Veteran English actor Christina Pickles is best remembered for playing “Nurse Helen Rosenthal” in the “NBC” medical drama “St. Elsewhere.” Her extensive collection of work in the entertainment industry spans more than five decades and includes a number of illustrious stage productions, short films, TV shows, and films. She was a student at the London “Royal Academy of Dramatic Art” when she began performing on stage in the early 1960s. In 1964, she made her “Broadway” debut in the stage production of “A Severed Head.” Numerous additional “Broadway” plays, including “Hamlet,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “You Can’t Take It with You,” came after this. She debuted on television in 1970 with the American soap opera “Guiding Light.” With the Canadian-American horror-thriller dark comedy “Seizure,” she made her film debut in 1974. This seasoned actor’s portrayal of “Nurse Helen Rosenthal” in the NBC hospital drama “St. Elsewhere” is among his most enduring roles. She received five “Primetime Emmy” nominations for her outstanding work during the show’s six seasons. She was nominated for a further “Primetime Emmy” for her performance as “Judy Geller” on the American TV sitcom “Friends.” Among Christina’s other notable contributions are her roles in the movies “The Wedding Singer” and “Romeo + Juliet.” Her appearances in a number of TV shows, including “The People Next Door” and “Get Real,” also brought her considerable acclaim.
Early Childhood & Life
She was born on February 17, 1935, to Arthur Pickles and his wife Gladys (née Crampton) Pickles in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. Her father was a British politician from the “Liberal Party” who served as the “Mayor of Halifax” for a year. He was also an architect.
She joined the “Royal Academy of Dramatic Art” in London, England, when she was 15 years old. Albert Finney, Peter O’Toole, and Brian Bedford were among her classmates. She moved to New York City after graduating in the late 1950s and lived there with friend and classmate Donald Moffat and his wife.
Wilfred Pickles, an English actor, and radio host was her uncle. James Pickles, her brother, was a circuit judge and English lawyer. Her niece Carolyn Pickles is also an English actor.
The career of Christina Pickles
In 1961, she made her acting debut in the production of “Look Back in Anger” at the “Arena Stage” in Washington, DC. She made an appearance in the William Shakespeare play “Measure for Measure,” which was shown during the Shakespeare in the Park outdoor event and was created by theatrical producer-director Joseph Papp.
She showed up for the audition for the maid part in George Devine’s play “The Way of the World,” but was cast in the lead position.
With the play “A Severed Head,” which was adapted from Iris Murdoch’s 1961 novel of the same name, she made her “Broadway” debut in 1964. She then appeared in other “Broadway” plays such “Sherlock Holmes,” “Hamlet,” “Inadmissible Evidence,” “War and Peace,” “You Can’t Take It with You,” and “The Misanthrope.”
She appeared on television for the first time in 1970 with the American soap opera “Guiding Light,” in which she portrayed the character of “Linell Conway” from some point in 1971 to 1972.
She played the role of “Nicole Blackstone” in the 1974 Canadian-American black comedy “Seizure” her debut movie. Oliver Stone, an American writer and filmmaker who has won an “Academy Award,” made his directorial debut with it.
She portrayed “Countess Elena DePoulignac” in the renowned American TV soap opera “Another World,” which aired on “NBC” for more than three decades starting in May 1964.
Moving on, she played a key role in the 1978 film Rush It and made brief appearances in episodes of the programs The White Shadow and Lou Grant (1982). Her big break came after that when she was cast as “Nurse Helen Rosenthal” in the American medical drama “St. Elsewhere.”
From October 26, 1982, until May 25, 1988, NBC broadcast the television series “St. Elsewhere,” which won 13 “Emmy” honors. Christina appeared in 137 episodes over the course of the show’s six seasons. In addition to earning her five nominations for “Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series,” it brought her widespread acclaim.
She continued to appear in other movies and TV shows, including the 1988 American TV sitcom “Family Ties,” the 1984 American made-for-television holiday drama “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” the 1987 American science-fantasy film “Masters of the Universe,” where she played the “Sorceress of Castle Grayskull,” and others.
The American sitcom “The People Next Door,” which aired on “CBS” from September 18, 1989, to October 16, 1989, gave her her next noteworthy TV role.
She has appeared in a number of TV movies throughout the years, including “Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery,” “Weapons of Mass Distraction,” and “The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro” (1998). Additionally, she acted in the 1999 short films “Poseidon’s Fury: Escape from the Lost City” and “Wild & Precious” (2014).
She appeared in one or two episodes of many of the TV shows for which she was employed. Christina was cast in the popular American TV comedy “Friends” as the recurring character “Judy Geller.” Ten seasons, from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, were shown on “NBC.” Christina appeared in 19 episodes during the show’s ten seasons. Her performance earned her a 1995 Primetime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.”
She played “Isabel Ludlow” in the 1994 historical drama “Legends of the Fall,” which was directed by Edward Zwick and starred Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, and Anthony Hopkins among others.
In the 1996 American romance drama “Romeo + Juliet,” which was an adaptation and modernization of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” she portrayed “Caroline Montague.” Baz Luhrmann co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced this highly regarded movie, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the lead roles. It earned $147.5 million at the box office.
She provided the voice of “Elsie” for the December 10, 1997, direct-to-video animated musical “The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island.”
She played “Angie Sullivan” in the romantic comedy “The Wedding Singer,” starring Adam Sandler, which was released in theaters on February 13, 1998. She went on to star in a number of additional movies during the subsequent years, such as “Valerie Flake” (1999), “George of the Jungle 2” (2003), “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” (2011), and “Live at the Foxes Den” (2013).
She kept working on small-screen roles, such as “Elizabeth Parker” in the American comedy-drama series “Get Real,” in the meantime. From September 8, 1999, through April 12, 2000, the series, which featured Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, and Eric Christian Olsen, aired on the Fox Network. Additionally, she had cameos in television shows like “The Division” (2004) and “Medium” (2006).
Individual Life of Christina Pickles
In 1962, she wed the filmmaker and producer Victor Lobl. Oliver and Rebecca were the couple’s first two children, and they later divorced in 1985.
She acceded to US citizenship in 1989.
She has been romantically linked to her ‘St. Elsewhere’ co-star and American theater, screen, and television actor Herb Edelman since the mid-1980s. They remained friends up to Edelman’s passing in July 1996.
She wed Australian journalist Ian Masters in 2005.
Estimated net worth
Christina’s net worth is calculated to be above $12 million as of September 2022.