Dana Welles Delany (born March 13, 1956) is an American film, stage, and television actress, producer, host and health activist. After various roles in the early career, in 1987, Delany garnered her first leading role in the short-living NBC sitcom Sweet Surrender and, 1988–1991, achieved wider fame as Colleen McMurphy on the ABC television show China Beach, for which she won two Emmy Awards. She received further recognition for her performances in the films Light Sleeper (1992), Tombstone (1993), Exit to Eden (1994), The Margaret Sanger Story (1995), Fly Away Home (1996), True Women (1997) and Wide Awake (1998). Since the mid-1990s, Delany has served on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation.
In 2000s she returned to television with a string of short-lived television series beginning with Pasadena (2001), Presidio Med (2002–2003), and Kidnapped (2006-2007). From 2007 to 2010 Delany played Katherine Mayfair on the ABC series Desperate Housewives. She is currently in the lead role as Megan Hunt on the ABC drama series Body of Proof
Delany is also known as a voice-actress. She played Lois Lane in the DC Animated Universe as well as the television series The Batman. In an interview, she said she loves to play "complicated characters". Delany has been active in film, television, and stage since the late 1970s.
Delany commented about her personal life in an interview in 2006: "I turned 50 and I'm ready to get married ... I don't know who he is yet but I'm ready ... He has to be smart, funny and kind." She added a year later: "Marriage has never been a big deal for me ... But I think I’m ready now ... I got to have all the fun in the world, to experience a lot of people and figure out what I really like." Delany (in 1988) said she doesn't find being a celebrity to be that appealing: "I'm not a 'personality'. I am never recognized, which I take as a compliment. I have a love-hate thing with publicity."
Since the mid-1990s, she has had a notable Internet 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.
Delany, in 2003, tried having an injection of botox in her forehead, but the needle hit a nerve and created a hematoma which affected the muscle in her right eye, causing it to droop slightly. In 2010, she vowed she will never have plastic surgery. She told Prevention in 2010 that she prefers eating healthily, including vegetables, tofu, fish, gluten-free pasta, and bread. Since she plays a neurosurgeon in her new ABC drama Body of Proof, she refuses to eat turkey sausage because of a perceived similarity with intestines seen on the set.
In April 2011 Delany came 9th in People magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful list.