Educated at the State University of New York, Purchase, Leo began her screen career in 1984 with a stint on "All My Children," receiving a Daytime Emmy nod for her work. She soon became a small-screen staple, appearing in myriad guest roles before landing her next series gig on "The Young Riders." The TV work for which she's best known, however, is her portrayal of Kay Howard on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993-97).
Leo also has numerous films to her credit, earning critical acclaim as Benicio Del Toro's wife in 21 Grams (2003) and receiving an Oscar nod for her depiction of a struggling single mom in 2008's Frozen River. She won her first Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2011 for her supporting turn in The Fighter.