Family & Companions
After seasoning herself in a number of guest starring roles on television, actress Teri Hatcher gained widespread attention and good notices for her portrayal of a very modern Lois Lane on the popular reimagining "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 1993-97). Prior to her breakthrough performance on that show, Hatcher had a recurring role on "MacGyver" (ABC, 1985-1992) while logging episodes on shows like "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1989-1993) and "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998) while also making a memorable impression as a woman whose breasts may or may not be real on a notable episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998). She also starred in a number of features, though often in forgettable big screen offerings like "Brain Smasher: A Love Story" (1993) and "All Tied Up" (1994). Following a villainous turn in the James Bond flick "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997), Hatcher was without a show when "Lois & Clark" left the air after only four seasons. She bounced around with more guest starring appearances and roles in films like "Fever" (1999) and "Spy Kids" (2001) before making a triumphant return to series television as one of five "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-12). Though she won a Golden Globe after the first season, beating out three other housewives also nominated, Hatcher saw her role on the show diminishing in value until a revamp following season four helped give the series a boost and maintained Hatcher as a formidable leading presence.
Born on Dec. 8, 1964 in Sunnyvale, CA, Hatcher was raised in a technology-minded home by her father, Owen, an electrical engineer and nuclear physicist, and her mother, Esther, a computer programmer for Lockheed Martin. Despite growing up an only child in a home dominated by mathematics and the sciences, she nonetheless was attracted to performing and began taking ballet lessons in nearby Los Altos. After graduating Fremont High School in 1982, where she was head cheerleader, Hatcher studied both mathematics and engineering at De Anza College in Cupertino. Still bitten by the acting bug, she studied performing arts at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, while also reviving her high school days by landing a spot on the cheerleading squad for the San Francisco 49ers. Heading down to Los Angeles, Hatcher began securing television roles, starting with a role as a mermaid showgirl on the final season of "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986). Meanwhile, she landed a recurring role as Penny Parker on "MacGyver" (ABC, 1985-1992), which starred beau Richard Dean Anderson, whom she dated for most of her run on the show, which ended in 1989.
Though her bread and butter was the small screen, Hatcher also worked in the feature world, landing small parts in "The Big Picture" (1989) and "Tango & Cash" (1989), while popping up in episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndication, 1987-1994), "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1989-1993) and "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998). Following small parts in "Soapdish" (1991) and "Straight Talk" (1992), Hatcher had a memorable guest starring appearance on a 1993 episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998), playing the brief romantic interest of Jerry, who tries to figure out if her breasts are real or fake. At the end of the episode, after she calls off their relationship, Hatcher famously intoned "They're real and they're spectacular," which remained one of the most popular lines in the show's long, fabled history. Also that year, Hatcher landed her first major starring role, playing the titular Lois Lane in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 1993-97), which focused as much on the relationship between her and Clark Kent (Dean Cain) as it did on the heroics of the Man of Steel. Popular for a spell, the show had a marginal degree of success in its last four seasons.
While starring on "Lois & Clark," Hatcher was seen in a number of features, some of which were shot prior to her joining the show. She had a starring turn opposite Andrew Dice Clay in the embarrassing action comedy, "Brain Smasher: A Love Story" (1993), which was thankfully consigned to straight-to-video shelves. After a turn in the forgettable romantic comedy "All Tied Up" (1994), she starred opposite Alec Baldwin in the poorly received thriller "Heaven's Prisoners" (1996) before hitting bottom with her much-derided performance in John Herzfeld's crime drama, "2 Days in the Valley" (1996). She fared better after being cast in the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) as Paris Carver, a mysterious woman from 007's (Pierce Brosnan) past now married to his nemesis (Jonathan Pryce). Hatcher's attentions were diverted to the theater when she appeared to good effect as Sally Bowles in the touring company of the 1996 revival production of the Kander & Ebb musical "Cabaret" while staying in the public consciousness by co-starring in director David Schwimmer's high school reunion comedy "Since You've Been Gone" (ABC, 1998) and appearing in an ubiquitous string of long-running Radio Shack commercials opposite NFL great Howie Long in 1999.
Hatcher continued to appear in a variety of movies like "Fever" (1999) and "Spy Kids" (2001), while logging guest appearances on shows like "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004) and "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15). Hatcher made her triumphant return to primetime network series television in the unique, suburban black comedy, "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-12), playing Susan Mayer, the neighborhood's romance-minded single mom, opposite Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Nicolette Sheridan and Eva Longoria. Hailed for her performance during the first season of the show, Hatcher beat out four-out-of-five Housewives - Longoria was the only one snubbed - to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical. But as the show progressed through seasons of rapidly diminishing quality, Hatcher's character began grating on audiences and critics, some of whom labeled her performance "annoying." Following a turn to voice work for the animated "Coraline" (2009), Hatcher returned to the Superman universe as Ella Lane, mother to Lois (Erica Durance), on a 2010 episode of "Smallville" (The WB/The CW, 2001-11).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
TV debut as a Love Boat mermaid on "The Love Boat" (ABC)
Had a recurring role on "MacGyver" (ABC) as Penny Parker
Played Anjelica Clegg on the CBS daytime soap "Capitol"
Feature acting debut, "The Big Picture"
Co-starred in Norman Lear's failed sitcom, "Sunday Dinner" (CBS)
Played Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane in the TV series, "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC)
Made a memorable guest appearance on an episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC)
Joined an ensemble cast for "2 Days in the Valley"
Cast as Paris Carver for the James Bond film, "Tomorrow Never Dies"
Toured as Sally Bowles in the environmental revival of the stage musical "Cabaret"
Cast as Ms. Gradenko in the Robert Rodriguez directed, "Spy Kids"
Co-starred with Louis Gossett Jr. in the TV-movie, "Momentum" (Sci Fi Channel)
Cast as Susan Mayer, the divorcee and single mom in the ABC series, "Desperate Housewives"; earned Emmy (2005) and Golden Globe (2006) nominations for Best Actress in a Comedy series
Co-starred in the boxing film "Resurrecting the Champ"
Voiced the title character's mother in the animated feature, "Coraline"