Mary McDonnell got her breakthrough in the epic frontier movie Dances With Wolves, as the daughter of American settlers adopted and raised by Sioux Indians. Her character, called Stands With a Fist for her defiance, enters into a relationship with Kevin Costner's Lieutenant Dunbar, assigned at Army fort on the frontier.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance, and she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Passion Fish, in which she played a daytime serial actress paralyzed after being struck by a taxi. Among are other notable films are Grand Canyon and Donnie Darko.
In 2003, Mary McDonnell starred in the cable TV miniseries "Battlestar Galactica," based on the late-seventies ABC science fiction series of the same name, as Laura Roslin, the President of the Twelve Colonies. She reprised the role in a subsequent weekly "Battlestar Galactica" series, which ran from 2004 to 2009. From there she played a Los Angeles police captain in the TNT series "The Closer."
There's nothing Mary McDonnell can't do. :-)