Christine Lahti

Christine Ann Lahti (born April 4, 1950) is an American actress and film director. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1984 film Swing Shift. Her other film roles include ...And Justice for All (1979), Housekeeping (1987), Running on Empty (1988), and Miss Firecracker (1989). For her directorial debut with the 1995 short film Lieberman in Love, she won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Lahti made her Broadway debut in 1980 as a replacement in Loose Ends, and went on to star in the Broadway productions of Present Laughter (1982) and The Heidi Chronicles (1989). An eight-time Golden Globe nominee and six-time Emmy Award nominee, she won a Golden Globe for the 1989 TV movie No Place Like Home, and won a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1998 for her role as Kate Austin in the CBS series Chicago Hope (1995–99). She returned to Broadway in 2009 to star in God of Carnage. She also had a recurring role as Sonya Paxton in the NBC series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (2009–11).

    Early life

    Lahti was born in Birmingham, Michigan, the daughter of Elizabeth Margaret (née Tabar 1920-1995) a painter, homemaker, and nurse, and Paul Theodore Lahti (1919–2001), a surgeon. She has three sisters, Carol, Catherine, and Linda, and two brothers, Paul Jr. and James Lahti. Her paternal grandparents were Finnish immigrants and her maternal grandparents were from Austria-Hungary. Lahti was raised in the Lutheran Church.

    Lahti studied Fine Arts at Florida State University and received her bachelor's degree in Drama from the University of Michigan, where she joined Delta Gamma sorority.

    Career

    After college, Lahti headed to New York City in 1973, where she worked as a waitress and did commercials. Her breakthrough movie was ...And Justice for All (1979) with Al Pacino. After featuring in a few films and TV shows in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lahti chose roles that allowed her to spend time with her three children. An important role was in Running on Empty, a 1988 movie in which she and Judd Hirsch played the parents of a musically promising son; the family went underground to avoid the FBI after the parents had damaged a napalm factory, and they all must periodically move on short notice and assume new identities. She has also focused on television, beginning with her role in the made-for-TV adaptation of The Executioner's Song (1982). She appeared on Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein's seriocomic play, The Heidi Chronicles. Lahti received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Swing Shift (1984), and won an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action for Lieberman in Love (1995), in which she starred and directed. It was adapted from Lieberman in Love, a short story by W. P. Kinsella. Lahti won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1998 for her role in Chicago Hope.

    At the Governor's Ball held after the 49th Annual Emmy Awards, 1997

    In 2001, her first directorial film, My First Mister, was released. Starring Leelee Sobieski and Albert Brooks, the movie debuted with good reviews. In DVD commentary she applauds the work of her cast and crew, remarking "[I] was very lucky to have such a wonderful crew..." She said she felt regret that the film was rated R, for language, despairing that the movie might not be viewed by teenagers who would like and relate with the characters.[] Also, Lahti mentioned that she would have liked to have had more time to shoot different perspectives in order to facilitate story arc. Lahti starred in the Executive ADA role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Sonya Paxton, while the character Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) was in appeals. She was in the first four episodes of the 11th season and returned for the show's eighth episode, where she clashed with Alexandra Cabot. Lahti later guest starred in the ninth and seventeenth episode of the 12th season where she reprised her role as Executive ADA Sonya Paxton. Her character was murdered in the seventeenth episode.

    She returned to Broadway upon joining the cast of the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, replacing actress Marcia Gay Harden.[clarification needed] Both actresses had a few special appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In September 2011, Lahti starred with Morgan Freeman in the Broadway debut of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8'—a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as Kris Perry. In March 2012, she was featured with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jansen Panettiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The production was broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

    Personal life

    Lahti has been married to television director Thomas Schlamme since September 4, 1983. They have three children. She is active in political causes.

    Lahti and Schlamme live in Los Angeles with their children.

    Since May 2005, Lahti has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

    Filmography

    Film

    Year Film Role Notes
    1978 Carol Television movie
    1978 Tania Reston Television movie
    1979 ...And Justice for All Gail Packer
    1980 Dr. Louise Casimir Television movie
    1981 Whose Life Is It Anyway? Dr. Clare Scott
    1981 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Aunt Linda
    1982 The Executioner's Song Brenda Television movie
    1984 Elsie Television movie
    1984 Swing Shift Hazel New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
    1985 Love Lives On Marylin Television movie
    1986 Desert Bloom Rose Chismore Uncredited
    1986 Just Between Friends Sandy Dunlap
    1987 Stacking Kathleen Morgan aka Season of Dreams
    1987 Housekeeping Sylvie
    1988 Running on Empty Annie Pope/Cynthia Manfield Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
    1989 Miss Firecracker Clara Archer
    1989 Gross Anatomy Dr. Rachel Woodruff
    1989 No Place Like Home Zan Cooper Television movie
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
    1990 Funny About Love Meg Lloyd Bergman
    1991 The Doctor Anne MacKee
    1991 Charlotte Bain Television movie
    1992 Leaving Normal Darly Peters
    1992 The Fear Inside Meredith Cole Television movie
    Nominated—CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
    1995 Lieberman in Love Shaleen Also director
    Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
    1995 The Four Diamonds Doctor and Queen Raptenahad
    1995 Hideaway Lindsey
    1996 Pie in the Sky Ruby
    1997 Hope Emma Percy Television movie
    1999 Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story Ellie Nesler
    2000 An American Daughter Lyssa Dent Hughes Television movie
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
    2001 My First Mister Mall Patron Also director
    2002 Women vs. Men Dana Television movie
    2002 The Pilot's Wife Kathryn Lyons Television movie
    2003 Out of the Ashes Gisella Perl Television movie
    2004 Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman Rose Television movie
    2008 Smart People Nancy
    2008 Yonkers Joe Janice
    2009 Obsessed Reese
    2009 Operating Instructions H. Keller Television movie
    2010 Flying Lessons Carolyn Conway
    2011 Petunia Felicia Petunia
    2011 The Doctor Emily Campbell
    2012 Touchback Thelma
    2013 Hateship, Loveship Eileen
    2014 Mania Days Sara Post-production
    2015 The Steps

    Television

    Year Title Role Notes
    1978 The Harvey Korman Show Maggie Kavanaugh 5 episodes
    1987 Amerika Alethea Milford 2 episodes
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
    1995–1999 Chicago Hope Dr. Kathryn Austin 97 episodes
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
    Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
    Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1996–97, 1999)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1996–99)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1996–98)
    Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series
    1994 Frasier Laura Episode: "Author, Author"
    2001 Ally McBeal Sydney Gale Episode: "Queen Bee"
    2004–2005 Jack & Bobby Grace McCallister 22 episodes
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
    2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Martha O'Dell 3 episodes
    2009–2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit EADA Sonya Paxton 7 episodes
    2012–2013 Hawaii Five-0 Doris McGarrett 8 episodes
    2015 Grace and Frankie Lydia Foster Episode: "The Funeral"
    The Blacklist Laurel Hitchin Episode: "Arioch Cain (No.50}"

    References

    External links

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