Constance Womack was born in Boston, MA. When she was seven, the future star moved to Lynchburg, VA with her father Allen, a physicist, her mother, Linda, and her sister, Cynthia. Britton graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989 with a degree in Asian Studies. Upon graduation, she relocated to New York City and spent two years training with acting guru Sanford Meisner - whose list of students had previously included Grace Kelly, Steve McQueen and Diane Keaton - at the Neighborhood Playhouse. During this period, Britton made her New York theatrical debut playing a prostitute in Caroline Kava's "The Early Girl" at The Courtyard Playhouse, which threatened her placement at Neighborhood Playhouse, which prohibited students from getting paid work during their course of study. Britton eventually graduated and spent the next two years appearing in off-Broadway productions.Britton dazzled in her first feature film role as Molly, the wife of a philandering husband (Jack Mulcahy), in "The Brothers McMullen" (1995), the movie that turned actor-director Edward Burns into a household name. She also appeared in the 1996 Showtime mystery movie "Escape Clause," opposite Andrew McCarthy and Paul Sorvino. That same year, the actress played Joely Fisher's all-too-perfect sister Heather on three episodes of "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98) before landing a regular role on another highly acclaimed sitcom, "Spin City." For six seasons, Britton played the hyper-efficient office accountant with a chaotic personal life and managed to hold her own opposite a cast of showbiz veterans, including Michael J. Fox and Barry Bostwick. Britton reunited with Burns on his third directorial effort, "No Looking Back" (1998), playing Lauren Holly's sister. It was television, however, that kept Britton consistently employed throughout the early 2000s. She acted in another Burns project, "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" (NBC, 2001) and had a recurring role on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), before landing a coveted role as agent Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) love interest in the fifth season of "24" (Fox, 2001-2010). Amidst her in-demand TV schedule, Britton was cast opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the 2004 film "Friday Night Lights," as the wife of a small town high school football coach. When the film was adapted into a weekly drama series a few years later, Britton reprised the role that garnered her much-deserved critical praise. Britton was a natural, playing the high school principal and wife of the football coach (Kyle Chandler) in the television series, "Friday Night Lights." Although football was the fictional Texas town's pride and joy, the authentic relationship between Britton and Chandler's characters was its heart and soul. However, strong critical reviews could not save "Friday Night Lights" from low ratings. The show also struggled to maintain filming on location in Austin, TX due to financial issues. "Friday Night Lights" managed to keep production in the Lone Star state, but its poor ratings forced NBC to pull it out of its regular slot and air reruns on sister network Bravo. After years of being snubbed for her role, Britton eventually earned Emmy nominations in 2010 and 2011 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. After "Lights" left the airwaves in 2011, Britton moved onto her next project, "American Horror Story" (FX, 2011-), where she played the withdrawn wife of a philandering husband (Dylan McDermott) who moves with her family into a haunted mansion. Her performance earned Britton an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012. At an age when most Hollywood actresses found roles of substance increasingly difficult to come by, Britton had the enviable good fortune to be in the midst of a career upswing. Following a small turn in the Steve Carell-Keira Knightley romantic comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" (2012), the actress dove into her next leading role on a network television series. As the co-lead of "Nashville" (ABC, 2012-), Britton played Rayna Jaymes, a fading country music diva forced to share the limelight with an aggressive, much younger up-and-comer (Hayden Panettiere). A combination of music and melodrama, the show's premiere in the fall of 2012 garnered uniformly positive reviews, especially for Britton's nuanced performance as the music queen struggling to retain her crown. While continuing her work on "Nashville," Britton reteamed with Burns for "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" (2012). The following year, she costarred in the holiday drama "Angels Sing" (2013) and Maggie Carey's '90s-set high school comedy "The To Do List" (2013), starring Aubrey Plaza. Supporting roles in Shawn Levy's estranged-family comedy-drama "This Is Where I Leave You" (2014), indie hit "Me & Earl & the Dying Girl" (2015) and action comedy "American Ultra" (2015) preceded her casting in "American Crime Story" (FX 2015-), a new project from "American Horror Story" creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Britton portrayed Faye Resnick, a minor figure in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Britton surprised fans in early 2017 when her beloved character Rayna Jaymes was killed off during the fifth season of "Nashville."