Dana Delany

Active - 1981 - 2017  |   Born - Mar 13, 1956 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Thriller

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American actress Dana Delany, a graduate of Phillips Academy and Wesleyan University, began making television appearances in the mid-1980s on such programs as Moonlighting and the movie A Winner Never Quits (1986). In 1988, she was cast as Army nurse Lt. Colleen McMurphy in the Vietnam-era TV drama China Beach, which ran until 1990. In her film appearances (Moon Over Parador [1988], Patty Hearst [1988], Light Sleeper [1992]), Delany has leaned toward characters governed by their neuroses and eccentricities. In 1994, Delany starred in the much-touted "bondage" comedy/mystery Exit to Eden (from a novel by Ann Rice). When the film showed less than successful results, Delany immediately recovered with a strong portrayal as birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger in a made-for-cable TV biopic, and played another strong female in 1997’s True Women.

Though Delany continued to take on interesting film roles throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the actress found no small amount of success on the television screen. After starring in Pasadena (2001) and Presidio Med (2003), Delany could be seen in guest roles on TV hits including Law & Order: SVU (2004) and Battlestar Galactica (2006).

Among Delany’s more unique accomplishments include her portrayal of the Superman franchise favorite Lois Lane in the Warner Brothers’ animated series for a decade (1996-2006), and a pivotal role in Kidnapped, one of the few major television series to air exclusively online.

The actress is involved in a variety of charitable causes, most notably being the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Her dedication to the cause even led to a television role as a scleroderma sufferer in ABC’s powerful television movie For Hope (1996). Much later in 2008, Delany famously underwent what turned out to be an eventful mammogram on camera for the inspiring Stand Up 2 Cancer, which aired during a live telethon simultaneously cast on four major television networks.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Grandfather invented a toilet valve that's still in use.
  • Began acting career on the soaps Love of Life (1979-80) and As the World Turns (1981).
  • Breakthrough role was as U.S. Army nurse Colleen McMurphy in the 1988-91 series China Beach.
  • Was the voice of Lois Lane in the 1996-2006 animated series Superman.
  • Starred in the 1996 TV-movie For Hope, which spotlights the incurable connective tissue disease scleroderma; joined the board of directors for the Scleroderma Research Foundation in 1998.
  • Cast as Katherine Mayfair and moved to Wisteria Lane in 2007 for three seasons of Desperate Housewives.