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Sela Ann Ward (born July 11, 1956) is an American movie and television actress, perhaps best known for her television roles as Teddy Reed on the American TV series Sisters (1991-96) and as Lily Manning on Once and Again (1999-2002). In 2010 she joined the CBS drama CSI: NY, as a series regular, playing Jo Danville.
While working in New York City as a storyboard artist for multimedia presentations, Ward began modeling. She was recruited by the Wilhelmina agency and was featured in television commercials promoting Maybelline cosmetics. Ward moved to California and landed her first film role in the Burt Reynolds vehicle, The Man Who Loved Women (1983). Her first regular role in a television drama series on Emerald Point N.A.S., followed. Ward subsequently played variations on the same character in films and television guest spots throughout the 1980s, most notably opposite Tom Hanks in 1986's Nothing in Common and as the lead in the failed series pilot Cameo By Night (written by Chris Carter). This pattern persisted until she aggressively pursued, and won, the role of the bohemian alcoholic Teddy Reed on Sisters, for which she received her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994.
Ward won a CableACE Award for her portrayal of the late television journalist Jessica Savitch in the 1995 TV movie Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, but was passed over for a Bond girl role due to her age. In response, she developed and produced a documentary, The Changing Face of Beauty, about American obsession with youth and its effect on women. Later on, Ward would voice the part of former model turned villain Page Monroe in an episode (Calendar Girl) of The New Batman/Superman Adventures, which focused primarily on the media's (sometimes callous) obsession with youth.
Ward succeeded actress Candice Bergen as commercial spokesperson for Sprint's long distance telephone service from 1999 until 2002. She also appeared on Frasier as supermodel/zoologist Kelly Easterbrook in the fifth season opener ("Frasier's Imaginary Friend"). When she read for the role of Lily Brooks Manning on the series Once and Again, its creators (Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of thirtysomething fame) initially deemed Ward "too beautiful" for the average single mother to identify with. After landing the part, she received her second lead actress Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for her efforts.
In 2004, she played the role of a private investigator, Bobbi Bacha, in the TV movie Suburban Madness. The same year, she also appeared in the hit movie The Day After Tomorrow. In 2005, she began a recurring role in the Fox dramatic series House as Stacy Warner, the hospital's former attorney, who also happens to be the ex-partner of the protagonist, Dr. Gregory House (played by British actor Hugh Laurie). In May 2012, she reprised her role as Stacy Warner for the House finale "Everybody Dies".
Ward was originally offered both the role of Megan Donner on CSI: Miami and Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but turned both down. The parts later went to Kim Delaney and Teri Hatcher, respectively. Ward said she did not want another lead role in an hour-long series due to the time away from her family it would require. She developed and produced a pilot for a half-hour situation comedy (in which she would also star) for CBS' 2006 season but it was not selected by the network for its roster.
In July 2010, Ward signed on to appear in the crime series CSI: NY, as an investigator from Washington, D.C. named Jo Danville.
March 30th, 2013
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