Katherine Kiernan Maria "Kate" Mulgrew is an American actress, most noted for her roles on Star Trek: Voyager as Captain Kathryn Janeway and Ryan's Hope as Mary Ryan.
Mulgrew was born in 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa, into an Irish Catholic family, to Thomas James "T.J." Mulgrew II, a contractor, and Joan Virginia Mulgrew (née Kiernan), an artist and painter. She attended Wahlert High School in Dubuque.
Aged 17, she was accepted at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting in conjunction with New York University in New York City. Mulgrew left NYU after one year. During this time, to earn money while in New York, Mulgrew was employed as a waitress at Friar Tuck, a now defunct restaurant previously at 914 Third Avenue.
Her early career included portraying Mary Ryan for two years on the CBS soap Ryan's Hope (1975). She became a fan favorite and is still associated with the show long after its cancellation. Mulgrew remains friends with former co-star Ilene Kristen and presented a special Soap Opera Digest Award to Ryan's Hope creator Claire Labine in 1995. While in Ryan's Hope she also played the role of "Emily" in the American Shakespeare Theatre production of Our Town in Stratford, Connecticut. In 1979, she played Kate Columbo in Mrs. Columbo, a spin-off of the popular detective series, created specifically for her, which lasted 13 episodes.
In 1985 she appeared in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins in the role of Major Fleming.
In 1986, she appeared on Cheers as Janet Eldridge. In 1992, Kate appeared on Murphy Brown as Hillary Wheaton, a Toronto-based anchorwoman brought in to replace Murphy Brown during her pregnancy, but who turned out to have the same problem with alcoholism as Brown had previously dealt with at the beginning of the series.
In 1993, Mulgrew separated from her husband, Robert H. Egan, to whom she had been married for 12 years. In 1995, the divorce became final, and she was on the verge of selling her house and moving into a less-expensive apartment in Westwood when she received a call to take the part of Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. Mulgrew made history in the Star Trek franchise when she became the first female captain as a series regular in a leading role. Voyager was the first show broadcast on the new UPN channel, the only series renewed after the channel's first programming season, and its only show to run for seven seasons, making it the UPN's longest running. Mulgrew won the Saturn Award for "Best TV Actress" in 1998 for her performances as Janeway. Mulgrew also voiced the character of Janeway in the PS2 and PC game Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force and Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force 2. In recent years, Mulgrew kept active in doing voice-over work for video games, most notably voicing the mysterious Flemeth in the Dragon Age video game series, a role she described as "delicious".
During Voyager she also played the role of Titania in the animated series, Gargoyles (along with other Star Trek alumni, Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes) and Victoria Riddler in Riddler's Moon, a made for TV movie. Mulgrew provided the voice of Janeway for Star Trek: Captain's Chair, a virtual-reality tour of various Starfleet vessels, for home computers.
Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)Edit
Mulgrew auditioned for the role of the captain, named Kathryn Janeway, when producers announced casting for Star Trek: Voyager. She initially submitted a videotaped audition, which she made in New York City in August 1994. However she was unhappy with this audition and auditioned in person a few weeks later. That day, film actress Geneviève Bujold was selected to play Janeway, but left the role after only two days of filming, due to the demanding production schedule required for a television show.
About her years on Voyager, Mulgrew said:
"I'm proud of it. It was difficult; it was hard work. I'm proud of the work because I think I made some little difference in women in science. I grew to really love Star Trek: Voyager, and out of a cast of nine, I've made three great friends, I managed to raise two children. I think, "It's good. I used myself well."
Speaking about the best and worst part about playing a Star Trek captain, she said:
"The best thing was simply the privilege and the challenge of being able to take a shot at the first female captain, transcending stereotypes that I was very familiar with. I was able to do that in front of millions of viewers. That was a remarkable experience—and it continues to resonate. The downside of that is also that it continues to resonate, and threatens to eclipse all else in one's long career if one does not up the ante and stay at it, in a way that may not ordinarily be necessary. I have to work at changing and constantly reinventing myself in a way that probably would not have happened had Star Trek not come along. I knew that going in, and I think that all of the perks attached to this journey have been really inexpressively great. So the negatives are small."
After Voyager came to the end of the full seven seasons, Mulgrew returned to theater and starred in a one-woman play called Tea at Five, a monologue reminiscence based on Katharine Hepburn's memoir Me: Stories of My Life. Tea at Five was a critical success and Mulgrew received two awards, one from Carbonell (best actress) and the other from Broadway.com (Audience Award for Favorite Solo Performance). In 2006, Mulgrew performed in The Exonerated at the Riverside Studios located in London, England. In the spring of 2007, she appeared in the NBC television series The Black Donnellys as Helen Donnelly which lasted for one season. She also performed the lead role in an off-Broadway production called Our Leading Lady written by Charles Busch in which she earned a nomination from the Drama League for her performance.
In 2007, Mulgrew played Clytemnestra in New York for Charles L. Mee's Iphigenia 2.0. She won the Obie Award for outstanding performance. In June 2008, Mulgrew appeared in Equus on Broadway, playing Hesther Saloman, a public official who is empathetic toward the play's central character. The play opened on September 5, 2008 for a strictly limited 22-week engagement through February 8, 2009.
Also in 2008, Mulgrew filmed the 30-minute courtroom drama The Response which is based on actual transcripts of the Guantanamo Bay tribunals. It was researched and fully vetted in conjunction with the University of Maryland School of Law and was shot in three days. Mulgrew portrays Colonel Sims and she, the other cast members and crew agreed to defer their salaries to cover the production costs. The film has been screened at a number of sites and is available on DVD.
In 2009, Mulgrew returned to television in the NBC medical series, Mercy playing the recurring role of Jeannie Flanagan (the mother of the show's lead, Veronica). Due for release in 2010 is the film The Best and the Brightest, a comedy based in the world of New York City's elite private kindergartens. Mulgrew will play The Player's wife. Also in development is the film The Incredible Story of Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon.
In 2010, Kate Mulgrew starred as Cleopatra in William Shakepeare's Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage. As of July 2011, she has appeared in the Adult Swim series NTSF:SD:SUV::. Also in 2011, Mulgrew appeared in the feature length documentary The Captains. The film, written and directed by William Shatner, follows Shatner as he interviews each of the other actors who played a Starfleet captain within the Star Trek franchise. During that same year, she guest starred on the third season of the series Warehouse 13. Her character, Jane Lattimer, is part of a story arc which has continued into the fourth season.
Mulgrew has appeared as a main cast member on Adult Swim's NTSF:SD:SUV:: since 2011 as Kove, the leader of the titular terrorism-fighting unit and ex-wife of series lead Paul Scheer's character.
In 2013 Mulgrew starred as Galina "Red" Reznikov in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black]].
In 2014 Mulgrew narrated documentary film The Principle which aims to promote the discredited idea of the geocentric model. Mulgrew said that she was misinformed as to the purpose of the documentary, going on to say "I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism... I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary."
Mulgrew married Robert H. Egan in 1982. They have two sons. The couple divorced in 1993.
In April 1999, Mulgrew married politician Tim Hagan, a former Ohio gubernatorial candidate and a former commissioner of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Mulgrew is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Alzheimer's Association. Mulgrew's mother, Joan Mulgrew, died on July 27, 2006, after a long battle with the disease.
Mulgrew is an opponent of abortion and capital punishment. She received an award from Feminists for Life, a pro-life feminist group. She is quoted as saying "Execution as punishment is barbaric and unnecessary", "Life is sacred to me on all levels" and "Abortion does not compute with my philosophy."
Mulgrew is Catholic.