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Amy Frederica Brenneman (born June 22, 1964) is a Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated Americanmarker actress, perhaps best known for her roles in the television series NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and Private Practice.

Early life

Brenneman was born in New London, Connecticutmarker, the daughter of Frederica S., a judge of the Connecticut State Superior Court, and Russell L. Brenneman, an environmental lawyer. Brenneman was raised in Glastonbury, Connecticutmarker, where she participated in theatre as a teenager, both in school and with a local theater group. She graduated from Harvard Universitymarker, where she majored in comparative religion, in 1987. While at Harvard, she co-founded Cornerstone Theatre Company, which she traveled with for several years after graduation.


In her first major television role, Brenneman played mob-connected uniform 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 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, Connecticutmarker. 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 Schoolmarker'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 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 2008, Brenneman was cast to co-star in 88 Minutes alongside Al Pacino.

Personal life

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 5, 2005).

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 had an abortion and were "unashamed of the choice they made".

In the February 28, 2007 all-star benefit reading of "The Gift of Peace" at UCLAmarker's Freud Playhouse, she portrays an entrepreneur, alongside actors Ed Asner, Barbara Bain, George Coe, Wendie Malick, and James Pickens, Jr.. The play was an open appeal and fundraiser for passage of U.S. House Resolution 808, which sought to establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace" in the U.S.marker government, funded by a two percent diversion of The Pentagonmarker's annual budget.

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 18 September 2008. The bid was successful.


Feature films

Year Film Role Notes
1995 Bye Bye Love Susan
Casper Amelia
Heat Eady
1996 Fear Laura Walker aka No Fear
Daylight Madelyne Thompson
1997 Lesser Prophets Annie aka The Last Bet (UK: video title)
Nevada Chrysty
1998 Your Friends & Neighbors Mary
1999 The Suburbans Grace
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Detective Kathy Faber (segment "Love Waits For Kathy")
2003 Off The Map Adult Bo Grodin
2005 Nine Lives Lorna
2007 The Jane Austen Book Club Sylvia Avila
88 Minutes Shelly Barnes
2008 Downloading Nancy Carol
2010 Mother and Child Dr. Stone


Year Title Role Other notes
1993-1994 NYPD Blue Officer Janice Licalsi Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated - Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
1998-1999 Frasier Faye Moskowitz Episodes: "Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz", "When a Man Loves Two Women", "Shutout in Seattle: Part 1", "Shutout in Seattle: Part 2"
1999-2005 Judging Amy Amy Madison Gray Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (3 times)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated - Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series (3 times)

2007 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Violet Turner Episodes: The Other Side of This Life: Part 1/Part 2 (Private Practice backdoor pilot)
2007-present Private Practice Dr. Violet Turner


  1. Amy Brenneman Biography (1964-)
  2. Amy Brenneman Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  3. Julia Collins, "Brennemans on the Bench," Harvard Law School Alumni Bulletin.
  4. Applegate, Smart, Brenneman cast in pilots

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