Sharon Lawrence

Last updated

Sharon Lawrence
Sharon Lawrence 2013.jpg
Lawrence in 2013
Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence

(1961-06-29) June 29, 1961 (age 60)
Education University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA)
Years active1987–present
Tom Apostle
(m. 2002)

Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence (born June 29, 1961) is an American actress. [1] She is best known for the role of Sylvia Costas Sipowicz in the ABC drama series NYPD Blue . The role garnered her three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. [2]


Early life and education

Lawrence was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, [1] the daughter of Earlyn Lawrence, an education administrator and Head Start supervisor, and Tom Lawrence, a television news reporter for WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina.[ citation needed ] She moved from Charlotte to Raleigh in her junior year of high school and graduated from Needham B. Broughton High School. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1983. [3]


Lawrence began her acting career on Broadway in the 1987 revival of Cabaret . [3] In 1990, she performed in Fiddler on the Roof . [1] She appeared in a number of television movies and series in the 1990s, like Cheers and Star Trek: Voyager . In 1993 she was cast as Assistant District Attorney Sylvia Costas in the ABC police drama series NYPD Blue created by Steven Bochco. Her consistently praised performance earned the actress three Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nominations from 1993 to 1996, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in 1996. [3] In 1996 she left the show for her own comedy series Fired Up on NBC. [4] The series was canceled after two seasons. She later returned to NYPD Blue as a regular, and left the show in 1999, after her character was killed. [5]

Lawrence starred with Betty White and Alfred Molina on the short-lived sitcom Ladies Man from 1999 to 2001. [2] She played Velma Kelly in the Broadway musical Chicago in 2000. [1] She also had a series regular role on the CBS supernatural drama Wolf Lake from 2001 to 2002. [2] In film, she co-starred in Gossip (2000), Little Black Book (2004), and The Alibi (2006).

Lawrence with Lorraine Toussaint and Emayatzy Corinealdi at event of Middle of Nowhere in 2012 Middle of Nowhere cast2.jpg
Lawrence with Lorraine Toussaint and Emayatzy Corinealdi at event of Middle of Nowhere in 2012

Lawrence guest starred on many television dramas and sitcoms in the 2000s. She played Maisy Gibbons, a housewife/prostitute in season one of Desperate Housewives . She also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit , Boston Legal , Monk , Curb Your Enthusiasm , The Mentalist , and Body of Proof . She starred in TV movie Atomic Twister as Corrine McGuire. She had a regular role on the short-lived CW teenage drama series Hidden Palms (2008), as Tess Wiatt, and was seen in the Canadian cable television drama The Line in 2009.

In 2009, Lawrence was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal as Izzie Stevens' mother on Grey's Anatomy . [3] [6] In April 2010, Lawrence joined Josh Schwartz's CBS pilot Hitched. [7] In October 2010, she began a recurring role on One Tree Hill as Sylvia Baker, the mother of Julian Baker (Austin Nichols) who comes to Tree Hill from Los Angeles to plan the upcoming wedding of Julian and Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush). She also played the lead character mother in a Lifetime comedy-drama Drop Dead Diva from 2009 to 2013. [8] Also, she played the birth mother of Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) in the TNT television series Rizzoli & Isles , although in real life the actresses are only 12 years apart. [9] In recent years, Lawrence has starred in several independent films. [10] In 2013 she was cast in Chris Carter's thriller drama series The After . [11] The show was set to premiere on Amazon Studios in 2014. [12] [13] [14] Amazon canceled the series before its premiere on January 5, 2015. [15] In March 2015, Lawrence was cast in the ABC comedy-drama pilot Mix. [16] [17]

In 2017, Lawrence starred in the CBS short-lived comedy series Me, Myself and I . The show premiered September 25 but aired only six episodes before the network pulled it from the schedule due to low ratings. [18] Also in 2017, she had a recurring role as Dawn-Lyen Gardner's character mother in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series Queen Sugar and co-starred opposite Sam Elliott in the second season of Netflix comedy The Ranch . From 2016 to 2019 she had a recurring role as a real estate mogul Margo Mierzejewski in the Showtime comedy-drama series Shameless . Lawrence later had a recurring role as Laura Van Kirk on The CW prime time soap opera Dynasty starting in 2018, [19] and as Louise Garbeau on the Showtime comedy series On Becoming a God in Central Florida in 2019.

Personal life

In 2002, Lawrence married Dr. Tom Apostle. [3] Their wedding was held at the Greek Orthodox church Saint Sophia, the same Los Angeles church in which her character, Sylvia Costas, in NYPD Blue married Detective Andy Sipowicz. [ citation needed ] Lawrence has played on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home and performed in benefits for the Alzheimer's Association in Los Angeles called Night at Sardi's and the What A Pair show for the John Wayne Breast Cancer Center.

Lawrence chairs the Women In Film Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Women In Film, which since 1973 has advanced professional opportunities for women in the global entertainment marketplace. She supports Global Green and World Wildlife Fund to protect the environment and endangered species. She is an avid scuba diver.



1994 Bloodfist V: Human Target Jewelry Store Clerk
1994In the Line of Duty: The Price of VengeanceUnknownTelevision film
1994Someone She KnowsSharonTelevision film
1994 The Shaggy Dog Beth DanielsTelevision film
1995 The Face on the Milk Carton Sada SandsTelevision film
1995 The Heidi Chronicles JillTelevision film
1995Degree of GuiltMary CarelliTelevision film
1996 A Friend's Betrayal Nina TalbertTelevision film
1996Victim of the Haunt: The UninvitedPattie JohnsonTelevision film
1997Five Desperate HoursClair BallardTelevision film
1997 The Only Thrill Joleen QuilletTelevision film
1999Blue MoonCass MedierosTelevision film
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Dori ThorellTelevision film
2000 Gossip Detective Kelly
2002 Atomic Twister Corrine MaguireTelevision film
2003 Word of Honor Marcy McClure TysonTelevision film
2003Fly CherryCherry's momShort film
2004 Little Black Book Stacy's mom
2004D-MinusSusanShort film
2005 Nearing Grace Mrs. AshUncredited
2005I?KarenShort Film
2006Augusta, GoneMartha Tod DudmanTelevision film
2006 The Alibi Judith Hatch
2006Fool Me OnceMaureenShort film
2011TalkerMaryShort film
2011 The Perfect Family Agnes Dunn
2012 Middle of Nowhere Fraine
2012The Nuclear FamilyKarenTelevision film
2012iVOTEMarniShort film
2012The VisitGinny (mother of Diana)Short film
2013 Jimmy Judge Robinson
2014 Born to Race 2: Fast Track Mrs. Dalton
2014ThinspirationDr. KleinTelevision film
2014 Grace. Sonia
2014Una Vida: A Fable Of Music and the MindAngela Cruz
2014Somebody's MotherAliceShort film
2014The Bridge PartnerOlivia KorhonenShort film
2015 Solace Mrs. Ellis
2015If I Could Tell YouSara LindaShort film
2016Hearts of ChristmasAlice ShelbyTelevision film
2017 Deidra & Laney Rob a Train Veronica
2017Anabolic LifeKatherine Stenson
2017HomeMargaret SullivanShort film
2017Penny & PaulBarb (voice)Short film
2018Poinsettias for ChristmasKatherine PalmerTelevision film
2019Merry & BrightJoy MerriwetherTelevision film
2020 The Lost Husband Marsha
2020A Small Family AffairLorraine HellerShort film
2020Brothers Short film
2020 The Christmas House PhylisTelevision film


1992 Civil Wars Norma HelmutzEpisode: "Drone of Arc"
1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 PauletteEpisode: "Parental Guidance Recommended"
1993 Cheers RachelEpisode: "The Guy Can't Help It"
1993–1999 NYPD Blue Sylvia Costas Series regular; 99 episodes
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Amelia Earhart Episode: "The 37's"
1996 Caroline in the City MaddieEpisode: "Caroline and the Proposal"
1997 Superman Maxima Episode: "Warrior Queen"
1997–1998 Fired Up Gwen LeonardSeries regular; 28 episodes
1999–2001 Ladies Man Donna StilesSeries regular; 30 episodes
2001–2002 Wolf Lake Vivian CatesSeries regular; 9 episodes
2002 Philly Tabitha Davenport2 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Maggie PetersonEpisode: "Chameleon"
2004 Judging Amy Andrea AdelsteinEpisode: "Predictive Neglect"
2004 Boston Legal Judge Rita SharpleyEpisode: "Head Cases"
2004–2005 Desperate Housewives Maisy Gibbons3 episodes
2006–2008 Monk Linda Fusco4 episodes
2007 Hidden Palms Tess WiattSeries regular; 8 episodes
2008–2009 The Line JayneSeries regular; 15 episodes
2008 Dirt Cassie HopeEpisode: "God Bless the Child"
2008 The Capture of the Green River Killer Fiona RemusTV Mini-Series
2008The Prince of Motor CityDorothy RileyTV pilot
2008–2009 Privileged Shelby Smith3 episodes
2008–2009BuzzAlexis Henson Web series
2009 Ghost Whisperer Elena BancroffEpisode: "Life on the Line"
2009 Grey's Anatomy Robbie StevensEpisode: "No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)"
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Dr. TrundleEpisode: "Vehicular Fellatio"
2009 Community DoreenEpisode: "Politics of Human Sexuality"
2009–2013 Drop Dead Diva Bobbie Dobkins6 episodes
2010 The Mentalist Melba Walker ShannonEpisode: "Bleeding Heart"
2010HitchedJudy ReynoldsTV pilot
2010Blue BelleJudyTwo episodes: "Goin' to Vegas" and "Komshe Thunderfork" (Web series)
2010–2011 One Tree Hill Sylvia Baker6 episodes
2011 The Glades Georgia LancerEpisode: "Moonlighting"
2011 American Dad! Scarlett ReynoldsEpisode: "The Scarlett Getter"
2012BlackBoxTVDebrah StratfordEpisode: "Silverwood: Red Ink"
2012–2016 Rizzoli & Isles Dr. Hope Martin6 episodes
2013 Body of Proof Julia StoneEpisode: "Committed"
2014 [20] The After FrancisTV pilot
2014 Matador Emily TaftEpisodes: "Everything Old Is New Again" and "Mala Sangre"
2014 Hell's Kitchen HerselfGuest diner; Season 13 Episode 16: "Winner Chosen"
2015MixStella RuizTV pilot
2015 Blunt Talk SophieEpisode: "All My Relationships End in Pain"
2016 Game of Silence Diana StockmanSeason 1 - 6 Episodes
2016 Devious Maids LoriSeason 4 - 1 Episode
2016–2019 Shameless Margo Mierzejewski7 episodes
2016I Like You Just the Way I AmDebbieSeason 1
2016 Blue Bloods Christine SandersSeason 7 - Episode: "The One That Got Away"
2017 The Last Tycoon Frances Goldwyn3 episodes
2017–2018 Me, Myself & I Eleanor6 episodes
2017 The Ranch Brenda Sanders7 episodes
2017 Queen Sugar Lorna Prescott3 episodes
2018 How to Get Away with Murder Ingrid EganEpisode: "Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"
2018–2020 Dynasty Laura Van Kirk 6 episodes
2019–2020 Criminal Minds Roberta Lynch3 episodes
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Louise GarbeauSeason 1; 5 episodes
2020 Home Before Dark Carol CollinsSeason 1; 4 episodes
2020 L.A.'s Finest Gloria WalkerSeason 2; 2 episodes
2020The Gaze: No HomoMiranda Cryer6 episodes (Web series)
2021 Punky Brewster SusanSeason 1; 2 episodes
2021 Rebel Angela FoyerSeason 1; 1 episode

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations
1994 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series NYPD BlueNominated
1995 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series NYPD BlueWon
1995Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNYPD BlueNominated
1996Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series NYPD BlueNominated
1996Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesNYPD BlueNominated
1996Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNYPD BlueNominated
1997Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesNYPD BlueNominated
1998 Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Recurring PlayerNYPD BlueNominated
1999Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesNYPD BlueNominated
1999 Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama NYPD BlueNominated
2007 Method Fest Independent Film Festival Best ActressFool Me OnceWon
2007Prism AwardBest Performance in a TV-MovieAugusta, GoneNominated
2009Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Grey's AnatomyNominated
2013 Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Middle of NowhereNominated

Related Research Articles

<i>NYPD Blue</i> American television police drama (1993–2005)

NYPD Blue is an American police procedural drama television series set in New York City, exploring the struggles of the fictional 15th Precinct detective squad in Manhattan. Each episode typically intertwines several plots involving an ensemble cast.

Merrin Melissa Dungey is an American film and television actress, known for her roles on the television series The King of Queens, Alias, Malcolm in the Middle, and Summerland. Dungey also appeared as Ursula on Once Upon a Time, and starred in the legal drama Conviction. Most recently, she appeared on the medical drama The Resident, and costars in the 2019 legal drama The Fix.

Oliver Hudson American actor

Oliver Rutledge Hudson is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Adam Rhodes in the CBS comedy series Rules of Engagement (2007–2013), Jeff Fordham on the ABC musical drama series Nashville (2013–2015) and Wes Gardner in the Fox horror comedy Scream Queens. He appeared as one of the main cast members of the ABC sitcom Splitting Up Together, produced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Nicole Ari Parker American actress

Nicole Ari Parker Kodjoe is an American actress and model. She made her screen debut with a leading role in the critically acclaimed independent film The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (1995) and went on to appear in Boogie Nights (1997), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Niecy Nash American actress

Carol Denise Betts, mostly known as Niecy Nash is an American actress, comedian and television host, best known for her performances on television.

Natalie Zea American actress (born 1975)

Natalie Zea is an American actress known for her performances on television. Zea began her acting career in theatre. Her first major role was on the NBC daytime soap opera Passions (2000–2002), where she played the role of Gwen Hotchkiss. Her breakout role was on the ABC primetime soap opera Dirty Sexy Money as socialite Karen Darling, where she starred from 2007 to 2009. Zea also has made many guest appearances on television, starred in a number of independent and made-for-television movies, and had recurring roles in The Shield, Hung, Californication, and The Unicorn.

Connie Britton American actress, singer, and producer

Constance Elaine Britton is an American actress, singer, and producer. Britton made her feature film debut in the independent comedy-drama film The Brothers McMullen (1995), and the following year, she was cast as Nikki Faber on the ABC sitcom Spin City. She later starred in the short-lived sitcoms The Fighting Fitzgeralds (2001) and Lost at Home (2003), and appeared in several films, most notably the sports drama film Friday Night Lights (2004) and the thriller film The Last Winter (2006).

Judy Reyes American Actress, Model and Producer (born 1967)

Judy Reyes is an American Actress, Model and Producer, best known for her roles as Carla Espinosa on the NBC/ABC medical comedy series Scrubs (2001–2009), and as Zoila Diaz in the Lifetime comedy-drama Devious Maids (2013–2016). Beginning in 2017, she stars as Annalise "Quiet Ann" Zayas in the TNT crime comedy-drama Claws.

Katherine LaNasa

Katherine LaNasa is an American actress, former ballet dancer and choreographer. She starred in films Jayne Mansfield's Car, The Campaign and The Frozen Ground. On television, LaNasa had a leading role in the NBC sitcom Three Sisters (2001–2002), appeared in recurring roles on Judging Amy, Two and a Half Men, Big Love and Longmire, and also starred in the short-lived dramas Love Monkey (2006), Deception (2013), Satisfaction (2014–15) and Imposters (2017–18). In 2020, LaNasa portrays Gloria Grandbilt in the musical dramedy series Katy Keene.

Ana Ortiz American actress and singer (born 1971)

Ana Ortiz is an American actress and singer. Having pursued a career in ballet and singing from a young age, she eventually attended University of the Arts. Ortiz began her acting career in theatre, in early 2000s starred in the short-lived NBC sitcoms Kristin (2001) and A.U.S.A. (2003), and had recurring roles on Over There and Boston Legal.

Gage Golightly American actress

Gage Golightly is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Hayley Steele in the Nickelodeon series The Troop, Erica Reyes in the MTV series Teen Wolf, and Karen in the Amazon Studios series Red Oaks.

Ryan Michelle Bathe American actress

Ryan Michelle Bathé is an American actress.

Rebecca Breeds Australian actress

Rebecca Elizabeth Breeds is an Australian actress, known for her roles as Cassie Cometti in the third series of Blue Water High, as series regular Ruby Buckton in the soap opera Home and Away, Aurora de Martel in The Originals, as recurring character Nicole in seasons 6 and 7 of Pretty Little Liars and as Clarice Starling in the 2021 CBS series Clarice.

Dreama Walker American actress

Dreama Elyse Walker is an American actress. She is known for her supporting role in the series Gossip Girl, her lead role in the film Compliance (2012), and her lead roles in two short-lived television series, the comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 and the legal drama Doubt.

Annette Ngozi Ilonzeh is an American actress. From 2010 to 2011, she played Maya Ward on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital, and later starred as Kate Prince in the short-lived ABC reboot of Charlie's Angels. She later had a recurring roles on shows such as Arrow, Drop Dead Diva and Empire. In 2017, Ilonzeh played Kidada Jones in the biographical drama film All Eyez on Me, and starred in the thriller 'Til Death Do Us Part. In 2018, she started co-starring as Emily Foster in the NBC drama Chicago Fire.

Megan Ketch is an American actress, best known for her roles on film such as the 2013 romantic comedy movie The Big Wedding and the mystery television series American Gothic.

Yara Martinez is a Puerto Rican television actress who is best known for her roles as Kelly in Hollywood Heights and as Dr. Luisa Alver on The CW series Jane the Virgin.

Willa Fitzgerald American actor and television actor

Willa Fitzgerald is an American actress. She is best known for her lead role as Emma Duval in MTV's Scream. Her other notable roles include Amazon Studios' short-lived political web series Alpha House and USA Network's drama series Royal Pains.

Jaina Lee Ortiz American dancer (born 1986)

Jaina Lee Ortiz, is an American actress and dancer. She is known for her starring role as Detective Annalise Villa on the Fox police drama Rosewood from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, she began starring as lead in the ABC drama series Station 19.

<i>Goliath</i> (TV series) American legal drama web television series

Goliath is an American legal drama streaming television series by Amazon Studios. The show was commissioned with a straight-to-series order of eight episodes on December 1, 2015 and premiered on October 13, 2016, on Amazon Prime Video. On February 15, 2017, Amazon announced the series had been renewed for a second season and confirmed that Clyde Phillips was joining the series as showrunner. The trailer for season 2 was released on May 1, 2018. Season 2, consisting of eight episodes, was released on June 15, 2018. On December 11, 2018, the series was renewed for a third season, which premiered on October 4, 2019. On November 14, 2019, Amazon announced the series was renewed for a fourth and final season.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Sharon Lawrence". The Broadway League . Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 "Sharon Lawrence". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sharon Lawrence Biography". TV Guide . Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  4. Bobbin, Jay (July 28, 1996). "—I've heard that Sharon Lawrence won't be returning to..." Chicago Tribune . Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  5. Starr, Michael (January 15, 1999). "Sharon Out Of The Blue". New York Post . Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  6. Malcom, Shawna (September 14, 2009). "Costar Sharon Lawrence: Katherine Heigl Will Be a Great Mom - Babies, Katherine Heigl, Sharon Lawrence". People . Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  7. "Sharon Lawrence Gets Hitched". TV Guide.
  8. "'Drop Dead Diva' Bulks Up on Guest Stars as Season 5 Returns (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter . September 30, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  9. Eng, Joyce (March 14, 2012). "Rizzoli & Isles Exclusive: NYPD Blue's Sharon Lawrence to Play Maura's Biological Mom - Today's News: Our Take". TV Guide. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  10. McNary, Dave (June 6, 2013). "Sharon Lawrence Books Trio Of Roles (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety . Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  11. Andreeva, Nellie (October 7, 2013). "Quartet Join Amazon Drama Pilot 'The After', 'Bosch' Casts One". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  12. Ross, Robyn (October 31, 2013). "Amazon Green-Lights Drama Pilots Starring Titus Welliver, Sharon Lawrence". TV Guide. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  13. Porter, Rick (October 31, 2013). "Amazon orders Michael Connelly pilot 'Bosch,' details 'X-Files' creator's 'The After'". Zap2it . Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  14. Staskiewicz, Keith (February 3, 2014). "'The After': First look at new Chris Carter pilot". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  15. Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2015). "Chris Carter Drama Series 'The After' Not Going Forward At Amazon Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  16. Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2015). "Echo Kellum Joins CW Pilot 'Dead People', Sharon Lawrence Cast In ABC's 'Mix'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  17. "Rashida Jones's ABC pilot Mix adds NYPD Blue star Sharon Lawrence". Digital Spy . Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  18. Littleton, Cynthia (May 17, 2017). "CBS 2017-18 Fall Schedule: 'Big Bang Theory' Spinoff 'Young Sheldon,' 'SWAT' Head to Thursday". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  19. Highfill, Samantha (August 19, 2018). "Dynasty casts Sharon Lawrence as Liam's mother". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  20. Andreeva, Nellie (March 11, 2014). "Four Amazon Pilots Go To Series, 1 On Hold". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2018.