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Morris plays it cool in Hollywood

When in the fall of 2003 CBS first aired Cold Case, the drama in which a police unit tackles unsolved murders, 14 million viewers tuned in. The series catapulted into the top twenty rankings, and Kathryn Morris, the little-known actress who headlined the show as Detective Lilly Rush, seemingly became an overnight success.

Overnight success? She'd be the first to wave off the notion. It was a breakthrough that was years in the making, going back, arguably to her early childhood as a singer in the family's gospel group, The Morris Code.

“It was a really fun time in my life,” Morris said of the group, which toured extensively. “I really learned the value of meeting new people, living a sort of circus-like existence and performing because you love it. And so, when I became a professional later on in the arts, it just became a natural thing.”

Morris, 38, launched her Hollywood bid back in the early 1990s and faced the pangs of rejection when she was turned down for parts in the teenage soap Beverly Hills, 90210.

“I recently met a couple of kids that are now adults that were on 90210...Jason Priestly and Tiffani Thiessen. I said, 'I could never could get on your show'. They were laughing. They said, 'You weren't so-and-so's type', some producer's type or whatever,” Morris said, adding with a smile of vindication, “It all works out.”

After a decade of minor roles in series such as Xena: Warrior Princess and Pensacola: Wings of Gold, things began working in Morris' favour when she played an FBI agent in the 2000 political thriller The Contender. That brought her to the attention of Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg. The director cast her as a teenage rock star in the 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and in 2002 as Tom Cruise's wife in Minority Report.

Working with the legendary director was a treat, Morris said.

“He just sends out this energy of collaborative spirit, and kind decency that he just wants you to go out there and play. If he chooses you, he already knows you can do the role and he just pushes you out there and says, 'Ok, lets' have fun. What do you think?'”

The trust Spielberg had in her spread to the CBS television producers, and one year after Minority Report, Morris landed the lead role in Cold Case, which has consistently held its high position in the Nielsen ratings.

Through the long slug and especially now that success has smiled on her, Morris has found it easy to stay grounded and sane in Hollywood.

“You just have to believe yourself and keep working on the acting,” Morris said. “I don't hang out with all those people that get in trouble. I just don't. I just try to get on with my work and get home and hang out with people you've always been friends with.”

A Monaco Revue "Up Close And Real Interview"; filmed at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.

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Comments to date: 4. Page 1 of 1.

ann,  sf

Posted at 4:45am on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

just beautifull girl,she does capture my heart,touche

Jessica,  Canada

Posted at 1:21pm on Friday, November 2nd, 2007

I'm also a big fan of Kathryn and yes it's definitely nice to hear she recently got a pay raise!

Daryl,  Texas

Posted at 1:20pm on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I'm a big Kathryn fan, going all the way back to her days on Xena. Good to hear she recently got a pay raise and now she's making something like quarter a million per episode. And what are those Beverly Hills 90210 kids doing these days anyway?

Carrie,  Location unknown

Posted at 4:12am on Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Kathryn looks better with short hair like on the show.


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