Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon

Nixon in May 2014
Born Cynthia Ellen Nixon
(1966-04-09) April 9, 1966
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Christine Marinoni (m. 2012)
Partner(s) Danny Mozes (1988–2003)
Children 3

Cynthia Ellen Nixon (born April 9, 1966) is an American actress. She is known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series, Sex and the City (1998–2004), for which she won the 2004 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She reprised the role in the films Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010). Other film appearances include: Amadeus (1984), The Pelican Brief (1993), Little Manhattan (2005), 5 Flights Up (2014), James White (2015), and playing Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion (2016).

Nixon made her Broadway debut in the 1980 revival of The Philadelphia Story. Other Broadway credits include: The Real Thing (1983), Hurlyburly (1983), Indiscretions (1995), The Women (2001) and Wit (2012). She won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Rabbit Hole, the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for An Inconvenient Truth. Her other television roles include Eleanor Roosevelt in Warm Springs (2005), Michele Davis in Too Big to Fail (2011), and playing Nancy Reagan in the 2016 television film Killing Reagan.

Early life

Nixon was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of Anne Elizabeth (née Knoll; 19302012),[1] originally from Chicago, Illinois, and Walter E. Nixon, Jr., a radio journalist from Texas.[2][3] There is no relation to president Richard Nixon.[4] She graduated from Hunter College High School and attended Barnard College.[5][6] In the spring of 1986, she studied abroad with Semester at Sea.[7]


Early career

Nixon's first onscreen appearance was as an imposter on To Tell the Truth, where her mother worked.[8] She began acting at age 12 as the object of a wealthy school mate's crush in The Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid, a 1979 ABC Afterschool Special.[9] She made her feature debut co-starring with Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal in Little Darlings (1980). She made her Broadway debut as Dinah Lord in a 1980 revival of The Philadelphia Story.[8] Alternating between film, TV and stage, she did projects like the 1982 ABC movie My Body, My Child, the features Prince of the City (1981) and I Am the Cheese (1983), and the 1982 Off-Broadway productions of John Guare's Lydie Breeze.

In 1984, while a freshman at Barnard College, Nixon made theatrical history by simultaneously appearing in two hit Broadway plays directed by Mike Nichols.[6] These were The Real Thing, where Nixon played the daughter of Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski; and Hurlyburly, where she played a young woman who encounters sleazy Hollywood executives.[10] The two theaters were just two blocks apart and Nixon's roles were both short, so she could run from one to the other.[10] Onscreen, she played the role of Salieri's maid/spy, Lorl, in Amadeus (1984). In 1985, she appeared alongside Jeff Daniels in Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky at Second Stage Theatre.[11]

She landed her first major supporting role in a movie as an intelligent teenager who aids her boyfriend (Christopher Collet) in building a nuclear bomb in Marshall Brickman's The Manhattan Project (1986).[12] Nixon was part of the cast of the NBC miniseries The Murder of Mary Phagan (NBC, 1988) starring Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey, and portrayed the daughter of a presidential candidate (Michael Murphy) in Tanner '88 (1988), Robert Altman's political satire for HBO. She reprised the role for the 2004 sequel Tanner on Tanner.


Nixon at the Berlin premiere of Sex and the City: The Movie, 2008

On stage, Nixon portrayed Juliet in a 1988 New York Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet,[13] and acted in the workshop production of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles,[14] playing several characters after it came to Broadway in 1989. She was the guest star in the second episode of the long running NBC television series Law & Order. She played the role of an agoraphobic woman in a February 1993 episode of Murder, She Wrote titled, "Threshold of Fear." She replaced Marcia Gay Harden as Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner's Angels in America (1994),[15] received a Tony nomination for her performance in Indiscretions (Les Parents Terribles) (1996, her sixth Broadway show) and,[16] though she originally lost the part to another actress, eventually took over the role of Lala Levy in the Tony-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1997).

Nixon was a founding member of the theatrical troupe The Drama Dept.,[17] which included Sarah Jessica Parker, Dylan Baker, John Cameron Mitchell and Billy Crudup among its actors, appearing in the group's productions of Kingdom on Earth (1996), June Moon and As Bees in Honey Drown (both 1997), Hope is the Thing with Feathers (1998), and The Country Club (1999).

Nixon has contributed supporting performances to Addams Family Values (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), Marvin's Room (1996) and The Out-of-Towners (1999).


She raised her profile significantly as one of the four regulars on HBO's successful comedy Sex and the City (1998–2004), as the lawyer Miranda Hobbes. Nixon received three Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2002, 2003, 2004), winning the award in 2004, for the show's final season.[18]

Nixon, John Hurt and Swoosie Kurtz at the premiere of An Englishman in New York, 2009

The immense popularity of the series led Nixon to enjoy her first leading role in a feature, playing a video artist who falls in love, despite her best efforts to avoid commitment, with a bisexual actor who just happens to be dating a gay man (her best friend) in Advice from a Caterpillar (2000), as well as starring opposite Scott Bakula in the holiday television movie Papa's Angels (2000). In 2002, she also landed a role in the indie comedy Igby Goes Down, and her turn in the theatrical production of Clare Boothe Luce's play The Women was captured for PBS' Stage on Screen series.

Post-Sex in the City, Nixon made a guest appearance on ER in 2005, as a mother who undergoes a tricky procedure to lessen the effects of a debilitating stroke. She followed up with a turn as Eleanor Roosevelt for HBO's Warm Springs (2005), which chronicled Franklin Delano Roosevelt's quest for a miracle cure for his polio. Nixon earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her performance.[18] In December 2005, she appeared in the Fox TV series House in the episode "Deception", as a patient who suffers a seizure.

In 2006, she appeared in David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Rabbit Hole in a Manhattan Theatre Club production,[19] and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Play). (This part was later played by Nicole Kidman in the movie adaptation of the play.) In 2008, she revived her role as Miranda Hobbes in the Sex and the City feature film, directed by HBO executive producer Michael Patrick King and co-starring the cast of the original series.[20] Also in 2008, she won an Emmy for her guest appearance in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, portraying a woman pretending to have dissociative identity disorder.[18] In 2008, Nixon made a brief uncredited cameo in the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She appears in the background when Jason Segel's character mimics characters from Sex in the City at a bar.

In 2009, Nixon won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album along with Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood for the album An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore).[21]


In March 2010, Nixon received the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards. The award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional "who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community". It was announced in June 2010 that Nixon would appear in four episodes of the Showtime series The Big C.[22]

Nixon in 2013

Nixon appeared in a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode based on the problems surrounding the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Her character is "Amanda Reese, the high-strung and larger-than-life director behind a problem-plagued Broadway version of Icarus", loosely modeled after Spider-Man director, Julie Taymor.[23]

In 2012, Nixon starred as Professor Vivian Bearing in the Broadway debut of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize–winning play Wit. Produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, the play opened January 26, 2012 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.[24] Nixon received a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Play for this performance.[25]

In 2012, Nixon also starred as Petranilla in the TV miniseries of Ken Follett's World Without End broadcast on the ReelzChannel, alongside Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley and Miranda Richardson.

In 2015, Nixon appeared in two films, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival; Stockholm, Pennsylvania, and James White. She received critical acclaim for both performances, especially for the latter, which many considered as "Oscar-worthy".[26][27][28][29]

Nixon played the leading role of reclusive American poet Emily Dickinson in the biographical film A Quiet Passion directed and written by Terence Davies.[30] The film premiered in February 2016 at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. In May 2016, it was announced that Nixon would play Nancy Reagan in the upcoming television film adaptation of Killing Reagan.[31] Filming began in late May and the film is set to air in October 2016.[31]

Personal life

Nixon and wife Christine Marinoni

From 1988 to 2003, Nixon was in a relationship with schoolteacher Danny Mozes.[32] They have two children together, daughter Sam (born 1996) and son Charles Ezekiel (born 2002).[33]

In 2004, Nixon began dating education activist Christine Marinoni.[34] Nixon and Marinoni became engaged in April 2009[35] and were married in New York City on May 27, 2012, with Nixon wearing a custom-made, pale green dress by Carolina Herrera.[32][36] Marinoni gave birth to a son, Max Ellington, in 2011.[37]

Regarding her sexual orientation, Nixon remarked in 2007: "I don't really feel I've changed. I'd been with men all my life, and I'd never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn't seem so strange. I'm just a woman in love with another woman."[34] She identified herself as bisexual in 2012.[38] Nixon has taken a public stand supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington state, Marinoni's home state, hosting a fund-raising event in support of Washington Referendum 74 for that purpose.[39]

In October 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer during routine mammography.[40] She initially decided not to go public with her illness because of the stigma involved,[41] but in April 2008, she announced her battle with the disease in an interview with Good Morning America.[40] Since then, Nixon has become a breast cancer activist. She convinced the head of NBC to air her breast cancer special in a prime time program,[41] and became an Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.[42]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Little Darlings Sunshine Walker
1981 Prince of the City Jeannie
1983 I Am the Cheese Amy Hertz
1984 Amadeus Lorl
1986 Manhattan Project, TheThe Manhattan Project Jenny Anderman
1987 O.C. and Stiggs Michelle
1988 Murder of Mary Phagan, TheThe Murder of Mary Phagan Doreen
1989 Let It Ride Evangeline
1993 Pelican Brief, TheThe Pelican Brief Alice Stark
1993 Addams Family Values Heather
1993 Through an Open Window Nancy Cooper Short film
1994 Baby's Day Out Gilbertine
1996 Marvin's Room Retirement Home Director
2000 Papa's Angels Sharon Jenkins
2001 Advice From a Caterpillar Missy
2002 Igby Goes Down Mrs. Piggee
2005 Little Manhattan Leslie Burton
2006 One Last Thing... Carol
2007 Babysitters, TheThe Babysitters Gail Beltran
2008 Sex and the City: The Movie Miranda Hobbes
2009 Lymelife Melissa Bragg
2009 Englishman in New York, AnAn Englishman in New York Penny Arcade
2010 Sex and the City 2 Miranda Hobbes
2011 Rampart Barbara
2014 5 Flights Up Niece
2015 Stockholm, Pennsylvania Marcy Dargon
2015 James White Gail White
2015 The Adderall Diaries Jen Davis
2016 A Quiet Passion Emily Dickinson


Year Title Role Notes
1982 My Body, My Child Nancy TV film
1988 Tanner '88 Alex Tanner 10 episodes
1989 Gideon Oliver Allison Parrish Slocum Episode: "Sleep Well, Professor Oliver"
1989 The Equalizer Jackie Episode: "Silent Fury"
1990 The Young Riders Annie 2 episodes
1990 Law & Order Laura di Biasi Episode: "Subterranean Homeboy Blues"
1991 Love, Lies and Murder Donna Miniseries
1993 Murder, She Wrote Alice Morgan Episode: "Threshold of Fear"
1996 Early Edition Sheila Episode: "Baby"
1998–2004 Sex and the City Miranda Hobbes 94 episodes
1999 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Trudy Episode: "Alien Radio"
1999 Touched by an Angel Melina Richardson/Sister Sarah Episode: "Into the Fire"
2004 Tanner on Tanner Alex Tanner 4 episodes
2005 ER Ellie Episode: "Alone in a Crowd"
2005 Warm Springs Eleanor Roosevelt TV film
2005 House Anica Jovanovich Episode: "Deception"
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Janis Episode: "Alternate"
2010–2011 Big C, TheThe Big C Rebecca 10 episodes
2011 Too Big to Fail Michele Davis TV film
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Amanda Rollins Episode: "Icarus"
2012 World Without End Petronilla 7 episodes
2012 30 Rock Herself Episode: "Kidnapped by Danger"
2013–2014 Alpha House Senator Carly Armiston 6 episodes
2014 Hannibal Kade Prurnell 4 episodes
2016 Broad City Barb Episode: "2016"
2016 Killing Reagan Nancy Reagan TV film

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1981 Theatre World Award The Philadelphia Story Won
1987 Young Artist Awards Exceptional Performance by a Younger Actress in a Supporting Role The Manhattan Project Nominated
1995 Tony Awards Best Featured Actress in a Play Indiscretions Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Sex and the City Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2003 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2005 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Warm Springs Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Sex and the City Nominated
2006 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Warm Springs Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Rabbit Hole Won
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Won
2009 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cast Sex and the City: The Movie Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Spoken Word Album (with Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood) An Inconvenient Truth Won
2011 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Sex and the City 2 Won
2012 Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Wit Nominated
2015 Critics Choice Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Limited Series Stockholm, Pennsylvania Nominated
2015 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress[43] James White Nominated
2015 Detroit Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress[44] James White Nominated
2015 Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress[45] James White Nominated
2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female[46] James White Nominated
2016 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film[47] Stockholm, Pennsylvania Nominated
2017 Critics' Choice Television Awards[48] Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series Killing Reagan Pending

See also


  1. Bolger, Timothy. "Sex and The City Star Rings in Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Long Island". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  2. Tallmer, Jerry (March 18–24, 2009). "Cynthia Nixon brings focus to "Distracted"". The Villager. 78 (41). Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  3. Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, July 22, 2014
  5. "Cynthia Nixon Addresses Hunter College High School Graduates". Hunter College High School. June 24, 2004. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Cynthia Nixon". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  7. "Prominent SAS Alumni & Lecturers". Semester at Sea. Institute for Shipboard Education. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. 1 2 Witchel, Alex (January 19, 2012). "Life After 'Sex'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  9. Ambinder, Evan (April 19, 1990). "The Cynthia Chronicles: BC's very own Broadway star". Columbia Daily Spectator. CXIV (116): 5. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  10. 1 2 Galanes, Philip (January 17, 2014). "Allison Williams and Cynthia Nixon Talk About 'Girls' and 'Sex and the City'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  11. Rich, Frank (December 12, 1985). "Theater – 'Lemon Sky' by Lanford Wilson". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  12. Considine, Bob (May 30, 2008). "'Sex' star Cynthia Nixon on her cancer, girlfriend". Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  13. Rich, Frank (May 25, 1988). "Review/Theater; 'Romeo and Juliet' in the Shakespeare Marathon". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  14. Prose, Francine (August 26, 2011). "What Wendy Wasserstein Wrought". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  15. Weber, Bruce (April 8, 1994). "On Stage, and Off". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  16. Gioia, Michael (May 29, 2012). "Tony Winner Cynthia Nixon Marries Christine Marinoni". Playbill. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  17. "Actress Cynthia Nixon". NPR. August 22, 2002. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  18. 1 2 3 "Cynthia Nixon". Emmy Awards. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  19. Dominus, Susan (January 22, 2006). "A Career After 'Sex,' but Still in the City". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  20. Freeman, Hadley (May 12, 2008). "Sex and the City movie: will the wait be worth it?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  21. "Cynthia Nixon's Grammy win puts her on third base of awards grand slam". Los Angeles Times. February 9, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  22. Stanhope, Kate (June 23, 2010). "Cynthia Nixon to Take on The Big C with Four-Episode Arc". TV Guide. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  23. Ausiello, Michael. "Law & Order: CI Exclusive: Cynthia Nixon Set For Episode Inspired by Spider-Man Musical". Retrieved April 30, 2001.
  24. Brantley, Ben (January 26, 2012). "Artifice as Armor in a Duel With Death: Cynthia Nixon in 'Wit,' at Manhattan Theater Club". The New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  25. Eggenberger, Nicole (May 1, 2012). "Tony Awards 2012: Andrew Garfield, Cynthia Nixon Nominated". Us Weekly. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  26. Eric Kohn (January 24, 2015). "Sundance Review: Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon Tri - Indiewire". Indiewire. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  27. Brent Lang. "Sundance: Cynthia Nixon, Christopher Abbott on Love, Death and 'James White'". Variety. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  28. Peter Debruge. "'Stockholm, Pennsylvania' Review: A Claustrophobic Kidnapping Tale - Variety". Variety. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  29. Rodrigo Perez (January 24, 2015). "Sundance Review: 'Stockholm, Pennsylvania' Starring Saoir - The Playlist". The Playlist. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  30. Ryan Lattanzio (May 5, 2015). "Terence Davies' Long-Awaited Emily Dickinson Biopic Is Re - Thompson on Hollywood". Thompson on Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  31. 1 2 "Tim Matheson and Cynthia Nixon join Killing Reagan as Ronald and Nancy". Entertainment May 6, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  32. 1 2 Nudd, Tim (May 28, 2012). "Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni Get Married". People. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  33. Silverman, Stephen M. (April 16, 2008). "Cynthia Nixon's Latest Role: Breast Cancer Advocate – and Survivor". People. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  34. 1 2 Hiscock, John (May 13, 2008). "Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon: 'I'm just a woman in love with a woman'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  35. "Cynthia Nixon Announces Engagement". Access Hollywood. May 18, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  36. Bauer, Zoe (December 4, 2012). "Celebrity Weddings: Brides Who Wore Colored Dresses in 2012". Yahoo! Celebrity. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  37. Jordan, Julie (February 8, 2011). "Cynthia Nixon & Christine Marinoni Welcome a Son". People. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  38. Grindley, Lucas (January 30, 2012). "Cynthia Nixon: Being Bisexual "Is Not a Choice"". The Advocate. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  39. Dickie, Lance (September 24, 2012). "Ref. 74: Separate but equal does not work". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  40. 1 2 Sterns, Olivia; Periera, Jen; Trachtenberg, Thea; Zaccaro, Laura (April 15, 2008). "Cynthia Nixon Beats Breast Cancer, Becomes Advocate". ABC News. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  41. 1 2 "Celebrities Inspiration Roundup". American Breast Cancer Guide.
  42. Hooper, Duncan (April 17, 2008). "Cynthia Nixon describes breast cancer treatment". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  43. ZWECKER, BILL (14 December 2015). "MAD MAX' LEADS PACK WITH MOST NOMINATIONS FROM CHICAGO CRITICS". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  44. "2015 Detroit Film Critics Awards Nominations". CinemaNerdz. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  45. "OFCS 2015 awards winners announced". 2015-12-14. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  46. Anthony Alessandro; Amanda Duka (2015-11-24). "Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced: 'Carol', 'Spotlight', 'Beasts Of Nation' Come Up Strong". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  47. "2015 | Categories | International Press Academy". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  48. "Critics' Choice Television Awards: HBO Leads 22 Nominations". Indie Wire. November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
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