Her father, John Madigan, is a noted Chicago area lawyer who appeared on NBC's Meet the Press (1947).
Studied acting with Lee Strasberg.
Appeared with husband Ed Harris in 7 movies: Alamo Bay (1985), Gone Baby Gone (2007), Places in the Heart (1984), Pollock (2000), Winter Passing (2005), Just a Dream (2002) and Riders of the Purple Sage (1996).
She married Ed Harris after they worked together on the film Places in the Heart (1984) in which they played a couple having an affair.
In The Dark Half (1993), her character shares scenes with a character named "Sheriff Alan Pangborn" (played by Michael Rooker). The character of "Sheriff Alan Pangborn" returned in Needful Things (1993) and, this time, was played by her real-life husband, Ed Harris.