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

(1961-06-29) June 29, 1961 (age 62)
Education University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987–present
Tom Apostle
(m. 2002)

Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence (born June 29, 1961) is an American actress. From 1993 to 1999, she starred as Sylvia Costas in the ABC drama series, NYPD Blue. The role garnered her three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. She received three additional Emmy Awards nominations for her later television performances.

After her NYPD Blue breakthrough, Lawrence starred in the sitcoms Fired Up (1997-98) and Ladies Man (1999-2001). she starred in the CBS supernatural drama Wolf Lake in 2001, and the CW teen drama Hidden Palms in 2007. Lawrence had notable recurring performances in Desperate Housewives, Drop Dead Diva, Rizzoli & Isles, The Ranch, Shameless and Queen Sugar. Her film credits include Gossip (2000), Middle of Nowhere (2012) and Solace (2015). In 2021, she starred in the Paramount+ neo-Western series, Joe Pickett.

Early life and education

Lawrence was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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.


Lawrence began her acting career on Broadway in the 1987 revival of Cabaret. In 1990, she performed in Fiddler on the Roof. 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. In 1996 she left the show for her own comedy series Fired Up on NBC. 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.

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

Middle of Nowhere cast2
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 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. In April 2010, Lawrence joined Josh Schwartz's CBS pilot Hitched. 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. 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. In recent years, Lawrence has starred in several independent films. In 2013 she was cast in Chris Carter's thriller drama series The After. The show was set to premiere on Amazon Studios in 2014. Amazon canceled the series before its premiere on January 5, 2015. In March 2015, Lawrence was cast in the ABC comedy-drama pilot Mix.

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. 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, and as Louise Garbeau on the Showtime comedy series On Becoming a God in Central Florida in 2019.

In 2021, Lawrence had recurring roles in Punky Brewster and Rebel. She later starred in the Paramount+ neo-Western series, Joe Pickett.

Personal life

In 2002, Lawrence married Dr. Tom Apostle. 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. 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.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Bloodfist V: Human Target Jewelry Store Clerk
1994 In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance Unknown Television film
1994 Someone She Knows Sharon Television film
1994 The Shaggy Dog Beth Daniels Television film
1995 The Face on the Milk Carton Sada Sands Television film
1995 The Heidi Chronicles Jill Television film
1995 Degree of Guilt Mary Carelli Television film
1996 A Friend's Betrayal Nina Talbert Television film
1996 Victim of the Haunt: The Uninvited Pattie Johnson Television film
1997 Five Desperate Hours Clair Ballard Television film
1997 The Only Thrill Joleen Quillet Television film
1999 Blue Moon Cass Medieros Television film
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Dori Thorell Television film
2000 Gossip Detective Kelly
2002 Atomic Twister Corrine Maguire Television film
2003 Word of Honor Marcy McClure Tyson Television film
2003 Fly Cherry Cherry's mom Short film
2004 Little Black Book Stacy's mom
2004 D-Minus Susan Short film
2005 Nearing Grace Mrs. Ash Uncredited
2005 I? Karen Short Film
2006 Augusta, Gone Martha Tod Dudman Television film
2006 The Alibi Judith Hatch
2006 Fool Me Once Maureen Short film
2011 Talker Mary Short film
2011 The Perfect Family Agnes Dunn
2012 Middle of Nowhere Fraine
2012 The Nuclear Family Karen Television film
2012 iVOTE Marni Short film
2012 The Visit Ginny (mother of Diana) Short film
2013 Jimmy Judge Robinson
2014 Born to Race 2: Fast Track Mrs. Dalton
2014 Thinspiration Dr. Klein Television film
2014 Grace. Sonia
2014 Una Vida: A Fable Of Music and the Mind Angela Cruz
2014 Somebody's Mother Alice Short film
2014 The Bridge Partner Olivia Korhonen Short film
2015 Solace Mrs. Ellis
2015 If I Could Tell You Sara Linda Short film
2016 Hearts of Christmas Alice Shelby Television film
2017 Deidra & Laney Rob a Train Veronica
2017 Anabolic Life Katherine Stenson
2017 Home Margaret Sullivan Short film
2017 Penny & Paul Barb Voice, short film
2018 Poinsettias for Christmas Katherine Palmer Television film
2019 Merry & Bright Joy Merriwether Television film
2020 The Lost Husband Marsha
2020 A Small Family Affair Lorraine Heller Short film
2020 Brothers Short film
2020 The Christmas House Phylis Television film
2021 The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls Phylis Television film
2021 Grave Intentions Olivia Korhonen


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Civil Wars Norma Helmutz Episode: "Drone of Arc"
1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 Paulette Episode: "Parental Guidance Recommended"
1993 Cheers Rachel Episode: "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 Maddie Episode: "Caroline and the Proposal"
1997 Superman: The Animated Series Maxima Voice, episode: "Warrior Queen"
1997–1998 Fired Up Gwen Leonard Series regular; 28 episodes
1999–2001 Ladies Man Donna Stiles Series regular; 30 episodes
2001–2002 Wolf Lake Vivian Cates Series regular; 9 episodes
2002 Philly Tabitha Davenport 2 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Maggie Peterson Episode: "Chameleon"
2004 Judging Amy Andrea Adelstein Episode: "Predictive Neglect"
2004 Boston Legal Judge Rita Sharpley Episode: "Head Cases"
2004–2005 Desperate Housewives Maisy Gibbons 3 episodes
2006–2008 Monk Linda Fusco 4 episodes
2007 Hidden Palms Tess Wiatt Series regular; 8 episodes
2008–2009 The Line Jayne Series regular; 15 episodes
2008 Dirt Cassie Hope Episode: "God Bless the Child"
2008 The Capture of the Green River Killer Fiona Remus Miniseries
2008 The Prince of Motor City Dorothy Riley TV pilot
2008–2009 Privileged Shelby Smith 3 episodes
2008–2009 Buzz Alexis Henson Web series
2009 Ghost Whisperer Elena Bancroff Episode: "Life on the Line"
2009 Grey's Anatomy Robbie Stevens Episode: "No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)"
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Dr. Trundle Episode: "Vehicular ..."
2009 Community Doreen Episode: "Politics of Human ..."
2009–2013 Drop Dead Diva Bobbie Dobkins 6 episodes
2010 The Mentalist Melba Walker Shannon Episode: "Bleeding Heart"
2010 Hitched Judy Reynolds TV pilot
2010 Blue Belle Judy Web series; 2 episodes
2010–2011 One Tree Hill Sylvia Baker 6 episodes
2011 The Glades Georgia Lancer Episode: "Moonlighting"
2011 American Dad! Scarlett Reynolds Voice, episode: "The Scarlett Getter"
2012 BlackBoxTV Debrah Stratford Episode: "Silverwood: Red Ink"
2012–2016 Rizzoli & Isles Dr. Hope Martin 6 episodes
2013 Body of Proof Julia Stone Episode: "Committed"
2014 The After Francis TV pilot
2014 Matador Emily Taft 2 episodes
2014 Hell's Kitchen Herself Guest diner; episode: "Winner Chosen"
2015 Mix Stella Ruiz TV pilot
2015 Blunt Talk Sophie Episode: "All My Relationships End in Pain"
2016 Game of Silence Diana Stockman 6 episodes
2016 Devious Maids Lori Episode: "Grime and Punishment"
2016–2019 Shameless Margo Mierzejewski 7 episodes
2016 I Like You Just the Way I Am Debbie Season 1
2016 Blue Bloods Christine Sanders Episode: "The One That Got Away"
2017 The Last Tycoon Frances Goldwyn 3 episodes
2017–2018 Me, Myself & I Eleanor 6 episodes
2017 The Ranch Brenda Sanders 7 episodes
2017 Queen Sugar Lorna Prescott 3 episodes
2018 How to Get Away with Murder Ingrid Egan Episode: "Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"
2018–2021 Dynasty Laura Van Kirk 7 episodes
2019–2020 Criminal Minds Roberta Lynch 3 episodes
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Louise Garbeau 5 episodes
2020 Home Before Dark Carol Collins 4 episodes
2020 L.A.'s Finest Gloria Walker 2 episodes
2020 The Gaze: No Homo Miranda Cryer Web series, 6 episodes
2021 Punky Brewster Susan 3 episodes
2021 Rebel Angela Foyer 6 episodes
2021 Joe Pickett Missy 10 episodes

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Film Result
1994 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1995 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Won
1995 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1996 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1996 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1996 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1997 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1998 Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Recurring Player NYPD Blue Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1999 Satellite Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama NYPD Blue Nominated
2007 Method Fest Independent Film Festival Best Actress Fool Me Once Won
2007 Prism Award Best Performance in a TV-Movie Augusta, Gone Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2013 Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Middle of Nowhere Nominated
2016 Winter Film Award Best Actress The Bridge Partner Nominated
2017 Orlando Film Festival Best Supporting Performance Anabolic Life Nominated
2017 USA Film Festival Outstanding Performance Award Home Won
2021 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Daytime Fiction Program The Gaze: No Homo Nominated
2022 Children's and Family Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Performance Punky Brewster Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sharon Lawrence para niños

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