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May 31, 1946 |
New York City
After numerous roles on stage, Kinkead's first major role was as Angie Perrini on the soap Another World. She portrayed Angie from 1975 to 1980.
Kinkead is best known to television audiences for her role as Vanessa Chamberlain on the soap opera Guiding Light. She played the role from June 1980 to early 1987, April 1989 to September 1996, April 1997 to August 2000, and May to September 2002, March to October 2005, and September 2006 until the show's finale episode on September 18, 2009. She garnered five Daytime Emmy nominations during her time on the show, winning for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1992. In 1993, she received her first nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress.
Vanessa was a popular, central character; the character's rivalry with Nola Reardon (Lisa Brown), the wife of her brother Quint (Michael Tylo), was a popular storyline. Memorable scenes from this storyline included a public fight at the Civil War-themed Antebellum Ball, in which Vanessa and Nola showed up in the same dress. Years later, Vanessa renewed her rivalry with Nola when she married Nola's nephew Matt Reardon (Kurt McKinney).
After two decades of being a front-burner character, Kinkead decided to leave. A published report at the time suggested that she was unwilling to continue to dye her hair (it had become naturally gray), which caused an issue at the network. She also had a contentious history with then-Executive Producer Paul Rauch, who joined the show as executive producer in 1996.
Since her departure from the show, Kinkead has returned for short-term appearances and special events, such as Josh and Reva's most recent wedding in 2002. She has appeared in several episodes during 2005 and 2006, including a recent episode dealing with the apparent death of longtime character Ross Marler, with whom Kinkead's character was involved and had a child. Since fall 2006, she has been returned as a series regular cast member and was included in the 70th Anniversary cast photo. Kinkhead played the role until the series finale on September 18, 2009.
Personal life 
Kinkead was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago (time frame unknown). In 2006, she appeared on the PBS program The New Medicine, hosted by Dana Reeve, in a segment that discussed the comfort level patients have when they are interacting with physicians, and how empowered they feel about talking to their physicians about health issues.