by Free Britney at . Comments

Laura Linney, the award-winning actress who played a mom battling terminal cancer on Showtime’s The Big C, is now a mother in real life at age 49.

“Laura gave birth to a healthy boy named Bennett Armistead on January 8,” Raha Lewis, a writer for People, told ABC News ... to the shock of everyone.

Laura Linney Photo

This is her first child with husband of three years, Marc Schauer. Despite their life in the limelight, for the entire term of her pregnancy, Linney kept it secret.

“Not many people knew she was pregnant, but we know she’s home now enjoying being a mother,” said Lewis of Linney, who was last seen publicly in June.

In September, she took home an Emmy for best actress in a miniseries or movie but wasn’t there to accept her award. Perhaps now we know why.

“Laura couldn’t be here tonight. She’s such a great actress that she didn’t even need to show up,” Matt Damon joked while presenting the award.

Just shy of 50 years old, Linney joins a growing list of older Hollywood A-list moms like Salma Hayek (41) Halle Berry (47) and Kelly Preston (48).

Congratulations to the happy family!