Merrin Dungey

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Merrin Dungey
Born (1971-08-06) August 6, 1971 (age 45)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Matthew Drake (2007-present)
Children 2 daughters

Merrin Dungey (born August 6, 1971) is an American film and television actress, known for her roles on the television series The King of Queens, Alias and Summerland. She also appeared as Ursula on the ABC series Once Upon a Time.

Early life[edit]

Dungey was born and raised in Sacramento, California,[1] the younger daughter of Don Dungey, a general services manager.[2] As a child, she was active in ballet and dance as well as piano. Dungey was also an accomplished ice skater. Dungey graduated in 1989 from Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California. She earned a degree of Bachelor of Arts from UCLA in 1993.[3] Dungey has one sister, Channing Dungey,[4] who was named president of ABC Entertainment in February 2016.[5]


Dungey had small roles in Hollywood films such as EDtv and Deep Impact and on television series such as Martin, before landing the recurring role of Kelly Palmer on the CBS television series The King of Queens, in which she starred from 1999 to 2007. She appeared in every season in the series except for the 2002-03 season. Dungey is also well known for her role as Francie Calfo on the drama series Alias,[6] in which she starred from 2001 to 2003, as well an appearance in the 2006 series finale episode All the Time in the World. She also had a recurring role on the FOX sitcom Malcolm in the Middle as Stevie's mother, Kitty Kernaban. At one point in 2001, Dungey was appearing in all three shows (The King of Queens, Malcolm in the Middle, and Alias) at the same time.[4] Dungey then portrayed Susannah in the WB drama series Summerland from 2004 to 2005.

She has also guest-starred on various TV series including Living Single, ER, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Friends, The West Wing, Babylon 5, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Dungey appeared in two episodes of Grey's Anatomy that served as a backdoor pilot for Private Practice,[7] but was replaced by actress Audra McDonald for the actual series.

Most recently, Dungey guest-starred on the ABC sitcoms Surviving Suburbia starring Bob Saget, Better Off Ted starring Portia de Rossi, Castle starring Nathan Fillion and HBO's Hung starring Thomas Jane.[8] She portrayed Ellie on the Nick at Nite television series Hollywood Heights in 2012 and the recurring role of Alissa Barnes on ABC's Betrayal in 2013.[4] In 2014 she appeared in a featured role opposite Pierce Brosnan in Some Kind of Beautiful. Also in 2014 she began portraying the recurring role of Ursula on ABC's Once Upon a Time.[6]

Dungey will costar in the 2016 ABC legal drama Conviction as Maxine Barton.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Dungey married Matthew Drake in a Mariachi style wedding ceremony in Cancun, Mexico, in May 2007. She gave birth to their first daughter in June 2008, and a second daughter in 2011.


Year Title Role Ref.
1998 Deep Impact Sheila Bradley
1999 EDtv Ms. Seaver
2001 Sky Is Falling, TheThe Sky Is Falling Sheila
2001 Odessa or Bust (short film) Disgruntled Diner
2002 Scream at the Sound of the Beep Jill
2011 L!fe Happens Hester
2014 Some Kind of Beautiful Angela
2015 The Diabolical Mrs. Wallace
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1995 Martin Monique Episode: "Girlfriend"
1996 Babylon 5 Security Guard #2 Episode: "Messages from Earth"
1996 Living Single Laura Episode: "Woman to Woman"
1996 Party Girl Wanda 4 episodes
1997 Caroline in the City Female Prostitute Episode: "Caroline and the Buyer"
1997 ER Daphina Episode: "When the Bough Breaks"
1997 Murphy Brown Woman Episode: "From the Terrace"
1998 Seinfeld Cashier Episode: "The Bookstore"
1999 Tracey Takes On... Nancy Episode: "Drugs"
1999 Saved by the Bell: The New Class Coach Williams Episode: "Prescription for Trouble"
1999 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Daisy Episode: "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"
1999 G vs E Rebecca Clemens Episode: "Cliffhanger"
1999–2007 King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens Kelly Palmer Recurring role (39 episodes) [4]
2000 Jesse Rosemary Episode: "Kurt Slips, Niagara Falls"
2000 City of Angels Mrs. Lombard Episode: "Deliver the Male"
2000 Friends Hildy, museum official Episode: "The One Where Paul's the Man"
2000–01 Grosse Pointe Joan 4 episodes
2000–01 Malcolm in the Middle Kitty Kenarban 6 episodes [4]
2001 Curb Your Enthusiasm Amy Episode: "The Doll"
Alias Francie Calfo/Allison Doren Main Cast (Season 1–2)
Recurring (Season 3)
Special Guest Star (Season 5): 47 episodes
2004–05 Summerland Susannah Rexford Series regular
2006 Beyond Debbie Sprague TV movie
2007 Boston Legal Sandy Zionts Episode: "Angel of Death"
2007 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Naomi Bennett 2 episodes:
"The Other Side of This Life (Part 1/Part 2)"
(Backdoor pilot for Private Practice)
2009 Masterwork Rachel West TV movie
2009 Surviving Suburbia Mrs. Devore Episode: "Nothing for Money"
2009–10 Better Off Ted Sheila 4 episodes
2010 Castle Monica Finch Episode: "Den of Thieves" [6]
2010 Closer, TheThe Closer Ms. Reed Episode: "Heart Attack"
2010 Hung Liz 2 episodes
2010 Outlaw Alison Mills Episode: "In Re: Curtis Farwell"
2012 Revenge Barbara Snow 3 episodes [4]
2012 Hollywood Heights Ellie Moss Contract role [4]
2013 90210 Therapist Episode: "Brother From Another Mother"
2013 How to Live with Your Parents Morgan 2 episodes
2013 Betrayal Alissa Barnes 5 episodes [4][6]
2014–15 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Sharon Jeffords Recurring role
2014 Episodes Tonight Show Producer Episode: "Episode Four"
2014 Trophy Wife Agent Dawn Johansen Episode: "The Wedding, Part 1"
2014 Shameless Nurse Episode: "Lazarus" [6]
2014 Rizzoli & Isles Nurse Episode: "It Takes a Village"
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Twyla Owens Episode: "Road to Recovery"
2014–15 Chasing Life Dr. Susan Hamburg 11 episodes
2014–15 Once Upon a Time Ursula 6 episodes [6]
2015 Backstrom Eleanor Deering Episode: "Enemy of My Enemies"
2015 48 Hours 'til Monday TV movie
2016–present Conviction Maxine Bohen Series regular [11]


  1. ^ Stafford, Nikki (September 1, 2004). Uncovering Alias: An Unofficial Guide. ECW Press. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
    • a "Born on August 6, 1971, in Sacramento, California..." — Pg. 125, ¶ 3.
    • b "After graduating from Rio Americano High School in 1989..." — Pg. 126, ¶ 3.
  2. ^ Merrin Dungey Biography
  3. ^ "NOTABLE ALUMNI ACTORS". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nelson, Valerie J. (June 4, 2014). "Sister, Sister". Emmy. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 17, 2016). "ABC Shakeup: Paul Lee Out As President, Channing Dungey To Succeed Him". Retrieved February 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Abrams, Natalie (November 19, 2014). "Once Upon a Time casts Alias vet Merrin Dungey". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael (March 12, 2007). "Big Scoop! Grey's 2.0 Adds Alias Grad and "Amy"". TV Guide. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ Merrin Dungey Credits
  9. ^ Denise, Petski (February 29, 2016). "Conviction: Merrin Dungey Cast In ABC Legal Drama Pilot". Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 12, 2016). "Conviction Picked Up To Series By ABC". Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Conviction – meet the cast". ABC. Retrieved August 14, 2016.

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