Kathryn Erbe

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Kathryn Erbe
Born Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe
(1965-07-05) July 5, 1965 (age 51)[1]
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Terry Kinney (m. 1993; div. 2006)
Children 2

Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe[2] (born July 5, 1965)[1] is an American actress known for her role as Detective Alexandra Eames on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a spin-off of Law & Order, and death row inmate Shirley Bellinger in the HBO series Oz.[3]

Early life[edit]

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


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.

Erbe starred in such films as What About Bob?, Stir of Echoes, Rich in Love, 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, to critical acclaim, and 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.[4]

In 2010, both Erbe and D'Onofrio left Criminal Intent.[5] 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.[6] 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.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Erbe was formerly married to actor Terry Kinney, with whom she has two children.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Runaway Dreams Denise Donaldson
1991 What About Bob? Anna Marvin
1992 Rich in Love Lucille Odom
1994 D2: The Mighty Ducks Michele MacKay
1994 Breathing Lessons Fiona Television film
1995 Addiction, TheThe Addiction Anthropology Student
1995 Kiss of Death Rosie 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 Runaway, TheThe Runaway Evelyn Carnes Television film
2001 Speaking of Sex Helen
2010 3 Backyards John's Wife
2011 Mother's House Catherine Short film
2011 Love Guide, TheThe Love Guide Cora
2014 Worst Friends Sam's Mom
2015 Mistress America Stevie Fishko


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"


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
2016 The Father Anne Broadway: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre


  1. ^ a b Virtual International Authority File use 1966 as the year of her birth. The U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993 for "Kathryn E. Erbe" of Massachusetts consistently uses "5 July 1965" using "property tax assessments, credit applications, and other records available to the public".
  2. ^ Kathryn Elsbeth Erbe Pictures and Images, GettyImages.com; accessed November 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Kathryn Erbe profile, filmreference.com; accessed November 8, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Kathryn Erbe at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe Leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent, New York Magazine. September 26, 2009
  6. ^ Kathryn Erbe Returns for Final Season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com; accessed November 8, 2016.

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