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The Good Wife's Christine Baranski Talks About Good Living

Stage, screen, and TV actress Christine Baranski talks about her career, family, and healthy lifestyle.


Speaking of family, The Good Wife is about a woman who has to rebuild her life following her husband's very public scandals. In contrast, you've been married to your husband, actor Matthew Cowles, for 26 years. How have you made it work?

Well, first of all I'm married to a wonderful man. He was very serious about marriage. And when he took me off on his motorcycle, I got this sense of destiny that this was the guy. Then we created these beautiful children, and once you've introduced children to the world, the commitment just rises exponentially. Both Matthew and I grew up without fathers around, and we suffered because of it. Marriages are always challenging, but we wanted to get through no matter what. We wanted our children to have the wholeness that comes with two parents in the household. I really love my husband for putting up with me, and he loves me for putting up with him. 

You've done Broadway, television, movies. Do you find it hard to move among all of them?

No, I find it refreshing. I haven't done too many heavy, dramatic roles, so it's a great thing for me to be learning something new. I think women like to see well-educated, dignified, grown-up women portrayed on television, which is why I think The Good Wife is such a huge contribution to the medium. There are millions of women out there now who are running Ivy League institutions; we have a brilliant first lady and a brilliant secretary of state (who also ran for president). We need to have television shows that reflect the complexity of their lives and not just present them as stereotypes.

Do you make New Year's resolutions?  

This year I'm going to commit myself further with women's issues: women's education and maybe the issue of sex trafficking. I took my daughter to India with the Catholic Relief Services and we visited places where women were being rehabilitated after having been sold into sex slavery or sold into marriage at an early age. We would solve so many of the world's problems if we would just properly educate women, who would then teach their sons how to behave properly. It would be so good for the planet for women to be empowered, and honestly, women are still just suffering terrible, enormous injustice.   

You're doing drama now, but you're brilliant in comedy. Did your comic timing always come naturally?

I think it did. My forte as a performer is my sense of rhythm. I also grew up watching all those great shows like I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show and I think I learned by osmosis.

You've danced in movies as well. Do you have any formal training?

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