American actress and singer Laura Leggett Linney was born on February 5, 1964, in New York City, United States of America. Following her M.F.A. from Juilliard, Laura Linney began her acting career performing on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Her performance was admired in the Broadway productions of Six Degrees of Separation and Hedda Gabler.
She made her film debut in 1992 portraying the character of a young teacher in Lorenzo’s Oil. However, it was her small but memorable role of a White House Secretary having an affair with the American President in the 1993 comedy ‘Dave’ that stole the limelight. In the same year, she appeared in the television miniseries ‘Tales of the City.’
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She earned rave reviews for her portrayal of the ingenious character of Mary Ann Singleton in the show which was an adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s novel of the same name. In 1998, Laura Linney reprised the role in its first sequel (More Tales of the City) which was aired on Showtime. A second sequel (Further Tales of the City) came up in 2001.
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After the success of Tales of the City, she appeared in a series of prominent thrillers including ‘Congo’ (1995), ‘Primal Fear’ (1996), and ‘Absolute Power’ (1997). She starred opposite Richard Gere In the film ‘Primal Fear’. The plot of the thriller was centered around the murder of an Archbishop.
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Her characterization of an ex-lover and courtroom opponent of Sir Richard Gere’s character in the thriller was considered to be a breakout performance by many critics. Adventure thriller ‘Congo’ and the little-seen film ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’ helped the increased volume of her film career resume.
‘Congo’ was a box office success but the critics denounced the film. In ‘Absolute Power,’ Laura appeared as the daughter of Clint Eastwood’s character who is framed for a murder involving the President. Her next film ‘The Truman Show’ (1998) placed her firmly in the Hollywood film industry.
However, it was the new millennium of the 21st century which saw her rise to the top with some of her most strong and memorable performances making a beeline. In 2000 ‘You Can Count on Me’ was released. Her portrayal of a single mother in the film earned her a nomination for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actress.
Between 2000 and 2003, she appeared in many films. Notable among these are low budget films ‘Maze’ (2000), ‘The House of Mirth’ (2000), ‘The Life of David Gale,’ ‘Love Actually,’ and ‘Mystic River’ – all three films releasing in 2003.
Laura Linney made waves in the small screen when she received three Emmy Awards for her roles in the sitcom ‘Frasier’ (2002), the television movie ‘Wild Iris’ (2004), and the HBO miniseries ‘John Adams’ (2008). She was again nominated for her second Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 2004 film ‘Kinsey.’
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The film was a kind of a biopic of a sexual behavior researcher Alfred Kinsey, where Laura portrayed the role of the title character’s free-thinking wife. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a musical or comedy for her role in ‘The Squid and the Whale’.
The film showed the Brooklyn of the 1980s and a promising writer’s struggle dealing with a messy divorce. Laura depicted the title character with aplomb. In 2006, Laura Linney performed in the political satire ‘Man of the Year, comedy ‘Driving Lessons’ and in the Australian drama ‘Jindabyne.’
Again in 2007, she appeared in the spy thriller ‘Breach,’ the comedy-drama The Nanny Diaries and The Savages. Her portrayal of a scriptwriter still battling the aftereffects of her unusual childhood earned her the third Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress.