Dana Delany was fascinated with both Broadway productions and films when she was young, and soon took up acting while still studying in high school. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a theater degree in 1978, she began working in New York City, appearing in several Broadway plays as well as television programs.
While Delany was already receiving acclaim at the time, her biggest role was yet to come. In 1988 she joined the cast of the ABC Vietnam War series China Beach as nurse Colleen McMurphy; the role earned her two Emmys for Best Drama Actress, as well as two nominations each from the Emmys and the Golden Globes. The series was cancelled in 1991 due to low ratings.
Her success on China Beach led Delany to many other projects, both on screen and on stage. Her film work were dominated by controversial roles, such as in the 1995 film Live Nude Girls. She also had a hand in the short-lived shows Pasadena, Presidio Med and Kidnapped. At the same time she dabbled in voice acting, notably lending her voice to Lois Lane in numerous animated series.
In 2007 Delany joined the cast of another ABC series, Desperate Housewives; while she initially turned down the offer due to its similarities with her role in Pasadena -- she was initially offered the role of Bree Van Der Kemp, which later went to Marcia Cross -- she eventually relented and received acclaim for her performance as Katherine Mayfair. She left the series in 2010 to join yet another ABC series, the medical drama Body of Proof.
- Dana turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO series Sex and the City -- the role that would later propel Sarah Jessica Parker to stardom.
- Her grandmother was the inventor of the Delany valve, a flushing device still use in today's toilets.
- Her siblings' names are Sean Delany and Corey Delany.
- She worked as a cocktail waitress before achieving stardom.
- Her mother is a relative of Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles.
- She is a member of the board for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, and is involved in the campaign to find a cure for the disease.
- She lists Mad Men and 30 Rock as her favorite shows.
2009: Prism Awards - Performance in a Comedy Series for: "Desperate Housewives"
1998: Lone Star Film & Television Awards - Best TV Actress for: True Women
1992: Emmy Awards - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for: "China Beach"
1991: Q Awards - Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series for: "China Beach"
1990: Q Awards - Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series for: "China Beach"
1989: Q Awards - Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series for: "China Beach"
1989: Emmy Awards - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for: "China Beach"
2011: Body of Proof (TV series) - Dr. Megan Hunt
2010: Firebreather (TV movie) - Margaret Rosenblatt (voice)
2010: Drunkboat - Eileen
2010: Camp Hope - Patricia Leary
2007-2010: Desperate Housewives (TV series) - Katherine Mayfair
2010: Castle (TV series) - Special Agent Jordan Shaw
2010: Batman: The Brave and the Bold (TV series) - Vilsi Vaylar
2010: Multiple Sarcasms - Annie
2008: Flying Lessons (short) - Jeanne
2008: A Beautiful Life - Anne
2008: Route 30 - Amish Martha
2007: The Batman (TV series) - Lois Lane
2006-2007: Kidnapped (TV series) - Ellie Cain
2006: Superman: Brainiac Attacks (video) - Lois Lane (voice)
2005-2006: Related (TV series) - Francesca Sorelli
2006: Battlestar Galactica (TV series) - Sesha Abinell
2006: The L Word (TV series) - Senator Barbara Grisham
2003-2005: Justice League (TV series) - Lois Lane/Loana/Maggie Sawyer (voice)
2005: Kojak (TV series) - Kate McNeill
2005: Getting to Know You (short) - Marla
2004: Boston Legal (TV series) - Samantha Fleming
2004: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV series) - Carolyn Spencer
2004: Baby for Sale (TV movie) - Nathalie Johnson
2003: A Time to Remember (TV movie) - Britt Calhoun
2003: Spin - Margaret
2002: Conviction (TV movie) - Martha
2002: Presidio Med (TV series) - Dr. Rae Brennan
2002: Superman: Shadow of Apokolips (Video Game) - Lois Lane (voice)
2002: Mother Ghost - Karen Bennett
2001-2002: Pasadena (TV series) - Catherine McAllister
2001: Final Jeopardy (TV movie) - Alexandra Cooper
2001: Family Law (TV series) - Mary Sullivan
2000: The Right Temptation - Anthea Farrow-Smith
1996-2000: Superman (TV series) - Lois Lane (voice)
2000: Good Guys/Bad Guys (TV movie)
1999: Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story (TV movie) - Elaine Gunn
1999: Sirens (TV movie) - Sally Rawlings
1999: Resurrection (TV movie) - Clare Miller
1999: The Outfitters - Cat Fonifam
1998: The Batman Superman Movie: World's Finest (TV movie) - Lois Lane (voice)
1998: Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples (TV movie) - Johtje Vos
1998: The Patron Saint of Liars (TV movie) - Rose Cleardon Abbott
1998: Wide Awake - Mrs. Beal
1998: Dead Man's Curve - Dr. Ashley
1997: Spy Game (TV series) - Honey Trapp
1997: True Women (TV movie) - Sarah McClure
1997: Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man (TV series) - Dr. Susan Fox
1996: Wing Commander Academy (TV series) - Gwen 'Archer' Bowman
1996: For Hope (TV movie) - Hope Altman
1996: Superman: The Last Son of Krypton (TV movie) - Lois Lane (voice)
1996: Fly Away Home - Susan Barnes
1995: Live Nude Girls - Jill
1995: Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story (TV movie) - Margaret Sanger
1995: Fallen Angels (TV series) - Helen Fiske
1994: Exit to Eden - Lisa Emerson
1994: Texan (TV short) - Anne Williams
1994: The Enemy Within (TV movie) - Betsy Corcoran
1993: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - Andrea Beaumont (voice)
1993: Tombstone - Josephine Marcus
1993: Donato and Daughter (TV movie) - Lt. Dena Donato
1993: Wild Palms (TV mini-series) - Grace Wyckoff
1992: Cheers (TV series) - Susan Metheny
1992: HouseSitter - Becky Metcalf
1992: Light Sleeper - Marianne Jost
1988-1991: China Beach (TV series) - Nurse Colleen McMurphy
1990: A Promise to Keep (TV movie) - Jane Goodrich
1988: Moon Over Parador - Jenny
1988: Patty Hearst - Gelina
1988: Masquerade - Anne Briscoe
1988: thirtysomething (TV series) - Eve
1987: Sweet Surrender (TV series) - Georgia Holden
1986-1987: Magnum, P.I. (TV series) - Cynthia Farrell
1986: Where the River Runs Black - Sister Ana
1986: Liberty (TV movie) - Moya Trevor
1986: A Winner Never Quits (TV movie) - Nora
1985: Moonlighting (TV series) - Jillian Armstrong
1985: Almost You - Susan McCall
1984: Threesome (TV movie) - Laura Shaper
1984: The Streets (TV movie) - Jeannie
1981: As the World Turns (TV series) - Hayley Wilson Hollister
1981: The Fan - Saleswoman in Record Store
1979-1980: Love of Life (TV series) - Amy Russell
1978: Ryan's Hope (TV series) - Ryan's Bar Patron