Worked With:

Conan O'Brien

Taylor Schilling

Brandon Johnson

Joanne Kelly

Neil Patrick Harris

Michelle Trachtenberg

William Shatner

Piper Perabo

Mariska Hargitay

Patrick Stewart

Kate Mulgrew Biography

Home > Actresses > M > Mulgrew, Kate > Biography

Birth Name: Kate Mulgrew
Born: 04/29/1955
Birth Place: Dubuque, Iowa, USA

As Kate Columbo, Mulgrew was the mother of a seven year-old daughter who divided her time between homemaking, reporting for a suburban weekly paper and solving murders, while waiting for her husband to come home. "Mrs. Columbo" (NBC, 1979) was fairly well-received critically but failed to catch on with audiences despite several changes in title ("Kate Columbo", "Kate the Detective", "Kate Loves A Mystery" in syndication) and concept. (A divorcee in later episodes, she went under her maiden name Callahan.) Mulgrew was more widely seen as Sam Malone's (Ted Danson) love interest, a political aspirant who becomes a Boston councilwoman, in a memorable three-part storyline on "Cheers" in 1986. She returned to series TV starring in the feminist medical drama "HeartBeat" (ABC, 1988-89) as a dedicated gynecologist. In a supporting role, Mulgrew again wielded authority playing the unscrupulous mayor in James Garner's sitcom vehicle "Man of the People" (NBC, 1991). She remained a familiar TV face with numerous assignments in TV-movies, miniseries and guest shots, notably playing an alcoholic anchor in a memorable episode of "Murphy Brown".

Mulgrew has not prospered in features since her inauspicious debut, playing an imperiled newscaster, in the low-budget thriller "A Stranger Is Watching" (1981). She fared only marginally better as an Army major who functions as the romantic interest of Fred Ward in "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" (1985). Mulgrew's most memorable film role may be in Danny DeVito's "Throw Momma From the Train" (1987) as the shrewish wife of Billy Crystal. She starred in the 1992 comedy "Round Numbers", playing a woman who joins a health spa so as to keep her straying husband. However, the film went straight to video. Fortunately, Mulgrew had much better experiences in the theater. Her substantial stage work includes stints with the American Shakespeare Festival, the O'Neill Festival and at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A.

Mulgrew instantly earned a place in pop culture history when she signed on to command a Federation starship that is unexpectedly propelled to an uncharted realm of space. As Captain Kathryn Janeway on "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1995-2001), Mulgrew became the first woman to head a series in the astronomically lucrative "Trek" franchise. Though some of the early scripts were shaky, she demonstrated that she had the right stuff--a charismatic combination of toughness, tenderness and brains. Initially skeptical fans quickly embraced her. She reprised the role of Janeway in the feature "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), but that film's poor reviews and weak box office ended the film franchise until its 2009 reboot.

Mulgrew continued her science-fiction work in the cult series "Warehouse 13" (SyFy 2009- ); her work on Paul Scheer's surreal action parody "NTSF:SD:SUV::" (Adult Swim 2011- ) appealed to a similar demographic. She reached a new audience as prison chef Galina "Red" Reznikov on the critically-acclaimed "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix 2013- ).