Christine Ann Lahti (born April 4, 1950) is an American actress and filmmaker. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1984 film Swing Shift. Her other film roles include ...And Justice for All (1979), Housekeeping (1987), Running on Empty (1988), and Leaving Normal (1992). For her directorial debut with the 1995 short film Lieberman in Love, she won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
Lahti at the 2016 Miami Film Festival
Christine Ann Lahti
April 4, 1950
Birmingham, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Thomas Schlamme (m. 1983)
Lahti made her Broadway debut in 1980 as a replacement in Loose Ends, and went on to star in the Broadway productions of Present Laughter (1982) and The Heidi Chronicles (1989). An eight-time Golden Globe nominee and six-time Emmy Award nominee, she won a Golden Globe for the 1989 TV movie No Place Like Home, and won a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1998 for her role as Kate Austin in the CBS series Chicago Hope (1995–99). She returned to Broadway in 2009 to star in God of Carnage. She also had a recurring role as Sonya Paxton in the NBC series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (2009–11), as Doris McGarrett in the CBS series Hawaii Five-0 (2012–16), and Laurel Hitchin in NBC's The Blacklist (2015–17).
Lahti was born in Birmingham, Michigan, the daughter of Elizabeth Margaret (née Tabar; 1920–1995), a painter, homemaker, and nurse, and Paul Theodore Lahti (1919–2001), a surgeon. She has three sisters, Carol, Catherine, and Linda, and two brothers, Paul Jr. and James Lahti. Her paternal grandparents were Finnish immigrants and her maternal grandparents were from Austria-Hungary. Lahti was raised in the Lutheran Church.
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 studied acting at HB Studio in New York City.
After college, Lahti headed to New York City in 1973, where she worked as a waitress and did commercials. Her breakthrough movie was ...And Justice for All (1979) with Al Pacino. An important role was in Running on Empty, a 1988 movie in which she and Judd Hirsch played the parents of a musically promising son; the family went underground to avoid the FBI after the parents had damaged a napalm factory, and they all must periodically move on short notice and assume new identities. She has also focused on television, beginning with her role in the made-for-TV adaptation of The Executioner's Song (1982). 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 (1984), and won an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action for Lieberman in Love (1995), in which she starred and directed. It was adapted from Lieberman in Love, a short story by W. P. Kinsella. Lahti won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1998 for her role in Chicago Hope. Christine was in the bathroom when she won the third award and finally came to the stage following an attempt by show producer John Tinker to accept on her behalf and an interruptive riff by Robin Williams. In 1999, she presented with a piece of toilet paper attached to her shoe.
In 2001, her first directorial feature-length 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 said she felt regret that the film was rated R, for language, despairing that the movie might not be viewed by teens who would relate with the characters. Also, Lahti mentioned that she would have liked to have had more time to shoot different perspectives in order to facilitate story arc.
Lahti starred in the executive ADA role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Sonya Paxton while the character Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) 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 17th episodes of the 12th season, where she reprised her role as Paxton. Her character was murdered in the 17th episode.
She returned to Broadway upon joining the cast of the Tony Award–winning play God of Carnage on November 17, 2009, replacing Marcia Gay Harden.[clarification needed] Both actresses had a few special appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In September 2011, Lahti starred with Morgan Freeman in the Broadway debut of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8—a reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as Kris Perry. In March 2012, she was featured with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jansen Panettiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The production was broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
Lahti has been married to television director Thomas Schlamme since September 4, 1983. They have three children. Lahti resides in Los Angeles, California with her family. She also owns an apartment in Greenwich Village.
She is active in political causes.
|1979||...And Justice for All||Gail Packer|
|1981||Whose Life Is It Anyway?||Dr. Clare Scott|
|1981||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||Uncredited|
|1986||Just Between Friends||Sandy Dunlap|
|1987||Stacking||Kathleen Morgan||aka Season of Dreams|
|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|
|1989||Gross Anatomy||Dr. Rachel Woodruff|
|1990||Funny About Love||Meg Lloyd Bergman|
|1991||The Doctor||Anne MacKee|
|Leaving Normal||Darly Peters|
|1995||Lieberman in Love||Shaleen||Also director|
Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
|1995||The Four Diamonds||Doctor and Queen Raptenahad|
|1996||Pie in the Sky||Ruby|
|1999||Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story||Ellie Nesler|
|2001||My First Mister||Mall Patron||Also director|
|2003||Out of the Ashes||Gisella Perl|
|2010||Flying Lessons||Carolyn Conway|
|2015||Touched with Fire||Sara|
|1980||Loose Ends||Susan||Alan Schneider||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|1980||Division Street||Dianah||Tom Moore||Ambassador Theatre|
|1981||Scenes and Revelations||Helena||Sheldon Epps||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|1982–83||Present Laughter||Joanna Lyppiatt||George C. Scott||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|1989–90||The Heidi Chronicles||Heidi Holland||Daniel Sullivan||Plymouth Theatre|
|2009–10||God of Carnage||Veronica||Matthew Warchus||Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre|
|2017||Fucking A||Hester Smith||Jo Bonney||Signature Theatre|
|2018||Gloria: A Life||Gloria Steinem||Diane Paulus||Daryl Roth Theatre|
- Lahti, Christine. True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness (2018)
- "Schools, colleges grant undergraduate honors". The Michigan Daily. March 28, 1969. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Myers, Marc (2018-11-27). "Told She'd Never Make It, Christine Lahti Has the Last Laugh". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- Orlando Sentinel
- "Christine Lahti Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Funeral Notices — Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 2 (1993–2009)". Tucsoncitizen.com. 1995-12-27. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- "Lahti looks beyond mainstream for her roles as real women". Los Angeles Daily News. May 31, 1992. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- "Intimate Portrait: Christine Lahti". fortunecity.com. March 16, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-03-16. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Pfefferman, Naomi (2003-04-10). "Showtime Examines Shoah Diva Doctor | Arts". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- HB Studio Alumni
- "'SVU' scoop: Christine Lahti is the new ADA!". EW.com. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Ross, Robyn. "Christine Lahti Back for More Law & Order: SVU". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- Piepenberg, Erik (August 18, 2011). "Lahti, Birney Join the Cast of Adam Rapp's New Play". nytimes.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Kennedy, Mark (January 17, 2012). "'8,' Dustin Lance Black Gay Marriage Play, Goes National During 2012". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- Gray, Stephen (March 1, 2012). "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- Newman, Judith (2018-04-03). "Christine Lahti's Tales of Feminism, Sex and Aging in Hollywood". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- "True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness - Christine Lahti - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- "The Thrive Questionnaire with Christine Lahti". thriveglobal.com. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- "Celebrities Protest Killings in Mexico". LA Times/Reuters. February 15, 2004. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Wightman, Catriona (February 21, 2011). "'Californication' star joins CBS pilot". Digital Spy. Retrieved 30 September 2012.