Sylvia Costas-Sipowicz is a fictional character from the American television drama NYPD Blue, in which the character was married to Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz. She was played by Sharon Lawrence.
The character of Sylvia Costas is portrayed as an elegant, beautiful Assistant District Attorney. She begins an affair with the older and tough Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Dennis Franz; Costas sees the decent, caring human being underneath Sipowicz's gruff exterior and falls in love with him. She is very supportive of his attempts to stay sober, a determination likely related to the fact that many of her known family members appear to be alcoholics. Meeting Sylvia's Greek family causes Sipowicz to fall off the wagon, sparking a period of strain in their relationship, which is eventually overcome in their marriage in 1998. They have a son, Theo, but shortly after Theo's birth, Andy's first son from a previous marriage, Andy Jr., is killed, causing Andy to begin drinking again. Despite her sympathy for his loss, Sylvia puts her foot down, ordering Andy out of their home until he can acknowledge his problem.
Their devotion to each other is tested again in a storyline when Andy undergoes surgery for prostate cancer. She threatens to throw him out if he doesn't take the test for cancer, reasoning that "knowing isn't the worst thing." Andy confesses that his greatest fear is not to be with her and baby Theo, to which she quietly replies, "Then be with us," finally convincing him to take the test.
As the Sipowicz-Costas nuptials approach in the show, Andy expresses a desire to get married quickly in a Maryland civil service, while Sylvia wants a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding. The two are married at the Saint Sophia Greek Cathedral.
The character has a dramatic exit from the show. The character returns to her job after time off to raise her on-screen son, but she is killed by James Mayo in a courthouse shooting incident. Her final words to her on-screen husband Andy are "Take care of the baby."
Sylvia is confident on the job, and known to wield an acid tongue when cops' procedural errors blow her cases. The character was reportedly raped while in law school, making her (and Andy, once he found out) especially sensitive about rape cases.
- Kay McFadden, ""NYPD Blue" fades to black," The Seattle Times (March 1, 2005).
- Vincent Terrace, Encyclopedia of Television Subjects, Themes and Settings (McFarland & Co., 2007), 88.