This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Alma mater||Radcliffe College|
After numerous roles on stage, Kinkead's first major role was as Angie Perrini on the soap Another World (1975–80).
Kinkead is best known to television audiences for her role as Vanessa Chamberlain on the soap opera Guiding Light. She played the role on a contract basis from June 2, 1980 to August 28, 1981, February 1, 1982 to September 1996, and April 1997 to September 5, 2000. Kinkead decided not to renew her contract, and Vanessa was written out of the series in 2000. Kinkead made special guest appearances returning as Vanessa from June 4 to 10, 2002, for Guiding Light's 65th anniversary on-screen. In 2005, Kinkead signed another long-term contract with Guilding Light to reprise her role as Vanessa as a series regular cast member (reappearing April 25, 2005) and was included in the 70th anniversary cast photo. Kinkead played the role until the series finale 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 story line. Memorable scenes from this story line 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 in 1996.
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.