Also Credited As:Mira Katherine Sorvino
|Mira Katherine Sorvino on September 28, 1967 in Tenafly, New Jersey, USA|
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Sorvino had appeared on TV in the short-lived syndicated teen serial "Swan Crossing" (1992) and on the daytime drama "Guiding Light" (CBS) but rejected a three-year contract on the latter in hopes that better opportunities lay just ahead. She had also starred in a Susan Seidelman-directed short ("The Dutch Master") and portrayed a modern-day Mary in another irreverent short, "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told" (both 1993), prior to her breakout year 1995, which saw her demonstrate her chameleon-like capabilities and versatility in a variety of roles. She won acclaim as a 19th Century Brazilian-born plutocrat who marries an impoverished Englishman in the TV adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The Buccaneers" (shown on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre") and also appeared briefly as a blonde in the improvisational film "Blue in the Face", jointly helmed by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster. Her real coup that year, though, was her star-making, Oscar-winning portrayal as a bleached-blonde, foul-mouthed, squeaky-voiced prostitute who had given up a child for adoption in Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Mighty Aphrodite". Sorvino also acted in the forgettable "New York Cop" and starred in the much better independent features "Tarantella" (as an Italian-American photographer confronting her ethnic identity following her mother's death) and "Sweet Nothing", playing the loyal but co-dependent wife of Michael Imperioli's crack-addicted Wall Street broker.
Sorvino subsequently portrayed Matt Dillon's long-suffering bulimic girlfriend in Ted Demme's ensemble comedy "Beautiful Girls" (1996) and earned an Emmy nomination that year for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in the HBO biopic "Norma Jean and Marilyn" (Ashley Judd shared the title role essaying Norma Jean) before "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" (1997) recalled her Oscar-winning part ("I'm not really a blonde bimbo, I just play one in the movies"). Sorvino next turned her attention to genre fare, first starring as the brilliant entomologist whose mutant creations threaten NYC in Guillermo Del Toro's sci-fi horror thriller "Mimic" (1997), then teaming with Hong Kong action icon Chow Yun-Fat for some kung fu fighting in "The Replacement Killers" (1998), a disappointing Westernization of Chow's Hong Kong oeuvre. She found time to give a strong performance opposite Harvey Keitel in the meandering art film "Lulu on the Bridge", Auster's solo directing debut, and to play Death alluringly for Korean director Wonsuk Chin's quirky, cross-cultural "Too Tired to Die" (both 1998). Mainstream audiences got to see her as Val Kilmer's love interest in Irwin Winkler's schmaltzy "At First Sight" (1999), another movie based on the writings of Dr. Oliver Sachs. She also acted in that year's "Summer of Sam", Spike Lee's disco-era drama about a punk rocker nearly murdered by friends who suspect him of being the serial killer Son of Sam.
In 2002, Sorvino portrayed Dina in the Tim Blake Nelson Holocaust drama "Grey Zone," followed by a costarring role alongside Mariah Carey in the female mafia crime feature "Wisegirls." She then donned period garb as Fanny, the feisty wife of Jeff Daniels' Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, in Ron Maxwell's "Gettysburg" prequel, "Gods and Generals." Sorvino rounded out the year starring in two features, "Semana Santa," a crime thriller in which she played an American detective sent to Spain to investigate a double murder during Easter week, and "Between Strangers," a heartfelt drama about three women (Sorvino, Sophia Loren and Deborah Kara Unger) fighting personal demons and confronting crises with the respective men in their lives. After playing Leo's ex and the only woman who ever slept with Will on an episode of "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998- ), she starred opposite Robin Williams in "Final Cut" (2004), an abysmal futuristic thriller that dared to show her and Williams making out in bed.
Sorvio next starred in the Lifetime miniseries, "Human Trafficking" (2005), a sobering look at the international sex-trade and its impact on the United States. She played a rookie vice squad detective who joins U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to go undercover as a Russian mail-order bride in order to snare a deadly New York crime lord (Robert Carlyle). Sorvino earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television. She wrapped out 2005 filming "Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor" (CBS, 2006), a made-for-TV spy thriller about an elite operative unit sent to investigate the source of a deadly virus threatening to kill millions.