March 13, 1955 |
New London, Connecticut, United States
|Spouse(s)||John Malkovich (m. 1982; div. 1988)
Byron McCulloch (m. 1993)
Headly was born in New London, Connecticut. Her first years were spent living under the care of her mother in San Francisco and her maternal grandmother in Pennsylvania. Early in her elementary school years, she joined her mother, who was then living in Greenwich Village, New York City, and grew up having a rich cultural life. She studied ballet at the Robert Joffrey school of ballet and modern dance at the Martha Graham Studios. In New York, she attended public schools, including P.S. 41, where she was placed in an IGC class for intellectually gifted children. It was here that a fifth grade teacher introduced her to the work of Jacques Cousteau in an oceanography class, spawning a lifelong interest for her in preserving the natural world. She later went on to the High School of Performing Arts, majoring in drama and graduated with honors.
Rather than continuing to study the dramatic arts, she attended a small American college in Switzerland from which she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree.  Soon after, she moved to New York, taking day jobs as a waitress who would complete additional tasks at an added cost, all so that she could work nights in the theatre for little or no salary. Later she moved to Chicago, where she joined the "New Works Ensemble" at the St. Nicholas Theatre and was eventually cast in a Goodman Theatre production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Robert Falls and co-starring John Malkovich.
While appearing on the Chicago stage in Curse of the Starving Class, Headly was asked to join the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, who were looking to expand their group. She also appeared in several other productions. In Chicago, she was nominated for five Joseph Jefferson awards and won three for best supporting actress. She received her Actors' Equity card when cast by Vivian Matalon in a summer theatre production of Charley's Aunt and joined SAG when Arthur Penn wrote a breakout role for her in the film Four Friends.
Film and television career
In 1982 Headly married fellow ensemble member John Malkovich and moved with him to New York City. Soon after, she was cast to replace Ellen Barkin in Extremities with Susan Sarandon off Broadway. She then was cast in The Philanthropist, also off Broadway, and won a Theatre World Award for best newcomer. In New York, she appeared in Balm in Gilead with her fellow Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members and Arms and the Man on Broadway with Kevin Kline and Raul Julia.
Headly got several supporting roles in such films as Making Mr. Right, Paperhouse, Seize the Day and Nadine, but it was her role in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opposite Steve Martin and Michael Caine that launched her future career. She was then cast by Warren Beatty to appear opposite him as Tess Trueheart in Dick Tracy. Her next appearance in a film was to star opposite Demi Moore and Bruce Willis in Mortal Thoughts, directed by Alan Rudolph. It was a time of many changes for her, and in 1990 she divorced Malkovich.
In 1992, she went to Canada to work on a small Canadian film called Ordinary Magic with Ryan Reynolds and on the first day of filming, met her future husband Byron McCulloch, whom she married on August 25 of 1993. She went on to appear in Mr. Holland's Opus, Sgt. Bilko, What's the Worst That Could Happen?, Breakfast of Champions, Around the Bend, 2 Days in the Valley, Comeback Season and others.
Headly appeared in the television movies Winchell, And the Band Played On, Pronto, My Own Country and Women Vs. Men and was nominated for two Emmy Awards, for best supporting actress in a television movie for both Lonesome Dove (1989) and Bastard Out of Carolina (1996). She appeared as Julie Andrews' and Christopher Plummer's daughter in the 2001 live telecast of the play On Golden Pond for CBS. She was cast in the series Encore! Encore!, starring Nathan Lane and Joan Plowright, from 1998–1999, and had recurring roles as Dr. Abby Keaton on ER from 1996–1997 and as Leland Stottlemeyer's wife, Karen on Monk from 2003–2004. In 2004, she played the mother of Lindsay Lohan's character in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.
Headly was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 1979 until 2005, although she never returned to Chicago to do a play after the late 1980s, believing that such a move would uproot and be disruptive to her family. She took a break from the stage altogether for ten years until 1999 when she starred on the London stage opposite Miranda Richardson in Aunt Dan & Lemon. Two years later, she starred in Detachments in Los Angeles and in 2003, starred opposite David Hyde Pierce in The Guys as part of a revolving cast at The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles. She appeared in a one-woman play called My Brilliant Divorce in Galway, Ireland in 2003. She also appeared in Malkovich's production of Shaw's "Arms and the Man," with Kevin Kline at New York City's Circle in the Square Uptown.
|1989||Lonesome Dove||Elmira Boot Johnson||TV miniseries
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1993||Hotel Room||Darlene||Episode: "Tricks"|
|1993||And on the Band Played On||Dr. Mary Guinan||TV film|
|1995||Frasier||Gretchen (voice)||Episode: "An Affair to Forget"|
|1996-1997||ER||Dr. Abby Keaton||Recurring role (9 episodes)|
|1997||Pronto||Joyce Patton||TV film|
|1998||My Own Country||Vickie Talley||TV film|
|1998||Winchell||Dallas Wayne||TV film|
|1998-1999||Encore! Encore!||Francesca Pinoni||Main role (12 episodes)|
|1999||Darkest Day, TheThe Darkest Day||Caitlin||TV film|
|2000||Sandy Bottom Orchestra, TheThe Sandy Bottom Orchestra||Ingrid Green||TV film|
|2001||Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive||Renee Charnquist||Episode: "New Orleans Saints"|
|2001||Girl Thing, AA Girl Thing||Helen McCormack||TV film|
|2001||On Golden Pond||Chelsea Thayer Wayne||TV film|
|2002||Rugrats||Dr. Cathy (voice)||Episode: "The Doctor Is In"|
|2002||Women vs. Men||Brita||TV film|
|2003||Monk||Karen Stottlemeyer||Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man"|
|2004||Monk||Karen Stottlemeyer||Episodes: "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", "Mr. Monk Gets Fired"|
|2004||Guardian, TheThe Guardian||Anne Joplin||Episode: "Beautiful Blue Mystic"|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Attorney Simone Bryce||Episode: "Intoxicated"|
|2006||Monk||Karen Stottlemeyer||Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage"|
|2008||Grey's Anatomy||Elizabeth Archer||Episode: "Lay Your Hands on Me"|
|2008||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Viviana Conway||Episode: "The Happy Place"|
|2012||Psych||Grace Larsen||Episode: "Autopsy Turvy"|
|2012||Pound Puppies||Miss Petunia (voice)||Episode: "Pound Preemies"|
|2012||Parks and Recreation||Julia Wyatt||Episode: "Ben's Parents"|
|2013||League, TheThe League||Gloria||Episode: "The Von Nowzick Wedding"|