Sharon Lawrence has the depth and passion needed for a long-running drama, the range and timing to land her own comedy series, the verve to star in high-profile theatre productions, and the vision to produce her own films. The result has been a wide and multi-faceted career.
Sharon most recently stared at The Geffen Playhouse in the acclaimed revival of Lerner and Lowe’s Paint Your Wagon, creating the new role of Lily Shakespeare in the David Rambo adaptation. This is her second appearance at the Geffen after her ferocious turn in the British play, Under the Blue Sky and in The Guys with Keith David at The Berkeley Repertory Theater. She starred in 70’s feminist hit I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road and in Company for UCLA’s Reprise! Recent movie work includes Word of Honor for TNT and Little Black Book with Holly Hunter and Brittany Murphy for Revolution Studios.
Sharon can be seen on two ABC primetime dramas: as Maisy Gibbons on Desparate Housewives and on Boston Legal as Judge Rita Sharply. Feature appearances include Nearing Grace starring David Morse and The Alibi with Rebecca Rojmin-Stamos, John Leguizamo, Selma Blair and James Brolin. Another recent series regular role was in the critically acclaimed Wolf Lake for CBS starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Tim Matheson. Also on CBS, Sharon starred on the hit Judging Amy playing a celebrity attorney. On the other side of the law, she made a special guest star appearance in NBC’s Law and Order: SVU in which she played a sociopath serial killer and prostitute.
As co-star of the two-season CBS comedy, Ladies Man, she played opposite Alfred Molina as his spouse Donna Stiles, a complex wife, mom, step mom and daughter-in-law. On Ladies Man, Sharon was a member of one of the most seasoned casts on primetime television, which included Betty White and Stephen Root, and she gave a performance that required many disciplines acquired during a career that has spanned every genre from musical comedy to serious drama. On hiatus from her first season of Ladies Man in 2000, Sharon starred as Velma Kelly, the sexy murderess, in the smash hit musical Chicago at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway. This marked Sharon’s first appearance on a Broadway stage since becoming famous in 1993 for creating an indelible character, Sylvia Costas Sipowicz, on NYPD Blue.
Sharon garnered a Screen Actor’s Guild Award and three Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress on the multiple Emmy Award-winning ABC drama series while portraying Sylvia, the compassionate and headstrong District Attorney who falls in love with, and marries, Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz).
Her comedic guest turn as a high-strung, chain-smoking headhunter on the NBC hit comedy Caroline in the City in the 1995-1996 season was so well-received that it generated an all-network bidding war which resulted in an overall NBC deal for Sharon. This resulted in her starring role in the NBC sitcom Fired Up and made her one of the few actresses in 1997 to be featured on two prime-time series one drama, and one comedy - on competing networks.