Patricia Davies Clarkson (born December 29, 1959) is an American actress. After having a dramatic education on the East Coast, Clarkson launched her acting career in 1985, and has worked steadily in both film and television. She twice won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in Six Feet Under, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Pieces of April (2003).
Clarkson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Jacquelyn (née Brechtel), a local New Orleans politician and councilwoman, and Arthur, a school administrator who worked at the Department of Medicine of Louisiana State University. Clarkson's great-grandfather was from Barcelona, Spain.
Clarkson studied drama at Fordham University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and earned her MFA at the Yale School of Drama before making her film debut in The Untouchables in 1987.