Although Perkins made an inauspicious film debut in the 1986 romantic comedy About Last Night, the film proved prophetic. In it, she was relegated to the part of wisecracking best buddy, an archetype she would often embody throughout her career. While her turn as a yuppie in love with a boy trapped in a man's body in the 1988 smash Big seemed to signal her breakthrough, few of Perkins' subsequent projects allowed her to live up to that promise. Trained at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama and a member of the prestigious Steppenwolf Theater (as well as the ex-wife of its founder, Terry Kinney), Perkins had an impressive stage pedigree when she ventured into movies. But Hollywood never seemed to know what to do with her, and although Perkins chose her roles deliberately, rarely appearing in more than one project a year, audiences knew her best as the human version of Wilma in 1994's The Flintstones. In the late '90s, Perkins gave TV a go, appearing in a number of TV-movies and miniseries, and in 2005, the small screen rewarded her with the star-making role she never found on the big screen: the hilariously manic Celia Hodes on Showtime's Weeds. After five seasons and three Emmy nominations, Perkins announced in 2010 that she was leaving the popular cable comedy to pursue other projects.
- Once aspired to become a veterinarian.
- Began her acting career in a 1984 Broadway production of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs.
- Made her big-screen debut in the 1986 romantic comedy About Last Night.
- First series-regular role was on the short-lived NBC sitcom Battery Park.
- TV breakthrough came with the Showtime dramedy Weeds, which netted her several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance as the high-strung Celia Hodes.
- 2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
- 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- Terry Kinney — Ex-husband
- Andreas Macat — Stepson
- Alexander Macat — Stepson
- Maximillian Macat — Stepson
- Hannah Jo Phillips — Daughter
- James Perkins — Father
- Jo Williams — Mother
- Maurice Phillips — Ex-significant Other
- Julio Macat — Husband
- DePaul University, Goodman School of Drama, Chicago, Illinois, United States (1981)