At age six, made first appearance on stage, singing and tap-dancing in a local talent show
After winning a singer-songwriter contest, lived with cousin Rip Torn and his wife Geraldine Page in New York City while trying to break into music industry (aged 17)
Cut single "John, You've Gone Too Far This Time," a novelty song about John Lennon posing nude on an album cover with his wife Yoko Ono; recorded under the name Rainbo; because single failed to sell well, was dropped by record company
Worked as photographic model and as extra at Andy Warhol's factory; appeared in "Trash"
Screen acting debut, "Prime Cut"
TV debut, "The Girls of Huntington House" (ABC), about a group home for unwed mothers
Played recurring role of a potential love interest for John-Boy (Richard Thomas) on "The Waltons" (CBS)
Landed breakthrough screen role opposite Martin Sheen in "Badlands"; met future husband Jack Fisk during filming
Worked as a set decorator on "Phantom of the Paradise"
Had title role of a 1960s radical in the TV-movie "Katherine" (ABC)
Earned first Oscar nomination for her leading performance as a telekinetic teenager in "Carrie"; Fisk was the production designer on the movie
Worked as script supervisor on "Eraserhead," directed by David Lynch
Starred with Shelley Duvall and Janice Rule in "Three Women," directed by Robert Altman
Had title role opposite William Hurt in the PBS production "Verna: USO Girl"
Cast as Carolyn Cassady in the biopic "Heart Beat"; first screen teaming with Nick Nolte
Won Best Actress Academy Award for portraying country singer Loretta Lynn in the biopic "Coal Miner's Daughter"; also did own singing in the role
Directed by husband in "Raggedy Man," co-starring Eric Roberts
Teamed with Jack Lemmon in the political drama "Missing"; earned Best Actress Oscar nomination as the wife of a kidnapped American
Starred in "The River" opposite Mel Gibson; garnered fourth Best Actress Academy Award nomination
Had title role of real-life whistle-blower Marie Ragghianti in "MARIE: A True Story"
Portrayed a suicidal woman in "'night, Mother," the film adaptation of Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play
Received fifth Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Crimes of the Heart"
Took four-year break from features
Returned to features in the civil rights drama "The Long Walk Home" alongside Whoopi Goldberg
Had supporting role of Mrs. Jim Garrison in Oliver Stone's controversial "JFK"
Starred in controversial HBO movie "A Private Matter," about the host of a children's TV show who seeks an abortion after exposure to Thalidomide
Starred as a pediatric nurse who cares for an abandoned baby with HIV in the ABC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "A Place for Annie"
Co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in the TNT TV-movie "The Good Old Boys"; earned first Emmy nomination
Teamed with "Carrie" co-star Piper Laurie in "The Grass Harp"
Starred in the "1974" segment of the anthology TV-movie about a woman's right to reproductive freedom, "If These Walls Could Talk" (HBO)
Played Nick Nolte's patient girlfriend in "Affliction"
Appeared as the matriarch of a family who seeks refuge in a bomb shelter in the 1950s and spends 30 years living below ground in the uneven comedy "Blast From the Past"
Portrayed the daughter of a man who sets out on a lawnmower to travel to meet with his estranged brother in "The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch; husband Jack Fisk served as production designer
Starred opposite Beau Bridges in the TV drama "Songs in Ordinary Time" (CBS)
Co-starred with Tom Wilkinson in the independent feature "In the Bedroom," directed by Todd Field; screened at Sundance; received sixth career Oscar nomination as Best Actress
Starred in the Lifetime TV-movie "Midwives"
Had featured role in "Tuck Everlasting"
Played writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's mentally ill wife in the Showtime miniseries "Last Call"
Cast in Michael Cunningham's "A Home at the End of the World," also starring Colin Farrell and Robin Wright Penn
Cast in ensemble "Nine Lives"; Rodrigo García directed series of vignettes offering glimpses into the lives of nine women
Cast as Charlize Theron's mother in "North Country"
Co-starred with Donald Sutherland in Courtney Solomon's "An American Haunting"
Played Heather Graham's therapist in the indie feature "Gray Matters"
Played a retired art teacher who takes in a foster child in TV movie "Pictures of Hollis Woods" (CBS); earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Mini-series or TV Movie
Earned an Emmy nomination for guest role on HBO's "Big Love"
Joined ensemble cast for feature adaptation of "The Help"
Cast opposite Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde in crime drama "Deadfall"