Jun. 22nd, 1964
New London, Connecticut, USA
Amy Brenneman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Amy Frederica Brenneman (born June 22, 1964) is an American actress, who has played roles in the television series NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and Private Practice. She has also starred in films such as Nine Lives and 88 Minutes.
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.
Brenneman graduated from Harvard University, where she majored in comparative religion, in 1987. While at Harvard, she co-founded Cornerstone Theatre Company, a touring production company that takes classics to small towns and encourages locals to participate in them. After touring for five years, she moved to New York, where she became a teacher in Brooklyn.
In her first major television role, Brenneman played mob-connected uniformed officer Janice Licalsi on the police drama 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 also appeared in a number of films, including Casper (1995), Heat (1995), Fear (1996), Daylight (1996) and Nevada (1997). She had a brief recurring role on Frasier in its 1998–1999 season.
In 1999, Brenneman became creator and executive producer of the 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.
In March 2007, Brenneman was cast to co-star in the Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice.
In 2007, Brenneman played "Sylvia Avila" in The Jane Austen Book Club.
In 1995, Brenneman married director Brad Silberling in the garden at the home of her parents. They have two children: Charlotte Tucker (b. March 20, 2001) and Bodhi Russell (b. June 8, 2005). She’s 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 daughter, Charlotte, who has cognitive academic special needs. Brenneman attends an Episcopal church (her mother was Jewish and her father was of English, Irish, and Swiss descent, and 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 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 September 18, 2008. The bid was successful.
Brenneman is also a strong supporter of more restrictive gun control 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.
- Announced in January 2005 that she is expecting her second child in the spring.
- Graduated from Harvard University in 1986.
- One of the founding members of the Cornerstone Theater Company, Inc. in Los Angeles together with her husband 'Brad Silberling' (qv).
- Amy has two older brothers. Matthew, a lawyer; and Andrew, an interactive software producer.
- Recently spoke at the March for Women's Lives rally in Washington, DC.
- Her parents were the first married couple at Harvard Law School, where they were both enrolled.
- Graduated from Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, Connecticut, in 1982.
- Born to Russell L. Brenneman, an environmental lawyer, and his wife Frederica S. Brenneman, the first female Senior Judge at the Connecticut Supreme Court.