Kate was born in Switzerland in 1957, but she was raised in Manhattan after her parents got divorced. Her parents were Richard Burton
and Sybil Williams Christopher. Kate is also the step daughter of Elizabeth Taylor and Jordan Christopher. She earned a bachelor's degree in Russian studies and European history from Brown University in 1979; and she studied at Yale University school of Drama, and soon, she started her stage career. During her studying at Yale University, her roommate was Jane Kaczmarek
(Malcom in the Middle
Her first important role was in a 1982 production of the Noel Coward
play Present Laughter, which was directed by George C. Scott. Next year, she appeared in the Broadway
production of Doonesbury, playing J.J.
In 1984, Kate co-starred with her father in the CBS miniseries called "Ellis Island." But that wasn't her only role, she was a guest star and a co-star (and still is) in many shows. We could see her in "Law and Order
", or "Numb3rs
, and also "The West Wing
... but for all fans of Grey's Anatomy
she is known as Ellis Grey, a famous surgeon and Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo
) mother. But the most interesting part in that role is that she has Alsheimer's disease. She considers herself as an American actress, but she retains her British citizenship. Judging Amy
, The Practice
, Spenser: For Hire
etc. are just several of many shows that Kate has appeared in. She also appeared in several movies like Anne of the Thousand Days
etc. and we will see her in a movie called "Quid Pro Quo
She received two Tony Award nominations in 2002 for in the same year for two different productions.
Kate actually received a 2002 Tony Award nomination for "Best Leading Actress" in a Play for her role as Hedda in Hedda Gabler and she received a 2002 Tony Award nomination for "Best featured actress" in a Play for her role as Mrs. Kendal. There were other awards, and she was nominated for "Best Leading Actress" once again in 2006, which was a very busy year for her. In 2007, Kate joined the Broadway cast of Spring Awakening.
Kate has a son, Morgan Ritchie (born in 1988) and a daughter, Charlotte Ritchie (born in 1998) and her husband is Michael Ritchie. Ritchie is an artistic Director of the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and one of the producers of the Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone. She has an autistic sister Jessica, and half-sister Amy Cristopher.