Kim Victoria Cattrall ( /kəˈtræl/; born 21 August 1956) is an English actress. She is known for her role as Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy/romance series Sex and the City, and for her leading roles in the 1980s films Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China, Mannequin, and Porky's. For her role as Samantha Jones, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2002 and received four nominations for the role. Her success in Sex and the City also led her to receive two Screen Actors Guild Awards out of seven nominations (including two for Outstanding Female Actress in a Comedy Series) and five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Comedy Actress.
Cattrall was born in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, England. Her mother, Gladys Shane (née Baugh), was a secretary, and her father, Dennis Cattrall, was a construction engineer. When she was three months old, her family immigrated to the Canadian city of Courtenay, British Columbia. At 11, she returned to England when her grandmother became ill. She took a number of acting examinations with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), before returning to Canada at age 16 to finish her final year of high school.
Cattrall began her career after graduating from high school in 1972, when she left Canada for New York City. There, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and upon her graduation, signed a five-year movie deal with director Otto Preminger. She made her film debut in Preminger's Rosebud in 1975. A year later, Universal Studios bought out that contract and Cattrall became one of the last participants in the contract player system of Universal (also referenced as MCA / Universal during this period) before the system ended in 1980. The Universal system's representative in New York, Eleanor Kilgallen (sister of Dorothy Kilgallen), cast Cattrall in numerous TV guest-star roles. One of the first jobs Kilgallen got her was in a 1977 episode of Quincy, M.E. starring Jack Klugman, whom Kilgallen also represented. In 1978, Cattrall played the female lead in a two-hour episode of Columbo. In 1979, she played the role of Dr. Gabrielle White in The Incredible Hulk and would go down in TV Hulk lore as one of the few characters who knew David Banner was alive and was the creature. Her work in television paid off and she quickly made the transition to cinema. She starred opposite Jack Lemmon in his Oscar-nominated movie Tribute in 1980, and in Crossbar, the film about a high jumper who loses his leg and still participates in the Olympic trials, with Catrall's help. The following year, she starred in the critically acclaimed Ticket to Heaven.