Christine Lahti Biography

Christine Lahti photo

Born: April 04, 1950

Christine Lahti

Date of Birth: April 4, 1950

Best known for her role as Dr. Kathryn Austin on the long-running medical drama Chicago Hope, Christine Lahti was born in Birmingham, Michigan. She earned a a bachelor's degree in drama from the University of Michigan before moving to New York City to pursue a career in acting.

First supporting herself by working as a waitress and mime in Central Park, Christine finally hit the small screen in 1978 with roles in the TV movies Dr. Scorpion and The Last Tenant. That same year, she also landed a starring role as Maggie Kavanaugh, the daughter of the lead character on the NBC-TV sitcom The Harvey Korman Show.

She made her feature film debut in the 1979 movie And Justice for All alongside Al Pacino. The Norman Jewison-directed film was nominated for two Oscars.

After a few more TV roles, she hit the silver screen again in 1981's Whose Life Is It Anyway? with Richard Dreyfuss and John Cassavetes.

She then appeared in 1982's Ladies and Gentleman, the Fabulous Stains and the 1984 wartime romance film Swing Shift. The latter, which co-starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, earned Christine rave reviews. For her part as Hazel, Christine won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, and was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at both the Golden Globes and Oscars.

In 1986, Christine shared the big screen with Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Danson in Just Between Friends and returned to TV in 1987 for the mini-series Amerika, for which she earned both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

The same year, she appeared in Sidney Lumet's crime drama Running on Empty with River Phoenix. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the movie, which went on to score two Oscar nominations.

Christine had a busy year in 1989. She appeared in the comedy Miss Firecracker with Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen and Tim Robbins. She also took a part in Gross Anatomy and the the TV movie No Place Like Home with Jeff Daniels. Christine was nominated at the Emmys and won the Golden Globe for her work in the drama.

In 1990, she acted alongside Gene Wilder and Mary Stuart Masterson in the comedy Funny About Love and in 1991, appeared in The Doctor with William Hurt.

Christine took the starring role in 1992's Leaving Normal and in the same year, acted in the TV movies The Fear Inside and The Good Fight.

In 1994, she appeared in an episode of Frasier and in 1995, acted in the thriller Hideaway with Jeff Goldblum and Alicia Silverstone.

Christine enjoyed a career high in 1995 when she won an Oscar for her short film, Lieberman in Love, which she directed and starred in. She also began work on the hit TV series Chicago Hope in the same year.

For her work on Chicago Hope, Christine was nominated for an Emmy in 1996. The series would lead to three more Emmy nominations for her (and one win) in 1997, 1998, and 1999. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe in 1997 and won the award in 1998. In a moment that has been remembered ever since, Christine was in the bathroom at the 1998 awards ceremony when her name was announced as the victor.

Christine picked up another Golden Globe nomination for her work in the 2000 TV movie An American Daughter.

In 2001, she began a five year-long period of steady TV roles. She appeared in a guest role on the series Ally McBeal (2001) and for her starring role as Grace McAllister on the hour-long drama Jack & Bobby, she earned another Golden Globe nomination. She also appeared in TV movies Open House (2003) and The Book of Ruth (2004), among others.

Christine returned to the silver screen in the 2008 comedy Smart People with Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The following year, she appeared in the film Obsessed with Idris Elba and began a recurring role as Sonya Paxton on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

She reunited with her Swing Shift costar Kurt Russell for Touchback in 2011 and took a recurring role as Doris McGarrett on the series Hawaii Five-0 from 2012 to 2013.

Christine teamed up with Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce and Hailee Steinfeld for the drama Hateship Loveship in 2013 and Evan Peters and Juno Temple in 2015's Safelight.

She went back to TV in 2015 for an episode of the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie (2015), two episodes of The Good Wife (2015) and a starring role as Laurel Hitchin The Blacklist.

Christine appears in the 2016 comedy The Steps with James Brolin and Jason Ritter.

She married Thomas Schlamme in 1983 and the pair have been together since. They have three children: two sons (Wilson and Joseph) and a daughter (Emma).


Operator (2016)
The Steps (2016)
Safelight (2015)
Touched With Fire (2015)
Hateship Loveship (2013)
Petunia (2012)
Touchback (2011)
Obsessed (2009)
Yonkers Joe (2008)
Smart People (2008)
Pie in the Sky (1996)
Hideaway (1995)
Leaving Normal (1992)
The Doctor (1991)
Funny About Love (1990)
Gross Anatomy (1989)
Miss Firecracker (1989)
Running on Empty (1988)
Just Between Friends (1986)
Swing Shift (1984)
Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)
And Justice For All (1979)
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