played by Lea Thompson
Lea Thompson stars as Kathryn Kennish, the matriarch of an upper-class family who just got the shock of her life- the baby girl she brought home from the hospital isn't the one she gave birth to. Emotions run high as Kathryn struggles with the realization that she has a biological daughter that she barely knows.
Moving between dramatic and comedic roles, Lea Thompson has established a career that encompasses film, television, and theatre. She is perhaps best known for her role in “Back to the Future I, II, and III,” and as the title character in the syndicated series “Caroline in the City,” for which she won TV Guide and People’s Choice Awards. In addition to starring in “Switched at Birth,” Thompson has directed an episode of the Peabody Award-winning drama, and will direct another episode for the upcoming season.
A native of Minnesota, Thompson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Her first taste of professional theatre was with the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, in “Madeline and the Gypsies” and “The Little Mermaid.” After apprenticing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, she moved to New York at age 20 to pursue an acting career. She was first featured in a supporting role in the motion picture “Jaws 3-D” with Dennis Quaid, followed by a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in “All the Right Moves.” Her film career took off after that with the “BTTF” films, “Red Dawn,” and the now infamous “Howard The Duck.” She met her future husband when he directed her in the John Hughes’ film, “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Some of her other favorite roles were in “Article 99,” “Casual Sex?,” “Dennis the Menace,” “The Wizard of Loneliness,” “Space Camp,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Little Rascals,” “The Unknown Cyclist,” “Fish Don’t Blink,” “Exit Speed,” “Mayor Cupcake” (which featured her two daughters as well), “Thin Ice,” “The Trouble with the Truth,” Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” "Ping Pong Summer" with Susan Sarandon, and the most recently shot "Left Behind" playing Nicolas Cage's wife.
Thompson’s television highlights include the Showtime original movie “The Right to Remain Silent;” NBC’s made-for television movies “The Unspoken Truth,” “The Substitute Wife,” “Game of Your Life” and the miniseries, “A Will of Their Own,” with Thomas Gibson; TNT’s original movies, “Montana” and “Nightbreaker” with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen, for which she received a CableACE nomination; HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” and USA’s “Stealing Christmas” with Tony Danza. For Lifetime, Thompson starred in “Stolen Babies” with Mary Tyler Moore, “The Debbie Smith Story/A Life Interrupted," "Love At The Christmas Table" and the recent sequel to the award-winning Lifetime anthology "Five," titled, "Call Me Crazy: A Five Film." Thompson was also featured in the Lifetime series “Intimate Portraits.” Her NBC series “Caroline in the City” was must-see TV for four years, followed by the Lifetime series “For the People.” She starred in the Hallmark Channel Mystery Film series, “Jane Doe,” marking her first directorial achievements on a couple of the series’ films. Also for the Hallmark Channel, she starred in “Final Approach,” a miniseries with Dean Cain, and “The Cabin,” which filmed in Ireland. Notable television guest spots include “Friends,” The Larry Sanders Show,” “Ed,” “Law and Order: SVU," ABC Family’s “Greek" and an upcoming episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." For UP TV, Thompson just shot the film, "My Mother's Future Husband," set to air in May 2014.
Theatre highlights include “Bus Stop” at the Pasadena Playhouse; Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion” for the Los Angeles Theatre Center; “Long Time Coming” at the Powerhouse Theatre; “Charlie Bacon’s Family” at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton; and “The Trip Back Down” at the Actors’ Repertory Theatre. Her personal favorite was as Sally Bowles in both the National Tour and the Broadway Studio 54 production of Sam Mendes’ revival of “Cabaret.” More recently, Thompson has performed “The Vagina Monologues,” the Los Angeles Reprise Series of “I Love My Wife” with Jason Alexander, and was the title character in “Caroline in Jersey” (no relation to “Caroline in the City”) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Thompson can often be seen performing for various charity functions around Los Angeles, including Breast Cancer Research’s What A Pair, the Alzheimer’s Association, the WeSpark Foundation and the Schleroderma Foundation, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 24 years, film director Howard Deutch, their two very talented daughters, Zoey and Madelyn Deutch, and a menagerie of dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a tortoise, a parrot, loads of fish and chickens, and several horses.