"I don't consider myself a celebrity and I don't consider myself a star." Laura Linney
Academy Award nominated actress Laura Linney recently received rave reviews for portraying the role of Clara McMillen in Bill Condon's drama Kinsey (2004, starring Liam Neeson). She also gathered praise while starring as Sammy Prescott in Kenneth Lonergan's drama You Can Count On Me, in 2000. Additionally, Linney is credited to such films as The Truman Show (1998), Mystic River (2003), and Love Actually (2003).
Laura received the lead role of Mary Ann Singleton in the acclaimed miniseries Tales of the City (1993), and its sequels (in 1998 and 2001), and gained positive reviews for her stage work, notably the Hedda Gabler and Sight Unseen productions.
In May of 2003, Linney was reported to have joined with such stars as
Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, Jonathan Ross, Jennifer Lopez and Kevin Spacey in efforts to support the Wallace & Gromit's Children's
Foundation and in introducing the Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day. The program was held to benefit children hospitals and
sanatoriums around the United Kingdom.
Childhood and Family:
"I grew up in Manhattan and since my father was a playwright, all I ever wanted to be was a stage actress." Laura Linney
Daughter of well-known dramatist Romulus Linney and Ann Leggett Perse (a nurse), Laura Legett Linney was born on February 5, 1964 in New York. After her parents divorce when she was merely six months old, Laura then lived and was raised by her mother on Manhattan's Upper East Side. She has a stepmother, Laura Callahan (associate director of an investment company) and a half-sister, Susan Linney (book editor; born in 1975).
Following her graduation from Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1982, Laura studied at the Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. After a year she transferred to the Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island (majored in Theater Arts) and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986. Acting inspired Laura Linney to join with fellow actress Jeanne Tripplehorn (Basic Instinct, The Firm) in attending the famous Juilliard School (major: Drama) in New York, which she finished in 1989.
In September 1995, Laura tied the knot with former classmate, actor
David Adkins, but they separated and divorced in 2000. Laura, who has a yellow Labrador dog named Eleanor Duse (after the actress),
currently resides in Connecticut close to friends Kevin Bacon and Michael J. Fox.
"When I first came [to Los Angeles], I had my lovely list of theatre credits. My resume was golden in my mind. I had worked regionally. I'd worked on Broadway. And a casting director looked at my resume and said 'You really haven't done anything, have you?' I was just dumbstruck. The attitude here is that theatre is what you do when you can't get film work, and that is just insulting to the marrow of my bones!" Laura Linney.
Formerly a summer trainee at the New London Barn Playhouse in New Hampshire at age 12, Laura Linney managed to perform on Broadway and gained notice for the 1990's productions, The Seagull, and Six Degrees of Separation. Linney made her stage breakthrough in the acclaimed plays Sight Unseen and Hedda Gabler. The plays earned her critical acclaim and netted her both the Theatre World Award (1992) and Calloway Award (1994).
Linney landed on the silver screen with a bit part in George Miller's drama Lorenzo's Oil (1992, starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon) and was seen on television on ABC's Class of '61. Next came a more impressive role in Ivan Reitman's romantic comedy Dave (1993), in which she portrayed Kevin Kline's seductive secretary Randi.
On the small screen, Linney gained recognition starring as Mary Ann Singleton in PBS's prized miniseries Tales of the City (1993, an adaptation of Armistead Maupin's novel), a role that she reprised in its sequels, More Tales of the City (1998) and Further Tales of the City (2001). After playing supporting roles in the rarely seen A Simple Twist of Fate (1994, opposite Steve Martin), Linney got her first starring role in Frank Marshall's adaptation of Michael Crichton's sci-fi action Congo (1995, costarring Dylan Walsh), in which she played the lead role of Dr. Karen Ross. Other significant roles arrived such as tough lawyer Janet Venable in Gregory Hoblit's adaptation of William Diehl's crime-drama novel Primal Fear (1996, opposite Richard Gere), and as Clint Eastwood's daughter in his David Baldacci's thriller Absolute Power (1997). Linney also went back on stage starring with Tony Goldwyn in Philip Barry's Holiday (1995) as well as alongside Robert Foxworth and Jane Alexander in Honour (1998). Linney's first breakout role came in the form of Jim Carey's wife in the highly praised Peter Weir's sci-fi comedy, The Truman Show (1998). She then starred in ABC's Love Letters (1999), a Stanley Donen's adaptation of A.R. Gurney's play.
However, it was Kenneth Lonergan's drama, You Can Count on Me (2000,
costarring Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick), that launched her name into stardom. Portraying the lead role of rural single mother Sammy
Prescott, Linney earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Afterward, she was cast in a string of films including Maze (2000,
directed and starring Rob Morrow), The House of Mirth (2000, playing Bertha Dorset), The Laramie Project (2002), and The Mothman Prophecies
(2002, reunited with Richard Gere). Adding her role in TNT's Running Mates in 2000, Linney was nominated for an Emmy for her part in the TV
movie Wild Iris in 2002. Meanwhile, she returned on stage in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (2000, starring Derek Jacobi) and played
Elizabeth Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible (2002, opposite Liam Neeson), the latter of which earned her a Tony Award nomination.
2003 to 2004 saw Linney in films like The Life of David Gale, Mystic River, Love Actually, and P.S., as well as playing Kelsey Grammer's
love, Charlotte, in the NBC series Frasier. Recently Linney received
more recognition after being nominated for an Academy Award for portraying Clara McMillen in Bill Condon's drama Kinsey (2004, starring Liam Neeson). Following her current film, The Squid and the Whale (2005), Linney is busy working in upcoming films, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Jindabyne, and Driving Lessons.
"Fortunately, I'm in a perfect position for me. I'm able to work, have a wonderful time, and I'm not really a celebrity, and that's great." Laura Linney