Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nicollette Sheridan

Nicollette Sheridan (born November 21, 1963) is a British television actress. She is best known for her roles as Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives and as Paige Matheson on Knots Landing. Sheridan was born in Worthing, West Sussex, England, the daughter of actress Sally Sheridan (née Adams).She attended school at Millfield in Somerset. In 1972, her mother was working alongside Greek-American actor Telly Savalas on the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The couple started an affair, and after completion of shooting Savalas moved the entire family to the United States. Her mother gave birth to a son, Nicholas Savalas on February 24, 1973. Nicollette speaks Greek, and considers Savalas her stepfather, although the couple never married. The couple separated in 1977 after Savalas started an affair with Julie Hovland after he started filming Kojak in New York city, and the family split their time between the United States and England depending on where their mother was working. Sheridan made her debut in the US primetime soap opera Paper Dolls in 1984, but her breakthrough came in 1986, when she joined the cast of the CBS primetime soap Knots Landing as "Paige Matheson". She started out in a recurring role, but was a series regular by the 1988-89 season. For her performance in the role, she won the 1990 Soap Opera Digest Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress: Prime Time" and the 1991 Soap Opera Digest Award for "Outstanding Heroine: Prime Time". The same year, she was named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People". After the series ended in 1993, she appeared in several made-for-TV movies and the films Spy Hard and Beverly Hills Ninja and auditioned for the role of Grace Adler on Will & Grace (on which she would later guest-star).

In 2004, Sheridan's role as Edie Britt in ABC's Desperate Housewives brought her renewed media attention. She was nominated for a 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was named #48 on Maxim's 2006 List. She was named 2004's "worst dressed" by Mr. Blackwell. She commented that: "I'd rather be number one on the worst-dressed list than number two on the best." Blackwell had earlier (TV Guide, July 22, 1989) praised her fashion sense: "daring ... with her panache, she brings it off without a hitch. For the adventurer in all of us, she's the one to watch".

Toward the close of the fourth season of Desperate Housewives, conflicting reports circulated regarding Sheridan's future in her role. While Hollywood.com reported in April that series creator Marc Cherry had said Sheridan would depart at the end of the season another source stated that Sheridan was confident she would return for the series' fifth season. By May 4, Entertainment Weekly reported that Sheridan would likely make several appearances in the upcoming season, but not necessarily as a regular cast member.

Sheridan reprised her regular role as Edie in Season 5 of Desperate Housewives, still a series regular, now married to McDonough's character.

In February 2009, Sheridan announced her departure from Desperate Housewives. Her exit episode aired in April 2009 when Edie Britt was killed off in the series.

Nicollette Sheridan was set to star in an upcoming CBS comedy series as a mother who does battle with her British ex-husband in order to get her teenage daughter to stardom, but the new series did not make the cut when the new CBS Fall schedule was released.

On April 5, 2010, Sheridan filed a lawsuit against Desperate Housewives creator and producer Marc Cherry and ABC, alleging that she was assaulted by Cherry on the set of the show and was wrongfully sacked when she reported the alleged abuse to the network. In her lawsuit, Sheridan claimed wrongful termination, assault and battery, gender violence, discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and age, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She also claimed that Cherry was abusive to other cast members and writers. ABC responded in a statement saying that while they were unaware of this particular complaint, they had investigated similar claims made by Sheridan and reportedly found them to be without merit.

The stars of Desperate Housewives (Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria) have pledged their support to help Marc Cherry in his battle against assault allegations made by Sheridan. At the end of 2010, she removed abuse claims from the suit.

In February 2011, a judge ruled that Sheridan does not have to give further testimony about conversations with a lawyer she consulted in relation to the case. However, at a May 3, 2011 hearing, the judge granted permission for the case to continue to trial, but threw out Sheridan's claims of harrassment. The judge also limited damages the actress may recoup if she wins at trial to just one year's pay rather than pay for the remainder of the show's run (which would have been three years after her character was killed off). The judge also forbade Sheridan and her attorney from trying to claim that Cherry was rude to other castmembers on the show, and also urged both parties to settle the case out of court due to the costs likely to be incurred. However, the parties failed to settle.

The case finally went to court on February 27, 2012. Sheridan's lawyer reiterated their claim that she was fired from the show after Cherry struck her across her head and she complained to ABC executives about the incident. Cherry claims that the alleged striking was in fact a tap to the head with his fingers, done in rehearsals when he was demonstrating to Sheridan how she should play a physical gag in a scene. He also stated that the decision to kill off her character was already approved in May 2008 (several months before the alleged hitting incident in September 2008) due, in part, to the need to reduce the show's budget. He also cited Sheridan's unprofessional on-set behavior (such as habitual lateness, not learning her lines, and feuding with her co-stars), and the fact that her character had simply "run its course" as other reasons for the decision. Sheridan was the first to take the stand, and was instructed to "calm down" by the judge after an angry outburst towards Cherry's lawyer on March 2, 2012. Cherry has also taken the stand, as has Desperate Housewives actor James Denton as well as various show producers, writers and ABC executives.

On March 13, 2012, the judge dismissed the battery charge against Marc Cherry due to lack of evidence, and Cherry is no longer a defendant in the lawsuit which will now focus solely on Sheridan's alleged wrongful termination by ABC. Closing arguments were heard in the case on March 14, 2012 and the jury began their deliberations. By March 19, 2012, the twelve members of the jury had failed to reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared. A retrial is scheduled to begin on April 19, 2012.

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