Baranski at the 2012 Romy TV Awards
Christine Jane Baranski|
May 2, 1952
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Education||Bachelor of Arts|
|Alma mater||Juilliard School, Lincoln Center|
|Spouse(s)||Matthew Cowles (1983–2014; his death)|
Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American stage and screen actress. She won Tony Awards for her work in the original Broadway productions of The Real Thing in 1984 and Rumors in 1989, both for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She went on to win the 1995 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Maryanne Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill (1995–98).
Baranski's other Broadway credits include her debut in Hide and Seek (1980), Hurlyburly (1984), The House of Blue Leaves (1986) and Boeing Boeing (2008). A 15-time Emmy Award nominee, her other television work includes her portrayals of Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife, and Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. Her film roles include 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), Legal Eagles (1986), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Addams Family Values (1993), Jeffrey (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Bulworth (1998), Cruel Intentions (1999), Bowfinger (1999), Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Chicago (2002), Mamma Mia! (2008), and Into the Woods (2014).
Early life and education
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 high school at the Villa Maria Academy in Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo. She then studied at New York City's Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 3: 1970–1974) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.
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 (for which she won her second Tony), 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 title character in 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.
Baranski has also starred in various roles in films and television. In film, some of her better 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 Chisham-Leigh in the hit musical Mamma Mia! She also played Cinderella's stepmother in the film adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods.
Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch, adamant that "the first real TV show" that she worked on was Cybill. Earlier, she had appeared in short-term roles on various daytime soap operas, including All My Children and Another World.
Baranski was featured as Cybill Shepherd's sarcastic, 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. During this, Baranski portrayed a librarian named Sonja Umdahl in the "Dick and the Single Girl" episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun. A few years later, 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.
Baranski 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. Around the same time, Baranski began guest starring in The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, an unemotional expert in psychiatry and neuroscience, and mother of one of the protagonists, Leonard Hofstadter. She first appeared in the second season episode "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. As of May 2016, she has appeared in seven more episodes.
From 2009 to 2016, she played the role of Diane Lockhart, a top litigator and senior partner of a Chicago law firm on The Good Wife. She has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for each season of the series, in the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Besides her work on The Good Wife and the aforementioned guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, other recent appearances include Ugly Betty in 2009 as Victoria Hartley, the haughty mother of Betty's new boyfriend.
Baranski was married to actor Matthew Cowles from October, 1983 until his death on May 22, 2014. They have two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987). One of her daughters is a practicing attorney, attended law school, passed the New York bar exam, and was working for the Brooklyn district attorney during the run of The Good Wife.
|1982||Soup for One||Blonde in Bar|
|1986||Legal Eagles||Carol Freeman|
|1987||Pick-up Artist, TheThe Pick-up Artist||Harriet|
|1990||Reversal of Fortune||Andrea Reynolds, Claus' Girlfriend|
|1993||Night We Never Met, TheThe Night We Never Met||Lucy|
|1993||Life with Mikey||Carol|
|1993||Addams Family Values||Becky Martin-Granger|
|1994||Ref, TheThe Ref||Connie Chasseur|
|1994||Getting In||Mrs. Margaret "Maggie" Higgs|
|1994||War, TheThe War||Miss Strapford|
|1995||New Jersey Drive||Prosecutor|
|1995||Jeffrey||Ann Marwood Bartle|
|1996||Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage||Katherine Archer|
|1998||Odd Couple II, TheThe Odd Couple II||Thelma|
|1999||Cruel Intentions||Bunny Caldwell|
|2000||Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Martha May Whovier|
|2003||Marci X||Mary Ellen Spinkle|
|2004||Welcome to Mooseport||Charlotte Cole|
|2005||Scooby Doo! in Where's My Mummy?||Amelia Von Butch||Voice|
|2006||Falling for Grace||Bree|
|2006||Relative Strangers||Arleen Clayton|
|2008||Mamma Mia!||Tanya Chisham-Leigh|
|2010||Bounty Hunter, TheThe Bounty Hunter||Kitty Hurley|
|2014||Into The Woods||Cinderella's Stepmother|
|1977||Busting Loose||Debbie||Episode: "The Decision: Part 1"|
|1980||Playing for Time||Olga||TV movie|
|1982||Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream||Helena||TV movie|
|1982||Another World||Beverly Tucker||Unknown episodes|
|1984||All My Children||Jewel Maniscalo||Unknown episodes|
|1985||Big Shots in America||TV movie|
|1985||Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer||Victoria Baines||Episode: "Mama's Boy"|
|1987||House of Blue Leaves, TheThe House of Blue Leaves||Bunny Flingus||TV movie|
|1988||The Thorns||Polly||Episode: "The Maid"|
|1991||Law & Order||Katherine Masucci Beigel||Episodes: "The Torrents of Greed Parts 1 & 2"|
|1992||Screenplay||Blair Bennett||Episode: "Buying a Landslide"|
|1993||To Dance with the White Dog||Kate||TV movie|
|1994||Law & Order||Rose Siegal||Episode: "Nurture"|
|1995–98||Cybill||Maryanne Thorpe||87 episodes|
|1996||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Christine Baranski/The Cure"|
|1997||3rd Rock from the Sun||Sonja Umdahl||Episode: "Dick and the Single Girl"|
|1999||Now and Again||Ruth Bender||Episode: "Origins"; voice; uncredited|
|1999||Frasier||Dr. Nora Fairchild||Series 6 episode 20: "Dr. Nora"|
|2000–01||Welcome to New York||Marsha Bickner||13 episodes|
|2001||Citizen Baines||Glenn Ferguson Baines Welch||Episode: "Three Days in November"|
|2002||Speed Racer X||Trixie Fontaine||Voice|
|2002||Presidio Med||Dr. Terry Howland||Episodes: "Pick Your Battles", "Best of Enemies"|
|2003||Eloise at the Plaza||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003||Eloise at Christmastime||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003–04||Happy Family||Annie Brennan||22 episodes|
|2005||Recipe for a Perfect Christmas||Lee Bellmont||TV movie|
|2005||Adopted||Judy Rabinowitz||TV movie|
|2005||In the Game||TV pilot|
|2005||Ghost Whisperer||Faith Clancy||TV series, episodes: "Voices", "The Crossing"|
|2006||American Dad!||Homeless Woman||TV series, episode: "Failure Is Not a Factory-installed Option" (voice)|
|2009||Ugly Betty||Victoria Hartley||TV series, 4 episodes|
|2009||Psych||Alice Clayton||TV series, episode: "He Dead"|
|2009–present||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Dr. Beverly Hofstadter||9 episodes: "The Maternal Capacitance", "The Maternal Congruence", "The Skank Reflex Analysis", "The Raiders Minimization", "The Status Quo Combustion", "The Maternal Combustion", "The Celebration Experimentation", "The Line Substitution Solution", "The Convergence Convergence"|
|2009–16||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Diane Lockhart||156 episodes|
|2011||Who Is Simon Miller?||Amanda||TV movie|
|2011||Ugly Americans||Grimes' mummy||Season 2, episode 10: "Mummy Dearest"; voice|
|2015||BoJack Horseman||Amanda Hannity||Season 2, episode 7: "Hank After Dark"; voice|
|2017||The Good Fight||Diane Lockhart|
|2013||Skylanders: Swap Force||Kaos' Mother|
Awards and nominations
- "Christine Baranski – Family and Companions – Yahoo!7 Movies" movies.yahoo.com
- "Christine Baranski Biography (1952–)" filmreference.com, accessed April 29, 2011
- "Western New York Public Broadcasting Association" wned.org
- Triplett, William (May 12, 2002). "For Baranski, A Most Meaty Opportunity; In 'Sweeney Todd,' Actress Sinks Her Teeth Into a Singing Role". The Washington Post. HighBeam Research.
- Rousuck, J. Wynn (May 21, 2006). "The lady has it: Christine Baranski stars in 'Mame' for the 2nd time". The Baltimore Sun.
- Gans, Andrew (June 16, 2006). "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Mame's Christine Baranski". Playbill.com.
- Shulman, Randy (June 8, 2006). "Christine Baranski: TV and stage actress talks about starring in 'Mame' and 'Cybill'". MetroWeekly.com.
- "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "Christine Baranski". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Brantley, Ben. "Adding Love To the Pies' Time-Tested Recipe", New York Times, May 15, 2002
- Simonson, Robert. "PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Christine Baranski", playbill.com, May 7, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. "Starry A Little Night Music Concert Presented in Manhattan Jan. 12", playbill.com, January 12, 2009
- WORLD EXCLUSIVE! New Confirmed Casting For the INTO THE WOODS Movie, Starring Streep & Depp Broadway World, Retrieved July 27, 2013
- Christine Baranski: Wasn't Me on 'The Brady Bunch'!
- "3rd Rock from the Sun"; Dick and the Single Girl (1997) — Internet Movie Database
- Simonson, Robert. "Matthew Cowles, Actor and Husband of Christine Baranski, Dies" playbill.com, May 27, 2014
- Klein, Alvin (January 25, 1998). "THEATER; Being Irish And Being Married". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- Colbert, Stephen (host) (28 April 2016). "Christine Baranski". The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Season 1. Episode 131. CBS.
- "Filmography by TV series for Christine Baranski". IMDb.com. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Skylanders Swap Force E3 2013 – Epic Interview Pt 2 (Kaos's Mom, TarClops) on YouTube
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christine Baranski.|
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Movie Database
- Christine Baranski at AllMovie
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Broadway Database
- Christine Baranski at the Internet Off-Broadway Database