Kate Burton: From 'Scandal' To The Local Stage In 'The Price'

Kate Burton is starring locally in ‘The Price'. But first here's one of her memorable scenes playing the Vice President on ‘Scandal.'

Two brothers who haven't spoken to each other in 16 years come together to settle their late father's estate. Victor (played by Sam Robards), a police officer of 28 years, his brother, Walter (John Bedford Lloyd), a successful surgeon, and Victor's wife, Esther (Kate Burton), gather in the attic of the family's New York brownstone, where they are met by Solomon, a wise and wily antiques dealer (Alan Mandell). It is not only years of accumulation of family belongings that need sorting out, but also the hidden motives that long ago fractured the brothers' relationship.

Fun facts about Kate Burton (Source: Wikipedia)

Burton's first notable role on Broadway in a 1982 production of the Noël Coward play Present Laughter, which was directed by George C. Scott. The following year, she appeared in the Broadway production of Doonesbury, playing J.J. Several key roles followed, including roles in Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter and Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

In 2002, she portrayed two roles and was nominated for a Tony Award for both. She was nominated as Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of the title role in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, and for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Pinhead/Mrs. Kendal in the revival of The Elephant Man. This dual nomination made her one of only five actors, along with Amanda Plummer, Dana Ivey, Jan Maxwell and Mark Rylance to be Tony-nominated for two acting awards in the same year.

In 2006 Burton was in the Off-Broadway play opposite Tony Goldwyn in The Water's Edge. The same year she was nominated for Best Leading Actress again in 2006 in W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife. In 2007, she played Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard at Boston's Huntington Theatre. Burton was also part of the cast of the Broadway musicalSpring Awakening. She started on December 21, 2007 and replaced actress Christine Estabrook in the role of the Adult Women. Kristine Nielsen took over for her on March 2 for a short stint until Estabrook assumed the role again. She played the role of actress Katharine Cornell in "The Grand Manner" during the summer of 2010 at Lincoln Center in New York.


Early films of Burton's include Alice in Wonderland, Anne of the Thousand Days, Big Trouble in Little China, The First Wives Club, Life with Mikey and The Ice Storm. Burton has said of these roles that she usually plays "the sweet wife, or the sweet dead wife". Burton has also appeared in a number of roles in independent films.

Burton has been perhaps most prolific in her work on television. She made many appearances in the late 1980s and 1990s on episodic television, including appearances on Spenser: For Hire, All My Children, and Brooklyn Bridge. In 1996, Burton won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a mother dying of breast cancer in the ABC Afterschool Special, 'Notes For My Daughter'. More recently, she made guest appearances as recurring characters on Law & Order, The Practice, The West Wing, Judging Amy and Medium. She also appeared on the HBO miniseries Empire Falls.

Her recent recurring television roles both involved a subplot concerning Alzheimer's disease. On the FX cable network's Rescue Me, she played the role of Rose, a friend and possible romantic interest to Chief Jerry Reilly. Reilly's wife is in a facility with the disease and Rose, having cared for her husband who was also an Alzheimer's victim, is hired by Jerry to provide assistance and emotional support. Also, in perhaps her most visible and well-known role to date as the mother of Dr. Meredith Grey (the titular character on the well-known ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy), Burton played Dr. Ellis Grey, the former trailblazing surgeon, who dies of Alzheimer's. In 2006 and 2007, Burton was nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Ellis Grey. In 2011, Burton appeared as a veteran monster hunter in the opening episodes of the NBC supernatural drama Grimm. 

From 2012 until 2014, she played the extreme right-wing Vice President Sally Langston, a secondary antagonist, in the ABC hit show Scandal created by Shonda Rhimes.

Tickets for "The Price" are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or visiting online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org

Tickets range from $25 - $85 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

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