May. 2nd, 1952
Buffalo, New York, USA
Christine Baranski's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American stage and screen actress.
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 DC, Baranski starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd in 2002 and as Mame 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.
She has won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards twice. She is also known for her role as Martha May Whovier in The Grinch.
Baranski has also stared in various roles in films and television. In film, some of her most notable roles included that Katherine Archer in The Birdcage, newspaper journalist Miss Sunshine in the 2002 film adaption of Chicago, and Tanya in the 2008 film adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia!
Baranski's earliest work was on The Golden Palace opposite from Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, Don Cheadle, and Cheech Marin. She is the hotel's famous celebrity who lives at The Golden Palace. She is a very ditsy woman, she gets very annoyed with Sophia most of the time, she is a favorite to Blanche, with whom she shares a lot in common. She also has a secret crush on Roland the Manager.
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 Larroquette, in the 2003–2004 NBC sitcom Happy Family. She also appeared in the classic sitcom The Brady Bunch playing Paula, a friend of Marcia's who gets Marcia into trouble at a slumber party. 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 as Leonard's mom, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, a bespectacled and unemotional expert in psychiatry and neuroscience, in a season two episode of The Big Bang Theory titled "The Maternal Capacitance", for which she received an Emmy nomination. Due to the popularity of her appearance, she returned in season 3 for the Christmas episode "The Maternal Congruence".
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.
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 the season premiere of Psych.
- Studied at Julliard.
- Is of Polish ancestry.
- Has won two Tony Awards as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play): in 1984 for 'Tom Stoppard' (qv)'s "The Real Thing;" and in 1989 for "Rumors."
- Raises her children without television because she doesn't approve of the sexual content and violence on the screen.
- (2004) Lives in Connecticut
- Daughter's names are Lily (b. 1987) and Isabel (b. 1984).
- May 28, 1991: Starred in the first production of 'Terrence McNally' (qv)'s play "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" with 'Swoosie Kurtz' (qv), 'Nathan Lane (I)' (qv), and 'Anthony Heald' (qv).
- Her daughter, Lily Cowles, is a student at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.