Laura Linney

Laura Linney

Linney, a presenter at the Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, January 2009
Born Laura Leggett Linney
(1964-02-05) February 5, 1964
Manhattan, New York City, United States
Education Brown University (BA 1986), Juilliard School (1990)
  • Actress
  • Singer
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) David Adkins (m. 1995–2000)
Marc Schauer (m. 2009)
Children 1
Parent(s) Romulus Linney (deceased)
Miriam Anderson Perse (née Leggett)
Relatives Romulus Zachariah Linney (great-great-grandfather)

Laura Leggett Linney (born February 5, 1964) is an American actress. A three-time Academy Award nominee and three-time Tony Award nominee, she won her first Emmy Award in 2002 for Wild Iris (2001), and had subsequent wins for Frasier (2003–04) and John Adams (2008). From 2010–13, she starred in the Showtime series The Big C, which won her a fourth Emmy in 2013. She is also a two-time Golden Globe Award winner.

Linney made her Broadway debut in 1990, before going on to receive Tony Award nominations for the 2002 revival of The Crucible and the original Broadway productions of Sight Unseen (2004) and Time Stands Still (2010). She made her screen debut in the 1992 film Lorenzo's Oil, and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for 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) and The Squid and the Whale (2005).

Early life and education

Linney was born in Manhattan. Her mother, Miriam Anderson "Ann" Perse (née Leggett), was a nurse who worked at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and her father, Romulus Zachariah Linney IV (1930-2011), was a well-known playwright and professor.[1][2][3][4] Linney's paternal great-great-grandfather was Republican U.S. Congressman Romulus Zachariah Linney. Linney grew up in modest circumstances, living with her mother in a small one-bedroom apartment.[5] She has a half-sister, Susan, from her father's second marriage.

She 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 theatre 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 Ada's father, the poet Lord Byron, mends a taut, distant relationship with his daughter.[6] Linney graduated from Brown in 1986.[7] She went on to study acting at the Juilliard School as a member of Group 19 (1986–1990), which also included Jeanne Tripplehorn.[8] Linney later 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), before coming to prominence in the public television miniseries Tales of the City in 1993.[3] 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, playing Jim Carrey's on-screen wife in The Truman Show, for which she received critical acclaim.[3] Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 2000 film You Can Count on Me.[3] The same year, she also appeared in the role of an artist's model in the low-budget film Maze with Rob Morrow. In 2003, Linney appeared in several notable films, including The Life of David Gale, Love Actually, and Mystic River. The latter film earned her a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her 2004 performance in Kinsey, again as the title character's wife, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[3] In 2005, Linney starred in the horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the comedy-drama The Squid and the Whale. For the latter role, she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. In 2006, Linney appeared in the political satire Man of the Year, the comedy Driving Lessons (starring Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame), and the Australian drama Jindabyne by Ray Lawrence. Jindabyne was based on Raymond Carver's short story So Much Water so Close to Home. In 2007, Linney appeared in the spy thriller Breach, the comedy-drama The Nanny Diaries opposite Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, and based on the book by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus,[10] and The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman.[3] She received a third Academy Award nomination for The Savages, this time for Best Actress.[11] In 2008, Linney starred in The Other Man, opposite Liam Neeson, with whom she had starred in Kinsey and Love Actually, and Antonio Banderas. In 2012, she starred opposite Bill Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson. In 2016, she starred in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.


In the late 1980s, Linney did a stint on ABC's General Hospital portraying the character Louise Knotts. She was a counselor at the community center where Tom Hardy, the son of Audrey and Steve Hardy, worked. Linney starred as Mary Ann Singleton in the television adaptations of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City books (1993, 1998, and 2001). She won her first Emmy Award[12] in 2002 for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie" for Wild Iris. In 2004, she won her second Emmy as "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series," for her recurring role as the final love interest of Frasier Crane in the television series Frasier.[3] In 2008, she won an Emmy in the category "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie" for her portrayal of Abigail Adams, wife of the second president of the United States, in the HBO miniseries John Adams.[3] 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. Linney returned to series television as actress and executive producer in Showtime's half-hour series about cancer, The Big C, which debuted in mid-2010. 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.[13] She won a Golden Globe award for her performance in January 2011. Since 2009, Linney has served as host of the PBS television series Masterpiece Classic.

In June, 2016, Laura Linney was asked whether she would make another Tales series if she were asked, to which she answered yes and then revealed that talks were in progress about a new series of Tales of the City set in modern-day San Francisco. Armistead Maupin himself then revealed that meetings had already taken place and both Linney and Olympia Dukakis were attached.


Linney's extensive stage credits on Broadway and elsewhere include Hedda Gabler, for which she won the 1994 Joe A. Callaway Award,[14] and Holiday in December 1995 through January 1996 (based on the 1938 movie starring Katharine Hepburn).[15] She received a Best Actress Tony Award nomination for her role in the Broadway production of The Crucible in March 2002 through June 2002.[16][17] She was nominated again in 2005 for Sight Unseen, in which she appeared on Broadway in May 2004 through July 2004.[18][19] Linney also appeared on Sandra Boynton's children's CD, Philadelphia Chickens, on which she sings "Please Can I Keep It?," and played La Marquise de Merteuil in a revival of Christopher Hampton's play Les Liaisons Dangereuses.[20] Linney had a three-month run on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, from January 28, 2010, through March 27, 2010. She was nominated for a 2010 Tony award for Best Leading Actress in a Play. The play returned to Broadway with most of the original cast in September 2010 and closed on January 30, 2011.[21]

Personal life

Linney married David Adkins in 1995; they divorced in 2000.[22][23] In 2007, she became engaged to Marc Schauer, a real estate agent from Telluride, Colorado.[24] On her wedding day in May 2009, actor Liam Neeson walked her down the aisle.[25] On January 8, 2014, Linney gave birth to a son, Bennett Armistead Schauer.[26] Linney was a guest and presenter at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.[27]


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Young Teacher
1993 Dave Randi
1993 Searching for Bobby Fischer School Teacher
1994 Simple Twist of Fate, AA 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
2000 The House of Mirth Bertha Dorset
2000 Maze Callie
2002 The Laramie Project Sherry Johnson
2002 The Mothman Prophecies Officer Connie Mills
2003 The Life of David Gale Constance Harraway
2003 Mystic River Annabeth Markum
2003 Love Actually Sarah
2004 P.S. Louise Harrington
2004 Kinsey Clara McMillen
2005 The Squid and the Whale Joan Berkman
2005 The Exorcism of Emily Rose Erin Bruner
2006 Driving Lessons Laura Marshall
2006 Jindabyne Claire
2006 The Hottest State Jesse
2006 Man of the Year Eleanor Green
2007 The Savages Wendy Savage
2007 Breach Kate Burroughs
2007 The Nanny Diaries Mrs. X
2008 The Other Man Lisa
2009 The City of Your Final Destination Caroline
2010 Sympathy for Delicious Nina Hogue
2010 Morning Dr. Goodman
2011 The Details Lila
2011 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
2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Rebecca Vincent [28]
2016 Sully Lorraine Sullenberger
2016 Nocturnal Animals Anne Sutton
2017 The Dinner Claire Lohman 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 Ozark Wendy Bird

Theatre credits

Year Title Role Notes
1990–1992 Six Degrees of Separation Tess Nov 8, 1990 – Jan 5, 1992
1992 Sight Unseen Grete
1992–1993 The Seagull Nina Nov 29, 1992 – Jan 10, 1993
1994 Hedda Gabler Thea Elvsted Jul 10 – Aug 7, 1994
1995–1996 Holiday Linda Seton Dec 3, 1995 – Jan 14, 1996
1998 Honour Claudia Apr 26 – Jun 14, 1998
2000 Uncle Vanya Yelena Andreyevna Apr 30 – Jun 11, 2000
2002 The Crucible Elizabeth Proctor Mar 7 – Jun 9, 2002
2004 Sight Unseen Patricia May 25 – Jul 25, 2004
2008 Les liaisons dangereuses La Marquise de Merteuil May 1 – Jul 6, 2008
2010–2011 Time Stands Still Sarah Goodwin Jan 28, 2010 – Jan 30, 2011

Awards and nominations


  1. "Laura Linney Biography (1964–)". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  2. "Laura Linney Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 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 2011-11-11. 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 2011-03-21. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  10. "Linney Opens The Nanny Diaries". March 14, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  11. "Philip Seymour Hoffman's Next is The Savages". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  12. Laura Linney Emmy Award Winner
  13. Bryant, Adam (August 27, 2009). "Showtime and Laura Linney to Tackle Cancer in New Series". Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  14. .asp "The Joe A. Callaway Award List", accessed January 31, 2011
  15. Canby, Vincent."Theater Review:The Wee Problems Of the Seriously Rich In the Frenzied 20's"New York Times, December 4, 1995
  16. Brantley, Ben."Theater Review:Two Against Mob Rule Who Can Turn Up the Heat"New York Times, March 8, 2002
  17. Pogrebin, Robin."'Millie' Leads the Tony Nominations With 11; 'Morning's' Earns 9"New York Times, May 7, 2002
  18. Gans, Andrew; Allen, Morgan; Simonson, Robert."2004–2005 Tony Nominations Announced; Spamalot Garners 14 Nominations", May 10, 2005
  19. Brantley."Theater Review:A Fragile Victim of Love Long Past"New York Times, May 26, 2004
  20. Smith, Liz (March 13, 2008). "Watch the hot actress thrive!". Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  21. Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway's 'Time Stands Still', Acclaimed Drama About War Scars, Closes Jan. 30", January 30, 2011
  22. "Laura Linney: The great pretender". The Independent. 25 November 2005. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  23. Heller, Corinne. "OTRC: LAURA LINNEY, 49, WELCOMES FIRST CHILD WITH HUSBAND MARC SCHAUER". KABC-TV. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  24. "Laura Linney Is Engaged". August 20, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  25. "Liam Neeson walked Laura Linney down the aisle". July 28, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  26. "Surprise! Laura Linney Welcomes a Son". January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  27. – We Are One Archived January 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. "Laura Linney Joining 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-09-17.

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