Christine Baranski life and biography

Christine Baranski picture, image, poster

Christine Baranski biography

Date of birth : 1952-05-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Buffalo, New York, United States
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-16
Credited as : Actress, Welcome to New York, The Good Wife

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Christine Baranski is an American stage and screen actress.

Baranski was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Virginia (née Mazurowski) and Lucien Baranski, who edited a Polish-language newspaper. She is of Polish descent and her grandparents were actors in the Polish theater. Baranski attended Villa Maria Academy, after which she studied at Juilliard. She has been married to actor Matthew Cowles since 1983. They have two daughters.

Baranski made her Off-Broadway debut in Coming Attractions at Playwrights Horizons in 1980, and has appeared in several Off Broadway productions at the Manhattan Theatre Club, starting with Sally and Marsha in 1982.

Baranski made her Broadway debut in Hide & Seek in 1980. For her next Broadway performance, in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, she won the 1984 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play. Other Broadway credits include: Hurlyburly, The House of Blue Leaves, Rumors, Regrets Only, Nick & Nora, and the Encores! concert staging of Follies.

At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Baranski starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd in 2002 (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and as the titular Mame in 2006.

In her first Broadway production since 1991, she was featured as the maid "Berthe" in the 2008 revival of Boeing Boeing. The show garnered two Tony Awards, one for Best Revival of a Play and the other for Best Actor (Mark Rylance). The original cast was Bradley Whitford (Bernard), Kathryn Hahn (Gloria), Christine Baranski (Berthe), Gina Gershon (Gabriella), and Mary McCormack (Gretchen). The show closed on January 4, 2009.

She also appeared in a one night only concert benefit performance of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music for Roundabout Theatre Company as Countess Charlotte Malcolm on January 12, 2009. The cast included Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Victor Garber, and Marc Kudisch, among others.

She has won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards twice.

Baranski has also starred in various roles in films and television. In film, some of her best known roles are as Katherine Archer in The Birdcage, Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago, Martha May Whovier in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Connie Chasseur in The Ref and as Tanya in the musical Mamma Mia!

Baranski was featured as Cybill Shepherd's hard-drinking friend Maryanne Thorpe in the CBS sitcom Cybill, which ran from 1995 until 1998, during which time she hosted Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy Award as best supporting actress in a comedy series along with three other nominations.

In 1999 Baranski received an Emmy nomination for a guest starring role as an intimidating radio psychiatrist on an episode of the NBC series Frasier. She had an uncredited role in the series Now and Again as the voice of Roger's overbearing wife Ruth, who was never seen by viewers.

She later appeared in the 2000-2001 sitcom Welcome to New York and, with John Laroquette, in the 2003-2004 NBC sitcom Happy Family. She co-starred with Bernadette Peters in a pilot for an ABC sitcom, Adopted, in 2005, which was not picked up. She also played Faith Clancy, the mother of Jim Clancy in Ghost Whisperer.

She portrayed a librarian named Sonja Umdahl in the episode "Dick and the Single Girl" of the series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

She guest starred in The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, a bespectacled and unemotional expert in psychiatry and neuroscience who is the mother of one of the protagonists, Leonard Hofstadter. She appeared in the second season episode entitled "The Maternal Capacitance", for which she received an Emmy nomination. Due to the popularity of her first appearance, Baranski returned in the third season for the Christmas episode, "The Maternal Congruence" receiving another Emmy nomination.

Since 2009, she has played the role of Diane Lockhart, a top litigator and senior partner of a Chicago law firm on The Good Wife. She was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for an Emmy in 2010.

Besides her work on The Good Wife and the aforementioned guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, in 2009 Baranski appeared on Ugly Betty as Victoria Hartley, the haughty mother of Betty's new boyfriend, and guest starred in episode 4.02 of Psych.

Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch.

Filmography:

2009 : Psycho
2009-present : The Good Wife
2010 : The Bounty Hunter
2011 : Who is Simon Miller?

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