McDonnell, began her career on the New York stage. She booked TV and film roles in the early 1980’s. For the most part she played roles in gritty serious films most notably as a white woman raised by American Aboriginals in, ‘Dances with Wolves’, and as a paraplegic soap star in, ‘Passion Fish’ which earned her Oscar nominations.
Recently McDonnell has shifted her focus to performances on the small screen in which she has had many successful roles such as in,’ ER’ ,’ Battlestar Galactica’, and ’The Closer’ . McDonnell is married to fellow actor Randle Mell, the pair have two children the family resides in Pacific Palisades, California.
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