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Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

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Also Known As: Christine Jane Baranski Died:
Born: May 2, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Buffalo, New York, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

While comic actress Christine Baranski was the winner of multiple Tony Awards for her extensive work on Broadway, she was more widely known by television audiences for her scene-stealing performance as Cybill Shepherd's dagger-tongued, gin-swilling best friend Maryann Thorpe on the CBS sitcom, "Cybill" (1995-98). Her delicious turn earned numerous accolades, including a 1995 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and begat a prolific screen career that included spirited performances in features "The Birdcage" (1996), "Bowfinger" (1999), and "Chicago" (2002), which also showcased the actress' later-career tendency towards musicals. Throughout the years, Baranski also maintained a steady presence onstage and on television with several Emmy Award-nominated guest spots on sitcoms. A rare performer welcome in both mediums, she unfailingly delivered laughs by tossing off Oscar Wilde-worthy one-liners and sending up the image of self-absorbed "society" types better than anyone of her generation.

While comic actress Christine Baranski was the winner of multiple Tony Awards for her extensive work on Broadway, she was more widely known by television audiences for her scene-stealing performance as Cybill Shepherd's dagger-tongued, gin-swilling best friend Maryann Thorpe on the CBS sitcom, "Cybill" (1995-98). Her delicious turn earned numerous accolades, including a 1995 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and begat a prolific screen career that included spirited performances in features "The Birdcage" (1996), "Bowfinger" (1999), and "Chicago" (2002), which also showcased the actress' later-career tendency towards musicals. Throughout the years, Baranski also maintained a steady presence onstage and on television with several Emmy Award-nominated guest spots on sitcoms. A rare performer welcome in both mediums, she unfailingly delivered laughs by tossing off Oscar Wilde-worthy one-liners and sending up the image of self-absorbed "society" types better than anyone of her generation.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Yellowbird (2014)
2.
 Into the Woods (2014)
3.
4.
5.
 Mamma Mia! (2008)
6.
7.
 Bonneville (2006)
9.
 Welcome to Mooseport (2004) Charlotte Cole
10.
 Eloise at the Plaza (2003) Prunella Stickler
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Buffalo, New York
1976:
Appeared in a Baltimore production of "She Stoops to Conquer"
1976:
Was member of the company of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey
1980:
Made Broadway debut in "Hide and Seek"
1980:
Had supporting role in the landmark CBS TV drama "Playing for Time"
1982:
Feature film debut, "Soup for One"
1984:
First garnered attention as a meter maid in Louis Malle's comedy "Crackers"
1984:
Co-starred Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard's Broadway comedy "The Real Thing"; directed by Mike Nichols
1985:
Replaced Judith Ivey on the Broadway stage in the acclaimed production of David Rabe's play, "Hurlyburly"
1986:
Replacing Stockard Channing as Bunny Flingus in the acclaimed Broadway revival of John Guare's comedy-drama, "The House of Blue Leaves" (reprised role in the TV version)
1988:
Co-starred on Broadway in the Neil Simon comedy "Rumors"; picked up second Tony Award
1990:
Portrayed Andrea Reynolds opposite Irons' Claus von Bulow and Close's Sunny von Bulow in "Reversal of Fortune"
1991:
Starred in the ill-fated musical "Nick and Nora"
1991:
Appeared in "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" at the Manhattan Theatre Club
1993:
Offered a strong comic turn as a camp counselor in "Addams Family Values"
1994:
Delivered another gemlike comic performance as Kevin Spacey's hoity-toity sister-in-law in "The Ref"
1995:
Cast as Cybill Shepherd's hard-drinking friend Maryanne Thorpe in the CBS sitcom "Cybill"
1996:
Appeared as Robin Williams' ex-wife in the Mike Nichols-directed "The Birdcage"
1997:
Starred in the Encores! presentation of "Promises, Promises" opposite Martin Short at Manhattan's City Center
1998:
Played the wife of Warren Beatty's suicidal US Senator in the political comedy "Bulworth"
1998:
Had featured role as a rauchy biker chick in "The Odd Couple II"
1999:
Garnered an Emmy nomination for her memorable guest appearance on NBC's "Frasier" as radio host Dr. Nora
1999:
Returned to the stage as Mrs. Lovett in L.A.'s Reprise! concert production of "Sweeney Todd" co-starring Grammer
1999:
Played fading diva opposite Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in the comedy "Bowfinger"
2000:
Executive produced and starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom "Welcome to New York"
2000:
Had featured role as the title character's childhood sweetheart in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
2002:
Cast as Mrs. Lovett in the Kennedy Center production of "Sweeney Todd"
2002:
Played reporter Mary Sunshine in the film version of "Chicago"
2003:
Appeared in the Hollywood/Bollywood satire "The Guru"
2003:
Co-starred with John Larroquette in the NBC sitcom "Happy Family"
2004:
Appeared in the comedy "Welcome to Mooseport"
2006:
Played the title role in the Broadway revival of "Mame" at the Kennedy Center
2008:
Starred in the Broadway revival of "Boeing-Boeing"
2008:
Cast in the film adaptation of the ABBA stage musical "Mamma Mia!"
2009:
Played Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, an unemotional expert in psychiatry and neural science, and Leonard¿s (Johnny Galecki) mom in "The Big Bang Theory"
2009:
Cast opposite Julianna Margulies in the CBS drama, "The Good Wife"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The Juilliard School: New York , New York - 1974

Notes

"It's just beginning to come out in the press that I don't watch TV. With my network [CBS] in terrible straits, I'm not sure announcing that is the best thing I can do." --Christine Baranski quoted in US, December 1995,

"I have a career, a spouse to attend to, children I want to raise to be fabulous people. But 20 years from now, I want to reread my favorite novel, "Portrait of a Lady", in my house while my grandchildren play. And I want to know that though I've been to the party and had a very good time, I can now retreat from worldly things--not take them so seriously, you know?" --Baranski to US, December 1995.

"For years I'd held out against doing network TV. But it had become clear I couldn't make much money in theater. I'd given up work for a year waiting for 'Nick and Nora' and been burned. I was around a long time doing challenging work, and when I was doing 'Lips Together' [a 1991 play Terrence McNally wrote with her in mind] my character never stopped talking and I came home with less than $300 a week.

And here I sit two-and-a-hlaf years later, and my daughters' entire college education is paid for." --Baranski quoted in Newsday, March 20, 1997.

"I've been doing more and more singing because it's my theory that it may get harder for actresses to age in front of a camera and to maintain their stellar presence. But if you can sing in a nightclub, the older you are, the more textured your artistry. So I intend to put together a cabaret act." --Baranski quoted in Newsday, August 12, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Matthew Cowles. Actor. Married on October 15, 1983; best-known for his role as Billy Clyde Tuggle on the ABC daytime soap "All My Children".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Lucien Baranski. Newspaper editor. Edited a Polish-language newspaper.
mother:
Virginia Baranski.
daughter:
Lily Cowles. Born c. 1984; father, Matthew Cowles.
daughter:
Isabel Cowles. Born c. 1987; father, Matthew Cowles.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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