Kathryn Erbe

Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe[2] is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Alexandra Eames on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a spin-off of Law & Order, and Shirley Bellinger in the HBO series Oz.

Kathryn Erbe
Kathryn Erbe (2016) (cropped).jpg
Erbe in 2016
Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe

1965 (age 56–57)[1]
EducationNew York University
Years active1989–present
(m. 1993; div. 2006)

Early lifeEdit

Erbe was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Elsbeth and Richard Erbe. Her father is a research geneticist.[3][citation needed] She graduated from New York University (NYU) in 1989.[4]


While an undergraduate student at NYU, Erbe was cast as the daughter of Lynn Redgrave's character on the sitcom Chicken Soup. She later became a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has starred in many of their productions, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Curse of the Starving Class, and The Grapes of Wrath, which ran for six months and won the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play. Erbe earned a Tony Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in The Speed of Darkness.[5][citation needed]

Erbe starred in such films as What About Bob?, Stir of Echoes, Rich in Love,[6] and the independent films Dream with the Fishes, Love from Ground Zero, and Entropy. She played opposite David Caruso in Kiss of Death. She portrayed Shirley Bellinger on the HBO series Oz, including a scene in which she did full frontal nudity, to critical acclaim.[citation needed] She made a guest appearance on Homicide: Life on the Street in 1997. From 2001 to early 2010, she starred as Detective Alexandra Eames on the NBC/USA Network series Law & Order: Criminal Intent, alongside Vincent D'Onofrio.

In 2010, both Erbe and D'Onofrio left Criminal Intent.[7] Erbe signed on to reprise the role of Detective Eames for the eight-episode final season of the series, joining Vincent D'Onofrio, who had already signed up to return as Detective Robert Goren.[8] She has reprised the role in guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2014, Erbe appeared in an episode of Last Week Tonight parodying her role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She also recently played Fay Ambrose, the wife of Detective Harry Ambrose, in the USA Network's The Sinner.

Personal lifeEdit

Erbe was married to actor Terry Kinney, who also starred in Oz, from 1993 until their divorce in 2006. Together they have two children,[9] a daughter, Maeve, and a son, Carson.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Runaway Dreams Denise Donaldson
1991 What About Bob? Anna Marvin
1993 Rich in Love Lucille Odom
1994 D2: The Mighty Ducks Michele MacKay
1994 Breathing Lessons Fiona Television film
1995 The Addiction Anthropology Student
1995 Kiss of Death Rosie D'Amico-Kilmartin
1997 Dream with the Fishes Liz
1997 George Wallace Mrs. Folsom Television film
1998 Love from Ground Zero Alex
1998 Naked City: Justice with a Bullet Sarah Tubbs Television film
1999 Entropy Evan
1999 Stir of Echoes Maggie Witzky
2000 The Runaway Evelyn Carnes Television film
2001 Speaking of Sex Helen
2010 3 Backyards John's Wife
2011 Mother's House Catherine Short film
2011 The Love Guide Cora
2014 Worst Friends Sam's Mom
2015 Mistress America Stevie Fishko
2017 Dating My Mother Joan
2018 Alex Strangelove Helen
2018 Assassination Nation Rebecca Colson
2021 The Good House Wendy Heatherton


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Chicken Soup Patricia Reece 12 episodes
1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Rita Hale Episode: "All Is Bright"
1998–2003 Oz Shirley Bellinger 17 episodes
2001–2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Det. Alexandra Eames 142 episodes
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
2012–2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lt. Alexandra Eames 2 episodes
2014 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Alexandra Eames Episode: "Civil Forfeiture"
2015 Blue Bloods Sharon Bennett Episode: "Unsung Heroes"
2016 Elementary Nancy Davenport Episode: "Miss Taken"
2016 Conviction Carla Macy Episode: "Bad Deals"
2016 American Experience Lucretia Garfield Episode: "Murder of a President"
2017–2018 How to Get Away with Murder Jacqueline Roa 4 episodes: "Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania", "Live. Live. Live.", "Nobody Roots for Goliath", "Stay Strong, Mama" (Season 4)
2017 The Sinner Fay Ambrose 5 episodes
2018 Pose Dr. Gottfried 2 episodes
2018 The Gifted Aunt Dane Episode: "the dreaM"
2019 Instinct Caitlyn Gerich Episode: "Big Splash"
2019–2022 City on a Hill Sue Stanton 7 episodes
2020 The Good Fight Zoe Redgrave Season 4 Episode: "The Gang Deals With Alternate Reality"
2021 The Blacklist Lois 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Grapes of Wrath Aggie Wainwright
1991 The Speed of Darkness Mary Nominated—Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
1995 A Month in the Country Verochka
2012 Checkers Pat [10] Vineyard Theater
2015 Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait [11] Mom Gym at Judson
2016 The Father Anne Broadway: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre


  1. ^ "Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television". Gale in Context: Biography. 60. 2005. Gale K1609018768.
  2. ^ Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe Pictures and Images, GettyImages.com; accessed November 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "State's newborn screening program" (PDF). Physicians on a Mission. No. 2. Spring 2012. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  4. ^ Borama, Jennifer (2018-07-02). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Kathryn Erbe". TVOvermind. Retrieved 2022-02-01.
  5. ^ Sommers, Michael (15 March 1991). "The Speed of Darkness". Back Stage. Gale General OneFile. 32 (11): 44. Gale A10529157.
  6. ^ Turbide, Diane (8 March 1993). "Rich in Love". Maclean's. Gale General OneFile: St. Joseph Media. 106 (10): 55. Gale A13582597.
  7. ^ Robertson, Lindsay. (September 26, 2009). Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe Leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vulture vertical, New York Archived September 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Kathryn Erbe Returns for Final Season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent Archived 2010-10-11 at the Wayback Machine, TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com; accessed November 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "Kathryn Erbe Made Better by Motherhood". people.com. OK!. January 18, 2009. Archived from the original on 2022-02-01. Retrieved 2022-02-01. My heart grows every day through struggling and love of my kids.
  10. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (12 November 2012). "Checkers" (Theater review). Variety. Gale General OneFile: Penske Business Media. ISSN 0042-2738. OCLC 810134503. Gale A310867006. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  11. ^ Isherwood, Charles (10 June 2015). "Review: 'Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, America, Kuwait,' as Grim as It Is Cryptic". New York Times. Gale OneFile: News. p. C1(L). Gale A417436966.

External linksEdit