Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Cagney on Cagney and Lacey
Sharon Gless is a TV star, a regular in nine different prime time series spanning more than three decades. She is best known for playing the tough-yet-feminine cop Christine Cagney on Cagney & Lacey, but also remembered for Marcus Welby MD with Robert Young and James Brolin, and Switch with Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert. In the early 1990s, Gless played a crusading public defender on The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, and on Queer as Folk, she played Debbie, mother of one of the show's gay characters, and "den mother" to all of them.
Cagney & Lacey was cancelled by CBS in 1983, its second season, but the network received angry letters from so many viewers the decision was reversed. The program ran through 1988, winning fourteen Emmys, including two for Gless. Her "Cagney" character dealt with an alcoholic father, dysfunctional relationships, and life as a single woman, all of which made Gless something of an icon among American lesbians, who hoped she was one of them. Gless says she appreciates her lesbian following, but it sometimes comes with a downside. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a lesbian admirer wrote Gless at least a hundred disturbing letters, and finally, in 1990, the woman broke into Gless's home. Armed with a rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition, she intended to kill herself in front of Gless, but the actress was not home. A seven-hour stand-off with police ensued, and the stalker spent six years in prison.
In 1974, as the old studio system was coming to an end, Gless signed a 10-year contract with Universal Studios. By the time that contract expired, she was the last actor "under contract" in Hollywood.
Her grandfather was Neil McCarthy, a high-powered attorney in early Hollywood, whose clients included Louis B. Mayer, Cecil B. DeMille, and Howard Hughes.
Husband: Barney Rosenzweig (producer of Cagney and Lacey, m. 4-May-1991)
University: Gonzaga University
Hillary Clinton for President
Hollywood Walk of Fame 7065 Hollywood Blvd (television)
Risk Factors: Alcoholism, Former Smoker
Nip/Tuck Colleen Rose (2008-)
Burn Notice Madeline Westen (2007-)
Queer as Folk Debbie Novotny (Michael's mother, 2000-05)
The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Rosie O'Neill (1990-92)
Cagney & Lacey Det. Sgt. Christine Cagney (1982-88)
Switch Maggie Philbin (1975-78)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Once Fallen (Apr-2010) · Sue
Hannah Free (10-Jul-2009)
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997) · Narrator [VOICE]
Cagney & Lacey: The View Through the Glass Ceiling (25-Oct-1995) · Christine Cagney
Honor Thy Mother (26-Apr-1992)
The Star Chamber (5-Aug-1983) · Emily Hardin
Revenge of the Stepford Wives (12-Oct-1980)
The Scarlett O'Hara War (19-May-1980)
The Last Convertible (24-Sep-1979)
The Crash of Flight 401 (29-Oct-1978)
Airport 1975 (18-Oct-1974) · Sharon
Bonnie's Kids (8-Feb-1973)
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