Kim Cattrall

Kim Victoria Cattrall, actor (born at Liverpool, Eng 21 August 1956). As an infant, Kim Cattrall moved with her parents to Canada, and she spent her early childhood in Little River, BC, a small Vancouver Island community. When she was 11 the family returned to England, where she took lessons at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Back in Vancouver to finish high school, she won a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. During her final year at the academy, she was given a small part in Otto Preminger's Rosebud (1975), with Peter O'Toole and Richard Attenborough. The terrorist drama would prove to be a box-office flop, but the aging legendary producer/director liked Cattrall so much he signed her to a five-year personal contract. Following Rosebud, Cattrall returned to the theatre, first in Vancouver and then in Toronto playing repertory.

After Universal Studios bought out Preminger's contract a year later, Cattrall appeared in numerous television programs including Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch, and the CBC drama Crossbar (1979) with Brent Carver. This led to a trio of Canadian tax-shelter films in the early 1980s: Tribute (1980), starring Jack Lemmon (who was nominated for an Oscar), Porky's (1981; few teenage boys will forget her enthusiasm as Miss Honeywell, the gym instructor), and Ticket to Heaven (1981), in which Cattrall played a manipulative cult member. For the latter role she received a Genie Award nomination for best actress. Later she found her niche as a sexy comedienne in lightweight roles such as Emmy in Mannequin (1987), where the object of a young man's desire comes to life. She returned to Canada for two low-budget Canadian dramas, Palais Royale (1988) and Brown Bread Sandwiches (1989). Then it was back to Hollywood for the unsuccessful The Return of the Musketeers (1989), the sequel to Richard Lester's The Four Musketeers, as the scheming Justine de Winter; and as Tom Hanks's uptight wife in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), which was a major disappointment. She is also known for playing Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).

Cattrall commanded attention in the big-budget miniseries Wild Palms (1993), which eventually led her to the role she will always be known for, the forever flirtatious and sexually voracious Samantha Jones in HBO's hugely popular Sex and the City television series (1998-2005). During the show's run it earned her five Emmy Award nominations, two Screen Actor Guild Awards and the 2003 Golden Globe Award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series. Cattrall followed this with roles in the feature films Ice Princess (2005), Him and Us (2006), The Tiger's Tail (2006), My Boy Jack (2007) and the blockbuster Sex and the City (2008) and its sequel, where she reprised her role as Samantha Jones. She landed a recurring part in the TV series Producing Parker, added her voice to two episodes of The Simpsons, and filmed Meet Monica Velour before appearing as Amelia Bly, the loyal assistant to a former British prime minister played by Pierce Brosnan in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010).

Kim Cattrall is also a stage actress with solid performances in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters to her credit. In 2005 she played Claire, a paralysed woman wishing to die, in the West End revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway? and received excellent notices from the notoriously tough London critics. Her performance as a 1950s housewife and mother in David Mamet's The Cryptogram, produced in London in 2006, also earned the admiration of critics. In 2011 she co-starred in Noel Coward's comedy Private Lives in London, Eng, before the play came to Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, where Paul Gross joined her as the male lead before the production went on to Broadway.

The naturally beautiful and outgoing Cattrall is a bestselling author (Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm, written with her now ex-husband Mark Levinson), skilful self-promoter and savvy businesswoman. She founded the Toronto-based production company Fertile Ground, which was responsible for the documentary Sexual Intelligence (2005) and an accompanying book. The film earned Cattrall a Genie Award nomination for best host or interviewer in a human interest series. With Amy Briamonte she co-wrote the book Being a Girl: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Teen Life (2006) for young girls.

In 2005 the Toronto branch of Women in Film and Television presented Kim Cattrall with its Crystal Award for career achievement, and in 2008 Cattrall received the NBC Universal Award of Distinction in recognition of her industry accomplishments. She was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2009.