Dana Welles Delany, born March 13, 1956 in New York City, is mainly famous for her role as army nurse Colleen McMurphy on the ABC television drama China Beach (1988–1991), for which she twice received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1989 and 1992.

After growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, Dana attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, for her senior year. Then she majored in theater at Wesleyan University, worked in summer stock productions during vacations, and graduated in 1978.
© Dana Delany
Dana fell in love with acting from an early age. As a child, she often went with her family to many Broadway shows and was fascinated by films. Following graduation from Wesleyan University, Dana moved to New York and developed her skills working in daytime television and theater.

She starred in the Broadway show 'A Life' and received critical acclaim in 1983 in Nicholas Kazan's off-Broadway 'Blood Moon', where The New York Times cited her 'skillful verisimilitude" handling a difficult part requiring two roles "and she does them both with authority.'
'Blood Moon', 1983/© Dana Delany
Her early career also includes TV roles on 'Love of Life' (1979) and 'As The World Turns' (1981). The production of the play 'Bloodmoon (1983-1984) let Dana moved to Hollywood and during the next few years found work guest starring in TV shows like 'Moonlighting' (1985), 'Thirtysomething' (1988) and Magnum P.I. (1986) and also took parts in films like 'Almost You' (1985), 'A Winner Never Quits' (1986) and 'Where the River Runs Black' (1986).

The significant break for Dana occurred when she was cast as Colleen McMurphy on the highly acclaimed 'China Beach' (1988-1991), bringing her intense media attention. This role not only garnered 2 Emmy awards, but 2 other Emmy nominations, and 2 Golden Globe nominations.
In 1991, Dana Delany was chosen by 'People' magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. In the years following China Beach, Dana appeared in feature films such as 'Light Sleeper' (1992), 'Housesitter' (1992), 'Tombstone' (1993), Exit to Eden (1994), 'Live Nude Girls' (1995), and 'Fly Away Home' (1996) and TV movies such as 'Promise to Keep' (1991), 'Wild Palms' (1993), and 'Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story' (1995).

Additionally, from 2004 to 2019, Dana has played many guest roles on TV shows such as 'Law & Order: SVU', 'Boston Legal', 'Kojak', 'Related', 'The L Word', 'Battlestar Galactica', 'Route 30', 'Castle', 'The Comedians', 'No Second Chance', and 'Bull'. Her charming voice impressed filmmakers and led to her being cast as Lois Lane in 'Superman: The Animated Series' (1996-2000), 'Justice League' (2003), 'Justice League Unlimited' (2004-2005), and 'The Batman' (2007).

Dana also found time to get back to the stage in 'Translations' (1995), 'Dinner With Friends' (2000), Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' (2003), 'The Parisian Woman' (2013), 'The Night of the Iguana' (2017), 'Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betty' (2018), and 'Goodnight Nobody' (2020).
© MCC Theater
In 2007, Dana joined the cast of the well-established series 'Desperate Housewives' as Katherine Mayfair. She left 'Desperate Housewives' to star in the new ABC series 'Body of Proof' originally slated to begin airing in late 2010. In August 2018 Dana was cast for CBS's Drama 'The Code'.

Dana Delany is also known as a producer and activist. She stands for equality and fairness. Her kindness, humanity and compassion made her join the campaign for support in finding a cure for scleroderma after her role in the TV movie 'For Hope' (1996) where her character suffered from that disease. Since the mid-1990s, Dana has served on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Besides that Dana is a curious world traveler.

Her nice and respectful attitude to her fans must not go unmentioned and it definitely has a beneficial effect on them. Moreover, not only fans are treated politely, but everyone else no matter who they are. In gratitude for how wonderful she is, fans celebrate International Dana Delany Day on August 13.