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Having enjoyed a steady career in film and on television for nearly two decades, actress Kyra Sedgwick rose to household name status as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the crime drama series "The Closer" (TNT, 2005-2012). Prior to that Emmy-winning role, Sedgwick made her mark primarily in features like "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989), "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990), and "Pyrates" (1991), which co-starred husband Kevin Bacon, whom she had married in 1988 and remained one of the rare lasting unions in Hollywood. Meanwhile, she had a consistent presence on the big screen with films like "Singles" (1992), "Something to Talk About" (1995), "Phenomenon" (1996) and "What's Cooking?" (2000). Though not a major star, Sedgwick enjoyed routine praise from critics for her thoughtful, focused presence in much-coveted roles of smart, complex women. In 2005, she continued along that same tract with her portrayal of Brenda Johnson on "The Closer," an intelligent workaholic detective transferred from Georgia to Los Angeles, where her folksy and idiosyncratic demeanor fail to mesh with her fellow big city cops. The acclaimed role elevated Sedgwick's profile to such an extent that it rivaled her husband's star...
Having enjoyed a steady career in film and on television for nearly two decades, actress Kyra Sedgwick rose to household name status as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the crime drama series "The Closer" (TNT, 2005-2012). Prior to that Emmy-winning role, Sedgwick made her mark primarily in features like "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989), "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990), and "Pyrates" (1991), which co-starred husband Kevin Bacon, whom she had married in 1988 and remained one of the rare lasting unions in Hollywood. Meanwhile, she had a consistent presence on the big screen with films like "Singles" (1992), "Something to Talk About" (1995), "Phenomenon" (1996) and "What's Cooking?" (2000). Though not a major star, Sedgwick enjoyed routine praise from critics for her thoughtful, focused presence in much-coveted roles of smart, complex women. In 2005, she continued along that same tract with her portrayal of Brenda Johnson on "The Closer," an intelligent workaholic detective transferred from Georgia to Los Angeles, where her folksy and idiosyncratic demeanor fail to mesh with her fellow big city cops. The acclaimed role elevated Sedgwick's profile to such an extent that it rivaled her husband's star power, while allowing her to remain dedicated to projects rooted in substance and depth, rather than studio glitz and box office receipts.
Kyra Minturn Sedgwick was born on Aug. 19, 1965, in New York City. Her father was a venture capitalist; her mother a family therapist, with a family pedigree which included six generations of eminent New England figures, including a signer of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the Groton School, bankers, politicians, author John Sedgwick, and Andy Warhol's 1960s actress/muse, protégé Edie Sedgwick. When young Kyra's parents divorced, her mother remarried an art dealer. The environment of her eclectic and accomplished family was further enhanced by Kyra's schooling at the Friends Seminary, a renowned Manhattan private school based in Quaker traditions. It was here, that she made her acting debut at the age of 12 in a production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Immediately, she began to pursue acting, first landing in the off-Broadway play "Time Was" in 1981. When she was 15, she began two years of regular appearances on the daytime soap "Another World" (NBC, 1964-1999). After high school, the budding young actress attended one semester of Sarah Lawrence College, before transferring to Los Angeles, eventually graduating with a theater degree from the University of Southern California.
While still studying at USC, Sedgwick made her feature debut in the period drama, "War and Love" (1985) as well as starring opposite Pearl Bailey in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, "Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale" (ABC, 1985) - an '80s take on the Cinderella fairy tale. In 1988, she landed a prominent and well-received screen role as a prostitute/drifter opposite Matt Dillon in "Kansas." That same year, while shooting PBS' "Lemon Sky," she met soon-to-be husband and frequent collaborator, Kevin Bacon, as well as made a Theater World Award-winning turn on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's play, "Ah, Wilderness!" (1988). The couple would tie the knot in 1988, proving naysayers wrong in their popular belief that marriages made in Hollywood never last.
In 1989, Sedgwick's film career received a high-profile boost with Oliver Stone's blockbuster "Born on the Fourth of July," where she was memorable as Ron Kovic's (Tom Cruise) girlfriend, who undergoes a radical transformation from steadfast helpmate to independent woman. Building on that momentum, she played the rebellious daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in James Ivory's feature drama, "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge" (1990). Throughout the beginning of the 1990s, Sedgwick was the portrait of the working movie actress, with roles in independent films like "Singles" (1992), and upper echelon TV films like "Family Pictures" (ABC, 1993) with Anjelica Houston and "Miss Rose White" (NBC, 1992), which chronicled a woman in search of her Jewish roots - a part which resonated with Sedgwick's own mixed-religious background. In 1995, Sedgwick scored a scene-stealing performance in Lasse Hallstrom's infidelity-themed drama, "Something to Talk About," playing the tart-tongued sister of megastar Julia Roberts. She followed up her big screen success with a role opposite John Travolta in "Phenomenon" (1996), but her labor of love that year was her producing debut, the Showtime movie, "Losing Chase" - directed by Bacon - in which she played a companion hired to care for a convalescing woman (Helen Mirren).
Sedgwick served as associate producer and star of HBO's telefilm "Montana" (1998), before returning to Broadway in Nicholas Hytner's acclaimed Lincoln Center staging of "Twelfth Night," which was broadcast live on PBS. In 2000, she appeared in Craig Lucas' off-Broadway play, "The Stranger," and also appeared at Sundance in "What's Cooking," co-starring with Julianna Margulies. The versatile actress next took a foray into series television, starring in and executive producing the ABC mid-season replacement sitcom, "Talk to Me," (2000), which was unfortunately short-lived. Following several more independent film projects, Sedgwick played a supporting role in the multiple award-winning TNT telepic, "Door to Door" (2002), opposite William H. Macy. Showtime recruited her for their telepic, "Behind the Red Door" (2002), handing her a plumb role of the angry sister of an AIDS-infected designer (Kiefer Sutherland). A second shot at serial television followed with the little-seen judicial drama, "Queens Supreme" (CBS, 2003), before Sedgwick returned to feature films with "Second Lions" (2003). In 2004, Sedgwick and husband Bacon released a pair of critically lauded films, the character dramas "The Woodsman" and "Cavedweller," for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.
In 2005, Sedgwick was cast as the female lead in the mostly male ensemble drama, "The Closer." Seemingly out of nowhere, her third go-round in TV proved to be the charm. She helmed the show as Brenda Johnson, a crack police investigator brought in from Atlanta to head Los Angeles' new high-priority homicide division. Sedgwick's "real" quality - to say nothing of that accent - and the multi-dimensional character resonated with audiences and critics alike. In 2006 alone, Sedgwick was nominated for an Emmy, SAG and a Golden Globe award. A year later, she co-starred opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the broad, big screen comedy "The Game Plan" (2007). Indeed such was her popularity as Brenda Johnson that from 2006 through 2010, Sedgwick would earn both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations each consecutive year, with a Golden Globe win for Best Lead Actress in a Drama in 2007 and a 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
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Her first name is pronounced KEE-rah
"[Stone] called me a rich, private-school girl, and I gave him sh-- about it. I think he feels comfortable with women who can stand up to him, who tell him he's an ass---- if he's being an ass----. That's what the men in his life do.
Don't get me wrong. I'm crazy about Oliver. He's one of the great risk-takers in this business. And I like to think of myself as one, too."---Kyra Sedwick on working with Oliver Stone on "Born on the Fourth of July" to the New York Post, August 3, 1995.
"I remember one snitty little fight we had when he wanted me to hit a croquet ball and hit another one underneath a coffee table, and I told him it couldn't be done. And he said it could be done. I tried and tried, but I couldn't do it and I got very frustrated, and we both got mad at each other. We laughed about it later, of course."---Sedgwick about being directed by husband Kevin Bacon in "Losing Amy" to Graham Fuller in Interview, July 1996.
"An actor is what the people want to see in a role, but they don't have a need to see him or her in the flesh. A star ... they want to eat that person alive!"---Sedgwick quoted in Parade, July 21, 1996.
"If I had to do it over again, I probably would have waited until I had an education in other areas before I chose to be so resolutely ensconced in the business of acting. But there I was at the age of 15 in a soap for a year and a half. By the time I was 18, I was a goner ... I didn't want to do anything else but act.
I've since learned to appreciate other things in life. I skip from medium to medium, going where the best parts and best directors are, and consider myself a very lucky person. I also work incredibly hard. But I am most lucky in that I have such a good family life. That will always be my foundation."
"I don't want my kids to go into this business. I think it's very painful, difficult, unreal, somewhat of a fantasy world. And I don't know how much it's contributing to humanity.
But I also know my kids are gonna do whatever the hell they want in life. And bless them for that. But I will insist they finish school and not do anything professional until they are 18, at least. And I will hugely encourage them to go to college, to see the whole picture, travel, meet all kinds of people before they decide to choose a life path. I don't want them to have this one big regret I have."---Sedgwick to Denis Hamill in Daily News, July 19, 1998.
"I think we have a very real marriage. After 14 years, it better be a real marriage, you know? We do have a great time together. We are really lucky. I was very young when we got married and I don't know why it worked out like it did or how I was smart enough to know that this was the right guy, but somehow I got lucky."---Sedgwick on being married to Kevin Bacon romanticmovies.com, 2002.
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