Veteran actress Lynn Cohen established a successful career playing a string of supporting roles on both television and in films, often as a caring mother or an old-fashioned housekeeper. Early in her career, she had minor parts in films like "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993) and Deconstructing Harry" (1997), before she went on to guest star on popular crime dramas such as "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005). Cohen's most memorable role was on the hit series "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004), as America's favorite judgmental housekeeper Magda to Cynthia Nixon's straight-shooting lawyer Miranda Hobbes. The role gave Cohen mainstream appeal, and paved the way for more high-profile projects like the action-adventure "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (2013) for her to prove her range and enduring dedication to her craft.
Born in Kansas City, MO, Lynn Cohen trained at Michael Howard Studios in New York City. She launched her acting career with featured parts in films such Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery" and Deconstructing Harry," as well as in several films where she often took on motherly roles. Cohen appeared on the popular ABC crime drama series "NYPD Blue," and landed supporting roles in a string of American and international films. In 2000, Cohen landed a recurring role on the HBO series "Sex and the City," where she played Magda, the housekeeper of high-powered attorney Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), one of four outspoken and well-heeled thirty-something women (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Kristin Davis) who, in between sips of cocktails, dissect relationships and dating in New York City. Early in the series, Cohen's character often voiced her disapproval about Hobbes' independent lifestyle, particularly her sexual choices and lack of domestic skills. As the series progressed, however, her relationship with her employer evolved into a more personal and loving relationship, with Magda taking on a more motherly role towards Miranda and her young son. A fan favorite, Cohen reprised her role in the series' film adaptations, the smash hit "Sex and the City" (2008) and its less than stellar sequel "Sex and the City 2" (2010).
Television provided steady work for Cohen; she guest starred on the drama series "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001-2011) and had a recurring role as a judge on "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). Aside from her television projects, Cohen also took on roles in films like the critically acclaimed historical drama "Munich" (2005), where she delivered a compelling performance as Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime Minister who gave the instructions to kill the Palestinians who were involved in the Munich attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 2009, Cohen guest starred on the dark comedy series "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime, 2009), starring Edie Falco as a drug-addicted nurse who tries to balance the demands of her frenetic personal and professional lives. In 2012, Cohen landed a pivotal role in the film adaptation of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (2013), based on Suzanne Collins' 2008 international bestselling trilogy about children forced to compete in a bloody game of survival. In the film, she played Mags, an 80-year-old former Hunger Games champion who mentors one of the Tributes, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin). Cohen also becomes an unlikely ally to the film's heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), during the deadly Quarter Quell battle.
By Candy Cuenco