Laura Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father is the prominent playwright Romulus Linney. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant), Linney's world revolved, in part, around his profession from the earliest age. She graduated from Brown University in 1986 and studied acting at Juilliard and the Arts Theatre School in Moscow and, thereafter, embarked on a career on the Broadway stage receiving favorable notices for her work in such plays as "Hedda Gabler" and "Six Degrees of Separation".
Linney's film career began in the early 1990s with small roles in Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and Dave (1993). She landed the role of Mary Anne Singleton in the PBS film adaptations of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" series, playing her in "Tales of the City" (1993), "More Tales of the City" (1998) and "Further Tales of the City" (2001). Linney's first substantial big-screen role was as the ex-girlfriend of Richard Gere's character in Primal Fear (1996) and her superb performance brought her praise and a better selection of roles. Clint Eastwood chose Linney to play his daughter, another prominent role, in 1997's Absolute Power (1997), followed by another second billing in the following year's The Truman Show (1998).
Always a strong performer, Linney truly came into her own after 2000, starting the decade auspiciously with her widely-praised, arguably flawless performance in You Can Count on Me (2000). She found herself nominated for an Academy Award for this, her first lead role, for which her salary had been $10,000. Linney won numerous critics' awards for her role as Sammy, a single mother whose life is complicated by a new boss and the arrival in town of her aimless brother. On the heels of this success came her marvelous turn as Bertha Dorset in The House of Mirth (2000), clearly the best performance in a film of strong performances. Since then, Linney has frequently been offered challenging dramatic roles, and always rises to the occasion, such as in Mystic River (2003), in which she worked again with Clint Eastwood, and Kinsey (2004), for which she received another Academy Award nomination.
|Marc Schauer||(2 May 2009 - present)|
|David Adkins||(2 September 1995 - 2000) (divorced)|
Her father is respected Off-Broadway playwright Romulus Linney.
Has a sister, Susan Linney.
Graduated from Brown University in 1986.
1990 graduate of the Juilliard School.
Was nominated for Broadway's 2002 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for portraying Elizabeth Proctor in a revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible".
Graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1982. A fellow alumnus, who graduated in 1985, is Kim Raver.
Her mother is a nurse.
She says that she was the worst at reading and writing in her class.
Gained about 20 pounds for her role in Kinsey (2004), mainly by eating Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.
Has a yellow Labrador dog that she named Eleonora Duse, after the actress Eleonora Duse.
Laura Linney was given the script for The Squid and the Whale (2005) by Eric Stoltz, her boyfriend at that time, while they were filming The House of Mirth (2000) in 2000. She agreed to do the film immediately, but it took four years to raise the financing.
Won the 1994 Joe A. Callaway Award, for Best Performance in a Classic Drama, for her performance as Thea Elvsted in "Hedda Gabler".
Nominated for the 2005 Tony Award for "Sight Unseen" (Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play).
The writers Romulus Linney (father of Laura) and Jonathan Baumbach (father of Noah Baumbach, who directed Linney in The Squid and the Whale (2005)), spent time at Yaddo, an artists colony, where they knew each other well enough to have gotten into a car accident together.
Was at Northwestern University for one year before transferring to Brown University.
Engaged to Marc Schauer in August 2007. She met Marc at the 2004 Telluride Film Festival when he was her festival host that week.
Won a Theatre World Award and received a Drama Desk nomination for her stage performance in "Sight Unseen".
Was once a teacher for deaf and autistic children.
At 14 she spent the summer at the New London Barn Playhouse, summer stock theater in New London, NH and loved it - sometimes doing 14 hour days.
She was the 2009 Commencement Speaker at Juillard School in New York City.
Great-great-granddaughter of U.S. Congressman Romulus Zachariah Linney (1841-1910), a Representive from North Carolina. He was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth, and Fifty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1895-March 3, 1901).
[on Jim Carrey]: He has tremendous charm. He has an enormous heart, just a big big heart. I think that is the thing. I think if you look at his other work you can see that there, which is what makes his characters more than just mimicry. I think that is why his work has hit so hard. Because there is just more there. So with this one, you see more of his humanity.
[on her character on The Truman Show (1998)]: Well the thing that was interesting was that we sort of did these back stories about these characters and where they were and what was going on with them. And when the movie picks up, Hanna Gill, who plays Meryl Burbank, is aware of the fact that she is losing her influence over Truman. He's not happy at home. He's beginning to get agitated. He's beginning to think of things outside the house, and she can feel that she is losing her power. So consequently the smile gets bigger and bigger and the desperation, that is why there is that intense undertow to her. Because she knows she is losing it.
[on her character in The Truman Show (1998)]: The concept of The Truman Show - it was so much fun. What gave us all an additional challenge was that those of us who were the cast play the actors but playing a role. So we did all this elaborate back-story. So I made up my actress name Hanna Gill, who plays Meryl Burbank, who is married to Truman Burbank. So we did all this double layering of character work not really knowing what was going to come through. I'm glad that some of the people who have seen the movie can say that they can actually see it in all of us. All of us who play the characters surrounding Jim (Jim Carrey) in the film, that they can see the double layer.
[on her father]: My parents were divorced and I didn't grow up with him, but I spent a lot of time around him and his influence on me has been profound.
[on her fame]: I don't consider myself a celebrity and I don't consider myself a star.
When you work and live on a film set for 12, 14 hours a day and moving from location to location, it's hard just to exist.
I tend to make low-budget movies but, yeah, I make more money than I ever thought I would make.
With big, emotional roles it's very easy, especially if you've grown up in the American school of acting, to exploit your own pain. You have to be careful about that, because 9 times out of 10, your pain is not appropriate to the character. You can watch someone on-stage cry and cry - but in the audience you feel nothing. It's easy to become indulgent. For me, what's important is the story first.
A lifetime of work, particularly where you get to see an actor grow and change, is better than becoming a rock & roll movie star.
[on how she has benefited from receiving Oscar nominations]: It's helped me to keep working, quite frankly.
Really, any sense of spirituality, which I do have, really comes from the arts that are sort of my inspiration.
I guess whatever sense of community, discipline, the laws of truth for me have come from growing up in an artistic environment with people who are loving and look out for each other.
[on doing different kinds of work]: I just want to say, "Go work! It doesn't matter what it is. Work begets work. Just go!"
[About her hair color changing with nearly every role she has.] My mother always gets upset whenever my hair goes dark. She really hates it. And then going from dark to blonde takes a toll. It's amazing that I have a single strand of hair left on my head! (2007)
Part of her commencement speech at Juillard: Remember that no matter which art you practice, there is no more valuable skill than the ability to listen carefully. Especially when you listen to the music, or listen to the text, listen! They will guide you well.
I have small feet for someone my height. I'm 5'7" and my feet are size 7. I fall down a lot, and I think my balance would be better if my feet were an 8.
|You Can Count on Me (2000)||$10,000|
(May 2004) Starring on Broadway in the play, Sight Unseen, at the Biltmore Theater. This is her second time performing in the play. Years ago she was cast in the role of the younger female character.
(December 2006) She is filming The City of Your Final Destination (2009) in Argentina, during December 2006 - January 2007.
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