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Who is That Actor: Lynn Cohen

October 9, 2010

It's for you to make nicer your bedroom, Miranda.

As Judge Elizabeth Mizener on Law & Order, distinguished stage actor Lynn Cohen was always good for a crispy zinger. Though she made only a scant 12 appearances on the show, she made quite an impression on me. Nevertheless it would take another popular show – Sex and the City – before the name and the face melded together in my mind. As the pragmatic, deliciously snarky foil to Miranda Hobbs, Magda quickly became my favorite recurring character. Suddenly, Lynn Cohen started appearing everywhere or so it seemed to me. Don’t let her “granny from Looney Tunes” appearance fool you; I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cohen play the benign grandmotherly type.

She turned up as Golda Meir in the controversial film Munich! The last time I watched the film I was like, “Nero! James Bond! MAGDA!” Yeah, sometimes I talk in all caps! Recently, she showed up on Damages – my new favorite show – in a couple of episodes. Oh it was so good to see Magda again!

This is one of my Magna moments from Sex and the City. It starts around 4:30ish minute mark.

Cannot wait to see Ms. Cohen in the film adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ The Extra Man.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2010 12:10 pm

    MAGDA! I yelled the same thing when watching Synecdoche, New York.

  2. October 9, 2010 12:34 pm

    What’s the good word on Synecdoche, New York? Netflix keeps telling me to check it out, but I need it to be vetted by a more reliable source?

  3. October 9, 2010 12:55 pm

    I’m not sure you’d be into it — do you like vanity projects? I am into them, and this one surprised me with how much I liked it, but it’s definitely a depresso sad sack movie, and the pinnacle of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s version of those characters.

  4. October 9, 2010 1:05 pm

    I like Philip Seymour Hoffman a lot. I do like vanity projects – hello, Sharky’s Machine and Rocky! I’m gonna add it to my queue. You could do worse than PSH!

  5. October 9, 2010 1:12 pm

    I’d love to hear what you think. You should watch it and we’ll have an e-mail roundtable discussion to make into a post — new series! “Snarky and Raybear dissect….”

  6. October 9, 2010 1:17 pm

    Omg, seriously. We absolutely should!!! I will put it on my Sunday schedule. After reading the summary, I’m looking forward to it. Nobody does sad bastards like Phillip Seymour Hoffman!

  7. October 9, 2010 2:20 pm

    I watched it on Netflix instant view last year, but got sucked into the last hour again on my friend’s cable just a few weeks ago, so it’s semi-fresh in my mind. I’m in!

  8. October 9, 2010 2:44 pm

    Ha! Brilliant! Ms. Cohen is able to take two dimensional characters on the page and give them a sense of energy and realism with just a phrase or sometimes even a glance!

    and @raymondj I’ve been waiting for the vanity project thing! Awesome.

  9. eieioj permalink
    October 9, 2010 3:10 pm

    Synecdoche, NY was fantastic, but one of those movies that I will only watch the one time.

  10. evmaroon permalink
    October 9, 2010 4:32 pm

    I will run to my laptop and check it out! And I’m way excited for a raybear/snarky series! I love Magda, almost as much as Attorney Melnick.

  11. October 11, 2010 10:54 pm

    Love Magda! It was nice to see her evolve from a typical granny type used as a foil for uptight Miranda, to a real character who became a central part of Miranda’s life.

    The most memorable part of the SATC finale wasn’t the Big/Carrie reunion, but the moment between Miranda and Magda that Snarky points out in the YouTube clip above (“What you did..that was love.”)

    @eieioj Ditto. Loved it, but will never watch it again.

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