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Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall

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Also Known As: Kim Victoria Cattrall Died:
Born: August 21, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Widnes, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Screen and stage actress Kim Cattrall was best known for her role as New York PR agent and femme fatale Samantha Jones on the hit HBO series "Sex and the City" (1998-2004). But prior to her lusty adventures in Manolo Blahnik shoes, Cattrall built up a long list of credits in forgotten low-budget features and TV movies during the 1980s, earning some notoriety for playing sexpots in "Porkys" (1982), "Police Academy" (1984) and "Mannequin" (1987). However her lackluster film career belied her classical theater training in London and New York, where her early acting days were marked by appearances in heavy dramas. These seemingly at-odds career paths finally converged to create the charismatic, sexy, and intense character that earned the actress a Golden Globe, five Emmy nominations, and the respect of countless women who felt that Cattrall's performance as the unapologetically lustful Samantha on "Sex and the City" laid waste to preconceived views of just how sexual a woman of a certain age could or should be.Born outside of Liverpool, England, on Aug. 21, 1956, Cattrall and her family moved to Vancouver, Canada, before she was a year old. Her parents added two more kids to the family (for a total of...

Screen and stage actress Kim Cattrall was best known for her role as New York PR agent and femme fatale Samantha Jones on the hit HBO series "Sex and the City" (1998-2004). But prior to her lusty adventures in Manolo Blahnik shoes, Cattrall built up a long list of credits in forgotten low-budget features and TV movies during the 1980s, earning some notoriety for playing sexpots in "Porkys" (1982), "Police Academy" (1984) and "Mannequin" (1987). However her lackluster film career belied her classical theater training in London and New York, where her early acting days were marked by appearances in heavy dramas. These seemingly at-odds career paths finally converged to create the charismatic, sexy, and intense character that earned the actress a Golden Globe, five Emmy nominations, and the respect of countless women who felt that Cattrall's performance as the unapologetically lustful Samantha on "Sex and the City" laid waste to preconceived views of just how sexual a woman of a certain age could or should be.

Born outside of Liverpool, England, on Aug. 21, 1956, Cattrall and her family moved to Vancouver, Canada, before she was a year old. Her parents added two more kids to the family (for a total of four) by the time the Cattrall clan returned to England to be near an ailing grandmother. The 11-year-old saw her first play, Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," on London's famed West End and decided then and there to become an actress. She took drama courses at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and around this time, debuted in regional theater. When Cattrall returned to Canada at the age of 16, she continued her studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and upon graduating in 1972, headed to New York City, where she had earned a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She made her feature film acting debut for producer-director Otto Preminger in one of the great director's final (if least-admired) films "Rosebud" (1975). Soon after the film's release, she signed a television deal with Universal and was up and running.

Cattrall enjoyed an auspicious start with over a dozen guest spots on 1970s staples like "The Incredible Hulk" (CBS, 1978-1982) and "Charlie's Angels" (ABC, 1976-1981) and several movie(s)-of-the-week. But it was not until 1980 that she landed a truly showy part; that of the young woman hand-picked by Jack Lemmon to bring his stuffy son Robby Benson alive in "Tribute." The teen sex comedy "Porkys" (1982), however, really put Cattrall on the map with her portrayal of a sex-starved coach in what became a classic of an intriguingly awful genre. Two years later, she played a sexy cadet in the blockbuster ensemble comedy "Police Academy" (1984) before reigning in the broad comedies to play an idealistic young public defender and love interest of an anti-establishment prankster (Timothy Hutton) in "Turk 182!" (1985). That same year, Cattrall appeared on stage as Masha in an acclaimed production of "Three Sisters" before going on to make her Broadway debut opposite Ian McKellan in an unsuccessful adaptation of Chekhov's "Wild Honey."

In one of her better dramatic film roles, Cattrall played a sharp lawyer in John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986), but offset that success by morphing into a department store mannequin brought to life to fulfill the fantasies of a doe-eyed Andrew McCarthy in 1987's "Mannequin." She was excellent as a bitchy socialite in Bob Swaim's stylish thriller "Masquerade" (1988) and enjoyed some notice for her turn as villainous Justine DeWinter in the otherwise uninspired reunion film "The Return of the Musketeers" (1989). Cattrall returned to stage in "The Misanthrope" in 1989 at Chicago's famed Goodman Theatre and appeared as the Park Avenue wife of a New York power broker (Tom Hanks) in the failed adaptation of Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990). Following a high-profile role as Mr. Spock's protégé Valeris in "Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country" (1991), the actress' career suffered from a string of low-budget flops that capitalized on her fluency with steamy material. With the exception of the Oliver Stone-produced "Twin Peaks"-style miniseries, "Wild Palms" (ABC, 1993) and the adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein's "The Heidi Chronicles" (TNT, 1995), her increasing appearances in TV movies and miniseries was generally overshadowed by the sharks, aliens, and murderers the plots revolved around.

Cattrall was fresh off of a few straight-to-video features when she was approached by Darren Starr about a stylish new series chronicling four single, professional women in New York City. The newly-40 actress famously rebuffed his offer several times, leery of committing herself to potentially years on one show and hesitant as to whether she could still pull off "femme fatale." It turned out that the role of Samantha Jones was be the best fit that she had found in years, and "Sex and the City" instantly became a pop culture phenomena. Her vampy public relations maven was the most carnally adventurous of the group - which included Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis - and Cattrall brought an exceptionally self-assured performance and natural joie de vivre to her portrayal of the straight-talking socialite. Samantha was easily the show's most outrageous - if sometimes cartoonish - character, which made her integral to the show's comedic success. Her invaluable contribution was recognized with five Emmy nominations and one Golden Globe win during the show's six seasons.

Cattrall's attempts to parlay her new television success into a revived film career were unsuccessful, however. One needed to look no further than then "Baby Geniuses" (1999) to get a whiff of its stink, and only needed to know that "Crossroads" (2002) starred Britney Spears to surmise the quality of that offering. On a lighter note, Cattrall became a sexy spokeswoman for Bacardi and Pepsi and co-authored a sex-tip tome entitled Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm with then-husband Mark Levinson. When HBO retired "Sex and the City" in 2004 - amid unpleasant rumors that Cattrall's clashes with lead actress and producer Parker had something to do with its demise - Cattrall returned to London where she appeared in a revival of Brian Clark's "Whose Life is it Anyway?" and David Mamet's "Cryptogram." In 2008, she revisited her role of Samantha Jones in the highly-anticipated "Sex and the City: The Movie" (2008), following rumors that she had held up the production over salary disagreements. The movie was an enormous success, shattering all box office expectations and proving women could open a movie and bring their female fans flocking en masse to the theaters for a shared experience usually monopolized by sci-fi or action movie fans of the opposite gender.

Cattrall parlayed her increased big screen cachet with a surprising supporting role in Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" (2010) as a hyper-efficient personal assistant with a secret. Singled out in several prominent reviews for her role - for which she used her native English accent - Cattrall stepped right back into her box office Blahniks as Samantha Jones in "Sex and the City 2" (2010). The pop cultural domination by all things "Sex" was perhaps best exemplified by a tween actress Miley Cyrus cameo, battling it out with Cattrall over a red-carpet outfit, proving that the show and Cattrall's character were now permanently entrenched in the global imagination.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
4.
 Sex and the City (2008)
5.
6.
 Ice Princess (2005) Cast
7.
 Crossroads (2002) Caroline
8.
 15 Minutes (2001) Cassandra
9.
 Baby Geniuses (1999) Robin
10.
 36 Hours to Die (1999) Kim Stone
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Made professional debut with little theater company in Liverpool
1975:
Feature film acting debut in Otto Preminger's "Rosebud" while in final year at Academy of Dramatic Arts
:
Stage debut in production of "The Rocky Horror Show"
:
Performed in repertory theater in Toronto
:
Signed to long-term contract with Universal Studios
1977:
Made TV-movie acting debut in "Good Against Evil" (ABC)
1978:
Featured in the syndicated miniseries "The Bastard"
1979:
Reprised role in the syndicated miniseries sequel "The Rebels"
1980:
Acted in the CBS miniseries "Scruples"; based on Judith Krantz's bestselling novel
1980:
Played title role in the syndicated TV-movie "The Gossip Columnist"
1980:
First major film acting role (as an adult) in "Tribute"
1981:
Had a memorable featured role in the teen sex comedy "Porky's"
1984:
Was one of the recruits attending "Police Academy"
1984:
Played a former call girl turned vigilante in the NBC TV-movie "Sins of the Past"
1985:
Acted in the drama feature "Turk 182"
1986:
Made Broadway debut opposite Ian McKellan in "Wild Honey" a translation of Chekhov's "Ivanov"
1986:
Was featured in John Carpenter's adventure "Big Trouble in Little China"
1987:
Played the title character's animated alter ego in the silly romantic comedy "Mannequin"
1988:
Featured opposite Rob Lowe in the thriller "Masquerade"
1989:
Had a supporting role as a villainess in the uninspired reunion film "The Return of the Musketeers"
1990:
Co-starred as Tom Hanks' sophisticated wife in Brian De Palma's disappointing "Bonfire of the Vanities"
1991:
Played Mr Spock's protegee, Valeris, in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"
1993:
Played featured role of Paige in the four-part ABC miniseries "Wild Palms"
1993:
Co-starred in the short-lived CBS primetime soap "Angel Falls"
1995:
Played a woman reliving her youth with a slumber party on the eve of her third marriage in "Live Nude Girls"
1996:
Featured in the supernatural thriller "Unforgettable"
1995:
Had a supporting role in the TNT presentation of Wendy Wasserstein's popular play "The Heidi Chronicles"
1996:
Starred opposite Jeff Fahey in the CBS thriller "Every Woman's Dream"
1997:
Featured in the NBC miniseries thriller "Robin Cook's 'Invasion'"
1998:
Played a woman under attack by genetically engineered killer sharks in the ABC miniseries "Peter Benchley's 'Creature'"
1998:
Co-starred as sexually liberated PR agent Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy series "Sex and the City"; earned Golden Globe (2000, 2001, 2004), SAG (2002, 2003) and Emmy (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) nominations
1999:
Had a co-starring role in "Baby Geniuses"
2001:
Made cameo appearance as a hardnosed TV producer in "15 Minutes"
2002:
Appeared in Alec Baldwin's troubled directorial debut "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
2005:
Will headline an update of Brian Clark's play "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" at London's Duke of York's Theatre
2005:
Starred in the romantic dramedy "Ice Princess" playing a coach to an aspiring figure skater (Michelle Trachtenberg)
2007:
Co-starred with Alec Baldwin in "Shortcut to Happiness"
2008:
Reprised the character of Samantha Jones for "Sex and the City: The Movie"
2010:
Played Pierce Brosnan's personal assistant and mistress in Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer"
2010:
Reprised her role of Samantha Jones for "Sex and the City 2"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The Banff School: -
American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: -

Notes

"Some people say 'Porky's' was a mistake. I look at it as something that took two weeks out of my life. I was doing a production of 'A View From the Bridge' at the time and I didn't have any money. You have to make ends meet, and some of the choices I made were just based on survival." --Kim Cattrall quoted in US, August 21, 1989.

"I've consistently been building something, for better or worse, in the choices I've made. But, I'm still here, and I'm still getting a lot out of it. And I'm glad that I didn't--excuse the expression--come too soon." --Cattrall in US, August 21, 1989.

On acting: "I am a working girl, and as an actor you have to do some things for commerce and some things for art.

"I enjoy acting, but my life's too short to really bleed for it." --Cattrall quoted in Empire, August 1998.

Cattrall on Samantha, the oversexed fortysomething she plays on "Sex and the City": "I've been playing sexually aware women most of my life and I'm comfortable with that. I like the way I look; I like the way I feel. I use it as an asset. My sexuality comes from a really positive, fun, orgasmic place, which I think is healthy.

"At this point in my life, I expected to be playing moms and wives--thankless tasks, really, for an actress. It's really exciting to be playing a femme fatale." --quoted in Rolling Stone, August 19, 1999.

"I've been playing sexually aware women most of my life, and I'm comfortable with that. I like the way I look; I like the way I feel. I use it as an asset. My sexuality comes from a really positive, fun, orgasmic place, which I think is healthy."-CattrallRolling Stone, August 19, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Pierre Trudeau. Former Canadian Prime Minister. Dated, no longer together.
companion:
Alan Wyse. Chef. Rumored to be dating July 2004.
husband:
Larry Davis. Writer. Canadian; married in 1975; divorced.
companion:
Daniel Benzali. Actor. Born on January 20, 1950; engaged as of August 1996; separated; reconciled in 1997; no longer together.
husband:
Mark Levinson. Executive. Born c. 1947; married on September 4, 1998 in East Hampton, New York; separated fall 2002.
companion:
Cuttino Mobley. Professional basketball player. Plays for the Houston Rockets; rumored to be dating as of early 2004.
companion:
Jonathan Silverman. Actor. Born on August 5, 1966; dated late 1980s; no longer together.
husband:
Andreas Lyson. Architect. German; married in 1982; separated c. 1987; divorced in 1989.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Dennis Cattrall. Construction engineer.
mother:
Shane Cattrall. Housewife, part-time secretary.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm" Warner Books

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