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Connie Britton Bio
Britton made her feature film debut in the independent comedy-drama film The Brothers McMullen (1995), and the following year, she was cast as Nikki Faber on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000). She later starred in the short-lived sitcoms The Fighting Fitzgeralds (2001) and Lost at Home (2003), and appeared in several films, most notably the sports drama film Friday Night Lights (2004) and the thriller film The Last Winter (2006).
Britton received positive reviews from critics for her performance as Tami Taylor on the NBC/DirecTV drama series Friday Night Lights (2006–2011). For this role she was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 2011, she starred as Vivien Harmon in the first season of FX horror-drama series American Horror Story, for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Britton plays the leading role of country Singer Rayna Jaymes in the ABC/CMT musical drama series Nashville (2012–present), for which she was nominated for a Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2012. In 2014, Britton was named UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Britton next starred in the comedy-drama film This Is Where I Leave You (2014), the drama film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) and the action comedy American Ultra (2015). In 2016, Britton played socialite Faye Resnick in the first season of FX true crime anthology series American Crime Story.
While studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Britton (then Womack) made her New York theatrical debut in Caroline Kava’s The Early Girl at The Courtyard Playhouse. Britton played seasoned prostitute Laurel opposite Cooper Lawrence, who played Joan. Britton’s performance, while well received, nearly got her ousted from the Neighborhood Playhouse program, which prohibited students from taking professional employment during their course of study. After graduating, Britton spent two more years working in off-Broadway theatre productions. In 1995, Britton made her feature film debut in Edward Burns’ critically acclaimed comedy-drama The Brothers McMullen. She moved to Los Angeles after the film’s success.
After The Brothers McMullen, Britton was cast as Heather in a recurring role in the ABC sitcom Ellen, and starred as Cammie Barbash in the unsold Fox pilot Pins and Needles. In 1996, she began co-starring as Nikki Faber in the ABC sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox. Her character was written out of the show when Charlie Sheen replaced Fox. She also appeared in the romantic comedy-drama No Looking Back (1998) and the mystery comedy-drama Looking for Kitty (2004), both directed by Edward Burns. In 2001, she co-starred opposite Chris Eigeman and Jamie Harris in the romantic comedy The Next Big Thing. She later co-starred in the independent films The Life Coach, Special Ed, The Lather Effect and The Last Winter.
After leaving Spin City, Britton had a recurring role as Maggie Kimble Hume in the short-lived ABC crime drama The Fugitive. In 2001, she played Gertrude Temple, Shirley Temple’s bad mother in the ABC television film Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story, based on Temple’s 1988 autobiography. In the same year, she starred as Sophie in the short-lived NBC sitcom The Fighting Fitzgeralds. In 2001, Britton also had a recurring role in the NBC political drama The West Wing in the third season, appearing in the two-part premiere titled “Manchester” and the sixth episode titled “Gone Quiet” as Connie Tate, a member of Bruno Gianelli’s team. In 2002, she returned to ABC and starred as Rachel Davis in the short-lived sitcom Lost at Home. In 2006, she had a recurring role in the Fox espionage thriller 24 during the fifth season as Diane Huxley, the landlady and girlfriend of protagonist Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland).
Britton co-starred opposite Kyle Chandler in the critically acclaimed NBC drama series Friday Night Lights as Tami Taylor, the wife of a head Football coach Eric Taylor (Chandler), who becomes a high school guidance counselor. The show ran for five seasons from October 3, 2006 to February 9, 2011. During that time, Britton developed a devoted following for her performance – described by The New York Times as “something of an icon, a 40-something sex symbol and role Model.” She was first cast opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the film version of the series, Friday Night Lights (2004). For her role in the show she was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2010 and 2011, for TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama in 2007 and 2008, and was awarded Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2010.
In 2009, Britton co-starred opposite Carla Gugino and her Friday Night Lights co-star Adrianne Palicki in the comedy Women in Trouble, and co-starred opposite Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner and Rooney Mara in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Dr. Gwendoline “Gwen” Holbrook. In 2011, she co-starred opposite Pamela Adlon in the romantic comedy Conception. She appeared on This American Life’s 429th episode, “Will They Know Me at Home?”, in which she performed monologues from David Finkel’s nonfiction book The Good Soldiers.
In 2011, Britton starred in the first season in the FX horror drama American Horror Story. She played Vivien Harmon, who relocates with her family to California after a series of tragic marital and family issues. Unfortunately for The Harmons, the new House they purchase quickly reveals itself to be haunted. For this role she was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012. Britton had stated when she wrapped American Horror Story she would be taking a couple of months off to be with her new adopted son, but that she would then begin to re-focus on developing her FX drama collaboration with David O. Russell, but the project went into “development hell”.
On March 6, 2012, Britton signed on to star in and produce the ABC musical drama series, Nashville created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri. The series ran on ABC for four seasons from October 10, 2012 to May 25, 2016. She plays Rayna Jaymes, a renowned 40-year-old Music page’>Country Music Singer whose stardom is beginning to fade. Britton’s performance received critical praise, and she was nominated for a fourth time for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for the first time for this role. Britton, for her part, has said that the most nerve-wracking part of her role, at least in the beginning, has been the singing the role requires of her. The show was cancelled in May 2016 by ABC. However, in June 2016, CMT picked up the series for a fifth season.
In 2012, Britton co-starred opposite Edward Burns in the comedy-drama The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. The film was met with positive reviews from critics. That same year, she had co-starred in the comedy-drama Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opposite Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. She played the mother of Aubrey Plaza‘s Brandy Klark in the comedy The To Do List. Britton returned to Austin, Texas, where Friday Night Lights was filmed, to co-star opposite Harry Connick, Jr. and fellow actors and musicians Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson in the Christmas family drama Angels Sing that was released by Lionsgate.
In 2014, Britton co-starred opposite Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda as a cougar therapist in the comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You, based on Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 best-selling novel. In 2015, she co-starred opposite Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke in the comedy-drama Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and based on Jesse Andrews‘ 2012 novel of the same name, a wry coming-of-age story about Greg (Mann), a teenage oddball forced to befriend Rachel (Cooke), a classmate with cancer. She played Greg’s mother. That same year, she co-starred in the action comedy American Ultra opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart; Sharon Stone had originally been cast in her part. Also that year, Britton reunited with American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy in his miniseries American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson as Faye Resnick.
In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Britton and others told the stories of the people killed there.
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