Fair-haired, blue-eyed American actress Bonnie Somerville seemed tailor-made for on-camera work, and fell into her niche as supporting actress, beginning in her mid-twenties — typically in the casts of Hollywood A-list features and hit television programs.
In an unusual feat for an ingenue, the Brooklyn-born Somerville took one of her first bows as a lead — with a starring role in the epic-length TV miniseries Shake, Rattle and Roll (1999), about an apocryphal music group from the ’50s called “the Heartaches.” Somerville portrayed Lyne Danner, the lead singer of the group. Many supporting roles followed, such as a small turn in the 2000 Harold Ramis comedy Bedazzled and a multi-episode role on the hit sitcom Friends as Mona, a girlfriend of Ross (David Schwimmer).
Somerville then signed for regular roles in occasional sitcoms during the early 2000s, including Grosse Pointe and In-Laws; unfortunately, these failed to catch fire with the public. Somerville’s fate turned in 2003 with a multi-episode run on the Fox prime-time soaper The O.C.; the actress played Rachel Hoffman, a former associate of Sandy Cohen’s (Peter Gallagher) from the DA’s office, who makes advances toward her married colleague but receives a rebuff from him.
After a supporting turn in the big-screen comedy Without a Paddle (2004), Somerville scored a regular part as Det. Laura Murphy on the hit cop drama NYPD Blue; she played the role throughout its 12th and final season (2004-2005). Not long after, the actress signed for another regular TV part, portraying Mimi, the restaurant manager of Nolita (and daughter of the owner, Pino [Frank Langella]) in the U.S. sitcom Kitchen Confidential (2005). Unfortunately, that program folded shortly after it premiered, but the actress found another major TV role when she was cast in the Darren Star (Sex and the City) ABC drama Cashmere Mafia in 2008; she played Caitlin Dowd, a senior VP for a cosmetics company on that series, which focused on the lives of a group of four friends who were high-powered New York City businesswomen.