Name: Cristine Rose.

Usually Plays: Formidable matriarchs, unflappable corporate execs, and other powerful women.

Relatively Insignificant Early Role That I Recall Fondly Due to My David E. Kelley Fetish: As the ex-wife of beleaguered lawman Jimmy Brock (Tom Skerritt) on Picket Fences, still the record-holder for the all-time greatest TV ensemble.

Her Magnum Opus: As the mother of two of the superpowered protagonists (Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia) on Heroes.  I suspect that Angela Petrelli was initially an insignificant or short-term part, or else they would have cast a name actress in it.  But Rose, with her clenched jaw and enigmatic glare, turned Angela into one of the show’s most prominent villains, held her own against star-turn baddies Malcolm McDowell and Robert Forster, scored main-title billing, and survived till the very end of the show.  Bravo.

See, I Told You About Picket Fences: Q: “You’ve appeared in many great TV shows.  If you could pick any one to return to, which would it be, and why?”  A: “Angela Petrelli aside, the one that comes immediately to mind is Lydia Brock, on Picket Fences.  When I came out here [to Los Angeles], I had a lot of fun doing sitcoms.  I came out here from New York in 1986, and I did several sitcom pilots, and in the early nineties I really wanted to dso hour-long shows.  I love humor, and theatricality – humor and drama together are the perfect blend.  I think you get to a person’s heart through humor, and then you get into the heart and you wrench it.  It’s a very powerful way to make a point.  And Lydia Brock was one of those people . . . . Kathy Baker and I used to have great scenes together.  Beautifully written.  A beautifully defined character.”  (From a long video interview with Rose here.)

Fanboy Cred: Hey, she was even a Klingon, too!

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