Jeanne Tripplehorn (born June 10, 1963) is an American film and television actress. Her film career began with the role of a police psychologist in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), The Firm (1993), and Waterworld (1995). Her television roles include Barbara Henrickson in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006–11), Dr. Alex Blake on CBS police procedural Criminal Minds (2012–14). Tripplehorn was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance asJacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the 2009 HBO movie Grey Gardens.
Tripplehorn was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the daughter of Suzanne (née Ferguson) and Tom Tripplehorn, who was once a guitarist with Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Her parents divorced when she was two years old. She graduated from Edison High School in 1981 and spent one semester studying at the University of Tulsa. She performed on the local television shows Creature Feature (1982–83) and Night Shift (1983). Tripplehorn then attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division as a member of Group 19 (1986–90), which also included Laura Linney.
Tripplehorn began her career on stage. She appeared Off-Broadway in John Patrick Shanley's The Big Funk in 1990, then co-starred with Val Kilmer in a 1993 production of John Ford's 1630s play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. She has also been on Broadway in Anton Chekov's Three Sisters opposite Amy Irving and Lili Taylor. In 1992, Tripplehorn made her film debut in supporting role of the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. opposite Michael Douglas. In next year, she starred as Abby McDeereopposite Tom Cruise in The Firm, and in 1995 had another female lead role alongside Kevin Costner in Waterworld. As lead actress, Tripplehorn starred in 1997 box-office bomb romantic drama, 'Til There Was You. The next few years she had supporting roles in small films, including Office Killer, Monument Ave., and Sliding Doors, and well, in 1999 starred opposite Hugh Grant in British romantic comedy Mickey Blue Eyes. She also starred opposite Madonna in 2002 flop film Swept Away.
In 2006, Tripplehorn was cast in a leading role as Barbara Henrickson, the most successful part in her career, of the HBO drama series Big Love, opposite Bill Paxton. In 2009, she played the role of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the HBO movie Grey Gardens. She was nominated an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for this performance. In 2011, she appeared in Lifetime movie, Five. In July 2012, Tripplehorn joined the cast of CBS procedural Criminal Minds in season eight, replacing Paget Brewster's character Emily Prentiss. She received a six-figure salary per episode of Criminal Minds. Tripplehorn left the series after two seasons and Jennifer Love Hewitt replaced her as a new agent.