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Known mainly for her two-time Emmy Award winning performance as Colleen McMurphy on the ABC television show China Beach (1988-1991), Dana Delany has been active in film, television, and stage since the late 1970s.
After growing up in Connecticut, Dana attended Phillips Academy in Andover, then Wesleyan University.
Her early career included a TV role on Love of Life (1979), performing on Broadway in A Life (1980), then back to TV on As the World Turns (1981). The west coast production of the controversial play Bloodmoon (1983-1984) took Dana to Hollywood. The next few years consisted of small parts in various films and TV guest spots, including an appearance on Moonlighting (1985) and three notable episodes on Magnum P.I. (1986).
The significant break for Dana occurred when she was cast as Colleen McMurphy on China Beach, airing from 1988 to 1991, bringing intense media attention to the actress. This role not only garnered two Emmy awards, but two other Emmy nominations, and two Golden Globe nominations.
Leveraging this newfound fame, Dana appeared in feature films such as Light Sleeper (1992), Housesitter (1992), Tombstone (1993), and Fly Away Home(1996) and TV movies such as Promise to Keep (1991), and Wild Palms (1993).
Dana took on controversial roles such as Margaret Sanger in the TV movie Choices of the Heart (1995), Mistress Lisa in the 1994 feature film adaptation of the Anne Rice book Exit to Eden, and an Emmy nominated role as a gun-owning mother in an episode of the TV series Family Law (1999) (which was not rerun, due to sponsorship withdrawal).
Dana provided voice-over work as Lois Lane in the Warner Bros. animated productions of Superman, starting in the mid 1990s, and continuing through 2005. This resulted in her being one of the few to be mentioned by name in the Animaniacs theme song.
The latter part of the 1990s and early 2000s showed Dana's preference for projects that challenged her. Thus, she focused on roles in TV series, such as the shortlived Pasadena (2001) and Presidio Med (2002); TV movies like True Women (1997), Resurrection (1999), A Time to Remember (2003) and Baby for Sale (2004); and feature films by indie film producers, such as The Outfitters (1999), Mother Ghost (2002), and Spin (2003).
During this period, Dana found time to get back to the stage, on and off Broadway, in Translations (1995 - Broadway), Dinner With Friends (2000 - New York City, Los Angeles, Boston), and Much Ado About Nothing (2003 - San Diego).
Additionally, from 2004 to 2006, Dana has played many guest roles on TV shows such as Law & Order:SVU, Boston Legal, Kojak, Related, The L Word, and Battlestar Galactica. Dana also starred in a pilot for a series titled Kidnapped (2005), which was picked up by NBC TV for the 2006 fall season.
Since the mid-1990s, Dana has served on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, and with her friend Sharon Monsky, she helped campaign for support in finding a cure for scleroderma. Working with director Bob Saget, Dana starred in the TV movie For Hope (1996), based on Saget's sister Gay, who had died as a result of the disease.
Since the mid-1990s, Dana has had a notable World Wide Web presence. She has participated in several online chat events promoting various projects. Her Official Web Site, online since 1996, includes a guestbook in which she participates.