Cynthia Nixon (born April 9, 1966) is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning American actress who is best known for her portrayal of lawyer Miranda Hobbes in the popular HBO dramedy Sex and the City (1998–2004).
Early life and career
The native New Yorker broke into showbiz at age 12 as the object of a wealthy schoolmate's crush in The Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid, a 1979 ABC Afterschool Special, and made her feature debut shortly after alongside fellow campers Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal in Little Darlings (1980), but it was her award-winning Broadway debut as the bratty Dinah Lord in a 1980 revival of The Philadelphia Story that established her credentials on the boards, where she has enjoyed her greatest success. Alternating among the three media, she continued to deliver solid work in 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 1985 she appeared alongside Jeff Daniels in Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky at Second Stage Theatre.
Nixon graduated from Hunter College High School, and made theatrical history while a freshman at Barnard College in 1984, simultaneously appearing in two hit Broadway plays directed by Mike Nichols. The much-hyped feat saw her play the precocious English daughter of Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing while portraying a teenage runaway who encounters slimy Hollywood types two blocks away in David Rabe's Hurlyburly. That year's Oscar-winning Best Picture Amadeus, directed by Milos Forman, also featured her in a brief but memorable role as Mozart's tearful maid, hopelessly confused by the mad goings-on in her master's house (she may have been placed there to spy for Salieri, but this isn't clear). She then landed her first major supporting part in a movie as the intelligent girlfriend who aids her teenage boyfriend (Christopher Collet) in building a nuclear bomb in Marshall Brickman's The Manhattan Project (1986). Nixon was part of the all-star cast of the NBC miniseries The Murder of Mary Phagan (NBC, 1988) starring Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey and essayed the daughter of a presidential candidate (Michael Murphy) in Tanner '88 (also 1988), Robert Altman's sharply-observed, episodic political satire for HBO—she would later reprise the role for the 2004 follow-up *Tanner on Tanner.
On stage, Nixon portrayed Juliet in a 1988 New York Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo and Juliet and acted in the workshop production of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles, playing several characters after it came to Broadway in 1989. She replaced Marcia Gay Harden as a pill-popping Mormon wife whose husband reveals his homosexuality in Tony Kushner's landmark two-part Angels in America (1994), received a Tony nomination for her performance as the headstrong young woman who falls for a mama's boy in Indiscretions (Les Parents Terribles) (1996, her sixth Broadway show) and, though she originally lost the part to another actress, eventually took over the role of Lala Levy, the aspiring Scarlett O'Hara in the Tony Award-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1997). Nixon was also one of the founding members of the theatrical troupe The Drama Dept., 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) and The Country Club (1999).
Nixon has contributed supporting performances to such varied pictures as Addams Family Values (1993), Marvin's Room (1996) and The Out-of-Towners (1999) but did not find that breakthrough role to propel her to full-fledged feature stardom.
She did, however, raise her profile significantly as one of the four regulars of HBO's successful comedy Sex and the City (1998-2004), inhabiting her role as the no-nonsense lawyer Miranda with full-bodied believability in support of series star Sarah Jessica Parker. After Emmy nominations as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2002 and 2003, Nixon took home the trophy in 2004 for the series' final season.
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 Bacula in the holiday telepic Papa's Angels (2000). In 2002 she also landed a scene-stealing stint as Mrs. Piggee in the much-admired indie comedy Igby Goes Down, and her turn in the theatrical production of Clare Booth Luce's play The Women was captured for PBS's Stage On Screen series.
Post-Sex, Nixon remained in demand, enjoying a guest stint 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 after discovering he had polio. Nixon earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her sharply drawn performance. She then has a 2005 stint on the FOX hit medical series House as a patient who suffers a seizure and matches wits with Dr. House (Hugh Laurie). In 2006, Nixon won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Play) for David Lindsay-Abaire's drama Rabbit Hole.
Preparations are already underway for a Sex and the City feature film. HBO is currently in negotiations with executive producer Michael Patrick King and the cast from the TV series of the same name, including Nixon.
Nixon has two children, daughter Samantha (b. 1996) and son Charles Ezekiel (b. 2002), with Danny Mozes, an English professor, with whom she had a relationship from 1988 to 2003.
In September 2004, it was reported that despite previous relationships with men, Nixon had been in a nearly year-long relationship with the education activist Christine Marinoni. In February 2005, the New York Post and other sources reported that Nixon had moved to Brooklyn to live with Marinoni. However, Nixon told the The New York Times in January 2006 that she had not moved and that keeping her kids in their Manhattan public schools took priority. Discussing her relationship in an interview in New York magazine in 2006, Nixon stated that she never felt any struggle with her sexuality: "There wasn't a struggle, there wasn't an attempt to suppress. I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I'm a public figure."
Nixon is a breast cancer survivor, but due to the stigma of having cancer in Hollywood, she did not go public about it for two years. Since then, she not only has openly admitted that she had cancer, but she has become a breast cancer activist and was able to convince the head of NBC to air her breast cancer special in primetime .
Her filmography/television resume is as follows:
- One Last Thing... (2006)
- Little Manhattan (2005)....Leslie
- ER (2005, TV)
- One Last Thing (2005)
- Warm Springs (2005)...Eleanor Roosevelt
- Sex and the City (from 1998 to 2004)...Miranda Hobbes
- Kiss Kiss, Dahlings/The Last Mile (2002)
- Igby Goes Down (2002)....Mrs. Piggee
- Advice From a Caterpillar (2001)
- Papa's Angels (2000)
- The Outer Limits: "Alien Radio" (1999)
- Marvin's Room (1996)
- Baby's Day Out (1994), as the baby's nanny
- Addams Family Values (1993), as a nanny
- Murder She Wrote episode:Threshold of Fear (1993), as Alice Morgan
- The Pelican Brief (1993), as Alice Stark
- Let It Ride (1989), as Evangaline
- The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988), as Doreen
- Tanner '88 (1988, television series)
- The Manhattan Project (1986)
- O.C. and Stiggs
- Amadeus (1984) (the role of Lorl)
- My Body, My Child (1982, miniseries, with future Sex and...co star Sarah Jessica Parker)
- Prince of the City (1981)
- Little Darlings (1980)
- AP: Former 'Sex' star Nixon switches roles
- NY Daily News: For Cynthia, romance is academic
- NYT: A Career After 'Sex,' but Still in the City
- Bgay.com - Cynthia Nixon Talks About Her Love for Another Woman
- Cynthia Nixon at the Internet Movie Database
- Template:Ibdb name
- Template:Tvtome person
- Interview with Nixon on educational advocacy
- Cynthia Nixon - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org
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