She was nominated for a Academy Award for Best Actress in 2000 for her role in You Can Count on Me, and again in 2004 for her role in Kinsey. Other films she appeared in include Mystic River, The Truman Show, and Primal Fear.
Her important television roles include "Mary Ann Singleton" in the television adaptations of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City books. She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2004 for her recurring role as the final love interest of Frasier Crane in Frasier.
Linney was educated at the Northfield Mount Hermon School and Brown University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986. She also trained at the Juilliard School and the Moscow Art Theatre. Her father is the playwright Romulus Linney and her mother was a nurse.
- Driving Lessons (2006) as Laura
- The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) as Erin Bruner
- The Squid and the Whale (2005) as Joan Berkman
- P.S. (2004) as Louise Harrington
- Kinsey (2004) as Clara McMillen
- Love Actually (2003) as Sarah
- Mystic River (2003) as Annabeth Markum
- The Life of David Gale (2003) as Constance Harraway
- The Mothman Prophecies (2002) as Connie Mills
- The Laramie Project (2002) as Sherry Johnson
- The House of Mirth (2000) as Bertha Dorset
- You Can Count on Me (2000) as Samantha 'Sammy' Prescott
- The Truman Show (1998) as Hanna Gill as Meryl Burbank
- Absolute Power (1997) as Kate Whitney
- Primal Fear (1996) as Janet Venable
- Congo (1995) as Dr. Karen Ross
- Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) as School Teacher
- Dave (1993) as Randi
- Lorenzo's Oil (1992) as Young Teacher