Kim Victoria Cattrall (born 21 August 1956) is an English-Canadian actress from Liverpool. She is known for her role as Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy/romance series Sex and the City and for her leading roles in the 1980s films Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China, Mannequin, and Porky's. For her role as Samantha Jones, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2002 and received four nominations for the role. Her success in Sex and the City also led her to receive two Screen Actors Guild Awards out of seven nominations (including two for Outstanding Female Actress in a Comedy Series) and five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
In 2005, TV Guide ranked Cattrall #8 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list.
Cattrall was born in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, Merseyside. Her mother, Gladys Shane (née Baugh), was a secretary, and her father, Dennis Cattrall, was a construction engineer. When she was three months old, her family emigrated to the Canadian city of Courtenay in British Columbia. At 11, she returned to England when her grandmother became ill. She took a number of acting examinations with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), before returning to Canada at age 16 to finish high school.
Cattrall began her career after graduating from high school in 1972, when she left Canada for New York City. There, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and upon her graduation, signed a five-year film deal with director Otto Preminger. She made her film debut in Preminger's Rosebud in 1975. A year later, Universal Studios bought out that contract and Cattrall became one of the last participants in the contract player system of Universal (also referenced as MCA/Universal during this period) before the system ended in 1980. The Universal system's representative in New York, Eleanor Kilgallen (sister of Dorothy Kilgallen), cast Cattrall in numerous TV guest-star roles. One of the first jobs Kilgallen got her was in a 1977 episode of Quincy, M.E. starring Jack Klugman, whom Kilgallen also represented. In 1978, Cattrall played the female lead in a two-hour episode of Columbo. In 1979, she played the role of Dr. Gabrielle White in The Incredible Hulk and would go down in TV Hulk lore as one of the few characters who knew David Banner (alter ego of the titular character) was alive and was the creature. Her work in television paid off and she quickly made the transition to cinema. She starred opposite Jack Lemmon in his Oscar-nominated film Tribute in 1980, and in Crossbar, the film about a high jumper who loses his leg and still participates in the Olympic trials, with Catrall's help. The following year, she starred in the critically acclaimed Ticket to Heaven.
In 1982, Cattrall played P.E. teacher Miss Honeywell ("Lassie") in Porky's, followed two years later by a role in the original Police Academy. In 1985, she starred in three films: Turk 182, City Limits and Hold-Up, the last with French star Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1986, she played Kurt Russell's brainy flame in the action film Big Trouble in Little China. In 1987, her lead role in Mannequin proved a huge success with audiences. One of her best-known film roles is that of Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Near the end of filming, Cattrall had a photographer shoot a roll of film on the Enterprise bridge set, in which she wore nothing but her Vulcan ears. After finding out about the unauthorised photo session, Leonard Nimoy had the film destroyed.
Aside from her film work, Cattrall is also a stage and theatre actress, with performances in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters and Wild Honey to her credit. In 1997, she was cast in Sex and the City, Darren Star's series which was broadcast on HBO. As Samantha Jones, Cattrall gained international recognition. She capitalised on her success by appearing in steamy television commercials promoting Pepsi One. She also signed a publishing deal to write a book about sex with her third husband, Mark Levinson. In addition, she can be heard reading the poetry of Rupert Brooke on the CD Red Rose Music SACD Sampler Volume One.
Her film work continued during Sex and the City when she appeared in Britney Spears' first film venture, Crossroads. Sex and the City ended as a weekly series in spring 2004 with 10.6 million viewers. Cattrall reprised the role of Samantha Jones in the Sex and the City film, released on 30 May 2008. She also appeared in the sequel released in May 2010. She was nominated for 5 Emmy Awards for her role in the show.
In 2005, she appeared in the Disney film Ice Princess, in which she played ice skating coach Tina Harwood of the film's lead character. She portrayed Claire, a paralysed woman who wants to die, in the West End drama revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?. In October 2006, she appeared in a West End production of David Mamet's The Cryptogram at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Since late 2005, she has appeared in a number of British television commercials for Tetley Tea. In July 2006, a commercial for Nissan cars, which featured Cattrall as Samantha Jones, was withdrawn from New Zealand television, apparently because of complaints about its innuendo. In 2006, she starred alongside Brendan Gleeson in John Boorman's 2006 film The Tiger's Tail, a black comedy that focuses on the impact of the Celtic Tiger economy on Irish people. On ITV, she starred alongside David Haig, Daniel Radcliffe and Carey Mulligan in My Boy Jack, the story of author Rudyard Kipling's search for his son lost in the First World War.
In early 2009, Kim Cattrall played Amelia Bly in Roman Polanski's well received The Ghost Writer, which was released in 2010. On 16 June 2009, it was announced that Cattrall would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. The induction ceremony was held on 12 September 2009. In November 2009 whilst filming Sex and the City 2 in Marrakech, Morocco, she took part in an seminar, 'Being directed' with Director John Boorman as part of the 3rd Edition of the Arts in Marrakech Festival.
On 24 February 2010, Cattrall began a critically acclaimed run in the West End of London at the Vaudeville Theatre as leading lady, Amanda, opposite Matthew Macfadyen, almost twenty years her junior, in a revival of Noël Coward's play Private Lives. She performed until 3 May 2010.
Cattrall played Cleopatra in a production of Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Janet Suzman, opposite Jeffery Kissoon as Anthony, in Liverpool at the Playhouse in October 2010, with a subsequent revival at Chichester Festival Theatre (with Michael Pennington as Anthony) in September 2012.
In 2010, Cattrall was named an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in recognition of her contributions to the dramatic arts.
In 2011, Cattrall reprised her role as Amanda in a production of Noël Coward's Private Lives opposite Canadian actor Paul Gross in Toronto, Canada and on Broadway. That year, Cattrall also appeared in "Uptown Downstairs Abbey", the Comic Relief parody of the critically acclaimed historical television dramas Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. Playing Lady Grantham, she starred alongside Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Victoria Wood, Harry Enfield, Patrick Barlow, Dale Winton, Olivia Colman, Tim Vine, Simon Callow, Michael Gambon, and Harry Hill.
Cattrall has been married three times. Her 1977 to 1979 marriage to Larry Davis was annulled. Her second marriage was from 1982 to 1989 to Andre J. Lyson; with him, she lived in Frankfurt and learned to speak German fluently, but admits she has forgotten a lot over the years.
From 1998 to 2004, she was married to audio designer Mark Levinson. The two co-wrote the 2002 book Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm.
Cattrall has also been linked with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, actor Daniel Benzali, musician Gerald Casale of the New Wave group Devo, French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, and her Whose Life Is It Anyway? co-star Alexander Siddig. She currently lives in New York and in an East Hampton, New York, waterfront home.
In 2007, Cattrall revealed that, in December 1988, she had been booked on Pan Am Flight 103, the plane which crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland, after a terrorist bomb was detonated during the flight. She cancelled her booking on the flight at the last minute to complete some Christmas shopping in London.
She holds dual British and Canadian citizenship. In a 2011 interview on the Canadian radio show "Q", Cattrall stated that reports that she became a U.S. citizen in 2008 are incorrect
In August 2009, Cattrall took part in the BBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, where she discovered some uncomfortable facts about her grandfather, George Baugh. Baugh, who disappeared in 1938, having abandoned his family – including Cattrall's then 8-year-old mother and two younger sisters – turned out to have bigamously married his new wife Isabella Oliver the following year in Tudhoe, County Durham, and subsequently had another four children. In 1961, he emigrated to Australia, where he became a postmaster, retiring in 1972 and dying in 1974. Cattrall's mother and aunts had known nothing of their father's life after he left until they heard what the Who Do You Think You Are? researchers had discovered, nor had the family previously seen a clear photograph of him. An edited version of the episode was later shown as a part of the U.S. series of the same name.
Cattrall is an avid supporter of Liverpool F.C.