Heather Laurie Holden was born on December 17, 1969 in Los Angeles, California. When she was five years old her parents divorced and her mother remarried and they moved to Canada. She has a duel citizenship in both Canada and the United States.
Laurie received her first film role when she was a child. The actress hired to play the role of Rock Hudson’s daughter in The Martian Chronicles never arrived on set so Laurie, whose stepfather was directing the movie, was hired for the role instead.
Laurie also models. When she was a teenager she won The Look of the Year modeling contest in Toronto.
After graduating from the Bishop Strachan School, she attended McGill University, where she studied economics and political science. Laurie transferred to University of California in Los Angeles and received a degree in theater and film in 1993. At UCLA, she was a member of the National Honor Society and received the prestigious Natalie Wood Acting Award. Laurie then pursued a master’s degree in human rights at Columbia University.
Laurie is a Founding Board Member of the Canadian Somaly Mam Foundation and an Advisory Board Member of The Somaly Mam Foundation in the U.S. She also works with the nonprofit Home From Home, which helps HIV-infected children. In 2014, she was part of Operation Underground Railroad, a volunteer organization that aims to hunt down and arrest child sex traffickers. The group recently traveled to Cartagena, Colombia, where it aided authorities in breaking up a major sex-trafficking ring that used drugs to force underage boys and girls into prostitution. The operation resulted in the arrest of 11 Colombians, plus one person whose nationality has not been released, in the cities of Armenia, Cartagena and Medellin, and the rescue of 55 sex-trafficking victims, one just 11 years old.
Laurie was named as one of the top 100 Most Creative People in Hollywood in Entertainment Weekly’s It List and One of Ten Actors to Watch by Variety. She also won “The Look of The Year” Elite model search in Toronto and was nominated in 1996 for a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series for Due South (1994). Laurie is named as one of “Ten Actors To Watch” by Variety in 2002.
She was nominated in 2011 for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in Television for the series The Walking Dead. For her role in this series, she was also nominated in 2011 for the Scream Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2013, Laurie was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work on The Walking Dead and won.