And not because she chose an inopportune time to hit the ladies' room.
Instead, presenters Blair Underwood and Vanessa Williams were left to accept the award on her behalf with nary a mention of Linney's whereabouts, or the usual explanation that she was regrettably on location. Because she wasn't.
So what happened?
Sadly, tragedy happened.
On Saturday, one day before the awards show, Linney's 80-year-old father, Romulus Linney, passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. The actress was by her father's side in his Germantown, N.Y., home, and understandably skipped the Globes to grieve the loss.
She also temporarily pulled out of her current run in Broadway's Time Stands Still, but is expected to return to her regular performance schedule tonight and remain with the show until it closes Jan. 30.
As for Romulus, he was a tremendously respected and prolific playwright, penning more than 30 plays over the span of his career, including A Lesson Before Dying. He was also a college professor who taught at Columbia, Princeton, Hunter College and The New School and prior to his passing had been working on both a novel and a libretto for the operatic adaptation of one of his plays.
Romulus was married to his third wife, Laura Callanan, at the time of his death, and she has already stated that the funeral will be a private affair.
Rest in peace.