Dana Delany

Actor

Born: 13 March 1956
Birthplace: New York, 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, conscientious and occasionally sexy, and her love life was a big part 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. She 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. 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) and Drunkboat (2010).

Extra credit:

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

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More on Dana Delany from Fact Monster:

  • Dana Delany - Biography of Dana Delany, Nurse Colleen McMurphy on TV's China Beach
  • Wide Awake (1998) - Starring Joseph Cross, Denis Leary, Dana Delany, Rosie O'Donnell
  • Selected Biographies: D - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters
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