Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her fathers house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant), Linneys 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. Linneys film career began in the early 1990s with small roles in Lorenzos Oil (1992) and Dave (1993). She landed the role of Mary Anne Singleton in the PBS film adaptations of Armistead Maupins Tales of the City series, playing her in Armistead Maupins Tales of the City (1993), Armistead Maupins More Tales of the City (1998) and Chroniques de San Francisco (2001). Linneys first substantial big-screen role was as the ex-girlfriend of Richard Geres 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 1997s Absolute Power (1997), followed by another second billing in the following years 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.