Amy Brenneman

Amy Brenneman

Birth name: Amy Frederica Brenneman
Born: June 22, 1964
Age: 59
Birthplace: New London, Connecticut, U.S.
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Amy Frederica Brenneman (born June 22, 1964) is an American actress, writer, and producer.

Brenneman rose to prominence after her performance as Detective Janice Licalsi in the ABC police drama series NYPD Blue (1993-1994), for which she was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. She later starred in various films, including Heat, Fear, and Daylight. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed films Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000), Nine Lives (2005), and The Jane Austen Book Club (2007).

Brenneman created and starred as Judge Amy Gray in the CBS drama series Judging Amy from 1999 to 2005. She was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama for Judging Amy. From 2007 to 2013, Brenneman starred as Violet Turner in the Shonda Rhimes medical drama Private Practice, and in 2014 began starring as Laurie Garvey on the HBO drama The Leftovers.


Early life

Brenneman was born in New London, Connecticut, the daughter of Frederica Joanne (née Shoenfield), a judge of the Connecticut State Superior Court, and Russell Langdon Brenneman, Jr., an environmental lawyer. Her aunt was Cold War-era journalist Beryl D. Hines. Brenneman was raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where she participated in theatre as a teenager, both in school and with a local theater group. She graduated from Harvard University, where she majored in comparative religion, in 1987. While at Harvard, she co-founded Cornerstone Theatre Company, with which she traveled for several years after graduation.


Brenneman began her career in short-lived CBS series Middle Ages in 1992. The next year she was cast in her first major role as mob-connected uniformed officer Janice Licalsi on the ABC police drama series NYPD Blue. Her story arc, which included a romantic relationship with David Caruso's character, ran through the show's first season (1993-1994) and the first few episodes of the second season. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1994 and for Outstanding Guest Actress the following year.

After leaving NYPD Blue, Brenneman began her career in film. In 1995, she appeared in Bye Bye Love and Casper, and most notably, in critically acclaimed crime drama Heat. In 1996, Brenneman had the female lead role opposite Sylvester Stallone in disaster thriller Daylight, and also starred in another thriller, Fear. In 1997, she played the leading role in the independent drama film Nevada. The next year she starred in Your Friends & Neighbors directed by Neil LaBute. In 1998-1999 season, she returned to television with a recurring role on the NBC comedy Frasier, as Faye Moskowitz.

In 1999, Brenneman became creator and executive producer of her own television series Judging Amy, in which she played the title character. Brenneman portrayed a divorced single mother working as a Family Court Judge in Hartford, Connecticut. The show's concept was based on the real-life experiences of her mother, Frederica Brenneman, as a superior court judge in the state of Connecticut. Judging Amy ran on CBS for six seasons and 138 episodes from September 19, 1999 to May 3, 2005 to good ratings. Frederica Brenneman was one of Harvard Law School's first female graduates and became a juvenile court judge in Connecticut when Amy was 3 years old. Amy has said, "I play my mother's job, not my mother." In 2002, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.

Brenneman starred in ensemble cast film Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her directed by Rodrigo García in 2000. In 2005, she starred in another Rodrigo García's independent drama, Nine Lives. In 2007, Brenneman played the role of Sylvia Avila in The Jane Austen Book Club based on 2004 novel of the same name by Karen Joy Fowler. In 2008, Brenneman co-starred in 88 Minutes alongside Al Pacino.

In March 2007, Brenneman was cast as Violet Turner in the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. The Shonda Rhimes series ran on ABC from September 26, 2007, to January 22, 2013. She later starred in films The Face of Love and Words and Pictures, and was cast in HBO drama series The Leftovers opposite Justin Theroux. Also in 2013, Brenneman played the role of Mary of Guise, the series lead character's mother, in Reign.

Personal life

In 1995, Brenneman married director Brad Silberling in the garden at her parents' home. They have two children: Charlotte Tucker and Bodhi Russell. Brenneman is heavily involved in her children’s school, CHIME, because she favors its unique approach to education by blending together typical kids, like Bodhi, and kids with disabilities, like Charlotte, who has cognitive special needs. Brenneman is an Episcopalian. Her mother was Jewish, and joined a Congregationalist church as an adult. Her father, who was of English, Irish, and Swiss descent, was from a Protestant background.

Brenneman, who is very actively pro-choice, signed the "We Had Abortions" petition which appears in the October 2006 issue of Ms. Magazine. The petition contains signatures of over 5,000 women declaring that they had an abortion and were "unashamed of the choice they made."

In the February 28, 2007, all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, she portrays an entrepreneur, alongside actors Ed Asner, Barbara Bain, George Coe, Wendie Malick, and James Pickens, Jr.. The play was an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution 808, which sought to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the United States government, funded by a two percent diversion of The Pentagon's annual budget.

In July 2008, Brenneman was nominated as a candidate on the Unite for Strength slate for a place on the national governing board of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in elections scheduled for 18 September 2008. The bid was successful.

Brenneman is also a strong supporter of more restrictive gun laws, and in 2009 she hosted the Target for a Safe America gala at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control group that favors restrictive gun laws and supports gun bans.



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Bye Bye Love Susan
1995 Casper Amelia Harvey
1995 Heat Eady
1996 Fear Laura Walker
1996 Daylight Madelyne Thompson
1997 Lesser Prophets Annie
1997 Nevada Chrysty
1998 City of Angels Angel cameo
1998 Your Friends & Neighbors Mary
1999 The Suburbans Grace
1999 Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist Mary Cassatt TV Movie
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Detective Kathy Faber Segment: "Love Waits For Kathy"
2003 Off The Map Bo Grodin (adult)
2005 Nine Lives Lorna
2007 The Jane Austen Book Club Sylvia Avila
2007 88 Minutes Shelly Barnes
2008 Downloading Nancy Carol
2009 Mother and Child Dr. Stone
2013 The Face of Love Ann
2013 Words and Pictures Elspeth


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Murder, She Wrote Amy Wainwright Episode: "A Christmas Secret"
1992 Middle Ages Blanche Series regular, 3 episodes
1993-1994 NYPD Blue Officer Janice Licalsi Series regular, 24 episodes
1998-1999 Frasier Faye Moskowitz Recurring role, 4 episodes
1999 ATF Agent Robin O'Brien TV Movie
1999-2005 Judging Amy Judge Amy Gray Series regular, 138 episodes
2007 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Violet Turner 2 episodes
2007-2013 Private Practice Series regular, 111 episodes
2014-15 Reign Mary of Guise 2 episodes
2014-present The Leftovers Laurie Garvey Series regular

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1994 Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series NYPD Blue Nominated
1994 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
1995 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama Judging Amy Nominated
2000 TV Guide Award Favorite Actress in a New Series Won
2000 Producers Guild of America Award Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Nominated
2000 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2000 Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series Nominated
2001 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama Nominated
2001 TV Guide Award Actress of the Year in a Drama Series Won
2001 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama Nominated
2002 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Series - Drama Nominated
2002 Women in Film Lucy Award Lucy Award Won
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Judging Amy Nominated
2005 Locarno International Film Festival Best Actress Nine Lives Won
2005 Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
2007 TV Land Award TV Moment That Became Headline News
NYPD Blue Nominated

Amy Brenneman supports the following charitable cause: Autism.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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