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  • Writer's pictureAugust Sorenson

Pride Sendoff with LGBTQ TV Star Katherine Moennig

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

A star of television, Katherine Moennig (Class of 1998) has seen a career full of overwhelming success in just a few short decades. Destined for a career in entertainment, Moennig’s bloodline is full of artistry. Born to Broadway dancer Mary Zahn and violin-maker William H. Moennig III, creativity is a second language. Her artistic roots extend beyond her immediate family: her paternal aunt is actress Blythe Danner, making Moennig a not-so-distant cousin to Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The two have even shared the stage.

In 1999, fresh off the success of “Shakespeare in Love,” Ms. Paltrow played Rosalind in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Production of “As You Like It.” The highly publicized production saw a then-unknown Kathrine Moennig (billed as Kate Moennig) as an essential member of the troupe’s ensemble. But beyond that, Ms. Moennig has built her own career. When pressed for a comment on Paltrow, Ms. Moennig replied: “I like that people don’t actually make the comparison. And I want no one judging me solely on the fact that I am her cousin.”

From there, her career has been on one trajectory: up. In 2000, Moennig made her first major television appearance in “Young Americans,” a drama series created by Steven Antin. A spinoff of “Dawson’s Creek,” the series was intended to fill the summertime gap between the fall-spring release of the show. Moennig played the role of Jacqueline “Jake” Pratt, a teenage girl who dresses as a boy to get the attention of her mother.

A member of the LGBTQ community, Moennig is married to Brazilian director Ana Rezende. Her work has been colored, rather directly, by her sexuality. Moennig has played numerous lesbian characters onscreen in the series such as: “Everybody’s Fine,” “Art School Confidence,” “Ray Donovan,” and, perhaps most famously, in “The L Word.” Starring in the latter series from 2004-2009, the show put Moennig on the map and earned her considerable press for her work as Shane McCutcheon. The role was reprised in 2019 on “The L Word: Generation Q,” a sequel to the original series. In one of her first television credits, Moennig played Cheryl Avery, a young transgender woman, in the 2003 episode “Fallacy” of the series “Law & Order.”

Moennig’s career reached a new high in recent years, with roles on “Grown-ish,” “The L Word: Generation Q,” and “Ray Donovan” (a series she’s been part of since 2013), making her one of the most ubiquitous LGBTQ artists in the business.


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