Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

Birth name: Christine Jane Baranski
Born: May 2, 1952
Age: 71
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, U.S.
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Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American actress, singer, and producer. She is a 15-time Emmy Award nominee, winning once in 1995 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Maryanne Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill (1995-98). Baranski has received further critical acclaim for her performance as Diane Lockhart in the legal drama series The Good Wife (2009-2016) and its spinoff series The Good Fight (2017-present), as well as her recurring role as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2009-present) for which she has received two Emmy nominations. She is also known for her roles in numerous successful TV Films, most notably her portrayal of Kate in To Dance with the White Dog (1993), Prunella Stickler in Eloise at the Plaza, and Eloise at Christmastime (both 2003), and Amanda in Who Is Simon Miller? (2011).

Baranski won two Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the original Broadway productions of The Real Thing in 1984 and Rumors in 1989. Her other major Broadway credits include Hide and Seek (1980), Hurlyburly (1984), The House of Blue Leaves (1986), Nick & Nora (1991), and Boeing Boeing (2008). Baranski has starred in numerous films, including 9½ 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's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Chicago (2002), Mamma Mia! (2008), The Bounty Hunter (2010), Into the Woods (2014), A Bad Moms Christmas (2017), and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).

Baranski was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Virginia (née Mazurowski) and Lucien Baranski, who edited a Polish-language newspaper.[1][2] She is of Polish descent, and her grandparents were actors in the Polish theater.[3][4] Baranski was raised in a Polish-Catholic neighborhood in Cheektowaga, where she attended high school at the Villa Maria Academy.[5][6] She then studied at New York City's Juilliard School[7] (Drama Division Group 3: 1970-1974)[8] where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.[9]




Baranski at the Metropolitan Opera 2010 opening night of Das Rheingold

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[10] (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and as the title character in Mame in 2006.[6]

In her first Broadway production since 1991, she was featured as the maid Berthe in the 2008 revival of Boeing Boeing.[11] 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.[12] 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. Some of her better known roles are as Katherine Archer in The Birdcage (1996), Martha May Whovier in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Mary Sunshine in Chicago (2002), and Connie Chasseur in The Ref (2004).

She received further recognition for her role as Tanya Chesham-Leigh in the hit musical film Mamma Mia! (2008), and its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).

She also played Cinderella's stepmother in the 2014 film adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods.[13]

Baranski also starred in the films 9½ Weeks (1986), Legal Eagles (1986), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Addams Family Values (1993), Jeffrey (1995), Bulworth (1998), Cruel Intentions (1999), Bowfinger (1999), Chicago (2002), Trolls (2016), and A Bad Moms Christmas (2017).


Baranski at the 2015 PaleyFest presentation for The Good Wife

Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch,[14] and states that "the first real TV show" that she worked on was the comedy series 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.[15] 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.

In 2009 Baranski began guest-starring in The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, a dispassionate psychiatrist and neuroscientist 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 July 2018, she has appeared in eleven 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 CBS series The Good Wife. She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for six seasons of the series, in the years 2010 to 2015. Besides her work on The Good Wife and the aforementioned guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory, her other recent appearances include Ugly Betty in 2009 as Victoria Hartley, the haughty mother of Betty's new boyfriend.

Baranski currently stars in a spinoff of The Good Wife, titled The Good Fight. The series began airing on CBS and then CBS All Access starting in February 2017. Her character, Diane Lockhart, joins another law firm after being forced to return to work.[16]

Personal life

Baranski was married to actor Matthew Cowles from October 1983 until his death on May 22, 2014.[2][17] They have two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987), who is also an actress.[18] One of her daughters attended law school, passed the New York bar exam, and worked in the Brooklyn district attorney's office during the run of The Good Wife.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Soup for One Blonde in Bar
1983 Lovesick Nymphomaniac
1984 Crackers Maxine
1986 9½ Weeks Thea
1986 Legal Eagles Carol Freeman
1987 The Pick-up Artist Harriet
1990 Reversal of Fortune Andrea Reynolds
1993 The Night We Never Met Lucy
1993 Life with Mikey Carol
1993 Addams Family Values Becky Martin-Granger
1994 The Ref Connie Chasseur
1994 Getting In Mrs. Margaret "Maggie" Higgs
1994 The War Miss Strapford
1995 New Jersey Drive Prosecutor
1995 Jeffrey Ann Marwood Bartle
1996 The Birdcage Katherine Archer Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1998 The Odd Couple II Thelma
1998 Bulworth Constance Bulworth
1999 Cruel Intentions Bunny Caldwell
1999 Bowfinger Carol
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Martha May Whovier
2002 The Guru Shantal
2002 Chicago Mary Sunshine Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
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
2006 Bonneville Francine
2008 Mamma Mia! Tanya Chesham-Leigh
2010 The Bounty Hunter Kitty Hurley
2012 Foodfight! Hedda Shopper (voice)
2014 Into the Woods[13] Cinderella's Stepmother Satellite Award for Best Cast - Motion Picture
Nominated — Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
2016 Trolls Chef (voice)
2016 Miss Sloane[20] Evelyn Sumner
2017 A Bad Moms Christmas Ruth
2018 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Tanya Chesham-Leigh


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Busting Loose Debbie Episode: "The Decision: Part 1"
1980 Playing for Time Olga TV movie
1982 A 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 Cara TV movie
1985 The Equalizer Victoria Baines Episode: "Mama's Boy"
1987 The 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
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
1996 Saturday Night Live Herself (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 (voice) Episode: "Origins"; uncredited
1999 Frasier Dr. Nora Fairchild Episode: "Dr. Nora"
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2000-01 Welcome to New York Marsha Bickner 13 episodes
2001 Citizen Baines Glenn Ferguson Baines Welch Episode: "Three Days in November"
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
2004 Spellbound TV movie
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 Episodes: "Voices", "The Crossing"
2006 Inseparable Barbara TV movie
2006 American Dad! Homeless Woman (voice) Episode: "Failure Is Not a Factory-installed Option"
2009 Ugly Betty Victoria Hartley 3 episodes
2009 Psych Alice Clayton Episode: "He Dead"
2009-2018 The Big Bang Theory Dr. Beverly Hofstadter 13 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2009-2016 The Good Wife Diane Lockhart 156 episodes[21]
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2011 Who Is Simon Miller? Amanda TV movie
2011 Ugly Americans Grimes' mummy (voice) Episode: "Mummy Dearest"
2015 BoJack Horseman Amanda Hannity (voice) Episode: "Hank After Dark"
2013 Family Guy Herself (voice) Episode: "Call Girl"
2017 Regular Show Guardian (voice) Episode: "A Regular Epic Final Battle"
2017-present The Good Fight Diane Lockhart 23 episodes
2017 Michael Jackson's Halloween Mrs. Grau (voice) TV special
2017 Spirit Riding Free Miz McDonnell (voice) Episode: "Lucky and the Long Way Home"


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Hide & Seek Elly Bart Broadway
1980 Coming Attractions Performer Playwrights Horizons
1982 Sally and Marsha Marsha Manhattan Theatre Club
1984 The Real Thing Charlotte Broadway
1984 Hurlyburly Bonnie Broadway
1986 The House of Blue Leaves Bunny Flingus Broadway
1988 Rumors Chris Gorman Broadway
1991 Nick & Nora Tracy Gardner Broadway
1997 Promises, Promises Marge MacDougall Off-Broadway
2002 Sweeney Todd Mrs. Lovett Kennedy Center
2006 Mame Mame Dennis Kennedy Center
2008 Boeing Boeing Berthe Broadway

Video games

Year Project Role Notes
2013 Skylanders: Swap Force Kaos' Mother [22]
2017 Steven Universe: Save the Light Hessonite [23]

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Christine Baranski

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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