Marcia Anne Cross (born March 25, 1962) is an American television actress known for her roles as Dr. Kimberly Shaw on Fox soap opera Melrose Place (1992–1997), and Bree Van de Kamp on the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives (2004–2012).


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Cross was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She is one of three daughters of Janet, a teacher, and Mark Cross, a personnel manager.[1] Cross was raised Catholic,[2] and attended Marlborough High School, from where she graduated in 1980. Upon graduating high school, Cross received a half-scholarship to Juilliard,[3] and graduated in 1984 with a B.F.A. in Acting.[4]Cross returned to school in 1997 to earn a master's degree in psychology, which she received from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2003.[1]


Cross began her television career in 1984 on the soap opera The Edge of Night, playing the recurring role of Liz Correll. Afterwards, she relocated from New York to Los Angeles, and soon landed roles in television movies such as The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James, co-starring with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. In 1986, she joined the cast of the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live, where she played the role of Kate Sanders, until 1987. She followed this with guest-starring roles on primetime shows such as Who's the Boss?, Quantum Leap,Knots Landing and Cheers.

In 1992, Cross won the role Dr. Kimberly Shaw on the FOX's primetime soap opera Melrose Place. Initially cast for one episode, she so impressed the producers that they kept bringing her back. By the second season, her character was emerging as the mentally unbalanced antagonist of the show. She left in the fifth season. She also appeared on the episodes of sitcoms, such as SeinfeldBoy Meets World, Ally McBealSpin City and King of Queens. Her dramatic roles include appearances on CSIStrong MedicineProfiler and Touched by an Angel.[5] Her film credits include independent movies Bad Influence (1990), Always Say Goodbye (1996), Just Peck (2009) and Bringing Up Bobby (2011). In 2003, Cross spent a season co-starring as Linda Abbott on WB's series Everwood.[5]

In 2004, Cross won the role Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives. The show was the breakout hit of the 2004–05 television season, and Cross was nominated for several awards for her role, including an Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and five Screen Actors Guild Awards (winning two with cast). She also received a Satellite Award for her performance in the show's second season. The series ran for eight seasons until it concluded in 2012 and Cross took a break from acting to focus on motherhood.[6]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Cross was the long-time companion of actor Richard Jordan, who was 25 years her senior. Jordan died from a brain tumor in 1993. She later married stockbroker Tom Mahoney in 2006.[7] Cross underwent in vitro fertilization soon after their wedding, which was successful.[8] In February 2007, Cross gave birth to fraternal twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, shortly before her 45th birthday.[9][10] In 2009, it was announced that Mahoney had been diagnosed with cancer,[11] but he is now in remission.[12][13]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Edge of Night Liz Correll Soap opera
1985 Brass Victoria Willis Television film
1986 Pros & Cons Lynn Erskine Television film
1986 Tales from the Darkside Marie Alcott 1 episode
1986 The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James Sarah Hite Television film
1986 Another World Tanya Soap opera
1986–1987 One Life to Live Kate Sanders Soap opera
1988 Almost Grown Lesley Foley 1 episode
1989 Cheers Susan Howe 1 episode
1989 Just Temporary Amy Television pilot
1990 Storm and Sorrow Marty Hoy Television film
1990 Quantum Leap Stephanie Heywood 1 episode
1991–1992 Knots Landing Victoria Broyelard 7 episodes
1992 Murder She Wrote Marci Bowman 1 episode
1992–1997 Melrose Place Kimberly Shaw 114 episodes
1996 All She Ever Wanted Rachel Stockman Television film
1997 Seinfeld Dr. Sara Sitarides 1 episode
1997 Ned and Stacey Diana Huntley 4 episodes
1998 Target Earth Karen Mackaphe Television film
1999 Touched by an Angel Lauren episode 124
1999 Boy Meets World Rhiannon Lawrence 4 episodes
1999 The Outer Limits Kate Woods 1 episode
2000 Dancing in September Lydia Gleason Television film, Supporting role
2000 Profiler Pamela Martin 1 episode
2000 Spin City Joan Season 5 episode 1
2001 Living in Fear Rebecca Hausman Television film
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Julia Fairmont 1 episode
2002 Eastwick Jane Spofford TV pilot
2002 King of Queens Debi 2 episodes in season 5
2003–2004 Everwood Dr. Linda Abbott 18 episodes
2004–2012 Desperate Housewives Bree Van de Kamp Main cast, 180 episodes (appeared in 173)

Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (2006) Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006) Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series (2005) Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2005–2007) Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007–2009) Nominated – Television Critics Association Award (Individual Achievement in Comedy) (2005) Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (2005) Nominated – Prism Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Series (2005, 2007, 2009)

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Bad Influence Ruth Fielding Supporting role
1996 Ripple Ali Short film
1996 Always Say Goodbye Anne Kidwell Lead role
1996 Female Perversions Beth Stephens Small role
2009 Just Peck Cheryl Peck Supporting role
2011 Bringing Up Bobby Mary Supporting role
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