Dana Delany

Date Of Birth:
13 March 1956
Place Of Birth:
New York City, New York
Best Known As:
Nurse Colleen McMurphy on TV's China Beach
Dana Delany has been an American television star since she played nurse Colleen McMurphy on ABC's Vietnam War drama China Beach from 1988 to 1992. McMurphy was competent, caring, and occasionally sexy, and her struggles with life in wartime were the heart of the show. The role made Dana Delaney a star, and she twice won Emmy awards (in 1989 and 1992) as the outstanding lead actress in a drama series. Dana Delaney studied theater at Wesleyan University, graduating in 1978. She went directly into the acting life in New York City, appearing onstage, in commercials and in soap operas like As The World Turns. By 1985 she was in Hollywood, doing guest shots on shows like Magnum, P.I. and Moonlighting, before her breakthrough in China Beach. Delaney was later the voice of Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series from 1996-2000 and was in the short-lived 2006 TV series Kidnapped before joining Desperate Housewives in its fourth season as Katherine Mayfair, the hard-working if chilly homemaker and caterer. She stayed with the show from 2007 until 2010, when she began starring in her own show, Body of Proof, as a brilliant surgeon-turned-medical examiner. That show ran from 2011-13, and she then appeared in the two seasons of the streaming drama Hand of God (in 2014 and 2017). Dana Delaney has appeared often in feature films, though never quite with the rousing successes she's had on TV. Her films include Light Sleeper (1992, with Willem Dafoe), Tombstone (1993, starring Kurt Russell), the nutty comedy Exit to Eden (1994, with Rosie O'Donnell), A Beautiful Life (2008), Drunkboat (2010) and Literally, Right Before Aaron (2017).
Extra Credit:

Dana Delaney played birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger in the 1995 TV movie Choices of the Heart.

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