Born Kyra Minturn Sedgwick on 19 August 1965, Kyra Sedgwick is an American actress, producer and director. She is famous for her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama “The Closer” for which she won a Golden Globe award in 2007 and an Emmys in 2010.
Kyra is also known for her role as Madeline Wuntch on the sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. She is a highly decorated actor with four decades of acting under her belt. She is married to fellow actor Kevin Bacon, with whom she has been for 33 years.
Almost every entertainer (singer, artiste, actor) has that one project or product for which they are most known. That project or work always associated with their name. The very one that took them from being merely a known personality to full-blown star status. Their magnum opus.
The interesting thing about this is, these famous projects or works are not always necessarily their best. That’s the thing about life. One never really knows how or when it chooses to smile on us. The good thing, however, is that once an entertainer becomes famous courtesy of that famed project, light is shone on their entire career, and people get exposed to more of their work.
More often than not, the name and fame of that ‘breakthrough’ project overshadow anything else an artist has done, however bright a light is shone on them. Kyra Sedgwick has a career of over forty years in the movie industry, and despite her undeniable talent and long list of accolades, her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama “The Closer”, is what she is mostly known for.
This article looks to shine more light on her illustrious acting career, achievements and her personal life. First, here are ten facts about Kyra Sedgwick.
10 interesting facts about Kyra Sedgwick
- Kyra made her professional acting debut at the age of 15 in the off-Broadway play “Time Was”.
- Barely a year after her acting debut, aged 16, she made her TV debut in the NBC soap “Another World”.
- Kyra met her husband, Kevin Bacon, when they co-starred in the 1988 TV film “Lemon Skya”, they got married the same year, and she was 22 at the time.
- Her daughter, Sosie Bacon, was named Miss Golden Globe 2014 at the year’s edition of the award ceremony.
- Kyra executive produced the film “Losing Chase” in 1996, and it served as her husband’s directorial debut.
- She worked on several independent-film projects during the late ’90s and early ’00s, including the critically acclaimed film “Cavedweller” and “The Woodsman”, both films were released in 2004.
- Her outstanding performance in “Cavedweller” earned her an Independent Spirit Award nod for Best Actress.
- Kyra Sedgwick and her husband, Kevin, lost part of their savings in the Ponzi scheme of swindler Bernard Madoff.
- On 8 June 2009, Kyra was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, receiving a star for her contribution to Television.
- Kyra is currently estimated to be worth $45 million.
Early life and education
Kyra was born on 19 August 1965 in New York City to Patricia Heller (nee Rosenwald), a speech teacher and educational & family therapist, and Henry D. Sedgwick, an Episcopalian venture capitalist. Kyra comes from a very prestigious lineage and has a large extended family.
Her great grandfather founded the Gorton School, her uncle Ellery Sedgwick was the owner of The Atlantic Monthly, her cousin Edie Sedgwick was the famous muse of the 60s pop artist Andy Warhol, her brother Robert Sedgwick is an actor and her half-brother Mike Stern is jazz artist. She is the niece of writer John Sedgwick, and also an aunt to R&B/pop singer George Nozuka and his younger singer-songwriter brother Justin Nozuka.
Her parents split up when she was only six years old, and she moved to the Upper East Side of New York to live with her mother and stepfather, Ben Heller, an art dealer. Kyra’s mother was a huge theatre enthusiast and had a lot of Broadway celebrities as her friends. Her love for art made her encourage Kyra to take an interest also. When she was 12, Kyra performed for the first time on stage for her school and in a play titled “Fiddler on the Roof”. And so began her journey into the world of acting.
Sedgwick got her high school diploma from Manhattan’s Friends Seminary and then proceeded to Sarah Lawrence College before transferring to the University of Southern California. She graduated with a degree in theatre.
Kyra’s career started at the early age of 16 when she landed a recurring role in the American television series “Another World”. Over the 10 years that followed, she did small-time television acting, building an impressive resume while at it. In 1985 she secured her first title role in the film “Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale”, and she also got a part in the 1987 TV film “Lemon Sky”.
It wasn’t until 1989 that she got her first big-screen role as a supporting actress alongside Tom Cruise in Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July”. The movie gave her publicity, and she began to catch the attention of filmmakers. In the same year, she got a role in Emmy Award-winning TV film “Miss Rose White”, where she played the role of a polish woman who migrates to New York to dodge the Holocaust but had to ultimately face her Jewish heritage to find her estranged sister.
In 1992, Kyra got a big role in Cameron Crowe’s “Singles”, where she played the female lead alongside the likes of Matt Dillon, Bridget Fonda, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, etc. The film proved to be an important learning opportunity in her career. She went on from there to appear in a considerable number of notable and successful projects alongside the best of the best in the industry.
Brenda Leigh Johnson
The role of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson in the TV series “The Closer”, which ran for seven years on TNT, remains the biggest and most famous in Kyra’s career. Her character was a CIA-trained interrogator, who has a reputation as a closer, an interrogator who solves cases, and obtains confessions that leads to convictions.
She sometimes uses deceit and intimidation to persuade a suspect to confess. The show was an instant hit with the audience, and the role made Kyra very popular. It was a commercial success too, and Kyra was earning $30,000 per episode at some point on the show.
The series didn’t fail to deliver laurels to Kyra either. It earned her many nominations and awards throughout the lifespan of the series. She won a Golden Globe for her performance as the lead actress in 2007, and in 2010 she won an Emmys for her role.
Kyra joined the cast of the TV series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in its second season as a recurring character, Madeline Wuntch. She is described as “a callous and unethical NYPD deputy police chief who shared a deep mutual hostility with Captain Holt (a commanding officer). Wuntch and Holt were once partners and friends, but they fell out after Holt rejected her sexual advances and Wuntch gained promotions for which Holt was passed over, resulting in Wuntch eventually becoming Holt’s direct superior. Wuntch constantly went out of her way to undermine the 99th Precinct, and appeared to take great pleasure in its and Holt’s failures.”
The series revolves around Jake Peralta, a New York City Police Department (NYPD) detective in Brooklyn’s fictional 99th Precinct, who often comes into conflict with his commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Raymond Holt.
Kyra starred in the 2nd and 3rd season as a recurring cast member, but appeared as a guest in seasons 6 and 7.
“Phenomenon” is a 1996 film with huge commercial and critical success. It is a romantic fantasy film that follows the story of George (John Travolta), a likeable small town mechanic who suddenly gets transformed into a genius with telekinetic powers. He puts his new found powers and abilities into good use by helping his community with it. Unbeknownst to him and his friends, he had a tumor that will terminate his life.
Kyra plays the role of Lace Pennamin, George’s love interest who is a single mother with two children. The movie grossed a whooping $152 million at the box office against a production budget of $52 million.
Not much is known about Kyra’s personal life except her marriage to Kevin Bacon. She is also the mother of Travis Sedgwick Bacon and actress Sosie Ruth Bacon.
Kevin Bacon wife
Aside her well decorated career, Kyra is known to be the longtime partner of Hollywood star, Kevin Bacon. The couple have been together for 33 years.
Born 8 June 1958, Kevin Norwood Bacon is an American actor and director. His acting career, which started in 1978 has seen unquantifiable success both in film and TV. He received a star on the Hollwood Walk of Fame in 2003.
The Guardian also named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination. Some of notable works include: “A Few Good Me”, “Mystic River”, “Black Mass”, “Murder In The First”, “Hollow Man”, “Where The Truth Lies”, and many more. He has won a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his role in the 2009 film “Taking Chance”.
In 1988, Sedgwick was working on the PBS version of the Lanford Wilson’s play “Lemon Sky”, when she met her husband Kevin Bacon, who was a co-star. It is said that in the beginning Sedgwick did not really like Bacon. Her first impression about him was that he had an attitude and was arrogant. Within a short period, however, Bacon changed her mind and they eventually agreed to get married the same year. She was just 22 at the time. The couple have remained married ever since and they are blessed with two children.
Travis, the first child was born in 1989, just a year after Kyra and Kevin got married. They welcomed a second child three years later. Sosie was born in 1992. She has followed in her parents’ footsteps and is now an actor.
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Sosie is the second child and only daughter of Kyra and Kevin. She had her first acting role in the 2005 film “Loverboy”, which was directed by her father. Her performance caught the eye of the makers of “The Closer”, and she got cast in the role of Deputy Brenda Johnson’s niece. She appeared in four episodes.
Her parents were not quite open to her going into acting at an early age, but they didn’t get in her way.
She has appeared in films like “Charlie Says”, “The Last Summer”, “Wishin’ and Hopin'” and TV series such as “Scream”, “13 Reasons Why”, “Narcos: Mexico”, and a few others.
As of 2021, the estimated net worth of Kevin Bacon is between $45 million and $50 million. Likely, it is a combined amount with his wife, Kyra. The couple lost a lot of money to the Ponzi Scheme of late Bernie Madoff, who swindled a lot of notable millionaires and billionaires across the world. It is unclear how much Kevin and his wife lost, as there are conflicting reports. However, celebrity net worth places the figure around $30million to $40 million.
Speaking to The Guardian on the incident, Kevin said, “It was a bad day. But pretty quickly we were able to see all the things we had as opposed to whatever we lost, and those are the biggest cliches: children, health, love, a nice home. So we got through it together. I don’t think about Madoff, like, at all.”
Kyra Sedgwick is a well accomplished actor with ample accolades to show for it, and she is not done yet. Interestingly, her daughter is sure to take it from wherever she leaves off. With her marriage going strong after over three decades, it is safe to say she is where she wants to be. If not quite, she is well positioned to get there. It will be interesting to see what she does next as an actor. An Academy Award performance and award to her name won’t be bad at all. Hopefully, someday soon.
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