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Elizabeth Dennehy

Elizabeth Dennehy

American actress
Elizabeth Dennehy
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Is Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 1 October 1960, Jacksonville, Onslow County, North Carolina, USA
Age 60 years
Star sign Libra
Father: Brian Dennehy
Siblings: Kathleen Dennehy
Spouse: James Lancaster
Hofstra University
The details


Elizabeth Dennehy (born 1 October 1960) is an American film, stage, and television actress, best known for her role as "Commander Shelby" in the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode "The Best of Both Worlds." 

She has also appeared in such television series as Guiding Light, Seinfeld, Charmed, and Without a Trace, and films such as Clear and Present Danger, Gattaca, Soldier, Red Dragon, and True Blood.

Early life

Elizabeth Dennehy was born as Elizabeth Hannah Dennehy on October 1, 1960, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She is the daughter of famous actor Brian Dennehy. Her sister Kathleen Dennehy is also an actress.

Dennehy trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in London, England. 



Dennehy made her acting debut in 1988 with the role of Christina "Blake" Lindsey in the TV series drama Guiding Light.

Two years later, in 1990, she was seen in an uncredited role ("Renata") in director Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi/thriller Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone. The same year, she appeared in the role of "Lieutenant commander Shelby" in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation in the two-part episode "The Best of Both Worlds". In 2017, Den of Geek ranked Dennehy's role as "Lieutenant Commander Shelby" as one of the top-ten guest star roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In 1992, she was cast in the supporting role of "Candy" in The Waterdance, starring Eric Stoltz and Helen Hunt.

Dennehy other early television credits include: Quantum Leap (1992), Class of '96(1993), Seinfeld (1993), The Lazarus Man (1996), C-16: FBI (1997), NYPD Blue(2000), and Judging Amy (2001).

In 2004-2006, Dennehy was seen as "Sandra" in eight episodes of the TV series Charmed.

Her later film credits include Brent Huff's Welcome to Paradise (2007), Peter Berg's Hancock (2008), Grace Lee's Janeane from Des Moines (2012), and David Heinz's American Folk (2017).

Most recently, in 2020, Dennehy was seen in two episodes of the TV series The Show Must Go Online, alongside Kristin Atherton, Myra Lee Bell, and Daniel Cech-Lucas.


Dennehy has also appeared on the stage, such as playing "Stella Kowalski" in the 1994 production of Tennessee WilliamsA Streetcar Named Desire and co-starring as "Donna Marsala" (original cast member) in the environmental/immersive theater production Tony n' Tina's Wedding, alongside Kevin AlexanderMoira WilsonJames Altuner, Mark Campbell, and Nancy Cassaro, among others.

Personal life

Dennehy is married to Irish actor James Lancaster (Days of Our Lives fame) since 19 August 1993. The couple has two children.

Partial filmography

Year Title Role Notes 
1988–1989 Guiding Light Christina 'Blake' Bauer Lindsey Thorpe TV series (3 episodes) 
1990 Total Recall Renata Uncredited 
1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Cmdr. Shelby TV series (2 episodes) 
1992 The Waterdance Candy  
1992 Quantum Leap Beth Ryan TV series (Episode: "Promised Land - December 22, 1971") 
1993 Class of '96 Dr. Anders TV series (Episode: "The Adventures of Pat's Man and Robin") 
1993 A Place to Be Loved Kathy Magnuson TV film 
1993 Seinfeld The Drakette (uncredited) / Allison TV series (2 episodes) 
1993 Brooklyn Bridge Flora TV series (Episode: "The Date") 
1994 Clear and Present Danger Reporter #2  
1994 Jack Reed: A Search for Justice Sara TV film 
1996 The Lazarus Man Elizabeth Pratchett TV series (2 episodes) 
1997 Runaway Car Shari Todd TV film 
1997 On the Edge of Innocence Miss Fogarty TV film; uncredited 
1997 The Game Maria  
1997 Gattaca Pre-School Teacher  
1997 C-16: FBI Dana Brown TV series (Episode: "The Sandman") 
1998 Soldier Jimmy Pig's Wife  
1998 Any Day Now  – TV series (Episode: "You Shoulda Seen My Daddy") 
1999 The Last Man on Planet Earth Dr. Beverly Stokes TV film 
1999 Come On, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story Jeremy's Mom TV film 
1999 Hard Time: Hostage Hotel Susan Sinclair TV film 
2000 NYPD Blue Melanie Pratt TV series (Episode: "Everybody Plays the Mule") 
2000 Chicago Hope Mrs. Seldon TV series (Episode: "Cold Hearts") 
2001 Judging Amy Atty. Salias TV series (Episode: "The Undertow") 
2001 Gideon's Crossing Mrs. Fitzhugh TV series (2 episodes) 
2001 Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man Archivist TV film 
2001 The Agency  – TV series (3 episodes) 
2002 Red Dragon Beverly  
2005 Numb3rs Ms. Ford TV series (Episode: "Sacrifice") 
2005 Without a Trace Victoria TV series (Episode: "Viuda Negra") 
2006 Commander in Chief Sue Brantley TV series (Episode: "The Price You Pay") 
2004–2006 Charmed Sandra TV series (8 episodes) 
2007 Welcome to Paradise Helen Brown  
2008 Boston Legal Samantha Taylor TV series (Episode: "Roe vs Wade: The Musical") 
2008 Medium Hasting's Boss TV series (Episode: "A Cure for What Ails You") 
2008 Hancock Rail Crossing Crowd #2  
2009 The Mentalist Kathryn Hawkes TV series (Episode: "Paint It Red") 
2012 Rizzoli & Isles Mrs. Lawson TV series (Episode: "Dirty Little Secret") 
2012 Janeane from Des Moines Bible Study Group  
2013 Masters of Sex  – TV series (Episode: "Race To Space") 
2013 The Young and the Restless Lauara Flannery TV series (Episode: "18 October 2013") 
2014 Midnight Nina Short 
2017 American Folk Ann  
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