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February 09, 2020

'The Good Wife's Christine Baranski on Overcoming the Loss of Her Husband Matthew Cowles

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Emmy Award-winning actress Christine Baranski, best known for “The Good Wife,” has had an outstanding career. However, her personal life hasn't been a walk in the park especially after losing her husband. 

Christine Baranski has been working in the entertainment industry for over four decades. Her most notable work includes "Cybill," "The Good Wife," and its spin-off, "The Good Fight." 

Baranski was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Her father, who was of Polish-American descent, was a newspaper editor named Lucien Baranski, while her mother was Virginia Mazurowska. 

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and guest Christine Baranski during Thursday's March 14, 2019 show. (left), American actor and playwright Matthew Cowles (1944-2014) and his wife, American actress and singer Christine Baranski attend the 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on September 13, 1998. (right) | Photo: Getty Images

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CHRISTINE BARANSKI’S CAREER

Despite her father's field being journalism, Baranski knew she wanted to become an actress early on. She once pointed out that her grandparents were Polish actors who regularly performed at the Polish-American theater in Buffalo.

She grew up surrounded by “flamboyant personalities and music,” which she considered then (and still does now) a “wonderful playground.” She enrolled in the Juilliard School in 1970, where she studied drama for four years. 

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THE START OF HER CAREER

Baranski made her Off-Broadway and Broadway debut in the same year in 1980. She received critical acclaim for her role as Charlotte in "The Real Thing" two years later, for which she won a Tony Award. 

In the next couple of years, Baranski's career took off. She starred in the likes of "Cybill," "The Birdcage," and "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." 

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HER MORE RECENT PROJECTS

In more recent times, the actress starred in the cult-favorite film musical "Mamma Mia!" There, she starred as Tanya Chesham-Leigh, one of Meryll Streep's character Donna Sheridan-Carmichael's best friends. 

She also starred in "The Big Bang Theory," "The Good Wife," and "Into the Woods," where she was reunited with Streep. In 2018, Baranski was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. 

Christine Baranski with daughters Lily and Isabel Cowles at The Manhattan Theatre Club in 2015 in New York | Source: Getty Images

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AN AWARD-WINNING ACTRESS

Baranski has been nominated for a total of 15 Emmy Awards in her career, winning it only once. Despite this, she continues to enjoy acting and has not yet retired. 

Up until today, she remains popular with critics and audiences. She continues to be remembered for the iconic roles she's played, especially in cult favorites like "The Big Bang Theory" and "Mamma Mia!"

Christine Baranski and Matthew Cowles at the premiere of "Memoirs of a Geisha" in 2005 in New York | Source: Getty Images

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HER PERSONAL LIFE

As per her romantic life, the actress was married to actor and playwright Matthew Cowles, best known as Billy Clyde Tuggle on the soap opera “All My Children,” between 1983 and 2014.

Together, they had two daughters: Isabel, born in 1984, and Lily, born in 1987. Apart from that, the former couple managed to do something that not everybody is capable of: keeping a long and loving marriage in Hollywood.

Christine Baranski and Matthew Cowles in New York City. on March 29, 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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DEALING WITH THE LOSS OF HER HUSBAND

Unfortunately, Baranski’s husband passed away on May 22, 2014, at 69 years of age. According to Hollywood Reporter, the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

A few months after his death, the actress opened up about her loss and how she was dealing with the entire situation. She confessed that it had been a “tough year” for her.

Christine Baranski on January 28, 2020 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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COPING WITH THE LOSS

The “Good Fight” star added that, although she lost “extraordinary people,” she was also enjoying the company of her grandson and his “wonderful” colleagues from “The Good Wife.”

In 2017, three years after Matthew’s passing, she was in an interview with Parade in which she dug deeper into the subject. One of the things that she pointed out was that there was no shortcut to grief.

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CHRISTINE BARANSKI’S THOUGHTS ON GRIEF

The actress revealed that she had to come back to work a few months after her husband died. Unlike what some people might believe, it was helpful to her, as being surrounded by people who understood her was just what she needed. She added:

“When you’ve had a 30-year marriage and sat across from this person every morning having coffee, it’s so strange. Someone is there, and then suddenly they’re not there to talk to ever again.”

Christine Baranski on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California | Source: Getty Images

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HER FAMILY

Although dealing with her loss has been undoubtedly difficult, Baranski’s daughters have made things easier for her, especially for giving her three beautiful grandsons to play with.

In March 2019, the actress was in an interview with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest for their show, and she admitted to being a “cool grandma.”

Christine Baranski on November 7, 2019 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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ENJOYING HER TIME WITH HER GRANDSONS

First, Baranski revealed that her youngest grandson was named after her late husband.  She later told the story of the first time she took them to their first hockey game. About it, the “Cybill” star said:

“We went to a [New York] Rangers game. That is the thing to do with little boys – a hockey game – because they can make a mess on the floor, and have popcorn, and shout, and scream. It was so much fun.”

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Nowadays, the actress is 69 years old and is still active in her entertainment career. Apart from portraying Diane Lockhart on the spin-off of “The Good Wife” titled “The Good Fight,” she starred on “Christmas on the Square” in 2020. 

While she misses her husband-of-31-years, Matthew Cowles, a whole lot, Baranski gets by all thanks to her children and grandchildren. She also makes sure to keep herself busy through her Hollywood projects. 

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