White was born in the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, the daughter of Sue Jane, a therapist, and Edwin White, a dentist. White and her family moved to Austin, Texas, to take up ranching when she was three years old. She started acting in local plays and became a semi-professional at 16. While she was playing the lead role in the musical, The Baker's Wife, the show's authors encouraged her to take her talent to New York City. After graduating from high school, she followed their advice, enrolling as a history major at Fordham University.
White has been a prolific stage actress, getting her start in regional theatre. Her theater credits include roles in Absurd Person Singular, Money and Friends, Marvin's Room, Largo Desolato and On the Verge. White made her off-Broadway debut as the lead in Lucky Stiff. Her other off-Broadway credits include The Stick Wife, Early One Evening, Just Say No, Over Texas, and a starring role in Spike Heels with Kevin Bacon and Tony Goldwyn. White also appeared in a one-woman show, Theresa Rebeck's Bad Dates, written especially for her.
On Broadway, White appeared in a production of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Heidi Chronicles. In 2006, she received rave reviews for The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane. She played the role of Diane, a screen agent, who, as one critic put it, is "a Mephistopheles in Manolos". The show, originally produced off-Broadway, transferred to Broadway with a new cast, including former Grace Under Fire costar Tom Everett Scott. She won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her performance, over fellow nominees Angela Lansbury, Vanessa Redgrave, Swoosie Kurtz and Eve Best.
White's most high profile television role to date was as Nadine, the quirky neighbor on Grace Under Fire. White joined the show when it launched in 1993 and appeared in the first four seasons. However, she did not appear in the show's final season. Her departure was attributed to conflict with the show's troubled star, Brett Butler.
White has subsequently made several guest appearances on HBO's Six Feet Under as Mitzi Dalton-Huntley and on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Dr. Anne Morella. White also appeared on Desperate Housewives as "Amanda" in the season two finale but chose to turn down a recurring role when she was offered the role in The Little Dog Laughed. According to White, the character may at some point be brought back onto the show. She played Judy Witwicky, mother of Sam Witwicky, in Transformers. White appeared in the ABC sitcom Cavemen in 2007.
In 2008, White received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her role in the play From Up Here. In 2009, she appeared in the HBO original movie Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon. She also lent her voice to the 2009 computer-animated film Monsters vs. Aliens, and reprised her role as Judy Witwicky in the Transformers sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and is confirmed to return in Transformers 3, too.
White has served several times as a guest judge on Iron Chef America.
|1991 - 1992||Law & Order||Sandy||2 episodes|
|1995||The Heidi Chronicles||Fran|
|1993 - 1997||Grace Under Fire||Nadine Swoboda||97 episodes|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Molly Avery||1 episode|
|2000||What Women Want||N/A||Unconfirmed|
|Strong Medicine||Caitlin Crawford||1 episode|
|JAG||Det. Wanda Schilling||1 episode|
|2001||Thieves||Barb Lieser||1 episode|
|Say It Isn't So||Ruthie Falwell|
|Six Feet Under||Mitzi Dalton Huntley||4 episodes|
|2002||Slap Her... She's French||Bootsie Grady|
|2003||Whoopi||Press Secretary||1 episode|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Anne Morella||5 episodes, 2003 - 2007|
|2004||Rescue Me||Dr. Goldberg||1 episode|
|Sunday on the Rocks||Elly|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Woman|
|2006||The Astronaut Farmer||Beth Goode|
|Desperate Housewives||Amanda||2 episodes|
|2007||Michael Clayton||Mrs. Greer|
|The Nanny Diaries||Jane Gould|
|2009||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||Judy Witwicky|
|Monsters vs Aliens||Wendy Murphy||Voice|
|Taking Chance||Colonel Karen Bell|
|2010||Transformers 3||Judy Witwicky||Filming|
|Funny in Farsi||Candace Smiley||1 episode|
|Language of a Broken Heart||Mimi||Post-production|
|2011||Transformers: The Dark of the Moon||Judy Witwicky||Filming|
- REDIRECT Template:IMDb name
- Leading Ladies, Working in the Theatre video from American Theatre Wing, December 2006
- BroadwayWorld Article: "Julie White to Star in 'From Up Here' at MTC"