Marcia Gay Harden was born on August 14, 1959. One of five children, she was born in La Jolla, California, the daughter of Texas natives. Harden's family frequently moved because of her father's job, living in Japan, Germany, Greece, California, and Maryland. She graduated from Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Maryland in 1976, the University of Texas with a BA in Theatre, and the Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts.
Her film breakthrough was in the 1990 Coen brothers-directed Miller's Crossing. She followed this with roles in films including Used People 1992, The First Wives Club 1996, and Flubber 1997. For her performance as artist Lee Krasner in the 2000 film Pollock, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She earned another Academy Award nomination for her performance as Celeste Boyle in Mystic River 2003.
Harden made her Broadway debut in 1993, starring in Angels in America, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She returned to Broadway in 2009 as Veronica in God of Carnage. Her performance won her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
She was nominated for her second Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the 2009 television film The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. In September 2015, she began starring in the CBS medical drama Code Black, in which she plays the lead role of Dr. Leanne Rorish.
In 2013, Harden reunited with her former Broadway co-star Jeff Daniels as a new cast member on HBO's series The Newsroom.
Together, Harden's films have grossed $724,487,920 domestically and $1,128,784,661 worldwide.
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