Kim Cattrall plays Samantha Jones on Sex and the City. Kim Cattrall (August 21, 1956) is an English-Canadian actress. She is known for her role as Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy/romance series Sex and the City, and for her leading roles in the 1980s films Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China, and Mannequin.
Cattrall was born in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, England. Her mother, (Gladys) Shane, née Baugh, was a secretary, and her father, Dennis, a construction engineer. When she was three months old, her family emigrated to the Canadian city of Courtenay, British Columbia. At 11, she returned to England when her grandmother became ill, and she took a number of acting examinations with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), before returning to Canada at age 16 to finish her final year of secondary school.
Cattrall began her career before graduating from high school in 1972, when she left Canada for the United States. There, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and upon her graduation signed a five-year movie deal with director Otto Preminger, making her film debut in Preminger's Rosebud in 1975. A year later, Universal Studios bought out that contract and Cattrall became one of the last participants of the Universal Contract Player System. During her time with Universal, she guest-starred in numerous television programmes of varying style and genre. In 1978, she co-starred with Peter Falk and Nicol Williamson in the Columbos episode How to Dial a Murder. In 1979, she played Dr. Gabrielle White in The Incredible Hulk and would go down in television Hulk lore as one of the few characters who knew David Banner was alive and was the Hulk. In a successful transition to cinema, Cattrall starred opposite Jack Lemmon in his Oscar-nominated movie Tribute in 1980. The following year, she starred in the critically acclaimed Ticket to Heaven. She also had a guest role in the TV miniseries Scruples.
In 1982, Cattrall played Miss Honeywell (Lassie) in Porky's, followed two years later by a role in the original Police Academy. In 1985, she starred in three movies: Turk 182, City Limits and Hold-Up, the latter with French star Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1986, she played Kurt Russell's brainy flame in the action film Big Trouble in Little China. In 1987, her lead role in Mannequin proved a huge success with audiences. One of her best-known film roles is that of Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Aside from her film work, Cattrall is also a stage and theatre actress, with performances in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters and Wild Honey to her credit. In 1997, she was cast in Sex and the City, Darren Star's series which was broadcast on HBO. As Samantha Jones, Cattrall gained international recognition. She capitalized on her success by appearing in steamy television commercials promoting Pepsi One. She also signed a publishing deal to write a book about sex with her third husband, Mark Levinson. In addition, she can be heard reading the poetry of Rupert Brooke on the CD Red Rose Music SACD Sampler Volume One.
Her film work continued during Sex and the City when she appeared in Britney Spears' first film venture, Crossroads. Sex and the City ended as a weekly series in spring 2004 with 10.6 million viewers. Cattrall reprised the role of Samantha Jones in the Sex and the City film, released on May 30, 2008. She will also appear in a sequel planned for release in 2010.
In 2005, she appeared in the Disney picture Ice Princess, in which she played the ice skating coach of the film's lead character. She portrayed Claire, a paralyzed woman who wants to die, in the West End drama revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?. In October 2006, she appeared in a West End production of David Mamet's The Cryptogram at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Since late 2005, she has appeared in a number of British television commercials for Tetley Tea. In July 2006, a commercial for Nissan cars, which featured Cattrall as Samantha Jones, was withdrawn from New Zealand television, apparently because of complaints about its innuendo. In 2006, she starred alongside Brendan Gleeson in John Boorman's 2006 film The Tiger's Tail, a black comedy that focuses on the impact of the Celtic Tiger economy on Irish people. On ITV, she starred alongside David Haig, Daniel Radcliffe, and Carey Mulligan in My Boy Jack, the story of author Rudyard Kipling's search for his son lost in World War I.
On June 16, 2009, it was announced that Cattrall would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. The induction ceremony was held on September 12, 2009.
Cattrall has been married three times. Her 1977 to 1979 marriage to Larry Davis was annulled. Her second marriage was from 1982 to 1989 to Andre J. Lyson; with him, she lived in Frankfurt and learned to speak German fluently, but admits she has forgotten a lot over the years.
From 1998 to 2004, she was married to audio designer and jazz bassist Mark Levinson. The two co-wrote the 2002 book Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm.
Cattrall has also been linked with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, actor Daniel Benzali, musician Gerald Casale of the New Wave group Devo, French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, and her Whose Life is it Anyway? co-star Alexander Siddig. She currently resides in New York City and in East Hampton, New York.
Already a British and Canadian citizen, Kim Cattrall became a U.S. citizen in 2008.
In August 2009, Cattrall took part in the BBC TV show Who Do You Think You Are? where she discovered some uncomfortable facts about her grandfather George Baugh. Baugh, who disappeared in 1938 having abandoned his family including Cattrall's then 8-year-old mother and two younger sisters, turned out to have bigamously married his new wife Isabella Oliver the following year in Tudhoe, County Durham, and he subsequently had another four children. In 1961, he emigrated to Australia, where he became a postmaster, retiring in 1972 and died in 1974. Cattrall's mother and aunts had known nothing of their father's life after he left until they heard what the Who Do You Think You Are researchers had discovered, nor had the family previously seen a clear photograph of him.