Family & Companions
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). Sedgwick enjoyed 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 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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Professional acting debut at age 15 in the off-Broadway play "Time Was"
Made TV debut in the regular role of Julia Shearer on NBC daytime drama "Another World"
Played the title role in the ABC Afterschool Special "Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale"
Feature acting debut, "War and Love"
First prominent role in a feature, playing a prostitute opposite Matt Dillon in "Kansas"
Broadway debut in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah, Wilderness!"; co-starred with Campbell Scott
Portrayed Tom Cruise's high school sweetheart in Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July"
Played Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward's daughter in the Merchant Ivory Film "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge"
First feature with husband Kevin Bacon, "Pyrates"
Re-teamed with Dillon to play a married couple in HBO's "Women & Men 2"
Won praise for her title performance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production "Miss Rose White" (NBC)
Had featured role in Cameron Crowe's "Singles"; re-teamed with Matt Dillon and Campbell Scott
Starred opposite Anjelica Huston in the ABC miniseries "Family Pictures"
Offered an acclaimed, scene-stealing turn as Julia Roberts' straight-shooting sister in "Something to Talk About"
Played a small role in "Murder in the First" as a hooker opposite Kevin Bacon's imprisoned character
Announced as the face for designer Emmanuel Ungaro's couture line
Producing debut, "Losing Chase" (Showtime), also starred as a young woman hired as a companion to a depressed, older female (Helen Mirren), helmed by husband Kevin Bacon
Delivered a vivid turn as Southern woman with a fondness for married men and red wine in "The Low Life"
Starred as a single mother romanced by John Travolta in the feature "Phenomenon"
Portrayed the sexpot daughter of the comatose man in Bed 5 in Sidney Lumet's "Critical Care"; reunited with Mirren
Served as associate producer (also starred) for HBO's "Montana"
Played Olivia in Broadway's triumphant Lincoln Center run of "Twelfth Night" (aired live on PBS)
Hosted Lifetime documentary "Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America"
Starred in the failed ABC sitcom "Talk to Me"; also co-executive produced
Played Julianna Margulies' lover in "What's Cooking?"; film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival
Appeared opposite William H. Macy in the TNT movie "Door to Door"
Cast in the HBO movie "Something the Lord Made," a dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and Vivien Thomas (Mos Def)
Re-teamed with Bacon for "Cavedweller"; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination Female Lead
Co-starred with husband Kevin Bacon in "The Woodsman"
Cast as Brenda Johnson, a CIA-trained interrogator in TNT's "The Closer"; earned Golden Globe (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009), SAG (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and Emmy (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series
Starred in "Loverboy" as an unsound mother who surrounds her only son with a magical world for two; directed by and co-starring her husband Kevin Bacon; film premiered at Sundance
Co-starred with Gerard Butler in the action thriller "Gamer"
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (June)
Co-starred with Sam Worthington in the crime thriller "Man on a Ledge"
Cast as the mother of a girl cursed by an antique box in supernatural thriller "The Possession"
Had the uncredited role of Marian Carr in "Kill Your Darlings"
Played Chief Wuntch on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Played a supporting role in acclaimed teen drama "The Edge of Seventeen"
Played Jane Sadler on "Ten Days in the Valley"
Cast as Georgina Beaty in Batan Silva's sci-fi drama "After Darkness"