Laura Linney

Mimi ON Nov 05, 2008 AT 5:52 pm

Laura Linney is the first person to admit she’s not immediately recognisable. Her all American, wholesome beauty seems to have the effect of being one of those actresses that people love, but they can never quite remember her name. Hugely talented, she’s been nominated for an Oscar a staggering 3 times; surely the Academy has to give her a little gold statue sometime soon?

Born in New York in 1964, her father Romulus Linney is a famous professor and playwright, so some would say it was inevitable she would move into acting. After studying at Brown University and Juilliard she was cast in a number of small movies, before she was thrown into the spotlight in 1993 for the TV mini-series ‘Tales of the City’ based on the hugely popular books by Armisted Maupin.

Her breakout role came at the ripe old (in Hollywood terms anyway) age of 34, playing opposite Jim Carrey in the 1998 film ‘The Truman Show’. The film showed an actress who was multi-faceted; she could play serious and kooky believably, and the part won her widespread critical acclaim. Now firmly on the Hollywood hotlist her next big part came in ‘You can count on me’, a low budget feature which won her the first Academy Award nomination in 2000 for Best Actress, the same year she divorced her husband of five years, David Adkins. Showing her versatility, she received a Tony Award nomination in 2002 for her acting in ‘The Crucible’ on Broadway. 

Continuing to work steadily, 2003 was a big year for Linney, starring in the Oscar laden ‘Mystic River’ and British favourite ‘Love Actually’ raising her profile significantly in the UK. Her recurring role in  ‘Frasier’ as Dr. Crane’s love interest saw her collect an Emmy in 2004, and another Oscar nomination for ‘Kingsey’ with Liam Neeson. She was now firmly in the ‘character’ actress bracket, as she started to pick more offbeat characters to portray. None has been as offbeat as her role in ‘The Squid and the Whale’, where she plays a divorcee in a wildly eccentric family who has an affair with her young son’s tennis coach. She drew on her own experiences as the child of divorced parents, this time securing a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actress.

Her final Oscar nomination came last year for ‘The Savages’ with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and yet again, Linney lost out, this time to Marion Cotillard for ‘La Vie on Rose’. So is Linney doomed to be always the nominee never the winner? I don’t think so! This woman can tread the boards, light up the small screen and positively illuminate the big screen – she’ll have Oscar in her hands soon enough, watch this space!

Laura Linney

Laura Linney

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