TV

Lynn Cohen, Best Known For Magda On ‘Sex And The City’ And ‘The Hunger Games,’ Has Died At 86

Lynn Cohen, the veteran stage actress known to most as Magda, Miranda’s sometimes disapproving housekeeper on Sex and the City, has died, according to Variety. She was 86.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1933, Cohen didn’t become a New York stage staple until the late ’70s. She was soon frequently in off-Broadway productions and, twice, on Broadway itself, appearing in a 1989 rendering of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending and, nine years later, a version of Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov alongside Kevin Kline, Marian Seldes, Max Wright, and Hope Davis.

Two years after, in 2000, she scored what would become her most recognized and beloved turn: as Miranda Hobbes’ housekeeper and, eventually, nanny. Magda was often judgmental; at one point she hid her employer’s vibrator. But she was also loving and caring, and when Miranda started settling down as the show was drawing its close, Magda was there to help.

Cohen spoke about her most famous character to Cosmopolitan in 2008. “It showed a woman of a different age who was smart as the devil, very bossy, and also understood sexuality, and they needed that,” she explained. “It enlarged the canvas on which they were working, that they would not have a typical old lady molding away in some retirement home somewhere, but a woman who worked, and didn’t suffer fools.”

Cohen was also a sometime guest on Law and Order, playing Judge Elizabeth Mizener in 12 episodes from 1993 to 2006. She was a go-to character actor on television, appearing in Damages, Nurse Jackie, The Affair, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and, most recently, a January 5th episode of God Friended Me.

She was also a staple of movies. Her first screen turn was in Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery in 1993, and she worked with him again in 1997’s Deconstructing Harry. She had a key role in Louis Malles’ meta Chekhov adaptation Vanya on 42nd Street, played Philip Seymour Hoffman’s mom in Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, and popped up in such films as The Station Agent, Invincible, Across the Universe, and David Wain’s rom-com lampoon They Came Together.

Perhaps her meatiest film role was in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, in which she portrayed a fiery Golda Meir, showing the full range of her powers in a single scene where Israel’s then-Prime Minister weighs the pros and cons of avenging the PLO’s massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. She also played Mags in Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Cohen’s passing was mourned on Twitter, with many honoring her four-year run on Sex and the City and its two movies.

Her Hunger Games turn got some love, too.

You can watch Cohen’s terrific work in Munich below.

(Via Variety)

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