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Tenafly, New Jersey, USA
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At First Sight
Actor/Actress, Producer, Soundtrack
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Profile Bio Text
Sorvino was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, the daughter of Lorraine Davis, a drama therapist for Alzheimer`s patients and former actress, and Paul Sorvino, an Italian American character actor and director. She has two siblings, Michael, and Amanda, a playwright.
Her father did not want his children to become actors; at a young age, however, Sorvino wrote and acted in backyard plays with her childhood friend Hope Davis, in theater productions at Dwight-Englewood High School and Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude in East Asian Studies. Her thesis was on anti-African sentiment in China. While at Harvard, she helped found the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones, one of Harvard`s premier co-ed a cappella groups. Her solo piece was Yaz`s "Only You".
Sorvino spent the next three years in New York City, trying to make a name for herself as an actress. When the 1993 film Amongst Friends entered pre-production, she was hired as third assistant director, then was promoted to casting director, then to assistant producer, and was finally offered a lead role. Positive reviews opened doors for her.
After small but showy roles in Robert Redford`s Quiz Show and Whit Stillman`s Barcelona, her portrayal of a squeaky-voiced, foul-mouthed prostitute in Woody Allen`s 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Other credits include Romy and Michele`s High School Reunion (opposite Lisa Kudrow) and At First Sight with Val Kilmer. She portrayed Marilyn Monroe for the 1995 HBO film Norma Jean and Marilyn.
In recent years, Sorvino has starred in lower budget and independent films. In 2005, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Lifetime film Human Trafficking.
In February 2008 she guest starred in an episode of the medical television drama House. There was talk of making her character, psychiatrist Cate Milton, a recurring character; however, the writers strike put a temporary freeze on such discussions.
Sorvino is 5`10" tall. She met actor Christopher Backus—fourteen years her junior—at a friend`s charades party in August 2003: "He walked into the kitchen looking for silverware. We saw each other and something made us want to talk to each other more," she told People.They were engaged within a month. On June 11, 2004, they married in a private civil ceremony at a Santa Barbara, California courthouse, then later had a hilltop ceremony in Capri, Italy. Their daughter, Mattea Angel, was born on November 3, 2004 and their son, Johnny Christopher King, was born on May 29, 2006.
She is affiliated with Amnesty International, and has been among the many Hollywood celebrities calling for United Nations action in Darfur. She spent a year of study in Beijing while attending Harvard. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and also speaks French.
In October of 2006, she was successfully evicted from her rent-stabilized one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near Central Park when her landlord claimed that it was not her primary residence. She told New York magazine, “My landlords are selling the building, and they want the units cleared so they can turn it into a luxury rental, even though it’s a one-bedroom. I mean, it’s 600 square feet! No great digs, but I loved it and now it’s probably going to go for $4,000 a month ... I’m a little bitter! Can you tell?”
In honor of Sorvino`s role as Dr. Susan Tyler, an entomologist who was investigating deadly insect mutations in the feature film, Mimic, mirasorvone was the name given to a compound excreted by the sunburst diving beetle as a defensive mechanism.
Dwight Englewood High School, Englewood, New Jersey, USA (1986)
BA East Asian Studies, Harvard University (1990)
Full Name at Birth
Mira Katherine Sorvino
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Count - Awards
Mira Katherine Sorvino (born September 28, 1967) is an American actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite (1995) and is also known for her role as Romy White in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Mattea Angel Backus (daughter), Johnny Christopher King Backus (son), Holden Paul Terry Backus (son), Lucia Backus (daughter), Bill Sorvino (uncle)
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