She was born on May 22, 1967 in New York City to publisher father Eugene and publicist mother Lois. She attended Tappan Zee High School in New York and studied for one year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Over a career spanning nearly three decades she has acted in numerous movies and TV shows but is probably best known for her roles as a senator's daughter in the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs and for her role on ABC's Grey's Anatomy where she portrayed surgeon Erica Hahn. She was introduced in Season 4 and soon upgraded to a series regular but was let go after seven episodes of Season 5. Creator Shonda Rhimes stated that it was the writers' decision to let her go.
Since January 1999, she has been married to Russian cinematographer Steve Lubinsky and together they have two daughters.