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Kim Delaney

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Basic Information

Kim Delaney

Date of Birth: 29 November 1958
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5' 7" (1.70 m)


Kim Delaney (born November 29, 1961) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her role as Detective Diane Russell on the ABC drama N.Y.P.D. Blue. Early in her career, she endeared herself to daytime television viewers as Jenny Gardner, a hugely popular character on the ABC daytime drama All My Children, and the role which first brought her fame. After All My Children, Delaney appeared in numerous television and film roles, including the sole female lead in the dramatic series Philly and the female lead in CSI: Miami, starring alongside David Caruso, although she only appeared in 10 episodes before being written out due to lack of chemistry with Caruso. She currently stars on the Lifetime television drama, Army Wives.

Early life

Delaney, an Irish American, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Joan and Jack Delaney. Delaney's mother was a homemaker and her father a union official and former head of the United Auto Workers. She was raised Roman Catholic. Delaney grew up in Roxborough and has four brothers: Ed, John, Keith, and Patrick. While she was attending J. W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, she worked as a model for the Elite agency. After her graduation, she went to New York and found employment there as a model. At the same time, she studied acting with William Esper.


Delaney first became known for her stint as innocent teenager Jenny Gardner Nelson on the soap opera All My Children, which also was her first job. She played the character from August 1981 to August 1984, earning a Daytime Emmy Award nomination, as well as a loyal fan base; a profile of the actress a decade later noted, "Delaney left the soap in 1984, but fans still remember her as Jenny. 'They come up and will say they've followed everything I've done, and they stopped watching the show after I left, and they're so happy to see me on NYPD Blue, because they love the character."

After leaving the show, Delaney began acting in feature films. In 1985, she appeared with Emilio Estevez in That Was Then, This is Now, a film version of the S. E. Hinton novel of the same name. In 1986, she played a young nun in the military action movie The Delta Force, starring Chuck Norris. In 1987, Delaney was cast as Amanda Jones in Some Kind of Wonderful opposite Peter Gallagher, but new director Howard Deutch recast both roles with Lea Thompson and Craig Sheffer before filming. In 1988 Delaney starred in the thriller "The Drifter". In 1994, Delaney appeared in the film The Force.

Delaney became a regular on the CBS television series, Tour of Duty, in 1988. When she left that show in 1989 to have a child, her war journalist character was killed in an explosion, just as her All My Children character had died five years earlier. In the years immediately following her departure from her two early television series, her film and TV roles tended to be few and of low quality, both in the opinion of critics and of the actress herself. A 1996 profile article in Entertainment Weekly, on the occasion of her landing a prestigious television role at the end of this period, noted: "Delaney's résumé is spotted with ridiculous roles that range from a nun in the Chuck Norris action movie, The Delta Force, to a possessed nymphomaniac in the soft-core horror flick, Temptress. 'There's a lot of things I did to pay the mortgage,' Delaney says resignedly." Roles from this period include her 1992 appearance as Lucky Santangelo in the television miniseries, Lady Boss.

In 1995, Delaney began portraying the role of Det. Diane Russell on NYPD Blue. The role, originally meant to be a four-episode limited appearance, became a regular job when her character's relationship with Detective Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) became a hit with viewers. In this role, she won her first Emmy Award, as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, and was also nominated two other times. Once Smits left NYPD Blue, producer Steven Bochco chose Delaney for the lead in his new show Philly, co-created and produced by Alison Cross. Despite critical acclaim, the show lasted only one season.

After the show's cancellation, CBS courted Delaney to take on the female lead on its new fall drama CSI: Miami, a spin-off of sorts from the hit CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She was written off the series during the first season after just ten episodes; Entertainment Weekly suggested that it had been due to a lack of chemistry between Delaney and star David Caruso. Delaney starred in the 2004 NBC miniseries 10.5, and its 2006 sequel, 10.5: Apocalypse. The following year, she began a recurring role on The O.C. In 2006, Delaney starred with Steven Weber in an episode of Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King titled, "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band," about Rock and Roll Heaven. Delaney next appeared twice on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in early 2007, guest-starring on the episodes "Philadelphia" and "Florida."

Delaney currently plays Claudia Joy Holden on Lifetime Television's hit series, Army Wives.

Personal life

Delaney has been married twice, to actor Charles Grant from 1984 to 1988 and to actor Joseph Cortese from 1989 to 1994. She gave birth to son John "Jack" Philip Cortese in 1990. She was engaged to producer Alan Barnette from 1997–2006, and is currently single.

In 2002, Delaney was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving after she refused to take a breathalyzer test. She subsequently pleaded no contest and was sentenced to two years' probation, fined, and ordered to take a driving class.


  • 1990: Son Jack Cortese born.
  • 2002: She was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu, CA, when a witness called police to report an erratic driver. Police traced the license plate number they were given to Delaney and she was found at her home. After an investigation she was arrested and jailed. She was released the next morning and scheduled for a court appearance in February.
  • 2/19/02: She was given two years probation, a $300 fine and ordered to attend a safe driving class as a result of her arrest for drunken driving.
  • 1997-2006: Was engaged to Alan Barnette/.
  • Was a highly in-demand teen model.
  • Graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in Philadelphia in 1977.
  • She is the only girl born in the middle of four brothers. Ed and John before her, then Keith and Patrick. They are a tax lawyer, a television sports producer, a bartender and an accountant.