Patricia was born and raised in New Orleans. Her family is very proud of its Louisiana roots (her mother has served as a city councilwoman, etc). Patricia is the youngest of 5 girls. She began acting at a very early age, although she was limited to school plays and regional theater.
Patricia attended Louisiana State University, where she studied speech. After 2 years, she transferred to Fordham University where she majored in theater arts. She graduated summa cum laude. She went on to earn her Masters of Fine Arts at the Yale Drama School. In New York, Patricia made her professional debut on the stage. She was highly regarded in several of her appearances both on and off Broadway.
From there her career took off. She began to work steadily on TV and in movies. Most of her appearances were critically acclaimed, earning her nominations for her roles (including Emmys, Oscars, and Golden Globes).
Patricia has been in a committed relationship with actor Campbell Scott for many years (and is also highly committed to her dog).