- Father was a captain in the U.S. Navy and the family lived in Europe and Japan.
- Beat out Julia Roberts, Demi Moore and Jennifer Jason Leigh for the female lead in 1990's Miller's Crossing.
- In 2004, she and fellow University of Texas grad Renee Zellweger were both Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Harden for Mystic River and eventual winner Zellweger for Cold Mountain).
- Received the 2005 Texas Film Hall of Fame Award.
- Her 2009 performance as a writer in God of Carnage, a play performed at New York's Bernard Jacobs Theater, was called "inspired" by the New York Times, and it clearly was: She copped a Tony.
- Although she did not actually attend her own commencement ceremony upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin, she did deliver the commencement speech there in 2010.
- 2000, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
- 2003, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1993, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee
- 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2009, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
- 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2007, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Female: Nominee
- 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2001, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Female: Nominee
- 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- Leslie Jernigan — Sister
- Sheryl Peyton — Sister
- Eulala Grace Scheel — Daughter
- Julitta Dee Harden Scheel — Daughter
- Thaddaeus Scheel — Husband (separated)
- Thaddeus Harden — Brother
- Thaddeus Harden — Father
- Beverly Bushfield Harden — Mother
- Hudson Harden Scheel — Son
- Stephanie O'Brien — Sister
- Attended Deree Pierce, Athens, Greece; attended University of Maryland, Munich, Germany; University of Texas, Austin, TX (BA in Theater, 1980); New York University, New York, NY (MFA, 1988)
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- Birth Place: La Jolla, CA
- Profession: Actor
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