Biography

Held in warm regard by Xena-philes for her role as the vulnerable villain Najara in the popular fantasy adventure series Xena: Warrior Princess, actress Kathy Morris sports an impressively eclectic resumé, appearing in everything from television's creepy Poltergeist: The Legacy to such dramatic roles as The Contender (2000). Morris was born in Cincinnati, but grew up traveling constantly and living a Partridge Family-esque existence with her close-knit family/bandmates from the age of five. Though she would spend time in such geographically diverse climates as Brooklyn, TX, and the cold of Connecticut, it was with her early experiences in the spotlight that Morris found the most fulfillment. Seguing into theater after her youthful experiences on the stage, she began to refine her acting skills and soon made the decision to pursue a professional career as an actress. Laboring through countless hours of free work and waitressing in the years she spent launching her career, Morris finally got her break when cast alongside Mark Harmon in the made-for-television film The Long Road Home in 1991. Making her feature debut opposite 15-minute rap sensation Vanilla Ice in Cool as Ice the same year, Morris appeared in more made-for-TV movies (Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All [1994]) and low-budget thrillers (Sleepstalker [1995] and The Prophecy II [1998]) in the following years, Morris began to truly gain momentum in 1997 when she was cast in television's Pensacola: Wings of Gold and the aforementioned Xena: Warrior Princess. Never having been the athletic type, Morris left most of the fantastic swashbuckling of her sympathetic villainess in the physically demanding Xena to stunt doubles. After appearances in The Contender and the nuclear war thriller Deterrence (2000), Morris leapt into her biggest film yet with her role in Steven Spielberg's A.I. (2001). Spielberg also cast her in his next film, 2002's Minority Report, playing Tom Cruise's estranged wife. In 2003, Morris returned to television in the CBS series Cold Case. Playing Philadelphia Detective Lilly Rush, Morris was the lead in the show, which ran for seven seasons. After Cold Case wrapped in 2010, she played the small role of Billy Beane's (Brad Pitt) wife in the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball (2011), but her scenes were ultimately cut from the movie. In 2013, Morris appeared in the Hallmark Channel's TV Movie The Sweeter Side of Life. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi