Amy Brenneman is an American actress best known for her starring television roles as Janice Licalsi in NYPD Blue (1993-1994), as Amy Gray in Judging Amy (1999-2005) and as Dr. Violet Turner in Private Practice, from 2007-2013.
She was born in New London, Connecticut to Russell Brenneman, an attorney, and Frederica Brenneman, a state court judge.
Brenneman was raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where she participated in theatre as a teenager, both in school and with a local theatre group. She graduated from Harvard University, where she majored in comparative religion, in 1987.
While at Harvard, she co-founded Cornerstone Theater Company, which she traveled with for several years after graduation.
In her first major television role, Brenneman played mob-connected uniform officer Janice Licalsi on the police drama NYPD Blue. Her story arc, which included a romantic relationship with David Caruso's character, ran through the show's first season (1993-1994) and the first few episodes of the second season.
She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1994 and for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series the following year.
After leaving NYPD Blue, Brenneman appeared in a number of films, including Casper (1995), Heat (1995), Fear (1996), Daylight (1996) and Nevada (1997).
She had a brief recurring role on Frasier in its 1998-1999 season.
In 1999, Brenneman became creator and executive producer of the television series Judging Amy, in which she also starred. Brenneman portrayed a divorced single mother working as a Family Court Judge in Hartford, Connecticut.
The show's concept was based on the real-life experiences of her mother, Frederica Brenneman, as a superior court judge in the state of Connecticut.
Judging Amy ran on CBS for six seasons and 138 episodes from September 19, 1999 to May 3, 2005 to good ratings.
Frederica Brenneman was one of Harvard Law School's first female graduates and became a juvenile court judge in Connecticut when Amy was 3 years old. Amy has said, "I play my mother's job, not my mother."
In March 2007, Brenneman was cast to co-star in the Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice. She remained with the show until its conclusion in 2013.