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Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino

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Also Known As: Mira Katherine Sorvino Died:
Born: September 28, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tenafly, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, producer, documentarian, casting director, production assistant, script reader, assistant director, waitress, tutor, showroom model, bartender

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite her leading lady attractiveness, Mira Sorvino had the unpretentious heart of a character actor inherited from her father Paul, whose own resume included critically-acclaimed turns in Martin Scorsese's "GoodFellas" (1990) and Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995) among his many roles. Adept at assuming accents, hair colors and varied identities, Sorvino received her first substantial exposure on film as an enigmatic, aristocratic Spanish translator in "Barcelona" (1994), Whit Stillman's thoughtfully comic talkfest. She entered the mainstream later that same year playing the Jewish intellectual wife of Rob Morrow in Robert Redford's "Quiz Show." Redford had first became aware of the young performer in Rob Weiss' "Amongst Friends" (1993), a highly regarded independent feature shown in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Starting out as third assistant director on that project, she graduated to casting director and finally the lead role of the modest drama about well-to-do suburban Jews who fall into lives of crime, ultimately receiving credit as associate producer. Sorvino had appeared on TV in the short-lived syndicated teen serial "Swan Crossing" (1992) and on the daytime drama "Guiding Light"...

Despite her leading lady attractiveness, Mira Sorvino had the unpretentious heart of a character actor inherited from her father Paul, whose own resume included critically-acclaimed turns in Martin Scorsese's "GoodFellas" (1990) and Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995) among his many roles. Adept at assuming accents, hair colors and varied identities, Sorvino received her first substantial exposure on film as an enigmatic, aristocratic Spanish translator in "Barcelona" (1994), Whit Stillman's thoughtfully comic talkfest. She entered the mainstream later that same year playing the Jewish intellectual wife of Rob Morrow in Robert Redford's "Quiz Show." Redford had first became aware of the young performer in Rob Weiss' "Amongst Friends" (1993), a highly regarded independent feature shown in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Starting out as third assistant director on that project, she graduated to casting director and finally the lead role of the modest drama about well-to-do suburban Jews who fall into lives of crime, ultimately receiving credit as associate producer. Sorvino had appeared on TV in the short-lived syndicated teen serial "Swan Crossing" (1992) and on the daytime drama "Guiding Light" (CBS) but rejected a three-year contract on the latter in hopes that better opportunities lay just ahead. She had also starred in a Susan Seidelman-directed short ("The Dutch Master") and portrayed a modern-day Mary in another irreverent short, "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" (both 1993), prior to her breakout year 1995, which saw her demonstrate her chameleon-like capabilities and versatility in a variety of roles. She won acclaim as a 19th Century Brazilian-born plutocrat who marries an impoverished Englishman in the TV adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The Buccaneers" (shown on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre") and also appeared briefly in the improvisational film "Blue in the Face," jointly helmed by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster. Her real coup that year, though, was her star-making, Oscar-winning portrayal as a bleached-blonde, foul-mouthed, squeaky-voiced prostitute who had given up a child for adoption in Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Mighty Aphrodite." Sorvino also acted in "New York Cop" and starred in independent features "Tarantella" (as an Italian-American photographer confronting her ethnic identity following her mother's death) and "Sweet Nothing," playing the loyal but co-dependent wife of Michael Imperioli's crack-addicted Wall Street broker.Sorvino subsequently portrayed Matt Dillon's long-suffering bulimic girlfriend in Ted Demme's ensemble comedy "Beautiful Girls" (1996) and earned an Emmy nomination that year for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in the HBO biopic "Norma Jean and Marilyn" (Ashley Judd shared the title role essaying Norma Jean) before "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" (1997) recalled her Oscar-winning part. Sorvino next turned her attention to genre fare, first starring as the brilliant entomologist whose mutant creations threaten NYC in Guillermo Del Toro's sci-fi horror thriller "Mimic" (1997), then teaming with Hong Kong action icon Chow Yun-Fat in "The Replacement Killers" (1998). She found time to give a strong performance opposite Harvey Keitel in the art film "Lulu on the Bridge," Auster's solo directing debut, and to play Death for Korean director Wonsuk Chin's quirky, cross-cultural "Too Tired to Die" (both 1998). Mainstream audiences got to see her as Val Kilmer's love interest in Irwin Winkler's "At First Sight" (1999), another movie based on the writings of Dr. Oliver Sachs. She also acted in that year's "Summer of Sam," Spike Lee's disco-era drama.In 2002, Sorvino portrayed Dina in the Tim Blake Nelson Holocaust drama "Grey Zone," followed by a costarring role alongside Mariah Carey in the female mafia crime feature "Wisegirls." She then donned period garb as Fanny, the feisty wife of Jeff Daniels' Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, in Ron Maxwell's "Gettysburg" prequel, "Gods and Generals." Sorvino rounded out the year starring in two features, "Semana Santa," a crime thriller in which she played an American detective sent to Spain to investigate a double murder during Easter week, and "Between Strangers," a heartfelt drama about three women (Sorvino, Sophia Loren and Deborah Kara Unger) fighting personal demons and confronting crises with the respective men in their lives. After playing Leo's ex and the only woman who ever slept with Will on an episode of "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), she starred opposite Robin Williams in "Final Cut" (2004). Sorvino next starred in the Lifetime miniseries "Human Trafficking" (2005), a sobering look at the international sex-trade and its impact on the United States. She wrapped out 2005 filming "Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor" (CBS, 2006), a made-for-TV spy thriller about an elite operative unit sent to investigate the source of a deadly virus threatening to kill millions. Sorvino next appeared in indie dramas "Reservation Road" (2007) and "Multiple Sarcasms" (2009) before starring in the drama "Like Dandelion Dust" (2009) and appearing in "The Trouble with Cali" (2009), directed by her father. War drama "Attack on Leningrad" (2009) and horror film "The Presence" (2010) followed, along with indie drama "Angels Crest" (2011) and ensemble comedy-drama "Union Square" (2012). Sorvino continued working steadily through this period of her career, starring in small films that often went directly to DVD and streaming. She also appeared more frequently on TV, starring in the drama "Intruders" (BBC America 2014) and appearing in recurring roles in action series "Falling Skies" (TNT 2011-15) and crime drama "Stalker" (CBS 2014-15), as well as starring in the holiday film "A Christmas to Remember" (Hallmark 2016) and psychological thriller "Indiscretion" (Lifetime 2016). Sorvino began working more steadily in TV, appearing in espionage series "Condor" (Audience 2018- ) and joining the cast of long-running comedy "Modern Family" (ABC 2009-2019) in a recurring role.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 6 Below (2017)
4.
 Exposed (2016)
5.
 Indiscretion (2016)
6.
 Chloe & Theo (2015)
7.
 Do You Believe? (2015)
8.
 Quitters (2015)
9.
 Class Project (2014)
10.
 Space Warriors (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2002:
Appeared in writer-director Tim Blake Nelson's Holocaust drama "The Grey Zone"
1992:
Briefly played Julie Camalleti on the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light"
2005:
Co-starred with Donald Sutherland in the Lifetime drama "Human Trafficking"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a TV movie
1993:
Hired as third assistant director on "Amongst Friends"; offered a lead role by friend and director Rob Weiss
2002:
Played wife Fanny to Jeff Daniels' Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in the "Gettysburg" prequel "Gods and Generals"
2004:
Starred in the thriller "The Final Cut" with Robin Williams and James Caviezel
2002:
Starred with Mariah Carey in "WiseGirls"; film screened at Sundance
:
Acted in theater productions at Harvard
2007:
Co-starred in the Terry George directed "Reservation Road"
1987:
Made guest appearance on the CBS comedy-drama "The Oldest Rookie," which starred her father
1995:
Played the loyal but co-dependent wife of Michael Imperioli in "Sweet Nothing"
1999:
Starred opposite Val Kilmer in Irwin Winkler's romance "At First Sight"
1994:
Acted with father in "Parallel Lives" on Showtime
1979:
At age 12, worked as a production assistant for "That Championship Season," starring her father Paul Sorvino
2001:
Played a princess who masquerades as a male in the film version of the Marivaux play "The Triumph of Love"
1992:
TV series debut as a regular, the short-lived syndicated series "Swans Crossing"
2000:
Appeared as Daisy Buchanan in the A&E adaptation of "The Great Gatsby"
1994:
Cast in Whit Stillman's independent film "Barcelona"
2001:
Produced the mockumentary "Lisa Picard Is Famous"; also made cameo appearance as herself
2010:
Played a mother forced to give up her adopted son to his biological father in "Like Dandelion Dust"
2010:
Played a woman haunted by a spirit in an isolated cabin in "The Presence"
2011:
Co-starred in the drama "Union Square," directed by Nancy Savoca
2012:
Co-starred with Dermot Mulroney in the thriller "Trade of Innocents"
2014:
Had a recurring guest role on "Psych"
2014:
Cast on the short-lived thriller "Intruders"
2016:
Appeared on multiple episodes of "Lady Dynamite"
2018:
Voiced Ingrid Cortez on "Spy Kids: Mission Critical"
1996:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Marilyn Monroe in the HBO movie "Norma Jean & Marilyn"; shared title role with Ashley Judd who played Norma Jean
1998:
Teamed with Hong Kong action icon Chow Yun-Fat for "The Replacement Killers"
1999:
Cast as John Leguizamo's wife in Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam"; film was co-written by and co-starred Michael Imperioli
1994:
First role in a major Hollywood picture, playing Rob Morrow's wife in Robert Redford's "Quiz Show"
1997:
Starred opposite Lisa Kudrow in the comedy "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"
2000:
Made NYC stage debut opposite Daniel Benzali in off-Broadway production of "Naked"
1997:
Portrayed brilliant entomologist whose mutant creations threaten NYC in Guillermo Del Toro's "Mimic"
1995:
Delivered award-winning film role as the squeaky-voiced prostitute in Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite"
2014:
Played Sara on the final two seasons of "Falling Skies"
2015:
Had a recurring role on the second season of crime drama "Stalker"
2018:
Guested on several episodes of "Modern Family"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts -
Dwight-Englewood School: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey -

Notes

How an early reading of Irving Stone's "The Agony and the Ecstacy" affected her take on sexuality: "In it Michelangelo is described as being bisexual. I thought, Oh I could understand that. What if you just fell in love with somebody who was of your same gender? It's not something you can help. Having an attraction for someone is ineluctable.

"I honestly have not been attracted to women, but I thought it would be possible because of that book. I could imagine that some person would walk into my life one day that I'd fall in love with, and it would be a woman. As a teenager I used to worry about it because I thought it would be a big problem for my family and confusing for me. I used to be very fond of people on a platonic level to the point where I'd wonder, Is this love ... sexual? But it never had a physical correspondence. I know now I'm pretty damned heterosexual. It's not hard to fall for men. It's actually alarmingly easy." --Mira Sorvino The Advocate, April 2, 1996.

"My father did not want me to be a child actor, did not want me to audition for things. I was actually offered a part by Diane Ladd to play her daughter on a television series but my father wouldn't let me. I'm glad about that now because I had a normal childhood, I had a lot of chances to try and do other things and Harvard was like an extended version of that. Then I could go and see whether acting was for me or maybe just a childish notion." --Sorvino quoted in Empire, July 1998,

"Marlon Brando once said to me, 'Some people act in order to escape what they are; that is not the case with you. You act to become more of what you are. You act because you cannot be all the things you are in life.' I think that was an astute observation; I don't look to escape myself, I look to distill certain aspects of myself in uncut form as a character. All of my characters are me, just little pieces of me." --Sorvino To Reel.com, May 29, 2002

"I was too tall in high school. At 13, I was 5'9-the tallest kid in my class. I'd walk down the halls feeling like a giraffe. Being famous is like being too tall in high school, Sometimes I feel that way even today. it's not that big a problem. i'm not phobic or anything. But, if I look back, there were times when it was difficult for me to behave the right way."-Sorvino on fame Movieline October 2002

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Quentin Tarantino. Director, screenwriter. Together from c. January 1996 to February 1998.
companion:
Marc Anthony. Singer, actor. Dated in summer 1998.
companion:
Olivier Martinez. Actor. Dating as of fall 1998; no longer together as of 2003; reportedly dating Kylie Minogue in 2003.
husband:
Christopher Backus. Actor. Began dating spring of 2003; engaged September 2003; married June 11, 2004 at a Santa Barbara, CA, courthouse; a religious ceremony and reception for family and friends took place July 2, 2004 in Capri, Italy; Mira was Pregnant with their first child at their wedding.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
Paul Sorvino. Actor. Divorced from Sorvino's mother.
mother:
Lorraine Sorvino. Actor, drama therapist. Fundamentalist Christian; divorced Sorvino's father when Mira was a sophomore at Harvard.
sister:
Amanda Sorvino. Playwright, screenwriter. Born c. 1971; development deal that had father directing her screenplay "The Trouble with Cali" (based on her play) fell through; mother, Lorraine Sorvino.
brother:
Michael Sorvino. Appeared in "Amongst Friends" (1993) and "Sweet Nothing" (1995), films starring Mira; mother, Lorraine Sorvino.
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