The daughter of a local politician in Palo Alto, California, Amy Stewart was initially on a political career path herself, despite working in community theater and appearing in local television commercials through her adolescent and high school years. After getting her bachelor's degree from the University of California, though, Stewart decided to skip law school and explore acting full-time. Following roles in some film-school shorts, Stewart did a two-episode stint on the hit TV series "ER" and appeared in guest roles on several other shows. After joining an all-star cast in the TV movie "Wild Iris," where she acted alongside Gena Rowlands and Laura Linney, Stewart made career inroads the next year with the series "Glory Days" and a starring role in the indie film "Monkey Love." Though neither effort was a large commercial success, Stewart continued to appear in top-rated TV shows like "The Starter Wife," "Desperate Housewives," and "Dirty Sexy Money," easily making the transition from ingénue to mom roles. In 2009 she began playing a recurring part as Sondra on the series "The Lake."