Graduate of the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She also traveled with the fabled Barter Theatre of Virginia, during the same season as another then-unknown, Ernest Borgnine, who also doubled as the bus driver for the troupe.
Is a particular favorite of director Mike Nichols, who has cast her in his films, The Graduate (1967), The Day of the Dolphin (1973), and Regarding Henry (1991), and on Broadway in "Uncle Vanya" (1973).
Often plays loving mothers and sympathetic wives, but never married in real life.
Received the 1972 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for David Rabe's "Sticks and Bones."
She was awarded the 1979 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Play for "Morning's At Seven", at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.