Laila Robins

(Another posting on a performer who’s given me pleasure.)

In Murder in the First, season 2 (currently in progress), the character Jamie Nelson is a lawyer who takes up the energetic defense of a murderer; she’s also a lesbian in an interracial relationship, with a woman who sees Jamie’s return to courtroom work as consuming her life and threatening their life together. Jamie is played by Laila Robins, who looked familiar to me, though at first I couldn’t place her.

Robins has played four different characters in Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In particular, she played ADA Diana Hawthorne in L&O‘s “Trophy” — an intense and chilling performance, which is what I remembered her from.

From Wikipedia:

Laila Robins (born March 14, 1959) is an American stage, film and television actress.

Robins was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Latvian American parents Brigita (née Švarcs) and Jānis, whose surname was originally spelled Robiņš.

She played a huge range of roles on stage roles from 1985 on.

Charles Isherwood, critic for The New York Times, assessed her stage work as Ariadne in George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House (2006). Robins played opposite Swoosie Kurtz, and Isherwood described both as such: “…this expert comic actress [Kurtz] may not fit the textbook definition of siren, as Hesione is called, but she may just be the most seductive woman on a New York stage right now…unless that nod goes to Ms. Robins, who locates the essence of her character’s shallow allure in a languid, liquid strut and a smile both entrancing and devouring”.

She’s managed an equally large range of film and tv appearances.

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