Atkinson broke into television with appearances in made-for-TV movies and in the network series "A Year in the Life" (1987-88). While peppering her résumé with gigs on shows such as "Parenthood" and "The X-Files," Atkinson moved into feature films, including Free Willy (1993) and Blank Check (1994), later counting the politically charged thriller Syriana (2005) among her big-screen credits.
In 2006, Atkinson landed the role for which she's best known: Homeland Security official Karen Hayes on the megahit "24." The actress' subsequent works include Recount (2008) and the Netflix original series "House of Cards."
Ordered to clean up the graffiti he painted at a marine theme park, troubled young Jesse unexpectedly bonds with a killer whale on exhibit. But when the park owner threatens to kill the orca, Jesse must hatch a plan to rescue his aquatic friend.