Kathleen Ann Bishop
January 14, 1945
Henry Chalfant (m. 1966)
Kathleen Ann Chalfant (née Bishop; born January 14, 1945) is an American actress. She has appeared in many stage plays, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as making guest appearances on television series, including the Law & Order franchise.
Life and career
Chalfant was born Kathleen Ann Bishop in San Francisco, California, and was raised in her parents' boarding house in Oakland. Her father, William Bishop, was an officer in the Coast Guard. She studied acting in New York with Wynn Handman, who was a protégé of Sanford Meisner and with Alessandro Fersen in Rome.
Chalfant worked as a Production Coordinator at Playwrights Horizons in the mid-1970s, beginning with Demons: A Possession by Robert Karmon. She made her Off-Broadway acting debut in Cowboy Pictures in June 1974. She has since appeared in over three dozen Off-Broadway productions. In 2015, she appeared in the Women's Project Theater production of Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl and as Rose Kennedy in the Nora's Playhouse production of Rose by Laurence Leamer.
Chalfant was nominated for her official Broadway debut role at the 1993 Tony Awards for Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) in Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She earned the Outer Circle Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance as Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in 1998; she shaved her head for the role. During her work with Wit, she incorporated her experiences dealing with terminal cancer of her half-brother, Alan Palmer, who died in 1998.
For her 2003 performance in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, Chalfant won a second Obie award. In 2009, Chalfant performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film utilizing dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
Chalfant has played recurring roles in a number of television series including House of Cards, Law & Order, Rescue Me, and The Guardian. Her roles in feature films have included Isn't It Delicious and Kinsey.
In July 2018 she will read T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets at the Bard Summerscape Festival as part of a new performance with choreography by Pam Tanowitz, music by Kaija Saariaho, and images by Brice Marden.
In 1966, Chalfant married Henry Chalfant, a photographer and documentary filmmaker. They have a son, David Chalfant, who was the bass player for the folk-rock band, The Nields, and a daughter, Andromache, a set designer in New York.
Social justice and political activism
Chalfant has spoken widely about the role of art and artists in advocating for civil rights and social justice issues, and "theater as a platform for social change." She has been hosted by the Center for Constitutional Rights, as part of the Guantanamo Lawyers Panel and was among a group of artists endorsing a cultural boycott of Israel to advocate for Palestinian rights. The group noted the precedent of cultural boycott in apartheid-era South Africa.
|1987||Five Corners||Mrs. Fitzgerald|
|1989||Miss Firecracker||Miss Lily|
|1990||Tales from the Darkside: The Movie||Dean||Segment: "Lot 249"|
|1991||Out of the Rain||Ruth|
|1992||Bob Roberts||Constance Roberts|
|1996||MURDER and murder||Mildred|
|1998||The Last Days of Disco||Zenia|
|1999||QM, I Think I Call Her QM||Dr. Ruth Fielding||Short|
|2000||Company Man||Mother Quimp|
|2000||Woman Found Dead in Elevator||Woman||Short|
|2002||Book of Kings||Nina||Short|
|2007||First Born||Mrs. Kasperian|
|2007||Perfect Stranger||Elizabeth Clayton|
|2007||The Last New Yorker||Mimi|
|2008||Second Guessing Grandma||Jean||Short|
|2013||Isn't It Delicious||Joan Weldon|
|2013||A Dream of Flying||Old Woman||Short|
|2016||They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief||Mabel Elliot||Documentary|
|2017||Class Rank||Editor in Chief|
|2017||In the Studio||Ilene||Post-production|
|2018||Hereditary||Ellen Taper Leigh||Uncredited|
|1991||American Playhouse||Mrs. Hauser||"The Hollow Boy"|
|1992||L.A. Law||Marlene Branson||"Zo Long"|
|1994||All My Children||Rae Ella||1 episode|
|1997||Spin City||Mother Superior||"Hot in the City"|
|1997–00||Prince Street||TV series|
|1999||Storm of the Century||Joanna Stanhope||TV miniseries|
|2000||The Beat||Mrs. Waclawek||"Someone to Watch Over Me"|
|2000||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Mrs. Nash||"Noncompliance"|
|2001||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Priscilla Van Acker||"Smothered"|
|2001–09||Law & Order||Lisa Cutler||"Phobia", "Shrunk", "Illegitimate"|
|2001–04||The Guardian||Laurie Solt||Main role|
|2002||Benjamin Franklin||Silence Dogood||TV miniseries documentary|
|2002||A Death in the Family||Aunt Hannah||TV film|
|2005||Lackawanna Blues||Mrs. Carmichael||TV film|
|2006||The Book of Daniel||Catherine Webster||Regular role|
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Bessie Holland||"Bombshell"|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Judge Cutress||"Haystack"|
|2009||Rescue Me||Sean's Ma||Recurring role|
|2009||Georgia O'Keeffe||Mrs. Stieglitz||TV film|
|2009||Mercy||Mrs. Borghouse||"Can We Get That Drink Now?"|
|2012||NYC 22||Ginny Williams||"Pilot"|
|2013||Elementary||Mrs. Clennon||"An Unnatural Arrangement"|
|2013||Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight||Ethel Harlan||TV film|
|2013–16||House of Cards||Margaret Tilden||Recurring role|
|2014||The Americans||Aunt Helen||"The Walk-In"|
|2014||Good Medicine||Coco LaRue||"Raj"|
|2014||Forever||Gloria Carlyle||"The Art of Murder"|
|2014–15||The Strain||Abraham's Grandmother||"Runaways", "BK, NY"|
|2014–15||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||President Roberts||"Pornstar's Requiem", "Devastating Story"|
|2014–present||The Affair||Margaret Butler||Recurring role|
|2015–16||Madam Secretary||Dean Ward||"The Ninth Circle", "Unity Node", "Render Safe"|
|2017||Doubt||Margaret Brennan||5 episodes|
|1974||Playwrights Horizons||Cowboy Pictures||n/a|
|1975||The Coronor's Plot|
|1977||Westside Theatre||Jules Feiffer's Hold Me!|
|1978||American Place Theatre||Fefu and Her Friends||n/a (Understudy)|
|1980||Killings on the Last Time||n/a|
|1982||Westside Theatre||Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You/ The Actor's Nightmare||Sister Mary Ignatius/ Sarah Siddons (Replacement)|
|1988||WPA Theatre||Just Say No||Mrs. Potentate|
|1989||Perry Street Theater||The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador||Lady Aitkin|
|1990||Union Square Theater||The Crucible||Mrs. Ann Putnam|
|Eugene O'Neill Theatre||M. Butterfly||Helga (Understudy)|
|1992||Vineyard Theater||The Party||Women|
|1994||Walter Kerr Theatre||Angels in America: Millennium Approaches||Rabbi Chemelwitz, Henry, Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg|
|Angels in America: Perestroika||Prelapsarianov, Hannah Pitt, Henry, Ethel Rosenberg, Council of Principalities, Rabbi Chemelwitz|
|1995||East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company||Iphigenia and Other Daughters||Clymenestra|
|Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater||Twelve Dreams||Jenny|
|East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company||Endgame||Clov|
|Vivian Beaumont Theatre||Racing Demon||Heather Espy|
|1996||Delacorte Theatre||Henry V||Mistress Quickly/Queen Isabel|
|New York City Center-Stage I||Nine Armenians||Non/Marie|
|1998||East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company||Phaedra in Delirium||n/a|
|MCC Theater||Wit||Vivian Bearing Ph.D|
|Union Square Theatre|
|1999||Westside Theatre||The Vagina Monologues||n/a|
|Vineyard Theatre||True History and Real Adventures||n/a|
|2003||Minetta Lane Theatre||Talking Heads||Susan (Bed Among the Lentils)|
|East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company||Savannah Bay||Madeleine|
|Lucille Lortel Theatre||The Last Letter||Anna Semyonova|
|2004||Theatres at 45 Bleecker/Bleecker Street Theatre]||Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom||Gareth Peirce|
|New York City Center-Stage II||Five By Tenn||Anna/Vera Cartwright/Frieda/One|
|2006||Barrow Street Theatre||an oak tree||Father|
|Lucille Lortel Theatre||Great Expectations||Mrs. Havisham|
|2007||Minetta Lane Theatre||Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell||Love|
|Harold Clurman Theatre||A Hard Heart||n/a|
|2008||Playwrights Horizons||Dead Man's Cell Phone||Mrs. Gottlieb|
|2010||Lucille Lortel Theatre||Family Week||Lena|
|2012||New York Theatre Workshop||Red Dog Howls||Rose Afratian|
|2013||Vineyard Theatre||Somewhere Fun||Evelyn Armstrong|
|2014||New York City Center- Stage I||Tales From Red Vienna||Edda Schmidt|
|2015||McGinn-Cazale Theatre||Dear Elizabeth||Elizabeth|
|2017||Playwrights Horizons||For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday||Ann|
|2018||Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre||St. Vincent's Project: Novenas for a Hospital||Sister Elizabeth Ann Seton|
Awards and nominations
|1993||Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Angels in America: Millennium Approaches||Nominated|
|Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play|
|1994||Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Angels in America: Perestroika|
|1996||Joe A. Callaway Award||Henry V||Won|
|1997||Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Nine Armenians||Nominated|
|1999||Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play||Wit||Won|
|Obie Award for Outstanding Performance|
|Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance|
|Drama League Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play|
|Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Actress|
|2003||Obie Award for Best Performance||Talking Heads|
|2004||Lucille Lortel Award, Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence||n/a|
|2015||Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play||A Walk in the Woods||Nominated|
|2016||Drama Desk Award Outstanding Solo Performance||Rose|
- Search: Kathleen Bishop at familytreelegends.com; accessed April 3, 2014.
- California Birth Records info.; accessed April 3, 2014.
- Ryzik, Melena (May 20, 2007). "Nearly 60 Years and Counting, Working on the Art of Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Sturner, Lynda (24 March 2000). "Brit Wit". TheaterMania. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Demons: A Possession". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Cowboy Pictures". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Dear Elizabeth lortel.org, accessed December 18, 2015
- Lloyd Webber, Imogen (14 September 2015). "Kathleen Chalfant Will Headline Laurence Leamer's Rose Off-Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Kathleen Henderson, "Painting Churches Star Kathleen Chalfant on Wit, Angels in America and a Naughty Role in Kinsey", Broadway.com, March 7, 2012
- Vincent Canby (October 18, 1998). "Battered and Broken, So That She May Rise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- Robin Pogrebin (October 20, 1998). "A Brother's Death Helps Bring a Performance to Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- Ben Brantley (April 7, 2003). "Life a Bit of a Mess? Just Carry On, Dear". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- "The People Speak". howardzinn.org. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Gans, Andrew. "Kathleen Chalfant Will Receive 2018 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement" Playbill, May 7, 2018
- Bard College, Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. "Four Quartets at the Fisher Center". fishercenter.bard.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
- Steketee, Martha Wade (4 April 2013). "Kathleen Chalfant: Practicing 'Political Performance'". Urban Excavations. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Kathleen Chalfant to Join Playwrights Panel on January 31". Aspen Institute. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Guantanamo Lawyers Panel with CCR's Gitanjali Gutierrez and actress Kathleen Chalfant". Center for Constitutional Rights. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Norton, Ben (24 November 2015). "'Amplify your voice for justice': Roger Waters and prominent artists call for boycott of Israel in new video". Salon.com. Retrieved 24 April 2016.