On “Desperate Housewives” she’s neurotic, overachieving Republican super-homemaker Bree Hodge, but this vivacious and intelligent redhead is a classically trained actress, holds a master’s degree in psychology, and recently gave birth to twins just prior to her 45th birthday. We’re sure she’s less obsessive than Bree, but Marcia is definitely not one to take the easy road.
Born in 1962 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the Juilliard-trained Marcia has been working steadily as an actress since the age of 22, starting with a stint on the ultra long-running soap “Edge of Night.” A couple of years later, she co-starred with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson in the TV movie, “The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James.” After that, it was more soaps with parts on “Another World” and “One Life to Live.” Later, she left the punishing schedules of daytime soaps and kept busy on a seemingly endless string of guest shots, including episodes of “Cheers,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” and “Quantum Leap.”
In 1990, she landed a major role in the big-screen thriller, “Bad Influence” with Rob Lowe and James Spader, but one year later, it was back to the small screen with a season on the nighttime soap, “Knots Landing,” working with fellow desperate housewife-to-be Nicollette Sheridan. The next year she was cast – initially for just one episode – as the eventually insane Dr. Kimberly Shaw on Darren Starr’s hugely popular “Beverly Hills 90210” spin-off, “Melrose Place.” Dr. Shaw eventually became one of TV’s most popular psychotics, but the success of the show was marred by the 1993 brain tumor death of Marcia’s long-time significant other, actor Richard Jordan.
In 1997, “Melrose Place” ended and it was back to stage work and single episodes for the hardworking actress, starting with a guest shot on “Seinfeld” as Jerry’s dermatologist girlfriend. (Perhaps not coincidentally, a prior episode of “Seinfeld” dealt with Jerry’s obsession with “Melrose Place.”) Always keeping busy, Marcia roamed TV land in guest-starring roles for the next several years, until finally landing a steady gig as yet another M.D., this time on the drama “Everwood.”
The next year, Marcia was finally able to take a break from the practice of medicine and move to Wisteria Lane. Marcia was now legitimately famous – and, naturally, a subject for gossip. Tabloids and web sites were abuzz with rumors that she was secretly a lesbian. We suspect those rumors were fueled mostly by a few incidents of open-affection for co-star Felicity Huffman and a lot of male fantasizing, which Marcia probably well understands. The daughter of a psychotherapist, she earned an M.A. in psychology of her own in 2005. In any case, Marcia wound up going on “The View” with her parents in the audience, no less, to try and quell the reports. She also interviewed with the gay publication, The Advocate.
Overall, if Marcia is trying to cover something up, she’s overcompensating in a manner to make Bree Hodge proud. She married stockbroker Tom Mahoney in 2006 and became pregnant via in vitro fertilization almost immediately – all the while continuing at “Desperate Housewives.” After she was confined to bed rest by her doctor, Marcia’s own room was painted and furnished to match Marcia’s Wisteria Lane set, and scenes were shot at her home. Two months after giving birth, she was chatting it up with David Letterman and looking absolutely hot and cute as a button at age 45. We’re in awe.
Marcia Cross in "Desperate Housewives"
Marcia Cross on the Web
An online database of Marcia’s career.
Photos, bio, and news, as well as Marcia’s latest TV appearances
Register your opinion about adorable Marcia and anal-retentive Bree Hodge here.
More about Marcia.
Photos and links to Marcia’s movies, plus a detailed bio.
A ton of breathtaking award-show photos and stunning stills here. Did we mention that we have a thing for redheads?
Marcia Cross on the Screen
For TV fans, in particular, the breadth of Marcia’s work is pretty stunning. Not only has she twice been a nighttime soap icon, she has appeared in 49 movies and TV shows, including a few odd daytime soaps, over the space of 23 years and has been involved in who knows how many tawdry TV affairs. Ah, the benefits of a classical education.
On the lesbian rumors:
“Well, it was very odd. And I, I just assumed this is what comes of being 42 and single. I don't know if they just needed to find a reason why I wasn't married.”
On choosing her place of higher learning:
“The sophisticated girlfriend of my next-door neighbor said, 'Well, of course you're applying to Juilliard.' I didn't even know what Juilliard was.”
On looking amazing:
"I think beauty comes from being happy and connected to the people we love."