Amy Frederica Brenneman was born on June 22, 1964 in New London, Connecticut to an attorney and a state court judge. He was raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut where she participated in theater. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in comparative religion. While at Harvard, Brenneman co-founded the Cornerstone Theater Company, which she traveled with for several years after graduation. Her first major television role was Officer Janice Licalso on the police drama NYPD Blue. After that, she appeared in numerous films like Casper, Heat, Fear, Daylight, and Nevada. She has also appeared on Frasier and Judging Amy. In 2007, Brenneman was cast for a role on the Grey's Anatomy
spin-off, Private Practice.
After six years of playing Dr. Violet Turner on the medical drama, Brenneman moved on to the big screen to appear in Words and Pictures and The Face of Love. In 2014, she guest starred in an episode of Reign and joined the cast of the HBO series The Leftovers.