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Tyne Daly, an Emmy- and Tony-award-winning actress and producer, is best remembered for her starring role in the TV-series "Law and Order". Through her career, Daly has had a well-documented history of activism that has included speaking out on a variety of social issues and serving as a celebrity spokesperson for various causes.
In 1991, Daly guest-starred on her brother Tim's series Wings, playing a woman who dates Brian Hackett (Steven Weber), brother of Tim's character Joe. She appeared as social worker Maxine Gray, who was also the mother to the show's title character on the CBS drama Judging Amy, which ran from 1999 to 2005. Addressing a conference of the National Association of Social Workers in 2000, Daly said she had learned from social workers and social work texts to improve her portrayal of her character, and she added: "I take from you because you are the ones dealing with all the bad institutions of our society: institutionalized poverty, institutionalized racism, institutionalized cynicism."
After more than two decades as a journeyman player on stage and screen, Tyne Daly found television stardom as the no-nonsense, commonsensical Mary Beth Lacey, partner of Chris Cagney, on the police series "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS 1982-88). The daughter of actors James Daly and Hope Newell, Ellen Tyne Daly was the second of four children. Raised in Westchester County, New York, she began her acting career appearing in summer stock productions with her family and earned her Equity card at age 15 after being cast in the title role of "Jenny Kissed Me." Fate dealt her a blow, however, when a prominent agent dismissed her performance in favor of one of his proteges, relegating Daly to a supporting role. Daly went on to train at Manhattan's American Musical and Dramatic Academy, finding a mentor in teacher Philip Burton. In 1966, she debuted on Broadway in a revival of "The Butter and Egg Man" and went on to land small roles in films and TV. By the mid-1970s, Daly's career was on the upswing. She earned great notices for her supporting turns as Jack Lemmon's daughter in the Americanized remake of "The Entertainer" (NBC, 1976) and picked up her first Emmy nomination for the marital abuse drama "Intimate Strangers" (ABC, 1977). Daly landed the pivotal role of the first female partner to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry Callahan in "The Enforcer" (1976), but television proved to be where she made her mark. "Cagney and Lacey" had a long gestation period. Conceived in the mid-70s, it was produced as a TV-movie in 1981 with Loretta Swit as Cagney and Daly as Lacey. CBS decided to pick up the series option for the following year. With Swit tied to "M*A*S*H" (CBS 1972-83), Meg Foster stepped into the role of Cagney. CBS dumped Foster from the role after the first season, citing her similar coloring to Daly, as well as the perception of some that the two women were too tough and hard-edged. Sharon Gless joined Daly as the new Cagney in 1982 and the two gelled instantly, their screen chemistry softening the relationship. Over the course of the series' run, Daly won four Emmy Awards, an unprecedented achievement for a dramatic actress. When "Cagney & Lacey" faded in 1988, Daly chose to risk her reputation by headlining a stage revival of "Gypsy," the musical that starred Ethel Merman on Broadway and Rosalind Russell on the screen. In November 1988, she premiered on Broadway and won that season's Tony Award as Lead Actress in a Musical. Not satisfied with her offers for starring roles in series, Daly chose to divide her attentions between the stage and screen. When Daly finally opted to return to weekly series work, she accepted the supporting role of Alice Henderson, a strong-willed Quaker running a mission school, on "Christy" (CBS, 1994-95), a part that brought her a fifth Emmy Award, making her the most honored primetime dramatic actress in the history of the award. She also agreed to reunite with Sharon Gless on several "Cagney & Lacey" TV-movies in which Mary Beth, now retired, is brought back into police service by her former partner. The first of what would become three such revivals decidedly won its Sunday night time period in November 1994. Having lost the chance to do "Gypsy" on TV (to Bette Midler), she displayed her musical talents as Mrs. Peterson in the 1995 ABC remake of "Bye Bye Birdie." She continued to lend her considerable talents to telefilms like "The Perfect Mother" (CBS, 1997), make guest appearances on sitcoms and accept the occasional feature role. Once again, Daly confounded conventional wisdom by letting her hair turn gray, allowing herself an age-appropriate figure and accepting the role of the title character's social worker mother in the hit drama "Judging Amy" (CBS 1999-2005). As Maxine, the plain-speaking actress portrayed a forthright, sometimes overbearing woman with strong opinions and a deep concern for her family. During the series' first four seasons, Daly earned four Emmy nominations as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her work (bringing her career tally to 14 nominations) and she took home the trophy in 2003 (her sixth overall). After the series came to a close, Daly co-starred in the TV movie "Georgia O'Keeffe" (HBO 2009) and made occasional guest appearances on TV series, but mostly concentrated on her stage work, including starring roles in two Terrence McNally plays, "Master Class" and "Mothers and Sons," and a supporting role in the musical "It Shoulda Been You." On the big screen, Daly appeared in Michael Showalter's indie comedy-drama "Hello, My Name Is Doris" (2015) opposite Sally Field and had a supporting role in superhero blockbuster "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017). (Source: www.rottentomatoes.com)