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Kristin Davis Biography

Home > Actresses > D > Davis, Kristin > Biography

Birth Name: Kristin Davis
Born: 02/23/1965
Birth Place: Boulder, Colorado, USA

Born Kristin Landen Davis on Feb. 24, 1965, she spent her infancy in Colorado, where her parents divorced shortly after her birth. Her mother remarried soon afterwards and she was adopted by her stepfather, a psychology professor who brought his new family to South Carolina, where he served as provost and taught at the University of South Carolina. Her interest in acting was sparked by frequent trips to New York City, where her family took her to see Broadway shows. At age 10, she became involved in community theatre, earning her first stage credit in a production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." After graduating high school in 1983, Davis relocated to New Jersey, where she earned her BFA in Theater from Rutgers University in 1987. Like so many acting hopefuls before her, she moved to Manhattan in hopes of earning her big break, spending several years working at various jobs while logging experience in various theatre productions. Her first movie role arrived in 1987, with a supporting part in the low-budget horror film "Doom Asylum."

Davis' perseverance paid off in the early 1990s, with a small recurring role on the venerable daytime soap "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). She soon graduated to primetime with guest shots on "The Larry Sanders Show" (HBO, 1992-98), "ER" (NBC, 1994- ) and in the TV movie "Alien Nation: Body and Soul" (1995), which required her to don a very un-Charlotte-like spotted bald cap in her portrayal of an extraterrestrial. By 1995, she was tapped by the producers of "Melrose Place" for a recurring role as wealthy Brooke Armstrong Campbell, whose obsessive hold on Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue) put her at odds with her romantic and business rival, Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith). Davis' turn was so impressively evil that she was made a regular cast member for the 1995-96 season, but audiences eventually found Brooke so loathsome that she was slated for an untimely (if well-deserved) demise in the Melrose Place pool after discovering that her stepfather (Perry King) had married Alison.

Davis did not want for work, even long after the end of her "Melrose" stint; she was soon appearing in several TV movies and logging time on various series, most notably in two episodes of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998) as Jenna, a potential girlfriend of Jerry's who becomes persona non grata after her toothbrush falls into a toilet, unbeknownst to her. When she uses the toothbrush, the germaphobic Jerry spends the whole episode trying to figure out how to dump her. "Seinfeld" creator Larry David was suitably impressed with her skills to later tap her for a role in his little-seen and roundly disliked feature comedy, "Sour Grapes" (1998).

In 1998, Davis was cast as Charlotte in "Melrose Place" creator Darren Star's comedy-drama "Sex and the City," based on the column and book by writer Candace Bushnell. The series - about the lives and loves of a New York writer and her three closest friends - quickly became appointment television for cable audiences (especially female and gay viewers) with its blend of risqué humor and genuinely affecting romance. At first blush, Davis' character seemed to be the least well-drawn of the four leads; a former homecoming queen and teen model, Charlotte was impossibly sunny but exuded a deeply conservative and old-fashioned attitude about sex and relationships that occasionally put her at odds with her more adventurous friends. Eventually, the writers mined some terrific comic moments by involving her in some outlandish romantic scenarios, including a man whom she believes to be gay and a shoe salesman (James Urbaniak) with a foot fetish who buys her expensive footwear.

By the show's third season, Charlotte appeared to find her much-desired "knight in shining armor" in the form of successful doctor Trey McDougal (Kyle MacLachlan), but the fairy tale veneer was peeled away by their struggles - including his impotency issues and their inability to conceive, which were among the show's most emotionally resonant and realistic storylines. Trey divorced Charlotte in the show's fifth season, and his replacement came in the unlikely form of bald, crude lawyer Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler). Initially repulsed by him, she slowly acquiesced to his advances by pursuing a purely sexual relationship with him. Goldenblatt's unwavering love and fidelity soon persuaded Charlotte that he was the man for her, and she embarked on the long and arduous route of converting to Judaism in order to marry him. Due to her inability to conceive, the couple adopted a daughter from China in the show's final season.

For her efforts, Davis shared two Screen Actors Guild Awards with her co-stars, but went away empty-handed at the Emmys and Golden Globes in 2004, which was surprising, given her heartfelt performances in the Trey and Goldenblatt storylines. If the losses affected Davis, she never showed it. Instead, she kept busy between seasons, assisting screen husband Rob Lowe in slowing an out-of-control train carrying a radioactive payload in the 1999 TV movie "Atomic Train," and playing singer John Denver's wife Annie in "Take Me Home: The John Denver Story" in 2000. Other TV features soon followed, but Davis' focus remained with "Sex" until its highly publicized and widely viewed finale in 2004.

After "Sex," Davis remained remarkably active on television and in film. She shot "Soccer Moms" (2005), a comedy pilot for ABC about suburban housewives who also solve crime, and logged time in the innocuous but popular kids' features "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D" (2005), in which she starred as the mother of the boy who creates the title superheroes, as well as a remake of "The Shaggy Dog" (2006) with Tim Allen in the title role. She later appeared with her "Sex" co-star Sarah Jessica Parker's real-life husband, Matthew Broderick, as his long-suffering wife in the limp holiday comedy, "Deck the Halls" (2006). On television, she was seen as the fictional love interest for baseball legend Honus Wagner (Matthew Modine) in TNT's "The Winning Season" (2004), and provided the voice of the caring Miss Spider in the Annie-nominated animated series "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends" (Nickelodeon, 2004-06). She also appeared frequently as a commercial spokesperson for Maybelline cosmetics and Head and Shoulders shampoo.

None of this, however, could top the excitement generated by the announcement that Davis and her "Sex and the City" co-stars would reunite (after numerous delays) for the film version of the hit show in 2008. That same year, Davis' image - or rather, her image as Charlotte - took an unsavory hit after photos alleging to show her in sexually explicit acts were released on the Internet. Davis's swiftly denied her participation. Ironically, Davis, who played the commitment-obsessed Charlotte, was the only one of her three "Sex" co-stars to remain steadfastly single during and after the show's run. In prior years, however, she was linked to such high-profile suitors as Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum and Steve Martin. In a rare move, Davis branched out from her post-"Sex" role selection of softer fare to play Jon Favreau's disillusioned wife in the raunchy Vince Vaughn comedy "Couples Retreat" (2009), which was successful at the box office but not so much with critics. Davis returned to surer ground in the global smash "Sex and the City 2" (2010), where she plumbed the continued growth of Charlotte, arguably the character who had traveled the greatest emotional distance throughout the years.