Best known for her Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning role as Detective Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama The Closer, she has also appeared in such films as Born on the Fourth of July, Phenomenon, The Possession, Man on a Ledge, and Gamer.
She began her collegiate studies at Sarah Lawrence College, then transferred to the University of Southern California, where she earned a degree in theater.
She made her acting debut at age 16 in a 1982 episode of the soap opera Another World. Her first film role was in the 1985 feature War and Love.
She co-starred with J.K. Simmons on The Closer.