By Elizabeth Lenart | Contributor
A highly acclaimed, award-winning actress who has captivated audiences on both stage and screen throughout her distinguished career, Christine Baranski will headline the Jewish Family Service 2024 Woman to Woman Luncheon, on Thursday, April 18, at noon, at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel, 1717 N. Akard St. Baranski, a versatile performer from comedic to dramatic, is an Emmy, two-time Tony, Screen Actors Guild, Drama Desk and American Comedy Award winner as well as a 15-time primetime Emmy Award nominee.
The Woman to Woman Luncheon, a biennial celebration of the power, influence, and impact of women, will feature a Conversation with Baranski, who is widely known for her attraction to roles featuring strong, intelligent women characters, such as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife and spinoff The Good Fight as well as her most recent role as Agnes Van Rhijn in the HBO series The Guilded Age. She is also an unapologetic advocate for female empowerment – from education to equal pay, to leadership opportunities in the workplace and equal rights in the eyes of the law. She will speak about her passions including inspirational and empowering stories from her life and career.
An Emmy, two-time Tony, Screen Actors Guild, Drama Desk and American Comedy Award winner, Baranski is one of the entertainment industry’s most honored actresses and a passionate advocate for women.
Co-Chairs Fran Toubin and Sam Utay (the first sisters to serve as co-chairs of the luncheon) along with Susan Kramer, Bobbie Repp, and Barbara Spigel will work together in promoting this important fundraiser, which enables JFS to provide comprehensive mental health and social services to anyone in need regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay. Last year JFS served 16,500 individuals.
Honorary Chairs Cathy Glick, Julie Liberman, and Beverly Rossell are the nonprofit’s longtime diaper collection trio, providing hundreds of thousands of diapers for those in need at Jewish Family Service since 2010.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Baranski received her big break in Tom Stoppard’s hit Broadway comedy The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols, for which she won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award. Baranski went on to earn her second Tony Award for her performance in Neil Simon’s Rumors. She also won an Emmy, American Comedy, and SAG Award for her performance in the hit series Cybill and three subsequent Emmy Award nominations. Baranski received a total of five Emmy nominations for her guest roles on Frasier and The Big Bang Theory.
As the formidable Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife, Baranski received six Emmy nominations and two Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for her performance on the CBS series. She then starred as the character in the critically acclaimed spinoff The Good Fight. Baranski has been nominated for four Critics’ Choice Television Awards and a Golden Globe and TCA Award nomination for her performance in the spinoff The Good Fight. Baranski can also be seen as Agnes Van Rhijn in the HBO series The Gilded Age, created by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. The critically acclaimed series is an epic of the millionaire titans of New York City in the 1880s. It features an ensemble cast that includes Cynthia Nixon, Carrie Coon, Audra McDonald, and Morgan Spector, among others.
Additional film credits include Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, A Bad Moms Christmas, Mamma Mia!, Trolls, Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Chicago, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bowfinger, Bulworth, Cruel Intentions, and The Birdcage, among others.
Previous stage credits include Boeing- Boeing, HurlyBurly, The House of Blue Leaves, It’s Only a Play, Lips Together Teeth Apart, The Loman Family Picnic, Regrets Only, Coming Attractions, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Obie Award), Encores! productions of Follies, Promises, Promises, and more.
Baranski received an honorary doctorate from Juilliard, and in 2018 she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Monies raised from the luncheon enables JFS to provide comprehensive mental health and social services to anyone in need regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay.
“Christine Baranski is a beloved and accomplished actress who continues to impact audiences with her incredible talent and impeccable style, and we are thrilled she is making her first appearance in Dallas at our Woman to Woman luncheon,” said Jewish Family Service President and CEO Cathy Barker. “We look forward to sharing this exciting day with our supporters who make such a difference in our community.”
Over the years, the luncheon has raised more than $5 million, helping to triple the number of clients served. Past luncheon speakers have included Joy Behar, Dr. Jill Biden, Goldie Hawn, Helen Hunt, Marlee Matlin, Bette Midler, and Diane Von Furstenberg.
The 2024 luncheon will feature a jewelry pull, a wine pull, and a luxury raffle. Raffle tickets are $25. Winners do not need to be present. Sponsorships begin at $1,800, and a limited number of tickets will be made available closer to the date of the luncheon. For more information and to purchase sponsorships, visit jfsdallas.org/woman.
About Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas
Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas is a nonsectarian mental health and social services nonprofit that has served anyone regardless of age, race, religion, or ability to pay for more than 70 years. Their mission is to provide effective, accessible, and comprehensive mental health and social services that promote lifelong self-sufficiency and well-being for the Greater Dallas community. JFS Dallas offers programs to the community such as individual age-appropriate counseling, family violence intervention, support for older adults, transportation services for disabled or homebound, a client-choice food pantry, and emergency financial assistance. The agency’s comprehensive services impacted over 16,500 lives last year. Jfsdallas.org