Linda Edna Cardellini (born June 25, 1975) is an American television and film actress. She is perhaps best known for her roles as high school student Lindsay Weir on Freaks and Geeks, as Velma Dinkley in the live-action Scooby-Doo films, and as Samantha Taggart on ER.
Cardellini was born in Redwood City, California, the daughter of Lorraine (née Hernan) and Wayne David Cardellini. She made her first public appearance at age 10, when she sang in a school play. After the performance, she acted in several school productions and started attending drama lessons. She graduated from nearby Mountain View's Catholic St. Francis High School in 1993.
Cardellini received her first big break in 1996 when she landed a starring role as Sarah on ABC's Saturday morning live-action children's series, Bone Chillers. Following this, she made guest appearances on prime-time programs such as Step by Step, Clueless, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Boy Meets World as Lauren, a girl that came between the show's star couple. Cardellini spent the summer of 1999 in Europe as part of a touring production of Lancelot, a 14th century Dutch tragedy.