Laura Leggett Linney (born February 5, 1964) is an American actress and singer. She is the recipient of several awards, including two Golden Globe Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for three Academy Awards and four Tony Awards.
Linney made her Broadway debut in 1990 before going on to receive Tony Award nominations for the 2002 revival of The Crucible, the original Broadway productions of Sight Unseen (2004) and Time Stands Still (2010), and the 2017 revival of The Little Foxes. On television, she won her first Emmy Award for the television film Wild Iris (2001), and had subsequent wins for the sitcom Frasier (2003–04) and the miniseries John Adams (2008). From 2010 to 2013, she starred in the Showtime series The Big C, which won her a fourth Emmy in 2013, and in 2017 she began starring in the Netflix crime series Ozark.
Linney is also an established film actress. She made her film debut with a minor role in Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for the dramas You Can Count On Me (2000), Kinsey (2004), and The Savages (2007). Her other films include Primal Fear (1996), The Truman Show (1998), Mystic River (2003), Love Actually (2003), The Squid and the Whale (2005), The Nanny Diaries (2007), Hyde Park on Hudson (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015), Sully (2016), and Nocturnal Animals (2016).
Linney was born in Manhattan. Her mother Miriam Anderson “Ann” Perse (née Leggett) was a nurse at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and her father Romulus Zachariah Linney IV (1930–2011) was a playwright and professor. Linney’s paternal great-great-grandfather was Republican U.S. Congressman Romulus Zachariah Linney. She grew up in modest circumstances, living with her mother in a small one-bedroom apartment. She has a half-sister named Susan from her father’s second marriage.
Linney is a 1982 graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite preparatory school in New England for which she currently serves as the chair of the Arts Advisory Council. She then attended Northwestern University before transferring to Brown University, where she studied acting with Jim Barnhill and John Emigh and served on the board of Production Workshop, the university’s student theater group. During her senior year at Brown, she performed in one of her father’s plays as Lady Ada Lovelace in a production of Childe Byron, a drama in which poet Lord Byron mends a taut, distant relationship with his daughter Ada.
Linney graduated from Brown in 1986. She went on to study acting at the Juilliard School as a member of Group 19 (1986–90), which also included Jeanne Tripplehorn. She received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Juilliard when she delivered the school’s commencement address in 2009.
Linney married David Adkins in 1995; they divorced in 2000. In 2007, she became engaged to Marc Schauer, a real estate agent from Telluride, Colorado. On her wedding day in May 2009, actor Liam Neeson walked her down the aisle. On January 8, 2014, Linney gave birth to a son, Bennett Armistead Schauer. Linney was a guest and presenter at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.
The Little Foxes with Cynthia Nixon
Linney first appeared in minor roles in a few early 1990s films, including Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) and Dave (1993). She was then cast in a series of high-profile thrillers, including Congo (1995), Primal Fear (1996) and Absolute Power (1997).
She made her Hollywood breakthrough in 1998, praised for playing Jim Carrey’s on-screen wife in The Truman Show.
In 2000, she starred in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count On Me alongside Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick. The film was met with highly positive reviews from critics with an approval rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus reading, “You Can Count On Me may look like it belongs on the small screen, but the movie surprises with its simple yet affecting story. Beautifully acted and crafted, the movie will simply draw you in.” Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
In 2003, Linney appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River alongside Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Marcia Gay Harden. The film received an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes with the critics’ consensus reading, “Anchored by the exceptional acting of its strong cast, Mystic River is a somber drama that unfolds in layers and conveys the tragedy of its story with visceral power.” Linney received a BAFTA Award nomination for her performance.
That same year she also starred in the popular holiday film Love Actually alongside Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, and Liam Neeson.
She also appeared in Alan Parker’s The Life of David Gale (2003) alongside Kate Winslet and Kevin Spacey.
In 2004, she reunited with her Love Actually co-star Liam Neeson in Kinsey, as the title character’s wife. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe Award.
In 2005, Linney starred in Noah Baumbach’s comedy-drama The Squid and the Whale alongside Jeff Daniels and Jesse Eisenberg. It received rave reviews from critics earning a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus reading, “this is a piercingly honest, acidly witty look at divorce and its impact on a family.” She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance.
Linney appeared in the political satire Man of the Year (2006) alongside Robin Williams and the comedy-drama The Nanny Diaries opposite Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, based on the book by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus.
She also appeared in Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman. She received a third Academy Award nomination for her performance.
In 2012, she starred in Roger Mitchell’s Hyde Park on Hudson alongside Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt. The film also starred Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams and Samuel West. Murray was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance.
In 2015, she starred in Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes alongside Ian McKellen. The film received rave reviews, earning an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus reading, “Mr. Holmes focuses on the man behind the mysteries, and while it may lack Baker Street thrills, it more than compensates with tenderly wrought, well-acted drama.”
In 2016, she appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Sully with Tom Hanks. The film was a critical and commercial success making almost $240 million at the box office.
She starred in Genius (2016) alongside Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce and Dominic West. She appeared briefly in Tom Ford’s critical hit Nocturnal Animals alongside Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon. The film is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus, “Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further underscores writer-director Tom Ford’s distinctive visual and narrative skill.”
It was announced in 2018 that she will be starring in Sally Potter’s Molly, alongside Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek, Elle Fanning, and Chris Rock. Production began in New York City in 2019 and the film is set to be released in 2020.
Tales of the City – With Marcus D’Amico – Chloe Webb (1994)
In 1993, Linney starred in the television adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City as Mary Ann Singleton. She returned as Mary Ann Singleton in 1998 in More Tales of the City and in 2001 in Further Tales of the City. She returned again in the 2019 Netflix miniseries Tales of the City.
In October 1994, Linney guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order (episode “Blue Bamboo”) as Martha Bowen. She played a blonde American singer who successfully claimed “battered woman syndrome” as a defense to the murder of a Japanese businessman.
In 2002 she starred in Wild Iris alongside Gena Rowlands and won her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
In 2004, she had a recurring role in the critically acclaimed comedy series Frasier as Charlotte, the final love interest of Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer). She won her second Primetime Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
In 2008, Linney starred as Abigail Adams in the prestigious HBO miniseries John Adams directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables). Paul Giamatti played John Adams. The series was a critical and awards season hit and won 13 Primetime Emmy Awards overtaking Angels in America (11 wins) as the Miniseries with the most Emmy wins in history. She won her third Primetime Emmy Award for her performance
Since 2009, Linney has served as host of the PBS television series Masterpiece Classic. She became a popular meme and vine for her introductions when saying, “Hi, I’m Laura Linney and this is Masterpiece Classic”.
In 2010, Linney returned to television in Showtime’s half-hour series about cancer, The Big C. She served as both an actress and executive producer on the show. She starred as a suburban wife and mother who explores the emotional ups and downs of suffering cancer, and the changes it brings to her life and her sense of who she is. In 2011, she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance. In 2013, she won her fourth Primetime Emmy Award for the final season of the series.
In 2017, she joined Netflix’s crime drama series Ozark alongside Jason Bateman. She has been nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for her performances in both seasons one and two.
Linney’s extensive stage credits on Broadway and elsewhere include Hedda Gabler, for which she won the 1994 Joe A. Callaway Award, and Holiday in December 1995 through January 1996 (based on the 1938 movie starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn).
In 2002, she starred in the Broadway revival of The Crucible alongside Liam Neeson at the Virginia Theatre which ran from March 2002 through June 2002. She received a Best Actress Tony Award nomination for her performance.
In 2004 she starred in the Broadway production of Sight Unseen at the Biltmore Theatre which ran from May 2004 through July 2004. She earned her second Tony Award nomination for her performance.
In 2008, she starred as La Marquise de Merteuil in the Broadway revival of Christopher Hampton’s play Les Liaisons Dangereuses alongside Mamie Gummer and Benjamin Walker at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre.
In 2010, Linney starred in the Broadway production of Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies alongside Brian D’Arcy James and Alicia Silverstone at the Cort Theatre from January 28, 2010, through March 27, 2010. She received her third Tony Award nomination for her performance. The play returned to Broadway with most of the original cast in September 2010 and closed on January 30, 2011.
In 2017, she starred in the Broadway revival of The Little Foxes alongside Cynthia Nixon at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre which opened officially on April 19, 2017 and closed on July 2, 2017. She alternated the roles of Regina and Birdie with Nixon. She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for her performance.
2018, My Name is Lucy Barton in London and on Broadway 2020 at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (Manhatten Theatre Club)
In 2002, Linney appeared on Sandra Boynton’s children’s CD Philadelphia Chickens alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone. Linney sings the song “Please Can I Keep It?”.
|1992||Lorenzo’s Oil||Young Teacher|
|Searching for Bobby Fischer||School Teacher|
|1994||A Simple Twist of Fate||Nancy Lambert Newland|
|1995||Congo||Dr. Karen Ross|
|1996||Primal Fear||Janet Venable|
|1997||Absolute Power||Kate Whitney|
|1998||The Truman Show||Meryl Burbank/Hannah Gill|
|1999||Lush||Rachel Van Dyke|
|2000||You Can Count On Me||Samantha “Sammy” Prescott|
|The House of Mirth||Bertha Dorset|
|2002||The Laramie Project||Sherry Johnson|
|The Mothman Prophecies||Officer Connie Mills|
|2003||The Life of David Gale||Constance Harraway|
|Mystic River||Annabeth Markum|
|2005||The Squid and the Whale||Joan Berkman|
|The Exorcism of Emily Rose||Erin Bruner|
|2006||Driving Lessons||Laura Marshall|
|The Hottest State||Jesse|
|Man of the Year||Eleanor Green|
|2007||The Savages||Wendy Savage|
|The Nanny Diaries||Mrs. X|
|2008||The Other Man||Lisa|
|2009||The City of Your Final Destination||Caroline|
|2010||Sympathy for Delicious||Nina Hogue|
|Arthur Christmas||North Pole Computer||Voice|
|2012||Hyde Park on Hudson||Margaret Suckley|
|2013||The Fifth Estate||Sarah Shaw|
|2015||Mr. Holmes||Mrs. Munro|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows||Rebecca Vincent|
|Nocturnal Animals||Anne Sutton||Cameo|
|2017||The Dinner||Claire Lohman|
|1993||Class of ’61||Lily Magraw||TV movie|
|1993||Blind Spot||Phoebe||TV movie|
|1993||Tales of the City||Mary Ann Singleton||Miniseries; 7 episodes|
|1994||Law & Order||Martha Bowen||Episode: “Blue Bamboo”|
|1998||More Tales of the City||Mary Ann Singleton||Miniseries; 6 episodes|
|1999||Love Letters||Melisa Gardner Cobb||TV movie|
|2000||Running Mates||Lauren Hartman||TV movie|
|2001||Further Tales of the City||Mary Ann Singleton||Miniseries; 3 episodes|
|2001||Wild Iris||Iris Bravard||TV movie|
|2002||King of the Hill||Marlene||Voice; Episode: “Dang Ol’ Love”|
|2003–2004||Frasier||Mindy / Charlotte||6 episodes|
|2006||American Dad!||Doctor Gupta||Voice; Episode: “Roger ‘n’ Me”|
|2008||John Adams||Abigail Adams||Miniseries; 7 episodes|
|2010–2013||The Big C||Cathy Jamison||40 episodes, also executive producer|
|2016||Inside Amy Schumer||Herself||Episode: “Brave”|
|2017||Red Nose Day Actually||Sarah||Television short film[a]|
|2017||Last Week Tonight with John Oliver||Florence Harding||Segment: “Harding”|
|2017–present||Ozark||Wendy Byrde||20 episodes|
|2017||Sink Sank Sunk||Mitzi Mills||TV movie|
|2018||BoJack Horseman||Herself||Voice; Episode: “The Dog Days Are Over”|
|2019||Portrait Artist of the Year||Herself||Episode: “Laura Linney”|
|2019||Tales of the City||Mary Ann Singleton||Main cast; 10 episodes|
|1990–1992||Six Degrees of Separation||Tess||Nov 8, 1990 – Jan 5, 1992
|Vivian Beaumont Theatre|
|1992||Sight Unseen||Grete||Jan 7, 1992- March 22, 1992||Orpheum Theatre|
|1992–1993||The Seagull||Nina||Nov 29, 1992 – Jan 10, 1993||LyceumTheatre|
|1994||Hedda Gabler||Thea Elvsted||Jul 10, 1994– Aug 7, 1994||Criterion Center Stage Right|
|1995–1996||Holiday||Linda Seton||Dec 3, 1995 – Jan 14, 1996||Circle in the Square Theatre|
|1998||Honour||Claudia||Apr 26, 1998 – Jun 14, 1998||Belasco Theatre|
|2000||Uncle Vanya||Yelena Andreyevna||Apr 30, 2000 – Jun 11, 2000||Brooks Atkinsons Theatre|
|2002||The Crucible||Elizabeth Proctor||Mar 7, 2002 – Jun 9, 2002||Virginia Theatre|
|2004||Sight Unseen||Patricia||May 25, 2004 – Jul 25, 2004||Biltmore Theatre|
|2008||Les liaisons dangereuses||La Marquise de Merteuil||May 1, 2008 – Jul 6, 2008||American Airlines Theatre|
|2010–2011||Time Stands Still||Sarah Goodwin||Jan 28, 2010 – Jan 30, 2011||Cort Theatre|
|2017||The Little Foxes||Regina Giddens / Birdie Hubbard||Apr 19, 2017 – Jul 2, 2017||Samuel J. Friedman Theatre|
|2018||My Name Is Lucy Barton||Lucy Barton||Jun 2, 2018 – Jun 24, 2018||Bridge Theatre|
|2019||Jan 23, 2019 – Feb 16, 2019|
|2020||Jan 6, 2020 –||Samuel J. Friedman Theatre|
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