Mother of actresses Emily and Zooey Deschanel, she was an actress herself, appearing in the surrealistic series Twin Peaks as Eileen Hayward, her most well known television role.
She landed a major roe in 1983 as Annie Glenn in the film adaptation of the novel The Right Stuff.
She was featured in other films such as 2010: The Year We Make Contact and Winter Passing.
She married Caleb Deschanel in 1972.
She is the mother of the popular actress Zooey Deschanel.