A year later Universal Studios bought out that contract and Cattrall became one of the last participants in the contract player system of Universal (also referenced as MCA/Universal during this period) before the system ended in 1980.The Universal system's representative in New York, Eleanor Kilgallen (sister of Dorothy Kilgallen), cast Cattrall in numerous TV guest-star roles.One of her best-known film roles is that of Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Cattrall assisted in developing the character by designing her own hairstyle and even helped come up with the name.Near the end of filming, Cattrall had a photographer shoot a roll of film on the Enterprise bridge set, in which she wore nothing but her Vulcan ears.She is known for her role as Samantha Jones in the HBO romantic comedy series Sex and the City (1998–2004), for which she received five Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Award nominations, winning the 2002 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.She reprised the role in the films Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010).In 1997, she was cast in Sex and the City, Darren Star's series which was broadcast on HBO.
She also appeared in the sequel released in May 2010.
In 1986, she played Kurt Russell's brainy flame in the action film Big Trouble in Little China.
In 1987, her lead role in Mannequin proved a huge success with audiences.
For her role in the TV series, she was nominated for five Emmy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards, winning one in 2002.
She also won two ensemble Screen Actors Guild Awards, shared with her co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.