October 18, 2011 05:00 PM

Francois G. Durand/WireImage

Freaks, geeks … and a baby on the way.

Linda Cardellini is expecting her first child with boyfriend Steven Rodriguez early next year, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“They’re excited to start a family together,” says the rep.

The actress, 36, known for her roles on ER, Freaks and Geeks and in the Scooby-Doo movies, is busy promoting her new film Return, which premiered at the Cannes film festival this year.

Starring alongside Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, Cardellini plays a war veteran who has a difficult time adjusting to her normal life when she returns home.

She was also recently back on primetime, guest-starring on the new CBS show Person of Interest with Jim Caviezel.

— Sara Hammel

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