BWW Profile: Kate Mulgrew Emmy-Nominated Star of Stage and Screen
In anticipation of the live 66th Annual Emmy Award broadcast on NBC on Monday, August 25th, BWW will be spotlighting the Emmy nominated TV performances of some of Broadway's biggest stars. If you want to follow along and interact with all of BroadwayWorld's Emmy coverage, check out #BWWEmmys on Twitter.
Kate Mulgrew is a celebrated actress of stage, screen and television; from Broadway shows including EQUUS, MARY STUART, and TEA AT FIVE; to films like A STRANGER IS WATCHING, THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, and STAR TREK NEMISIS, to her most famous roles in RYAN'S HOPE, MRS. COLUMBO, and STAR TREK VOYAGER.
One of Kate's first roles was the much beloved character of Mary Ryan, (Later Mary Ryan Fenelli) on the ABC soap opera, RYAN'S HOPE. Having originated the role, her portrayal became synonymous with the Mary Ryan character, and after leaving the series in 1978, the producers wanted to kill off the character. After ABC refused to let them, three other actresses took over the part, but ABC finally relented when they realized that no one other than Mulgrew herself would be accepted in the role, and agreed to let the character be killed.
Kate's success in television continued, and she created two more iconic characters that were beloved by fans. Although it only ran one season, Kate's work as the title character in MRS. COLOMBO, was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama that year. She then went on to create her most famous television character, Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female Captain in the newest STAR TREK franchise, STAR TREK VOYAGER. The role won her Best Actress in a Television Series Drama at both the Satellite and Saturn Awards. Kate continues, even now, to be a hard sought after participant in the many STAR TREK and Sci Fi Conventions around the country.
The Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series is for Kate's portrayal of her fourth possibly iconic character, Galina "Red" Reznikov, in Netflix's ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. As Red, she is the Master Chef of the prison kitchen, and is the behind-the-scenes leader of the female prison's white population. After getting involved in the Russian mafia, Red swiftly climbed the ranks of the organization. Red is feared and respected by most of the prisoners, but her fate has turned recently, and she now does not quite have the power she once did.
At the same time Kate started her professional acting career, her love of theater blossomed with her first role as Emily in OUR TOWN at the American Shakespeare Theatre, in Stratford, Connecticut. Her interests took her across the country with work in productions at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the La Jolla Playhouse, and many more.
Kate's work in the theater won her a Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for her part in OUR LEADING LADY, and an Obie Award for Outstanding Performance in "Iphigenia 2.0." Her most recognized work was for her captivating performance as Katherine Hepburn, in the one woman show, TEA AT FIVE. She was nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance by the Outer Critics Circle; Outstanding Lead Actress by the Lucille Lortel Awards; and won Best Actress (Touring, Independent Production) at the Carbonell Awards.
Kate has consistently worked throughout her career in films, but has never had the same recognition and achievement that she has won from her television and stage audiences. Although she had roles in some memorable movies such as THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN and cult classics REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS and CAMP NOWHERE, her biggest screen role was bringing her Captain Janeway character in STAR TREK: NEMESIS with co-star Patrick Stewart.
I have put together some of my favorite videos that capture Kate's perfomances throughout her career. Starting with one of her most memorable scenes as Mary Ryan in the ABC soap opera RYAN'S HOPE. Next is a video montage of clips from her Golden Globe nominated performance from her work as MRS. COLOMBO. Next is a video montage of her work as Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female Captain in the STAR TREK franchise. After that is an interview Kate did with The Cinema Source, all about her portrayel of Red, in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Finally, we have an interview (with clips) that Kate did with BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge about her stage performance as Katherine Hepburn in her one woman show written especially for her, TEA AT FIVE. Enjoy!!
Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote for Netflix