As the tough-skinned, street-savvy cop Danny Sofer on the cop drama "The Shield" (FX, 2002-08), actress Catherine Dent displayed considerable acting chops in one of her first major roles. Prior to the gritty world of "The Shield," Dent first rose to prominence as Janice Talbert on the daytime soap opera "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968-2012), while adding guest starring roles on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) and "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) to her rapidly growing résumé. But it was on "The Shield" that Dent decisively showed that a woman could hang with the boys in the rough world of cops and crime. Meanwhile, she broke through on the feature side with roles in "Replicant" (2001), "The Majestic" and the Oscar-nominated "21 Grams" (2003), though she found more consistence on the small screen. After "The Shield" ended its celebrated run in 2008, Dent moved on to recurring roles on "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ), "Touch" (Fox, 2012-13) and "The Mentalist" (CBS, 2008-15), where she continued to surprise audiences with her diverse talents.
Born on April 14, 1965 in Baton Rouge, LA, Dent was raised by her father, Fred, a politician, and her mother, Eleanor. She first studied acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she spent much time perfecting her craft. Immediately upon graduating, she had a small role in "Nobody's Fool" (1994), starring Paul Newman and went on to land a recurring role as Janice Talbert on the daytime soap "One Life To Live" (ABC, 1968-2012). Dent continued to build her portfolio with guest roles on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007), "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) and its short-lived spin-off "The Lone Gunman" (Fox, 2000-01). She also made headway on the big screen starring opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michael Rooker in the action thriller "Replicant" (2001), which she followed by playing Ashley Judd's sister in the romantic comedy "Someone Like You" (2001). Following a small supporting turn in "The Majestic" (2001), Dent finally earned her due when she cast in a prominent leading role on the gritty cop drama "The Shield" (FX, 2002-08).
For the entire seven seasons of "The Shield," Dent played Sergeant Danielle "Danny" Sofer, a patrol officer with ambitions to become detective who began the series with an on-again, off-again affair with corrupt Strike Team leader, Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis). Partnered with rookie Julien Lowe (Michael Jace), she becomes a mentor despite their not seeing eye to eye on how to be a cop. Later, Danny suffers the personal and professional consequences of shooting an Arab Man, and further still she goes on maternity leave to bear a son who turns out be fathered by Mackey. Eventually, Danny returns to the field where she clashes with a new partner (Paula Garcés) while growing closer to Dutch (Jay Karnes). During her time on "The Shield," Dent continued taking other roles on television and in film, appearing in Steven Spielberg's alien invasion miniseries "Taken" (Syfy, 2002) and followed that with a small role in Alejandro González Iñárritu's weighty drama about grief and death, "21 Grams" (2003), starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro.
From there, the versatile Dent even dabbled in Broadway and regional theater, holding title credits for productions such as "Baby Doll" and Lisa Peterson's "The Country" (2003). After playing a Navy officer in the straight-to-DVD "Tides of War" (2005), the actress landed guest spots on "NUMB3RS" (CBS, 2005-2010) and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (Fox, 2008-09). Once "The Shield" wound down to its highly-anticipated conclusion in 2008, Dent moved on to land episodes of "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ), "Lie to Me" (Fox, 2009-2011) and "Breakout Kings" (A&E, 2011-12), before securing recurring roles as a former special agent on "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ) and as Kiefer Sutherland's sister-in-law in episodes of "Touch" (Fox, 2012-13). In 2012, she went on to play FBI Agent Susan Darcy in several episodes of "The Mentalist" (CBS, 2008-15), where her character believed that the show's main antagonist, serial killer, Red John, was still alive and believed Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) was lying about his death. Meanwhile, Dent had a bit of fun with guest spots on a pair of lighter shows, "Chuck" (NBC, 2007-2012) and "Leverage" (TNT, 2008-2012).
By Shawn Dwyer
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made feature film debut in Robert Benton's "Nobody's Fool" opposite Paul Newman
Cast as Janice Talbert on the ABC soap "One Life to Live"
Starred opposite Jean Claude Van Damme in the thriller "Replicant"
Appeared with Jim Carrey in Frank Darabont's "The Majestic"
Starred as Ashley Judd's sister in the romantic comedy "Someone Like You"
Played Officer Danny Sofer in the FX drama "The Shield"
Appeared in Steven Spielberg's 10-part series "Taken" on the Sci-Fi Channel
Co-starred opposite Greg Kinnear, in Paul Schrader's "Auto Focus"
Had a small part in "21 Grams" starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts