Christine Baranski Is Still Fighting 'The Good Fight'

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When Christine Baranski walks into a room as attorney Diane Lockhart from “The Good Fight” or as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in “The Big Bang Theory,” or as gal-pal Tanya in the “Mama Mia!” films, attention must be paid.

Self-possessed, a little bit sly, a little bit cool, her eyes narrowing just a tad, her voice as precise as a surgical knife, she exudes the confidence and charisma of a dame who knows her stuff.

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Walking into a cafe shop in Washington Depot, Baranski could be any one of the town’s tony types — or in Baranski’s case, the Tony Award-types — going for breakfast or a bagel. After all, she’s lived in the area since the ’80s and has been part of community functions ever since.

One such event brings her here for conversation: the annual “Auction for Our Environment” on behalf of the Housatonic Valley Association, where she is a board member.

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Baranski, 66, first came to Litchfield County in on the back of a motorcycle named “Lucifer,” driven by her future husband, Matthew Cowles, who had a family home, an 18th Century farmhouse, sitting in a hill in Bethlehem.

Cowles, who died four years ago, was “a stunning combination of James Dean and Leonardo DiCaprio,” says Baranski. “He was so sexy and exotic and a real guy-guy. And he was a devout Catholic. He’d be in his black leather motorcycle jacket going to daily mass with the little old ladies.”

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Baranski says she always romanticized living in “a New England landscape with old houses and barns and rolling hills.”

That’s a far cry from Baranski growing up in Buffalo, and not the privileged Buffalo of the plays of A.R. Gurney. “We lived on the other side of town, in the Polish section known as Cheektowalga. It means land of the crabapples.”


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