Family & Companions
A veteran actress while still not quite out of her teens, Cynthia Nixon's adult career was built on star turns in critically lauded stage productions like "Hurly Burly" and "The Heidi Chronicles," which she alternated with memorable supporting turns in film and television productions like "Amadeus" (1984) and Robert Altman's "Tanner" (HBO, 1988). In 1998, she finally achieved widespread fame as the romantically cautious lawyer Miranda Hobbes in "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2005) and its 2008 theatrical feature. She triumphed again with the successful "Sex and the City 2" (2010), and followed that with roles in such films as "James White" (2015) and "The Only Living Boy in New York" (2017) as well as with a critically-praised turn on TV as Nancy Reagan in the TV movie "Killing Reagan" (National Geographic, 2016). She also won the Tony Award in 2017 as Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in a revival of Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes." In March 2018, Nixon announced her plans to run for governor of New York on the Democratic ticket. An Emmy, Tony and Grammy winner, Nixon remained a highly skilled and respected actress who remained happy to tackle challenging roles, whether on-stage, on-screen, or in the political realm.
Born in New York City, NY on April 9, 1966, Cynthia Ellen Nixon was the daughter of radio journalist Walter Dixon and actress Anne Nixon, who inspired her child's interest in performing. Nixon made her television debut at 13 in a 1979 "ABC Afterschool Special" titled "The Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid" (co-starring the legendary Butterfly McQueen) and earned her first film credit a year later as the aptly-named Sunshine in the Tatum O'Neal-Kristy McNichol teensploitation flick, "Little Darlings" (1980). That same year, she established herself as a theater actress to watch with her performance as the spoiled Dinah Lord in a revival of "The Philadelphia Story," which earned her a 1981 Theatre World Award. Nixon steadily appeared in films and television and on stage throughout the 1980s, contributing solid support to Sidney Lumet's "Prince of the City" (1981) and the lurid "Tattoo" (1981), as well as offering a memorable turn as Mozart's deeply confused maid in Milos Forman's "Amadeus" (1984). That same year, she wowed Broadway critics by appearing in two wildly successful plays - Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" (as the daughter of Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski) and David Rabe's "Hurly Burly" (as a teenage runaway who encounters oily Hollywood types) - during her freshman year at Barnard College. A year later, she was co-starring with Jeff Daniels in Lanford Wilson's "Lemon Sky" at Second Stage.
Nixon's first substantial film role came in 1986 as the bright and resourceful girlfriend of teenaged science whiz Christopher Collett in Marshall Brickman's thriller "The Manhattan Project" (1985), more acclaimed projects soon followed, including the miniseries "The Murder of Mary Phagan" (1986) with Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey, and Robert Altman's "Tanner '88," as the daughter of an obscure Democratic congressman who attempts to navigate a presidential race. Stage remained her best showcase at this time, however, and she shined in several notable productions throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. After receiving her BA in English from Barnard in 1988, she appeared as Juliet in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Romeo and Juliet," then essayed several roles in the Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein's "The Heidi Chronicles" in 1989. Three years later, she replaced Marcia Gay Harden as the pill-addicted Mormon who marries a closeted homosexual in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America," earning her first Tony nomination two years later in "Indiscretions (Les Parents Terribles)." In 1997, she joined the cast of the Tony-winning "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," and served as co-founder and a regular performer with The Drama Dept., which counted Billy Crudup, John Cameron Mitchell and Nixon's future "Sex and the City" co-star Sarah Jessica Parker among its members.
Though Nixon's focus was largely on her stage career at this point, she maintained a presence in film and in television throughout the early and mid-'90s, mostly in made-for-TV productions like "Women and Wallace" (1990) and "Face of a Stranger" (1991), as Gena Rowlands' daughter. There were occasional film appearances throughout the decade, most notably as Wednesday and Puggsley Addams' whitebread nanny Heather in "Addams Family Values" (1993) and "Baby's Day Out" (1994), in which she appeared as the nanny of the missing title tot in the latter, as well as scores of appearances in episodic television series, including one brief stint as a regular on the failed comedy "Monty" (Fox, 1994), with Henry Winkler as an outspoken conservative radio host. Nixon also reportedly auditioned for the role of Agent Dana Scully on "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002), but lost out to another blonde about to go red for a role, Gillian Anderson.
The failed shows clearly did not scare Nixon away from future series work - and it was a good thing too, since her next regular TV stint was as Miranda Hobbes on "Sex and the City." Based on the newspaper column and book by writer Candace Bushnell, the show followed the exploits of a writer (Parker) and her three best friends (Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall) who navigate life and love in New York City. It became an instant hit for HBO and a must-see weekly event for its vast audience. As Miranda, Nixon provided a touch of gravitas to the show's occasionally fantasy-driven proceedings - career-minded, acerbic, and more than a touch distrustful of men, she grounded Parker's Carrie Bradshaw when she agonized over her feelings for Mr. Big (Chris Noth), but occasionally came off as a wet blanket. Over the course of the show's five-season run, Miranda softened considerably; first, after meeting the charmingly scrappy bartender Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), and later after she becomes pregnant by him. The arrival of baby Brady brings down the last of Miranda's rigid defenses, and the series' much-viewed finale found her happy at last with her new family.
Nixon's performance, which skillfully balanced the show's broad humor and the more dramatic arcs of her character's storylines, earned her a wealth of awards, including two Screen Actors Guild Awards (which she shared with her cast mates) and an Emmy in 2004. She also received four Golden Globe Award nominations and two Satellite Award nods. Most importantly, the show gave her considerable acting clout, leading to her first starring turn in a feature, the indie romantic drama "Advice from a Caterpillar" (1996). She soon followed it with a scene-stealing turn as former art teacher Mrs. Piggee in "Igby Goes Down" (2002), and returned to the role of Alex Tanner, who was directing a documentary about her father, in Altman's 2004 follow-up "Tanner on Tanner." She also ventured back to Broadway for a 2001 production of Clare Booth Luce's "The Women," which aired on PBS in 2002.
Following the conclusion of "Sex and the City," Nixon remained active in all three of her chosen mediums. She won her first Tony in 2006 for her starring turn as a grieving woman in "Rabbit Hole," while she appeared in several indie features, including 2005's "One Last Thing," in which she portrayed the mother of a terminally ill young man, and "Little Manhattan" (2005), in which she appeared as the mother of the film's lovelorn 10-year-old narrator. Television provided her the richest non-stage roles, including a lauded turn as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the HBO feature "Warm Springs" (2006), which earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She also had showy guest shots as a mother who underg s risky surgery to deal with the effects of a stroke on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and a seizure victim who tangles with Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) on "House" (Fox, 2004-12). In 2008, she even won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her 2007 turn as Janice Donovan on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) None of these roles, however, generated the same groundswell of excitement as her return to Miranda Hobbes for 2008's big screen feature, "Sex and the City: The Movie," which reunited her with her three series co-stars. The film cleaned up at the box office that May and June, making the movie an event experience for girlfriends who planned an entire cosmopolitan-laden night of it, proving that movies geared to women could open just as big as action adventures did for male ticketbuyers.
Not known for making the tabloid pages, nonetheless, Nixon found that all bets were off when after becoming romantically involved with professor Danny Moses in 1988 and having two children together, Nixon fell out of love and into a new relationship with someone quite unexpected, considering her "Sex and the City" image: the redheaded Christine Marinoni. "In terms of sexual orientation I don't really feel I've changed. I don't feel there was a hidden part of my sexuality that I wasn't aware of," Nixon told the press. "I'd been with men all my life and I'd never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn't seem so strange. I'm just a woman in love with another woman." Marinoni supported Nixon when the actress was diagnosed with breast cancer, a high-profile battle which she eventually won. Cancer-free and coasting off great reviews for her theatrical and television appearances, Nixon returned to the multiplexes in the highly anticipated big screen follow-up, "Sex and the City 2" (2010), reprising Hobbes to full sarcastic, cynical effect. She next joined an all-star cast for director Curtis Hanson's acclaimed "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), a compelling look at the events and players involved in the financial meltdown of 2008. Nixon played Michele Davis, a senior communications advisor who was part of the U.S. Treasury team addressing the crisis that almost brought the global economy to its knees.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made TV debut at the age of 12 on the ABC Afterschool Special "The Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid"
Broadway debut as the bratty Dinah Lord in the revival of "The Philadelphia Story"
Feature debut in "Little Darlings" playing Sunshine Walker, the daughter of hippie parents
Appeared in Sidney Lumet's "Prince of the City"
TV-movie debut, "My Body, My Child" (ABC) playing Vanessa Redgrave's daughter
Played the daughter of Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski in the Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing"; also simultaneously appeared in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly"; both directed by Mike Nichols
Portrayed Mozart's maid in Milos Forman's "Amadeus"
Acted in the workshop production of "The Heidi Chronicles"; played several characters when it came to Broadway in 1989
Played the daughter of a presidential candidate in Robert Altman's episodic political satire "Tanner '88" (HBO)
Had featured role as Heather in "Addams Family Values"
Replaced Marcia Gay Harden as Harper Pitt, the pill-popping Mormon wife whose husband reveals his homosexuality in Tony Kushner's two-part theatrical epic "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" and "Angels in America: Perestroika"
Received a Tony nomination for her role as the headstrong young woman who falls for a mama's boy in "Indiscretions"
Returned to Broadway, succeeding Jessica Hecht in the Tony Award-winning "The Last Night of Ballyhoo"
Landed breakthrough TV role as Miranda Hobbes, the no-nonsense lawyer on the HBO series "Sex and the City"; received Emmy (2002, 2003, 2005), Golden Globe (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006) and SAG (2006) nominations
Made cameo appearance as a participant in a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting in the remake of "The Out-of-Towners"
First leading role in a feature, as a video artist romanced by a bisexual actor in "Advice from a Caterpillar"
Appeared in the Broadway revival of "The Women"
Had a small part in the indie comedy "Igby Goes Down"
Portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt for HBO's "Warm Springs" opposite Kenneth Branagh as Franklin Roosevelt; received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for the role
Reprised role in "Tanner on Tanner," the sequel to the HBO political satire "Tanner '88"
Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of a grieving mother in Broadway's "Rabbit Hole"
Performed the title role in the off-Broadway play "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"
Guest starred on an episode of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
Reprised the character of Miranda Hobbes in the big screen adaptation "Sex and the City: The Movie"
Returned as Miranda Hobbes for "Sex and the City 2"
Guest starred on Showtime's "The Big C" as the college roommate of Laura Linney's character
Featured in the HBO movie "Too Big to Fail"
Cast in the crime drama "Rampart" opposite Woody Harrelson
Starred in the Broadway play "Wit"