The 58-year-old appears on The Graham Norton Show on Friday to discuss her role in I, Tonya – the movie she is nominated for.
Born 19 November 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts, she is best known for playing C.J. Cregg in The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.
In fact, Allison – who has been nominated seven times at the Primetime Emmy Awards – is known for her versatility as an actress, able to do both comedic and serious roles with equal aplomb.
Other TV credits include Masters Of Sex and Mom, with film roles including 10 Things I Hate About You, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Finding Nemo, The help, Harispray, Juno, The Way, Way Back, Spy, Finding Dory, The Girl On The Train. She has also worked on Broadway.
In I, Tonya, Allison plays disgraced figure skater Tonya Hardin’s mum LaVona Fay.
What is I, Tonya about?
I, Tonya is based on figure-skater Tonya Harding, who became the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition in 1991.
However, in 1994 her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly plots to injure Nancy Kerrigan, who is Tonya’s Olympic rival.
Kerrigan is forced to withdraw from the national championship and Harding’s career and legacy are instantly tarnished as she is linked to the attack through her ex-husband.
In fact, Allison wanted to become an Olympic figure skater herself, but she ran through a sliding glass window aged 17, cutting tendons and losing arteries.
She keeps her private life private, but is dating IATSE production coordinator Philip Joncas, who at 38 is 20 years her junior.
Allison’s net worth is estimated at being $4million (£2.8m).