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Christine Lahti (born April 4, 1950) is an Americanmarker actress and film director.

Early life

Lahti was born in Birmingham, Michiganmarker, the daughter of Elizabeth Margaret (née Tabar), a painter, homemaker and nurse, and Paul Theodore Lahti, a surgeon. Lahti has Finnishmarker ancestry. Her surname means "a gulf", "a bay" or "a cove" in Finnish; Lahtimarker is also a city in Finlandmarker, near Helsinkimarker. Lahti studied fine arts at Florida State Universitymarker and received her bachelor's degree in drama from the University of Michiganmarker, where she joined Delta Gamma sorority. She then toured Europe as part of a pantomime acting troupe.

Career

After college, Lahti headed to New York Citymarker, where she worked as a waitress and did commercials. Her breakthrough movie was …And Justice for All (1979) with Al Pacino. After starring in a few hits in the 1970s and early 1980s, Lahti chose to be primarily in films in which she wants to act, rather than take roles in bigger films, and she is adamant about spending time with her three children. She has also focused on television, beginning with her role in the 1979 made-for-TV adaptation of The Executioner's Song. She appeared on Broadwaymarker in Wendy Wasserstein's seriocomic play, The Heidi Chronicles.
Lahti received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Swing Shift in 1984, and won an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action for Lieberman in Love (1995), in which she starred and directed.

She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role in Chicago Hope. When she won her Golden Globe in 1998, she was in the bathroom, which was highly publicized in the press. She later made it a point to be good-humored about the incident, usually poking fun at herself at other awards shows.

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 did feel 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 several times that she would have liked to have more time to shoot different perspectives in order to facilitate story arch.

Lahti will appear in the USA Network drama series Operating Instructions, directed by Hitch director Andy Tennant.

Lahti will also begin starring in the ADA role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit while the character Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) is on leave. She will be in the first four episodes. According to Michael Ausiello, March will appear in a minimum of ten episodes after her. The show may still try to find an additional star to fill the role of ADA.

She will be returning to Broadwaymarker upon joining the cast of the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, replacing actress Marcia Gay Harden.

Personal life

Lahti has been married to TV director Thomas Schlamme, a native of Texasmarker, since September 4, 1983. They have three children: son Wilson, and twins Joe Tabor and Emma Kate (born 1993). Over the past decade she has mainly acted in independent films or TV series, and she is active in political causes.

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

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1979 …And Justice for All Gail Packer
1981 Whose Life Is It Anyway? Dr. Clare Scott
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Aunt Linda
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

1986 Desert Bloom Rose Chismore (adult) (voice) (uncredited)
Just Between Friends Sandy Dunlap
1987 Stacking Kathleen Morgan aka Season of Dreams
Housekeeping Sylvie
Amerika Alethea Milford Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
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
Gross Anatomy Dr. Rachel Woodruff
1990 Funny About Love Meg Lloyd Bergman
No Place Like Home Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1991 The Doctor Anne MacKee
Crazy From the Heart Charlotte Bain (TV)
1992 Leaving Normal Darly Peters
1994-1999 Chicago Hope Dr. Kathryn Austin (97 episodes)
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series (1998)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1998)
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series (1996, 1997, 1999)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1997)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1996, 1997, 1998)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)






1995 Lieberman in Love Shaleen Also director
Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
Hideaway Lindsey
1996 Pie in the Sky Ruby
1997 Hope Emma Percy (TV)
1999 Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story Ellie Nesler
2000 An American Daughter Lyssa Dent Hughes Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2001 My First Mister Mall Patron Walking Past 'J' with Daughter
2002 Women vs. Men Dana (TV)
The Pilot's Wife Kathryn Lyons (TV)
2003 Out of the Ashes Gisella Perl (TV)
2004 Jack & Bobby Grace McCallister (15 episodes)
Prism Award for Performance in a Drama Series Storyline
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


Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman Rose (TV)
2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Martha O'Dell (3 episodes)
2008 Smart People Nancy
Yonkers Joe Janice
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit EADA Sonya Paxton (5 episodes)
Obsessed Reese
Operating Instructions H. Keller (TV)


References

  1. Christine Lahti Biography (1950-)
  2. http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/06/svu-scoop-christine-lahti-is-the-new-ada.html
  3. http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/06/svu-exclusive-stephanie-march-staying-.html


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