Oscar Actors: Sorvino, Mira–Background, Career, Awards

Mira Katherine Sorvino (born September 28, 1967) won the Golden Globe and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995).

Emmy Nomination

She also starred in the films Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), Mimic (1997), Lulu on the Bridge (1998), The Replacement Killers (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), and Like Dandelion Dust (2009).

She received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her role in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996), and a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Human Trafficking (2005).

Sorvino was born in Manhattan to Lorraine Ruth Davis, a drama therapist for Alzheimer’s disease patients and a former actress, and Paul Sorvino, a character actor and film director. She has two siblings, Michael and Amanda. Sorvino is of Italian descent on her father’s side.

Sorvino was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she wrote and acted in backyard plays with her childhood friend Hope Davis and in theater productions at Dwight-Englewood School. Sorvino has said that as a child she was strongly influenced by her mother to pursue social causes; her mother had participated at the March on Washington.

Harvard Grad

Sorvino excelled in high school, and was accepted into Harvard University. She studied for one year as an exchange student with CIEE in Beijing, China, where she became fluent in Mandarin Chinese. In 1989, she graduated from Harvard magna cum laude with a degree in East Asian studies. She also helped found the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones, one of Harvard’s co-ed a cappella groups in 1985.

Sorvino’s first major screen appearance was in the teen TV series Swans Crossing, on which she appeared in six episodes. In the 1993 film Amongst Friends, she was hired as third assistant director, then was promoted to casting director, then to assistant producer, and was finally offered a lead role.

After small roles in Robert Redford’s Quiz Show and Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, she was cast in the 1995 Woody Allen film Mighty Aphrodite. Her portrayal of a happy-go-lucky prostitute made her a star, winning her an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Other credits include Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion with Lisa Kudrow, At First Sight with Val Kilmer, and Summer of Sam from Spike Lee. She portrayed Marilyn Monroe for the 1996 HBO film Norma Jean & Marilyn, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and the lead role in the 1997 horror movie Mimic from Guillermo del Toro. In 1995, she portrayed Conchita Closson in the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers based on Edith Wharton’s last novel. She starred as Daisy Buchanan in the 2000 television film The Great Gatsby.

In 2002, Sorvino appeared as the lead in The Triumph of Love, an adaptation of the 1732 Marivaux play. In 2006, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Lifetime film Human Trafficking. The following year, she had a supporting role in the drama Reservation Road (2007), with Mark Ruffalo.

In  2008, she guest-starred in the “Frozen” episode of the medical television drama House, as psychiatrist Cate Milton.

She starred in Attack on Leningrad (2009), Multiple Sarcasms (2010) with Timothy Hutton and Stockard Channing, and Nancy Savoca’s Union Square (2012), with Patti Lupone and Tammy Blanchard.

In 2014, she reappeared as Head Detective Betsy Brannigan on the final season of Psych, and on the fourth season of Falling Skies as John Pope’s love interest, Sara.

Sorvino also joined the cast of the TV series Intruders, playing the role of Amy Whelan. In 2016, she appeared in the Netflix series Lady Dynamite as an actor working on a sitcom pilot named White Trash.

In 2018, Sorvino played the role of Amy in the psychological thriller, Look Away, alongside Jason Isaacs and India Eisley. She is voicing alongside Tom Hardy, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rachel Weisz, Steven Seagal, Holly Hunter, Sullivan Stapleton and Juliette Lewis in the animated film Live the Hipsters.