Monday, April 09, 2018

Happy Birthday to Emmy-, Tony-, and Grammy-Winner and Possible Future New York Governor Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon was born today, April 9, in 1966. She is an actress, activist, and gubernatorial candidate in the State of New York. She is primarily known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series Sex and the City (1998-2004), for which she won the 2004 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She reprised the role in the films Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010). Other film credits include Amadeus (1984), James White (2015), and playing Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion (2016).

Nixon made her Broadway debut in the 1980 revival of The Philadelphia Story. Other Broadway credits include  Indiscretions (1995), The Women (2001), and Wit (2012). She won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Rabbit Hole, the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for An Inconvenient Truth, and the 2017 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Little Foxes. Her other television roles include playing political figures Eleanor Roosevelt in Warm Springs (2005), Michele Davis in Too Big to Fail (2011), and playing Nancy Reagan in the 2016 television film Killing Reagan.

On March 19, 2018, she announced her campaign for Governor of New York. She is running against incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Primary. To celebrate her birthday, there is a party/fundraiser being thrown by hosts including Rosie O'Donnell, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, and Michelle Williams at The Cutting Room in New York City. Click here for more information or to donate to her campaign.  

Nixon was born in Manhattan. She graduated from Hunter College High School and attended Barnard College of Columbia University. Nixon was an actress all through her years at Hunter middle and high school, often taking time away from school to perform in film and on the stage. Nixon also acted in order to pay her way through college. In the spring of 1986, she studied abroad with Semester at Sea. 

Nixon's first onscreen appearance was as an imposter on To Tell the Truth, where her mother worked. She began acting at age 12 as the object of a wealthy school mate's crush in The Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid, a 1979 ABC Afterschool Special. She made her feature debut co-starring with Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal in Little Darlings (1980). 

In 1984, while a freshman at Barnard College, Nixon made theatrical history by simultaneously appearing in two hit Broadway plays directed by Mike Nichols. These were The Real Thing, where Nixon played the daughter of Jeremy Irons and Christine Baranski; and Hurlyburly, where she played a young woman who encounters sleazy Hollywood executives. The two theaters were just two blocks apart and Nixon's roles were both short, so she could run from one to the other.

Nixon with Angela Lansbury in a 1993 episode of Murder, She Wrote.
Nixon succeeded Marcia Gay Harden as Harper Pitt in Tony Kushner's Angels in America (1994), received a Tony nomination for her performance in Indiscretions (Les Parents Terribles) (1996), her sixth Broadway show, and, although she originally lost the part to another actress, eventually took over the role of Lala Levy in the Tony-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1997).

Nixon was a founding member of the Off-Broadway theatrical troupe Drama Dept., which included Sarah Jessica Parker, Dylan Baker, John Cameron Mitchell and Billy Crudup among its actors, appearing in the group's productions of Kingdom on Earth (1996), June Moon and As Bees in Honey Drown (both 1997), Hope is the Thing with Feathers (1998), and The Country Club (1999).

From 1988 to 2003, Nixon was in a relationship with schoolteacher Danny Mozes. They have a daughter and a son together.

Nixon with her wife Christine Marinoni
In 2004, Nixon began dating education activist Christine Marinoni. Nixon and Marinoni became engaged in April 2009, and married in New York City on May 27, 2012, with Nixon wearing a custom-made, pale green dress by Carolina Herrera. Marinoni gave birth to a son, Max Ellington, in 2011.

Regarding her sexual orientation, Nixon remarked in 2007: "I don't really feel I've changed. I'd been with men all my life, and I'd never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn't seem so strange. I'm just a woman in love with another woman." She identified herself as bisexual in 2012. Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington state, Nixon had taken a public stand supporting it (it is Marinoni's home state), and hosted a fundraising event in support of Washington Referendum 74.

In March 2010, Nixon received the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards. The award is presented to an openly LGBT media professional "who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community." In 2013, Nixon was honored with the Artist for Equality award by Yale University, and in 2018 Nixon was honored with the Visibility Award by the Human Rights Campaign.

Nixon is also a long-time advocate for public education. She is a spokesperson for New York's Alliance for Quality Education, a public education fairness advocacy organization. Nixon also has a history of advocacy in support of women's health.

In October 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer during routine mammography. She initially decided not to go public with her illness because of the stigma involved, but in April 2008, she announced her battle with the disease in an interview with Good Morning America. Since then, Nixon has become a breast cancer activist. She convinced the head of NBC to air her breast cancer special in a prime time program, and became an Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

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