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Lynn Cohen, best known for her role as Magda on HBO’s Sex and the City, died Friday morning, her representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 86.
Cohen began her acting career in regional theater, appearing on New York stages since the late 1970s. She made her screen debut in the 1983 film Without a Trace, which starred Kate Nelligan and Judd Hirsch, and went on to appear on TV shows such as NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Damages and Nurse Jackie.
She joined the cast of Sex and the City as Miranda’s housekeeper in 2000 and reprised her role in both the follow-up films.
Onscreen, Cohen’s notable film credits include Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street, Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery and Deconstructing Harry, Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking, Tim Robbins’ Cradle Will Rock, D.J. Caruso’s Eagle Eye, Tom McCarthy’s The Station Agent, Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe and Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York.
She also played a featured role as Mags Flanagan, one of the tributes chosen from previous victors, in the 2013 sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
A gracious and well-respected member of the New York theater community, Cohen made her Broadway debut in Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending in 1990, which was directed by Peter Hall and starred Vanessa Redgrave. She also appeared in a 1996 Lincoln Center Theater Broadway revival of Chekhov’s Ivanov with Kevin Kline, Jayne Atkinson, Hope Davis and Marian Seldes.
Her many off-Broadway credits included a 1986 Public Theater production of Hamlet that starred Kline in the title role, and she played one of the witches in a 2006 Shakespeare in the Park staging of Macbeth, led by Liev Schreiber and Jennifer Ehle. Cohen won a Richard Seff Award, presented by Actors Equity to honor character actors aged 50 or older, for Tina Howe’s Chasing Manet in 2009 and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for the 2014 revival of John Van Druten’s I Remember Mama. Her most recent New York theater roles were in Charles Mee’s Big Love in 2015 and Horton Foote’s The Traveling Lady in 2017.
Cohen was born in 1933 in Kansas City, Missouri, and studied her craft at Michael Howard Studios in New York City. Among her more recent roles, she appeared in The Cobbler and on Blue Bloods, The Affair, Master of None and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Cohen is survived by her husband Ronald Theodore Cohen, to whom she was married since 1964.
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