Laura Linney

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.

Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney

(1964-02-05) February 5, 1964
EducationBrown University (BA)
Juilliard School (GrDip)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1990–present
David Adkins
(m. 1995; div. 2000)

Marc Schauer
(m. 2009)
Parent(s)Romulus Linney
RelativesRomulus Zachariah Linney

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).

Early life and education

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.[1][2][3][4] 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.[5] 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.[3] 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.[6]

Linney graduated from Brown in 1986.[7] She went on to study acting at the Juilliard School as a member of Group 19 (1986–90), which also included Jeanne Tripplehorn.[8] She received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Juilliard when she delivered the school's commencement address in 2009.[9]



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.[3]

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."[10] Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.[3]

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."[11] Linney received a BAFTA Award nomination for her performance.[12]

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.[13]

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.[3]

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."[14] She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance.[15]

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.[16]

She also appeared in Tamara Jenkins' The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman.[3] She received a third Academy Award nomination for her performance.[17]

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."[18]

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.[19]

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."[20]

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.[21] Production began in New York City in 2019 and the film is set to be released in 2020.[22]


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[23] 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.[3]

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.[24] She won her third Primetime Emmy Award for her performance[3]

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".[25]

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.[26] 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.[27] She has been nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for her performances in both seasons one and two.[28]


Linney's extensive stage credits on Broadway and elsewhere include Hedda Gabler, for which she won the 1994 Joe A. Callaway Award,[29] and Holiday in December 1995 through January 1996 (based on the 1938 movie starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn).[30]

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.[31][32]

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.[33][34]

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.[35]

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.[36]

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.[37] She received her fourth Tony Award nomination for her performance.[38]

Children's Album

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?".[39]

Personal life

Linney married David Adkins in 1995; they divorced in 2000.[40][41] In 2007, she became engaged to Marc Schauer, a real estate agent from Telluride, Colorado.[42] On her wedding day in May 2009, actor Liam Neeson walked her down the aisle.[43] On January 8, 2014, Linney gave birth to a son, Bennett Armistead Schauer.[44] Linney was a guest and presenter at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.[45]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Young Teacher
1993 Dave Randi
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
Maze Callie
2002 The Laramie Project Sherry Johnson
The Mothman Prophecies Officer Connie Mills
2003 The Life of David Gale Constance Harraway
Mystic River Annabeth Markum
Love Actually Sarah
2004 P.S. Louise Harrington
Kinsey Clara McMillen
2005 The Squid and the Whale Joan Berkman
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Erin Bruner
2006 Driving Lessons Laura Marshall
Jindabyne Claire
The Hottest State Jesse
Man of the Year Eleanor Green
2007 The Savages Wendy Savage
Breach Kate Burroughs
The Nanny Diaries Mrs. X
2008 The Other Man Lisa
2009 The City of Your Final Destination Caroline
2010 Sympathy for Delicious Nina Hogue
Morning Dr. Goodman
2011 The Details Lila
Arthur Christmas North Pole Computer Voice
2012 Hyde Park on Hudson Margaret Suckley
2013 The Fifth Estate Sarah Shaw
2015 Mr. Holmes Mrs. Munro
2016 Genius Louise Saunders
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Rebecca Vincent
Sully Lorraine Sullenberger
Nocturnal Animals Anne Sutton Cameo
2017 The Dinner Claire Lohman
2020 Falling Sarah Post-production
Molly Rita Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
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[lower-alpha 1]
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

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Dates Theatre
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 Lyceum Theatre
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

Awards and nominations


  1. Not featured in original UK broadcast


  1. "Laura Linney Biography (1964–)". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  2. "Laura Linney Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  3. Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2009
  4. Cloninger Boggs, Mary Olivia (1981). The indubitable Busbees and their kin. M.O.C. Boggs. p. 105.
  5. Studio 360 broadcast, March 28, 2010
  6. Cohen, Patrica, "Genuine Actress Flirts With Stardom," NY Times, January 20, 2010
  7. "Laura Linney". All Movie Guide. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  8. "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  9. "Laura Linney to Deliver Commencement Address and Receive Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at Juilliard's 104th Commencement Ceremony". Press Release. The Juilliard School. May 2009. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  10. "You Can Count On Me (2000)" via
  11. "Mystic River (2003)" via
  12. Gans, Andrew (January 20, 2004). "Ian McKellen and Laura Linney Among BAFTA Nominees". Playbill.
  13. Bowman, Sabienna. "Laura Linney's 'Love Actually' Comments Will Make You Feel Better About Sarah's Story". Bustle.
  14. "The Squid and the Whale (2005)" via
  15. "The Squid and the Whale - IMDb" via
  16. "Linney Opens The Nanny Diaries". March 14, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  17. "Philip Seymour Hoffman's Next is The Savages". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  18. "Mr. Holmes (2015)" via
  19. "Sully (2016) - Box Office Mojo".
  20. "Nocturnal Animals (2016)" via
  21. Wiseman, Andreas; Wiseman, Andreas (December 10, 2018). "Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock & Laura Linney Set For Sally Potter Pic; HanWay & Bleecker Street Aboard".
  22. "NYC What's Filming: 'Molly' Starring Javier Bardem + Elle Fanning". January 25, 2019.
  23. "Laura Linney". Television Academy.
  24. "John Adams". Television Academy.
  25. "Pinterest". Pinterest.
  26. Bryant, Adam (August 27, 2009). "Showtime and Laura Linney to Tackle Cancer in New Series". Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  27. Petski, Denise (July 27, 2016). "Laura Linney To Star In Jason Bateman's Netflix Drama Series Ozark". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  28. "Laura Linney". IMDb.
  29. .asp "The Joe A. Callaway Award List", accessed January 31, 2011
  30. Canby, Vincent."Theater Review:The Wee Problems Of the Seriously Rich In the Frenzied 20's"New York Times, December 4, 1995
  31. Brantley, Ben."Theater Review:Two Against Mob Rule Who Can Turn Up the Heat"New York Times, March 8, 2002
  32. Pogrebin, Robin."'Millie' Leads the Tony Nominations With 11; 'Morning's' Earns 9"New York Times, May 7, 2002
  33. Gans, Andrew; Allen, Morgan; Simonson, Robert. "2004–2005 Tony Nominations Announced; Spamalot Garners 14 Nominations" Archived November 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, May 10, 2005
  34. Brantley."Theater Review:A Fragile Victim of Love Long Past"New York Times, May 26, 2004
  35. Smith, Liz (March 13, 2008). "Watch the hot actress thrive!". Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  36. Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway's 'Time Stands Still', Acclaimed Drama About War Scars, Closes Jan. 30" Archived February 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, January 30, 2011
  37. Clement, Olivia. "Broadway’s 'The Little Foxes' Opens April 19" Playbill, April 19, 2017
  38. "Cynthia Nixon Takes Home Her Second Tony Award for The Little Foxes".
  39. "Children's Book Review: Philadelphia Chickens [With CD] by Sandra Boynton, Author, Michael Ford, Composer Workman $16.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7611-2636-2". October 14, 2002. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  40. "Laura Linney: The great pretender". The Independent. November 25, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  41. Heller, Corinne. "OTRC: LAURA LINNEY, 49, WELCOMES FIRST CHILD WITH HUSBAND MARC SCHAUER". KABC-TV. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  42. "Laura Linney Is Engaged". August 20, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  43. "Liam Neeson walked Laura Linney down the aisle". July 28, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  44. "Surprise! Laura Linney Welcomes a Son". January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  45. – We Are One Archived January 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
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