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Dana Delany

Dana Delany

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Also Known As: Dana Welles Delany Died:
Born: March 13, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An Emmy Award-winning actress, Dana Delany first made her mark on primetime audiences during the 1980s as the star of the Vietnam War-set medical drama "China Beach" (ABC, 1988-1991). After her role as a mild-mannered Midwestern nurse with the highly desirable hairstyle, Delany became a frequent star in made-for-TV-movies like "Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story" (1995) and "True Women" (CBS, 1997), where she embodied "every day" women who found great courage in the face of adversity. Feature films rarely offered as many challenging portraits of heroic women, and while Delany did make supporting film appearances, she spent the majority of her career as a mainstay on hour-long medical, family, and legal dramas, earning considerable attention for her run on the dramedy "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012). Meanwhile, Delany held down a lucrative side career as an animation voiceover artist, primarily playing Lois Lane in the DC animated universe as well as on "The Batman" (The WB/The CW, 2004-08). But it was live action where Delany truly thrived and after her run on "Desperate Housewives" ended, she moved on to another hit show, "Body of Proof" (ABC, 2011- ), where she played a former...

An Emmy Award-winning actress, Dana Delany first made her mark on primetime audiences during the 1980s as the star of the Vietnam War-set medical drama "China Beach" (ABC, 1988-1991). After her role as a mild-mannered Midwestern nurse with the highly desirable hairstyle, Delany became a frequent star in made-for-TV-movies like "Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story" (1995) and "True Women" (CBS, 1997), where she embodied "every day" women who found great courage in the face of adversity. Feature films rarely offered as many challenging portraits of heroic women, and while Delany did make supporting film appearances, she spent the majority of her career as a mainstay on hour-long medical, family, and legal dramas, earning considerable attention for her run on the dramedy "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-2012). Meanwhile, Delany held down a lucrative side career as an animation voiceover artist, primarily playing Lois Lane in the DC animated universe as well as on "The Batman" (The WB/The CW, 2004-08). But it was live action where Delany truly thrived and after her run on "Desperate Housewives" ended, she moved on to another hit show, "Body of Proof" (ABC, 2011- ), where she played a former neurosurgeon turned medical examiner. Delany's performance confirmed that she was an actress of considerable range able to tackle a wide array of complicated roles.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Camp Hope (2011)
2.
3.
 Poliwood (2009)
4.
5.
 Route 30 (2009)
6.
 Baby for Sale (2004) Nathalie Johnson
7.
 Spin (2003) Margaret Swift-Bejarano
8.
 Conviction (2002) Martha
9.
 Mother Ghost (2002)
10.
 Final Jeopardy (2001) Alexandra "Coop" Cooper
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Stamford, Connecticut
:
After college, moved to NYC to pursue an acting career
:
Began appearing in TV commercials
1979:
Appeared in the CBS soap opera "Love of Life"
1980:
Performed in the Broadway play "A Life"
1981:
Briefly acted on the CBS daytime serial "As the World Turns"
1981:
Feature debut, small role in "The Fan", starring Lauren Bacall
:
Appeared in the Off-Broadway and L.A. stagings of "Bloodmoon" by Nicholas Kazan
1984:
Primetime TV debut in the busted NBC pilot "The Streets"
1987:
TV series debut in NBC's "Sweet Surrender"
1988:
First film with Paul Schrader, "Patty Hearst"
1988:
Breakthrough TV role as Nurse Coleen McMurphy on the ABC drama "China Beach"; won two Emmy Awards for the role
1992:
Returned to feature films after a four-year absence to play prominent supporting roles in "Housesitter" and Schrader's "Light Sleeper"
1993:
Had featured role as James Belushi's wife in the ABC miniseries "Wild Palms"
1993:
Cast as actress Josephine Marcus in the feature Western "Tombstone"
1994:
Played first leading role in a feature, cast as a leather-clad dominatrix in the comedy-drama "Exit to Eden"
1995:
Portrayed birth control advocate Margaret Sanger in the Lifetime TV biopic "Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story"
1995:
Returned to Broadway as co-star of the short-lived "Translations"
1996:
Appeared in "Fly Away Home"
1996:
Voiced the character of Lois Lane on the animated series "Superman" (The WB)
1996:
Starred in the ABC TV-movie "For Hope", playing a schoolteacher stricken with schleroderma
1997:
Starred in the CBS miniseries "True Women"
1998:
Played opposite Martin Donovan in the Showtime original drama "Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples"
1999:
Had lead in the small screen remake of "Resurrection"; played a woman who develops healing powers after surviving an automobile accident
2000:
Joined cast of the Pulitzer-winning Off-Broadway play "Dinner With Friends"
2001:
Made guest appearance on the CBS drama "Family Law"; received Emmy nomination
2002:
Co-Starred in the CBS drama series "Presidio Med," which also co-starred Blythe Danner
2004:
Cast in Lifetime's "Baby for Sale"
2004:
Appeared on an episode of ABC's freshman drama "Boston Legal" as a friend of Alan Shore (James Spader)
2006:
Guest-starred on an episode of "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Phillips Andover Academy: Andover , Massachusetts - 1974
Wesleyan University: Middletown , Connecticut - 1978

Notes

Delany has been a supporter of the Schleroderma Research Foundation since the early 1990s.

"Ambiguity in the script is one thing. Playing it [on stage] is another. One of the things I love about film is the ambiguity. You can let a million thoughts cross your face, and they'll all be right. Any one of them can have meaning. Onstage, that can't happen. You have to project or it doesn't work." --Dana Delany in New York Newsday, March 16, 1995.

"I'm not a big planner. I don't have goals, and I usually like to be surprised by what happens. My credo is by [the writer] Alice Walker: 'Expect nothing; live frugally on surprise.' It gives you a sense of freedom. I have a real belief that life takes care of itself. And it's usually much better than what I imagine." --Delany quoted in Parade Magagazine, August 14, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Treat Williams. Actor. Together in the early 1980s.
companion:
Don Henley. Singer. Formerly with the band The Eagles.
companion:
John Sacret Young. Producer. Co-creator of "China Beach"; no longer together.
companion:
Darius Anderson. Political consultant. Born c. 1963; dated from c. 1994 to c. 1995.
companion:
Henry Czerny. Actor. Met during the filming of the TV-movie "Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story" (1995); together from c. 1994; no longer together.
companion:
Christian Navarro. Wine salesman.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jack Delany. Divorced from Delany's mother in 1973; deceased.
mother:
Mary Delany. Divorced from Delany's father in 1973.

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