Born in New Jersey to Italian-American parents, deep-voiced actress Laura San Giacomo studied at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. After performing in regional theater, off-Broadway, and TV guest-star roles, she made her auspicious debut in Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies, and videotape. As the down-to-earth yet adulterous Cynthia, her presence brought a sense of inhibition to the cast of otherwise sexually repressed characters. This was followed by a series of other good roles: the prostitute Kit in Pretty Woman, the hardworking waitress in Vital Signs, Holly Hunter's sister in Once Around, and the American expatriate Crazy Cora in Quigley Down Under. In addition to providing her husky voice to the star-studded animated series Gargoyles, she moved over to TV movies, most notably the Stephen King adaptation The Stand. On the big screen, she starred in Nina Takes a Lover, Stuart Saves His Family, and The Apocalypse (co-starring her then-husband Cameron Dye). After having her son Mason, she started playing the memorable role of magazine journalist Maya Gallo on Just Shoot Me, which ran from 1997-2003 on NBC. She worked steadily in the years following Just Shoot Me, but she was away from screens for four years after 2001, returning in the 2005 drama Havoc. Two years later she starred opposite Holly Hunter in the supernatural series Saving Grace.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Began her career on the stage in 1988 with appearances in two off-Broadway productions: The Love Talker and Italian American Reconciliation.
- Made her feature-film debut in Steven Soderbergh's 1989 low-budget hit Sex, Lies and Videotape.
- Guest appearances on popular programs, such as Crime Story, Miami Vice and Equalizer, paved the way for steadier TV work in 1997, playing Maya Gallo on the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me.
- Planned to star in a biopic on the life and works of Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo, but protests over the actress's non-Mexican heritage derailed the project.
- Has appeared at the Environmental Media Awards, the Voices for Change Gala Benefit and Concert (benefitting Children with Disabilities) and the Friends Finding a Cure Gala Benefitting Project ALS.