“It isn't often that an actor has the opportunity I've had to create a character like Sylvia Costas Sipowicz and see her develop over several years with consistently excellent writing and a dynamic personal storyline. I am very fortunate.” Sharon Lawrence
An aspiring journalist, Sharon Lawrence entered show business as a singer and dancer on Broadway. She has appeared in such Broadway musicals as "Cabaret" (1987-1988), "Fiddler on the Roof" (1990-1991) and "Chicago" (2000).
On television, Lawrence garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of A.D.A. Sylvia Costas Sipowicz (1993-1999) on the hit ABC cop drama series “NYPD Blue,” which earned her three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
Lawrence also co-starred with Leah Remini in the NBC sitcom "Fired Up" (1997), alongside Alfred Molina in the CBS sitcom "Ladies Man" (1999-2001) and Michael Cassidy, Taylor Handley, and Amber Heard in the CW teen drama series "Hidden Palms" (2007).
She also played housewife/prostitute Maisy Gibbons (2004-2005) in the critically-acclaimed ABC soap opera "Desperate Housewives" and portrayed Linda Fusco (2006-2007) in the USA Network's cop series "Monk." She will next be seen in an upcoming miniseries called "The Capture of the Green River Killer" and a new TV series titled "The Weight."
On the big screen, the 5' 6½ actress has appeared in the films "The Only Thrill" (1997), "Gossip" (2000) and "Little Black Book" (2004).
Junior Miss Raleigh
Childhood and Family:
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 29, 1961, Sharon Elizabeth Lawrence was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she was seventeen, she was crowned Junior Miss Raleigh and was the runner-up in the state pageant. Sharon has one younger brother named Mark Lawrence who was born in 1963.
Daughter to Earlyn Lawrence, a retired supervisor for a Head Start program, and Tom Lawrence, a WRAL-TV reporter/anchor, Sharon intended to follow in her father's footsteps and studied journalism at the University of North Carolina, where she graduated in 1983. In order to help finance her college education, she sang at a nightclub. She later worked as a singer on a cruise ship.
On May 31, 2002, Sharon married Dr. Tom Apostle.
Sharon is an active supporter of such causes as Alzheimer’s, Big Sisters, Women in Film and the Special Olympics. She is a member of the bi-partisan Creative Coalition and plays on the World Poker Tour for the Alzheimer's Association and Project ALS charity. She also backs the World Wildlife Fund, a Style Ambassador for the Sustainable Style Foundation and the spokeswoman for Reef Check.
Fool Me Once
First gaining the spotlight at age 17 when she was crowned Junior Miss Raleigh, Sharon Lawrence found a job as a singer on a cruise ship after graduation. She then brought her singing talent to stage and broke into the industry as a singer and dancer on Broadway.
In 1984, Lawrence acted off-Broadway in "Panache" and was cast in the national tour of "Zorba," starring Anthony Quinn. Two years later, in 1987, she made her Broadway debut in the Harold Prince-directed revival of "Cabaret." She then starred as the eldest daughter in a tour of the musical "Fiddler on the Roof.”
Afterward, Lawrence made her primetime debut on TV in the "Drone of Arc" (October 1992) episode of the Steven Bocho-produced drama series on ABC, "Civil Wars." She followed it up with guest appearances on Fox’s hit primetime soap opera "Beverly Hills, 90210" and NBC’s popular sitcom "Cheers."
In 1993, Sharon received her breakout role of elegant, beautiful Assistant District Attorney Sylvia Costas on the Bochco-produced ABC cop drama series "NYPD Blue." Introduced in the show in its first season, Lawrence angrily left the show in 1999, charging that the show's producers failed to live up to their promises to develop provocative story lines for her character.
Meanwhile, her performance in the show received general positive reviews. Playing a character that was initially supposed to be played by a man, Lawrence earned three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama at the Satellite Awards, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Best Recurring Player at the Viewers for Quality Television Awards.
During her "NYPD Blue" stint, Lawrence starred in several made-for-television movies. After appearing in the NBC action/drama/thriller "In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance" (1994), she got her first romantic lead in the ABC remake of the 1959 Disney novel-based feature, "The Shaggy Dog" (1994). She also acted opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in TNT's adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "The Heidi Chronicles" (1995) and delivered a powerful turn as accused murderess Mary Carelli in the novel-based NBC drama/mystery miniseries "Degree of Guilt" (1995; with Daphne Zuniga and David James Elliott).
In addition, Lawrence guest-starred as real-live aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in the second season premiere (August 1995) of UPN’s sci-fi series "Star Trek: Voyager" and displayed her comic abilities while guest starring in a February 1996 episode of the NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City." She also headlined her own sitcom on NBC, "Fired Up" (1997), and starred in the NBC movie "Five Desperate Hours" (1997). That same year, Lawrence made her feature debut, alongside Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Diane Lane, and Robert Patrick, in "The Only Thrill," Peter Masterson's independent romantic drama film based on the play by Larry Ketron.
After leaving "NYPD Blue" in 1999, Lawrence appeared opposite Alfred Molina in the CBS fall sitcom "Ladies Man" (1999-2001) and starred as Cass Medieros in the CBS heart-warming movie "Blue Moon" (1999), which was inspired by Luanne Rice's novel. She also returned to the New York stage in "Tongue of a Bird," as Cherry Jones' dead mother Evie, a part that she had played earlier that year at the Mark Taper Forum.
Entering the new millennium, Lawrence was cast as Detective Kelly in her second feature film, "Gossip," a teen thriller by director Davis Guggenheim and returned to Broadway to play Velma Kelly in the hit revival of Bob Fosse's "Chicago." She then joined the cast of the short-lived CBS werewolf series "Wolf Lake" (2001-2002) and played Michelle in David Eldridge's "Under the Blue Sky" (2002) at the Geffen Playhouse, in Los Angeles, California.
From 2004 to 2005, Lawrence played Maisy Gibbons, a housewife and respectable member of the Fairview society who turns out to be the neighborhood prostitute, in the critically-acclaimed ABC soap "Desperate Housewives." During this time, she was also cast in Nick Hurran's romantic film starring Brittany Murphy, "Little Black Book" (2004).
After "Desperate Housewives," Lawrence guest starred as Linda Fusco (2006-2007) in the USA Network cop series starring Tony Shalhoub, "Monk," and co-starred with Michael Cassidy, Taylor Handley and Amber Heard in the CW short-running teen drama series "Hidden Palms."
Lawrence received a Prism Award nomination for Best Performance in a TV Movie for her performance of Martha Tod Dudman in the book-based movie "Augusta, Gone" (2006). She also won a Method Fest Award for Best Actress for her stunning turn as Maureen in Paco Farias' 12-minute short film, "Fool Me Once" (2006).
TV viewers will soon catch Sharon in an upcoming biographical miniseries based on the book by David Reichert, "The Capture of the Green River Killer," and co-starring with Linda Hamilton and Edward Asner in a new TV series called "The Weight."
Method Fest: Best Actress, “Fool Me Once,” 2007