She graduated first in her class from The Kinkaid School, Houston, Texas, in 1977, and with honors from Williams College in 1981 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
She also holds an Master of Fine Arts from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She has worked in television, movies, theatre, and voice acting. Her "break" into television was on Spenser: Foreign Hire in the 1980s.
She had appeared as the holodeck simulation Minuet in "11001001", a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and later as Minuet Riker (Will Riker"s wife) in a fantasy-alternate universe during the fourth-season episode "Future Imperfect".
The role she would become best known for was on National Broadcasting Company network as Doctor Elizabeth Olivet on Law & Order, appearing in approximately half of the series episodes between 1994 to 2006. In 1997, she played the unhappy wife of a police psychiatrist played by Robert Pastorelli in the short-lived Americanized version of the British series Cracker.
She also performs on stage. She appeared at the Office-Broadway Cherry Hill Theatre in Eve-olution with The Cosby Show star Sabrina Le Beauf in 2004.
She has also appeared in Dinner with Friends, Oedipus, Ancestral Voices, The Donahue Sisters, Laureen"s Whereabouts and In Perpetuity.
She played in the Broadway productions of The Dinner Party in 2001 as Mariette Levieux, Private Lives (standby) in 2002, and in Equus in 2008 as Dora Strang. She appears Office-Broadway in Will Eno"s new play, The Open House in 2014.