- At age 15, began working for New York's Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, becoming one of the agency's youngest models at the time.
- Her big break was playing bush pilot Maggie in 1990's Northern Exposure.
- Named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People Magazine in 1993.
- Made her directorial debut with the 2004 short film Trip in a Summer Dress.
- Appointed a member of the President's Volunteer Service Council in 2006.
- Memorably played the wife of the domineering father of a high-school football player on the acclaimed drama series Friday Night Lights in 2008 and 2009.
- Recipient of the Women at Work Award from the National Commission on Working Women.
- A political activist and supporter of Republican party causes, she is the author of Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History.
- 1993, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 1994, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 1994, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- Tim Gauntt — Brother
- Turner Gauntt — Father
- Juliette Gauntt — Daughter
- Alec Baldwin — Ex-fiancé
- Janice Gauntt — Mother
- Attended Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, United States
- Birth Name: Janine Gauntt
- Birth Place: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
- Profession: Actor
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