Feb. 3rd, 1965
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Maura Tierney's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
On the viewing horizon since the late 1980s, actress Maura Tierney has been a steady product of independent features, some hits and some misses, for close to a decade and a half. An odd and compelling beauty, she came from an upperscale Bostonian family and was raised in the Hyde Park district. Born February 3, 1965, the eldest child of three to a prosperous politician and city councilman father and real estate agent mother, Maura initially studied at New York University but left school prior to graduation when she hooked up with the Circle-in-the-Square theater school. Following some stage plays including "Baby with the Bathwater" and "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," she moved to the West Coast in the late 1980s finding minor roles here and there in TV-movies and making the rounds on episodic shows such as "Growing Pains" (1985), "Family Ties" (1982) and "Law & Order" (1990). She met actor/husband Billy Morrissette after both were fired from the set of an eventually-scrapped Ralph Macchio series. After a few other failed pilots and a short-lived TV series, Maura made a minor film debut with The Linguini Incident (1991) and progressed to leading lady status in the B-movie spoof Dead Women in Lingerie (1991), which didn't go over well. She finally hit paydirt on TV when she won a female co-lead as smart but insecure newswriter Lisa Miller on the comedy series "NewsRadio" (1995). The show was mediocre at best but sailed along for a number of seasons due to the fine comedy instincts of Dave Foley (I), Andy Dick (I) and the late "Saturday Night Live" (1975) player Phil Hartman (I). The show lost its oomph, however, as well as its audience after Hartman's tragic 1998 shotgun slaying, despite an assured replacement in fellow "Saturday Night Live" (1975) alumni Jon Lovitz. The show couldn't escape its bad aura, and it was gone the following year.
Maura's work on the TV sitcom thrust her into the film comedy limelight with prominent roles in such films as the Jim Carrey vehicle Liar Liar (1997). She also showed up as sly, darker-edged femmes in the thriller Primal Fear (1996), Primary Colors (1998) and Instinct (1999). She received one of her best art-house roles as a heavy in her husband's feature Scotland, Pa. (2001)--he wrote and directed. It was back to steady TV work, however, into the millennium with the role of Abby, who was first a nurse and then a doctor, in the long-established and critically-acclaimed medical drama series _"ER" (1994-2009). The L.A.-based actress and her ex-husband enjoyed traveling in their spare time. They divorced in 2006. Was to be one of the leads in Parenthood (2010), but had to be replaced by Lauren Graham after the pilot was shot, so she could undergo treatment for breast cancer. She first had a lumpectomy on July 13, 2009 and later a mastectomy.
- Maura was added to the cast of _"NewsRadio" (1995)_ (qv) the day before they shot the pilot.
- Was cast in the role of Nurse Abigail 'Abby' Lockhart in _"ER" (1994)_ (qv), without an audition.
- Met her husband, 'Billy Morrissette' (qv), in the revolving lounge at the top of the Hollywood Holiday Inn. It was a blind date of sorts set up by their mutual friends.
- Landed a key part of a single mom who falls for hockey player 'Bruce Willis' (qv) in a romantic comedy titled "The Broadway Brawler." After just two weeks' shooting, however, "creative differences" brought an end to the project.
- One of her closest friends is her _"ER" (1994)_ (qv) co-star, 'Laura Innes (I)' (qv).
- In the _"NewsRadio" (1995)_ (qv) episode "Presence," her character Lisa is a math whiz who learns to play poker to win back Bill ('Phil Hartman (I)' (qv)) after their boss Jimmy James ('Stephen Root' ) loses Bill in an inter-station poker game. In real life, Tierney won the 2004 (Season 2) Celebrity Poker Showdown, hosted by 'Dave Foley (I)' (qv). Tierney defeated 'Lauren Graham (I)' (qv) at the final table. Foley, Graham and Tierney all appeared in _"NewsRadio" (1995)_ (qv).
- Daughter of former Boston City Council president Joseph Tierney.
- On _"Last Call with Carson Daly" (2002)_ (qv), she admitted that she was fired from the television show _"Growing Pains" (1985)_ (qv). The show was supposed to have an episode arc in Europe, but the idea was scrapped when 'Kirk Cameron (I)' (qv) expressed a fear of flying.