Maura Lynn Tierney is an American actress known for her works in TV shows such as ‘NewsRadio’, where she portrayed Lisa Miller, and the medical drama ‘ER’, where she portrayed the character Abby Lockhart. On the big screen, she has appeared in films like Christopher Nolan’s ‘Insomnia’, the comedy drama ‘Finding Amanda’, and more recently, the biographical drama film ‘Beautiful Boy’. Even though born to parents with no links to Hollywood, she developed an early interest in the performing arts. She studied dance and drama at New York University before starting her professional career as an actress. In her career so far, she has been nominated for several awards, including two Emmy Awards for her roles in the TV shows ‘ER’ and ‘The Affair’. For her work in ‘The Affair’, she also won the Golden Globe Award. She had to take a break from acting when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had to undergo surgery. She was able to return to work in 2010. Her most recent project was the 2019 drama film ‘The Report’.
Childhood & Early Life
Maura Lynn Tierney was born on 3rd February 1965, in Boston, Massachusetts, US in an Irish Catholic family. Her father, Joseph M Tierney, was a politician, and her mother, Pat James, used to be a real estate broker. She has two siblings.
She studied at Mount Alvernia Academy Elementary School, and later attended Notre Dame Academy, in Hingham, Massachusetts. One of her subjects was drama, which eventually led to her appearing at the Boston Globe Drama Festival. She later went to New York University, majoring first in dance and then in drama.
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Maura Tierney began her career appearing in plays. She first appeared on television in the 1987 TV film ‘Student Exchange’, a romantic comedy directed by Mollie Miller.
In 1991, she appeared in the low budget film ‘Dead Women in Lingerie’. She appeared in films like ‘White Sands’ (1992) and ‘Mercy’ (1995) in the ensuing years.
Also active on TV, she acted in TV shows such as ‘The Van Dyke Show’ and ‘704 Hauser,’ as well as TV films like ‘Out of Darkness’. She gained popularity after her appearance in the TV sitcom ‘NewsRadio’, which aired from 1995 to 1999. The series focused on the lives of the staff at a New York City AM radio news station.
In 1996, she was seen in a minor role in the crime thriller ‘Primal Fear’, which was directed by Gregory Hobbit. The film was a commercial and critical success, and won several awards and nominations.
She was seen in the fantasy comedy film ‘Liar Liar’ in 1997, playing a main role. The film was a success financially, earning over $300 million on a $45 million budget. The film was also appreciated by the critics.
Over the years, her popularity grew as she appeared in many hit films, such as ‘The Thin Pink Line’ (1998), ‘Instinct’ (1999), ‘Insomnia’ (2002) and ‘Welcome to Mooseport’ (2004).
Between 1999 and 2009, she played Dr Abby Lockhart, one of the main roles, in the medical drama series ‘ER’. Her character began as a guest role, and was later expanded to a main role. Her role was much appreciated and she earned several award nominations, including one Emmy nomination and three Prism Award nominations.
She appeared in the TV shows ‘Rescue Me’ from 2009 till 2011, and ‘The Whole Truth’ from 2010 till 2011. In 2014, she began appearing in the drama series ‘The Affair’. The series was praised by the critics, and won several awards and nominations.
Her recent movies include ‘Nature Calls’ (2017), ‘Beautiful Boy’ (2018), and ‘The Report’ (2019).
One of Maura Tierney’s major works is undoubtedly the medical drama series ‘ER’. The series aired from 1994 to 2009, covering over 300 episodes and 15 seasons. Tierney’s role of Dr Abby Lockhart was appreciated and earned her several award nominations. The show won 23 Emmy Awards, out of over a hundred nominations, as well as several other awards.
Among her many works on the big screen, she played a supporting role in the mystery thriller film ‘Insomnia’. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film included actors such as Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hillary Swank. The film was a commercial success, earning over $110 million on a $46 million budget. It was also praised by the critics.
Family & Personal Life
Maura Tierney got married to Billy Morrissette on 1st February 1993. They divorced in 2006.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor. She was able to return to work in 2010.