Performing seamlessly in comedy and drama across all mediums, Christine Baranski is an Emmy, Tony, Screen Actors Guild and American Comedy Award winner with a growing body of work that defines the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards.
As lawyer Diane Lockhart, first on long-running CBS drama The Good Wife and presently on streamer CBS All Access’s spinoff The Good Fight, Baranski for 10 years, to date, has portrayed this fiercely independent champion for women’s rights. Simultaneously, she frequented CBS comedy staple The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, who — in her final appearance as the uptight mother of Leonard (Johnny Galecki) — exhibited some long-awaited maternal instinct.
“There was a real reluctance on my part to let go of what was a great job, a great role, great writers,” Christine Baranski said about continuing as Diane on The Good Fight at the TCA Winter Press Tour prior to the show’s 2017 debut. “It’s a wonderful 180 turn to go from Diane Lockhart to Leonard’s mother. It’s just the most glorious trajectory.
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Morphing from a successful career on stage (including induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2018), Baranski gained prominence on the small screen with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Chuck Lorre’s Cybill in 1995. Fourteen Emmy Award nominations have followed, including six consecutive nods in the supporting actress drama category for The Good Fight (and five in the guest actress comedy category — four for The Big Bang Theory and one for Frasier).
Earlier in her career, Baranski peppered her resume on the big screen in theatricals including The Birdcage and Chicago. She recently revisited her role as Tanya Chesham-Leigh, opposite Meryl Streep and Cher, in theatrical musical Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! in 2018. And upcoming is a co-starring part in HBO period drama The Gilded Age, which is set in New York City in the 1880s.
“Christine is perfection,” Robert and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife and The Good Fight, told B+C via email. “Her instincts are unerring. She does comedy as brilliantly as drama. And she's a consummate professional who makes every line better. She's a perfectionist in the best sense of the word, but also cares deeply for the crew and her fellow actors.”
“There’s a reason why people refer to Christine Baranski as a national treasure,” they said.
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Marc Berman is editor-in-chief for media-centric The Programming Insider (programminginsider.com), which pioneered the email newsletter format at its inception in 1999. Marc has written for a wide range of publications including Broadcasting + Cable, Next TV, Forbes, Newspro, Campaign US, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Known as “Mr. Television” at Mediaweek (now Adweek), Marc has appeared on camera on Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition and CNN and MSNBC, among other series and outlets. He is a member of The Television Critics Association and The Broadcast Journalists Television Association. And Marc put his TV historian hat on as author of desk calendar Today in TV History.