Sharon Gless (Actress) - Cagney & Lacey
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Updated: 5/19/20

Name: Sharon Gless

Birth Name: Sharon Marguerite Gless

Born: May 31, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Claim To Fame: Sharon Gless is an American actress, best known for her role as Sgt. Christine Cagney in the police procedural CBS television drama series Cagney & Lacey (1982-88).

Family Life: Since 1991, Gless has been married to Barney Rosenzweig, producer of Cagney & Lacey.

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Info: Gless is the daughter of Marjorie and sportswear manufacturing executive Dennis J. Gless; parents divorced when she was in her teens.

Has two brothers, Michael and Aric.

Her grandfather, Neil S. McCarthy was an entertainment lawyer whose clients included Paramount Pictures, Howard Hughes, Louis B. Mayer (personally), and Cecil B. DeMille.

She worked as a secretary for the advertising agencies Grey Advertising and Young & Rubicam, and then for the independent movie production companies Sassafras Films and General Film Corporation.

Worked as a production assistant and studied drama with acting coach Estelle Harman.

In 1974, she signed a 10-year contract with Universal Studios.

When Gless was 32, Academy Award-nominated actor Eddie Albert took her under his wing as her mentor, their friendship lasted 30 years, until Albert's death in 2005.

Served on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Student Film Institute.

Cousin of Elizabeth Baur.

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Trivia: Her first television role was that of Maggie Philbin on Switch (1975).

By 1982, she was the last remaining performer to be working under a standard studio contract, having been signed to a 10-year contract in 1974.

Gless replaced actress Meg Foster in the role of NYPD police detective Christine Cagney on Cagney & Lacey. (The role had been originated, in the pilot installment, by Loretta Swit. Swit, like Foster, was chosen as Cagney because, though the character of Cagney had been created with Gless herself in mind, she was unavailable for the pilot and the first seven episodes of the first season.)

A 10-time Emmy Award nominee and seven-time Golden Globe Award nominee, she won a Golden Globe in 1986 and Emmys in 1986 and 1987 for Cagney & Lacey, and a second Golden Globe in 1991 for The Trials of Rosie O'Neill.

A female fan was sentenced to prison for six years after breaking into the home of Gless with a rifle in 1990.

Gless performed to positive reviews on the London stage in "Misery", a 1992 stage version of the horror film, playing Kathy Bates' role, and in 1996, starred with Tom Conti in Neil Simon's "Chapter Two".

He stage work also included an evening at Madison Square Garden with the National Company of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

In 1993 and 1995, Gless and her television partner, Tyne Daly, re-create their title roles in a quartet of critically acclaimed and popular Cagney & Lacey television movies which they jokingly called "The Menopause Years".

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 29, 1995.

Gless was a guest star on several episodes of the FX Network cable television series Nip/Tuck as an unstable agent named Colleen Rose, a role that netted her an Emmy Award nomination.

In 1998, Gless narrated the documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

Best known by the public for her starring roles as Sergeant Christine Cagney on Cagney & Lacey (1981), as Debby Novotny on Queer as Folk (2000), and as Madeline Westen on Burn Notice (2007).

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Where Are They Now: In the last five years, Gless has appeared on such hit TV series as Rizzoli & Isles, The Exorcist, The Gifted and, most recently, Casualty. And keep an eye out for the TV Movie Constance co-starring Madison Bailey, Elisabeth Shue, and Kevin Dunn. It has been completed, but no release date has been announced.


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