Fast Facts

  • Was a high-school cheerleader, and was voted Football Sweetheart and Miss Jacksonville Sweetheart in her senior year.
  • Received a theater scholarship to the University of Michigan.
  • After college, performed with Christopher Reeve in a 1974 Harvard Summer School Repertory Theater production of The Threepenny Opera.
  • Performed with Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1982 and '83 before landing in New York, where her credits included the original production of  Steel Magnolias ('87).
  • Had a small role in Lonesome Dove (1989); later TV credits include recurring roles in Dexter, 100 Centre Street and The Riches.
  • Made movie debut in the 1990 Tom Cruise NASCAR action adventure Days of Thunder; other notable films include The Rocketeer ('91), Lorenzo's Oil ('92), Dead Man Walking ('95), Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Hannah Montana: The Movie ('09).
  • Earned a 2004 Tony nomination for her Broadway debut as Big Mama in a revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.


  • 2016, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2013, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2014, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2004, Tony — Actress (Featured Role--Play): Nominee


  • Margaret Pruitt Martindale — Mother
  • Bobby Tim Martindale — Brother
  • Bill Martindale — Brother
  • Margaret Boals — Daughter
  • William Everett Martindale — Father
  • Bill Boals — Husband


  • Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, TX (1971)
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (BA, 1974)

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  • Birth Place: Jacksonville, TX
  • Birthday: July 18, 1951, Cancer
  • Profession: Actor

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