Marcia Cross is a popular American actress who shot to fame following her portrayal of the psychotic doctor, Dr Kimberly Shaw, in the hit TV show ‘Melrose Place’. Her fame reached new heights when she appeared as Bree Van De Kamp in the majorly successful dramedy TV series ‘Desperate Housewives’. Her career kick-started with the soap opera ‘The Edge of Night’ in which she had a small role to play as Liz Correll. It was only after relocating to Los Angeles that she got some substantial work. She went on to appear in six TV movies such as ‘The Last Days of Frank’ and Jessie James’. She played Kate Sanders in ‘One Life to Live’ and then made a guest appearance in ‘Knots Landing’. After being a part of several dramas and movies she finally bagged her career altering role in ‘Desperate Housewives’. It was the role of Bree Van De Kamp that once earned her a place in the Forbes list of highest paid TV actresses. She was also nominated for several TV awards for the same role. She currently plays the role of President Claire Haas in the hit thriller ‘Quantico’.
Childhood & Early Life
Marcia Anne Cross was born on March 25, 1962, in Marlborough, Massachusetts to Janet and Mark Cross. She is the middle child of the three daughters born to the couple. Her father was a personnel manager while her mother was a teacher.
She was passionate about acting since childhood and it was her teacher who encouraged her to pursue acting. She first acted in her school play, ‘The Witch of Blackbird Pond’ while she was in sixth-grade.
After passing out from Marlborough High School in 1980, she attended The Juilliard School in Manhattan, New York City on a half-scholarship. She completed her training in performing arts and formally graduated with a B.F.A. degree in Acting in 1984.
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Marcia Cross worked in several stage productions and TV shows. She first appeared in the TV series ‘The Edge of Night’ in 1984. In 1985, she featured in the TV film ‘Brass’ where she shared screen space with Carroll O'Connor.
She earned her first lead role in 1986 in the crime based show, ‘Pros & Cons’ where she played the role of Lynn Erskine. In the same year, she featured in the television movie ‘The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James’ where she worked with popular Hollywood entities such as June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. In the same year, she also appeared in the soap operas, ‘Another World’ and ‘One Life to Live’.
She was cast opposite Tim Daly in the melancholy romance drama ‘Almost Grown’ in 1988. The show was a pilot version and never got selected by the channel. However, the show is still acclaimed by its fans.
Cross made a guest-appearance as Rebecca Howe's sexy sister, Susan, in the sitcom ‘Cheers’. Her next project was the suspense movie, ‘Bad Influence’ in which she played the role of Ruth Fielding in 1990.
She portrayed the character of Victoria Broyelard in the popular night-time TV show ‘Knots Landing’ in 1991.
Her popularity peaked after she was cast as Dr. Kimberly Shaw in the 1992 successful TV show ‘Melrose Place’. In the show, her character goes through interesting story arcs such as committing adultery, kidnapping a child, and even setting a house on fire. Her character became so popular with the audience that she was brought back on the show even after her death sequence.
Cross was next seen in the sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ in 1997 where she played Dr. Sara Sitarides in one episode and ‘Ned & Stacey’ where she appeared in three episodes as Diana Huntley.
In 1997, Cross decided to pursue psychology. She earned her Master's Degree in psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2003. However, she did make small appearances in TV shows and films.
Her 2000 film, in ‘Dancing in September’ was critically acclaimed and her good performance in the film helped her bag the lead role in lead role in ‘Living in Fear’ which came out in 2001.
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In 2002, Cross resumed full-time acting and first appeared in the TV drama ‘Everwood’ in which she played the role of Dr. Linda Abbott.
After leaving ‘Everwood’, Cross headed to her career altering role in one of America’s most successful shows, ‘Desperate Housewives’ in 2004. Cross earned several award nominations that year and went on to win a few for her impeccable portrayal of the perfectionist homemaker, Bree Van De Kamp.
Marcia Cross joined the cast of Quantico in 2015 and plays the recurring role of President Claire Haas.
Cross must have appeared in numerous TV shows but it was ‘Melrose Palace’ that put her on the map. She was largely applauded for performance and was a hot favourite with the viewers.
Her career trajectory received a boost after the successful show, ‘Desperate Housewives.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Marcia Cross was dating actor Richard Jordan who was 25 years her senior. Their love story was cut short after Jordan passed away in 1993 after suffering from a brain tumour.
She married stockbroker Tom Mahoney in 2006. Together the couple has fraternal twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, who were born in 2007 after Cross underwent IVF.
‘Melrose Place’, the first major drama Marcia Cross played an important role in, is considered as one of the best TV shows of the 1990’s.
Cross was declared the ‘Most Beautiful Person’ at the 2005 Emmy Awards.
Cross featured in the People Magazines' ‘100 Most Beautiful People’ list in 2008.
She actively supports the Revlon Run/Walk, which is a charity that raises fund to support breast-cancer research.
Having suffered from migraines since her teenage years, Cross is also a spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline's migraine medication.