Amy Brenneman is an accomplished actress, director, producer and activist. She most recently starred as Dr. Violet Turner on Shonda Rhimes’ hit drama Private Practice, which concluded its six season run on ABC earlier this year. Last spring, Amy returned to the stage in the critically lauded Off-Broadway production of Rapture, Blister, Burn. She will next be seen staring in the independent feature film Look of Love opposite Robin Williams, Ed Harris and Annette Bening.
Born in New London, Conn. and raised in the Hartford suburb of Glastonbury, Brenneman stems from a close-knit, traditional family. At the early age of 11, after singing in the chorus of The Music Man, Brenneman's interest in performing began to blossom. She attended Harvard University where she earned a B.A. in Comparative Religions and spent a semester abroad in Nepal, studying sacred Buddhist dance and indigenous ritual. During her freshman year, she teamed up with a group of fellow actors to form the Cornerstone Theater Company. This unique company customized theater classics such as Romeo and Juliet and Our Town, taking them to the back roads of America and integrating local townspeople with professional actors. Cornerstone has been celebrated again and again in the national media, including 60 Minutes, the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and American Theatre magazine.
Her political and activist work includes board chair of the Cornerstone Theater Board, the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors, and creating “CHIME-apalooza,” a fundraiser for the CHIME Institute. She also works on behalf of The Feminist Majority, Healthy Child/Healthy World, The Brady Center for Handgun Control, TASH, The Democratic Party, NARAL Pro-choice America, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CARE and most recently campaigning on behalf of Proposition 30 in California.
America first took notice of Brenneman during her time as a recurring regular on NYPD Blue where her performance earned her two Emmy nominations. She went on to co-create, star and produce the hit drama series Judging Amy, for which she garnered three Golden Globe Award nominations, three Emmy Award nominations and a People's Choice Award nomination, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
Her film credits include The Jane Austen Book Club opposite Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker and Maria Bello, Mother and Child with Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson, 88 Minutes with Al Pacino, Nine Lives with Amanda Seyfried, Dakota Fanning, Glenn Close, and Sissy Spacek, Downloading Nancy with Maria Bello, Michael Mann's Heat opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and Neil LaBute's Your Friends and Neighbors opposite Catherine Keener, Aaron Eckart and Ben Stiller. In addition she co-produced and starred in the independent film Nevada with Gabrielle Anwar and Kathy Najimy, in the thriller Daylight alongside Sylvester Stallone, in The Suburbans opposite Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell as well as in the independent feature Off the Map, opposite Joan Allen and Sam Elliott. Other films include Fear opposite Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg, Casper with Christina Ricci, and Same Weisman’s Bye Bye Love. She also appeared in Showtime's Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, alongside Glenn Close, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, and Holly Hunter.
Brenneman’s original work includes the play Mouth Wide Open as well as a documentary about the CHIME Institute entitled The Way the World Should Be, which she directed and produced.
Brenneman currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, film director Brad Silberling and their two children, Charlotte Tucker (11) and Bodhi Russell (7).