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Christine Lahti (1950)

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Christine Lahti is an American actress and film director. Lahti has had a successful career in television and film. Throughout her career she has garnered 2 Golden Globe Awards from 8 Nominations, An Emmy Award from 6 Nominations and 2 Academy Award nominations. Her first Academy Award nomination was for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the 1984 film Swing Shift. Her second nomination was for her work as a director when she won the Academy Award for Short Film, Live Action for her 1995 film Lieberman in Love.


 early life
Lahti was born in Birmingham, Michigan, the daughter of Elizabeth Margaret (née Tabar), a painter, homemaker and nurse, and Paul Theodore Lahti, a surgeon. Lahti has Finnish ancestry. Her surname means "a gulf", "a bay" or "a cove" in Finnish and Lahti is also a city in Finland. 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. She then toured Europe as part of a pantomime acting troupe.

After college, Lahti headed to New York City, where she worked as a waitress and did commercials. Her breakthrough movie was …And Justice for All with Al Pacino. After starring in a few hits in the 1970s and early 1980s, Lahti chose roles that allows her to spend 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 Broadway 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 , in which she starred and directed. Adapted from a short story by W.P. Kinsella, "Lieberman in Love", the Oscar win came as a surprise to the author, who, watching the award telecast from home, had no idea the film had been made and released. He had not been listed in the film's credits, and was not acknowledged by director Christine Lahti in her acceptance speech.

She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role in Chicago Hope. When her Golden Globe win was announced at the ceremony there was a long pause as Lahti was not coming up and no one could find her. Robin Williams rushed on stage and began pretending to be Lahti. When she eventually got on stage she explained that she had been in the bathroom. 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 " 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 arc.

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

Lahti starred in the Executive ADA role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Sonya Paxton, while the character Alexandra Cabot 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. Both actresses had a few special appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Lahti has been cast in the lead role in a CBS pilot,The Doctor, to premiere in 2011.

 personal life
Lahti has been married to TV director Thomas Schlamme, a native of Texas, since September 4, 1983. They have three children: Wilson and twins Joe Tabor and Emma Kate . She is active in political causes.

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

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Christine Lahti", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.