mira Sorvino on Family Values, Reunions and Her Juiciest Role Yet". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mira Sorvino". Film Reference. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ Laurino, Maria (August 28, 1994). "The Many Screen Ethnicities of Mira Sorvino". The New York Times. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ O'Neal, Sean (November 23, 2011). "Mira Sorvino Random Roles". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Seal, Mark. "Mira Sorvino's Barcelona", American Way, January 1, 2001. Accessed December 18, 2013. "When Mira Sorvino arrived in Barcelona in 1994 to film a movie called Barcelona, she had a past in academia and a future in acting. Raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, she was the daughter of tough-guy character actor Paul Sorvino, who raised his kids to strive for an education instead of childhood acting careers."
  6. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Mira Sorvino". Allmovie. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Notable Graduates". Harvard University. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones". Harvard University. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ James Berardinelli (1993). "Review: Amongst Friends". 
  10. ^ Hal Hinson (August 13, 1993). "Amongst Friends". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ "THE 68TH ACADEMY AWARDS". 1996. 
  12. ^ "Mira Sorvino at the HPFA". 
  13. ^ "Mira Sorvino at the HPFA". 
  14. ^ "Mira Sorvino at the HPFA". 
  15. ^ Isabella Vosmikova (2008-01-24). "TV Addict Interview: Mira Sorvino Guest Stars on HOUSE". 
  16. ^ Union Square at Tiff.net
  17. ^ Union Square at Tiff.net
  18. ^ Scott, A. O. (July 12, 2012). "‘Union Square,' by Nancy Savoca, With Mira Sorvino". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Goldstein, Gary (July 13, 2012). "Review: 'Union Square' is a compelling family drama". Los Angeles Times. 
  20. ^ filmthreat.com
  21. ^ Cornet, Roth. "Mira Sorvino Joins the Cast of TNT's Falling Skies". IGN. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Ryan, Joal (March 5, 1998). "Quentin and Mira Call It Quits". eonline.com. 
  23. ^ Mira Sorvino Gives Birth to a Girl - Pregnancy, Mira Sorvino : People.com
  24. ^ http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/05/04/mira-sorvino-welcomes-daughter-lucia/
  25. ^ "Mira Sorvino Has a Boy", Alison Gee, May 30, 2006, People
  26. ^ "Mira Sorvino Welcomes Son Holden Paul Terry". July 13, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Mira Sorvino aiding Amnesty International". USA Today. March 10, 2004. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Spotlight on Human Trafficking with Mira Sorvino". National Conference of State Legislatures. August 10, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  29. ^ Jerrold Meinwald et al. (March 17, 1998). "Mirasorvone: A masked 20-ketopregnane from the defensive secretion of a diving beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences) 95 (6): 2733–2737. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.6.2733. OCLC 1607201. PMC 19637. PMID 9501158. 
  30. ^ http://www.webofstories.com/play/51826
  31. ^ Levine, Katie (September 12, 2014). "Episode 570: Nerdist Podcast: Mira Sorvino". The Nerdist Podcast.
  32. ^ Moring, Mark (October 3, 2012). "Mira Sorvino: Saving Sex Slaves". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ Goodwyn, Hannah. "Mira Sorvino on Faith and Like Dandelion Dust". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ O'Neal, Sean (November 23, 2011). "Random Roles: Mira Sorvino". avclub.com. Retrieved October 20, 2012. 

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