Marcia Cross

Marcia Anne Cross (born March 25, 1962) is an American actress. She began her career on daytime soap operas such as The Edge of Night, Another World, and One Life to Live before moving to primetime television with a recurring role on Knots Landing. From 1992 to 1997, she starred as Dr. Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place. Cross played the role of the conservative housewife Bree Van de Kamp on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives (2004–12), for which she was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She also recurred as President Claire Haas on the ABC series Quantico.[1]

Marcia Cross
Cross in 2014
Marcia Anne Cross

(1962-03-25) March 25, 1962
Years active1984–present
Tom Mahoney (m. 2006)

Early life

Cross was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts and is of English and Irish descent. She is one of three daughters of Janet, a teacher, and Mark Cross, a personnel manager.[2] Cross was raised Catholic,[3] and attended Marlborough High School, from which she graduated in 1980. Upon graduating from high school, Cross received a half-scholarship to Juilliard,[4] and graduated in 1984 with a B.F.A. in Acting.[5] Cross returned to school in 1997 to earn a master's degree in psychology, which she received from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2003.[2]


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.[6] 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 was cast as Dr. Kimberly Shaw in the Fox primetime soap opera Melrose Place. She left in the fifth season. She also appeared on the episodes of sitcoms, such as Seinfeld, Boy Meets World, Ally McBeal, Spin City and The King of Queens. Her dramatic roles include appearances on CSI, Strong Medicine, Profiler and Touched by an Angel.[7] 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.[7]

In 2004, Cross starred as role of Bree Van de Kamp in 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. In 2014, after two years on hiatus, Cross co-starred as the lead character's mother in the unsuccessful Fox comedy pilot Fatrick.[8] In 2015, Cross guest starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and later joined the cast of ABC thriller series Quantico playing the recurring role of President Claire Haas, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee.[1]

Personal life

Cross was the long-time companion of actor Richard Jordan, who was 25 years her senior; Jordan died from a brain tumor in 1993. In 2006, she married stockbroker Tom Mahoney.[9] Cross underwent in vitro fertilization soon after their wedding,[10] and gave birth to fraternal twin daughters Eden and Savannah in February 2007, shortly before her 45th birthday.[11][12]

In June 2019, Cross revealed that she had been battling anal cancer, and was now in remission.[13]



  1. "Marcia Cross Tapped For 'Quantico' Role". Deadline. November 6, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  2. Reed, J.D. (December 15, 2003). "Health Change: Melrose Place Alum Marcia Cross Trades Bad Medicine for Good on Everwood". People. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  3. Keck, William (April 14, 2005). "A soapy coming-out party". USA Today. Retrieved May 11, 2010. Cross, who was raised Catholic...
  4. Goudas, John N. (April 17, 1987). "Marcia Cross' Parents Thought She'd Outgrow Acting Bug". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  5. Slewinski, Christy (April 11, 1996). "Just Another Manic Sunday, With The Madwoman Of 'MP'". Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  6. ""Desperate housewives" – så gick det". Expressen (in Northern Sami). September 23, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  7. Marcia Cross- Biography, Yahoo! Movies
  8. "Marcia Cross Makes TV Return With Starring Role In Fox Comedy Pilot 'Fatrick'". Deadline. December 19, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  9. Wihlborg, Ulrica."Marcia Cross Gets Married." People. June 24, 2006
  10. Tauber, Michelle (April 11, 2007). "Marcia Cross Talks About Motherhood". People. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  11. Gee, Alison. "Marcia Cross Welcomes Twin Girls" People. February 21, 2007.
  12. "Us Exclusive: Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross Gets Married". August 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  13. Lisa Respers France (June 6, 2019). "Marcia Cross says her anal cancer is linked to HPV and husband's throat cancer". Retrieved June 6, 2019.
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