Marcia Cross (born March 25, 1962 in Marlborough, Massachusetts) is an American actress. She graduated from Juilliard and earned a master's degree in psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles. In 2005 she was nominated for her first Emmy for her work on Desperate Housewives. In December of 2005, Cross garnered her second consecutive nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
Prior to her role on Desperate Housewives, Cross starred as Dr. Linda Abbott on Warner Bros.' critically-acclaimed series, Everwood. She is also well known for her portrayal of the mentally unbalanced Dr. Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place, which she played from 1992 to 1997. Kimberly was, and remains, a firm fan favorite - providing many of the show's most memorable moments, in her plans to kill many of the characters on the show. One Melrose website's poll on most popular characters on the show listed Cross' Kimberly Shaw second only to Heather Locklear's Amanda Woodard but the series' producers were curiously slow in promoting Cross to full-fledged cast member status in the opening credits, an honor she did not receive until her third season in the role despite having as much screen time as any series regular.
On stage Cross performed in La Ronde at the Williamstown Theater Festival, in Twelfth Night, or What You Will at the Hartford Stage Company, and in The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Old Globe in San Diego.
Her first television job was on the daytime drama The Edge of Night. Leaving New York to try her luck in Los Angeles, Cross was soon landing roles in television movies such as The Last Days of Frank and Jessie James, co-starring with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson. Later, in 1986, she went on to portray Kate Sanders on the ABC daytime drama, One Life to Live. She played the role until 1987.
Her most notable soap role on Melrose Place began when she was hired for one episode. The producers were so impressed, they kept asking her back for additional appearances, eventually bringing her character back from the dead to continue on the hit show.
Cross also guest-starred on such series as Seinfeld, where she played Jerry's dermatologist girlfriend (or as Jerry preferred, "Dr. Sitarides: Pimple Popper M.D."), and Cheers, where she portrayed Susan Howe, the younger sister to Kirstie Alley's character, Rebecca Howe. She has also appeared on the comedies Boy Meets World, Ally McBeal, Spin City, It's Garry Shandling's Show and King of Queens. Her dramatic roles include appearances on CSI, Profiler and Touched by an Angel, and her film credits include Living in Fear, Always Say Good-bye, Dancing in September and Bad Influence.
In early 2005, the Internet and tabloids swirled with rumors that Cross was gay and in a long-term relationship with another woman, and planning to come out of the closet. Cross actually appeared on television show The View to deny the reports, but stated that she was just very supportive of the gay community. In August 2005, Cross's publicist also told the American celebrity newsmagazine Us Weekly that Cross had accepted the proposal of Tom Mahoney, a stockbroker whom she had been dating for six months, and that the couple were engaged to be married. No date has been set for their wedding and it will be the first marriage for both.