They can load a shotgun in record-breaking time and play mind tricks on villains like no other – these are the fierce women we loved watching as they fought for justice and looked ridiculously good doing it.
Angie Dickinson – Then
This blonde bombshell began her career on TV mid 50’s. Gun the Man Down was her debut role, but it was the NBC crime series titled Police Woman, where she played Suzanne Anderson, that was particularly notable. That same role earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Angie Dickinson – Now
The series went on from 1974 to 1978, and Dickinson reprised her character of Pepper on the TV special Ringo, which starred Ringo Starr and John Ritter. Dickinson was an inspiration for women all around the US and caused a significant uprise in applications from women who wanted nothing more than to work in police departments. After Police Woman, Dickinson went on to act in TV shows and movies, appearing more than 50 films and 90 television shows. Dickinson also dated Larry King for several years in the 90’s.
Mariska Hargitay – Then
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit would not have been the same without Mariska Magdolna Hargitay, who played the role of Detective turned Sergeant turned Lieutenant Olivia Benson impeccably. The NBC drama, along with Hargitay’s excellent performance, landed her many awards and nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award. Her debut film may have been the horror-comedy Ghoulies, and her performance in the show Downtown was the first series she acted in, but it was being cast as Olivia Benson that turned her life around.
Mariska Hargitay – Now
Hargitay said she never considered acting on TV until Downtown was presented to her, but it is Law & Order that she should honestly thank. By the show’s tenth season in 2009, Hargitay was reportedly making $385,000 per episode, and as of 2012, she was earning an outstanding $500,000 per episode. But the talented actress can more than act – she speaks five languages fluently, including English, Spanish, French, Italian and Hungarian. She met her husband, Peter Hermann, on the set of Law & Order: SVU and the have one biological son and two more adopted children.
Heather Locklear – Then
As Officer Stacy Sheridan, Locklear played the role of a hard worker stationed behind the muster desk over at the Academy Precinct of the LCPD. T.J. Hooker was a police drama that starred William Shatner, the incredibly talented actor who played the role of a 15-year veteran police sergeant. Stacy had a competitive nature and enjoyed challenging actor Adrian Zmed, who played the role of Officer Vincent “Vince” Romano, while simultaneously being a good friend of his. Stacy was a strong, independent woman on the show.
Heather Locklear – Now
Once T. J. Hooker ended in 1986, Locklear went on to play the role of Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty until 1989, and Caitlin Morre on Spin City until 2002. However, her most well-remembered role was as Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place, for which she received four Golden Globe nominations. However, Locklear did not limit herself to performing only on television and soon proved her worth on the big screen, acting in films such as Money Talks, Firestarter, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and The Perfect Man.
Peggie Lipton – Then
Lipton landed the role of Julie Barnes on the ABC crime drama show The Mod Squad. Barnes was considered a flower child and often referred to as the “canary with a broken wing,” since she was arrested after running away from her mother’s San Francisco home, seeing as how it was an unhealthy environment that became a place of business meant for entertaining many men. It was Captain Adam Greer who made her a part of the squad with “one black, one white, one blonde.”
Peggie Lipton – Now
When The Mod Squad, which won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in the category of Television Series Drama in 1970, ended in 1973, Lipton proceeded to build a highly respectable resume making her fifty-year career a tremendously notable one. Lipton was seen performing on stage, in film, and in television, and is most celebrated for her gig as Norma Jennings on Twin Peaks. Lipton did tie the knot with musician Quincy Jones, but the two parted ways. The two have two daughters together, who became actresses as well.
Lucy Liu – Then
The brilliant film that became a thriving blockbuster in no time made headlines everywhere due to its rare action-comedy nature, but also thanks to the talented cast. Lucy Liu was one of the three striking women who were employed by a private detective of a man who went by the name of Charlie. Liu’s character was Alex Munday, a persona characterized by a sophisticated and classy act. Alex was an expert fencer and talented horsewoman as well as a government aerospace engineer wh0 worked for NASA.
Lucy Liu – Now
Liu is a well-known name on the red carpet to this very day, seeing as how years of experience in the business made her professionally richer with time. In 2016, Liu was named the Artist of the Year by the Ivy League Harvard University. Liu was also invited to come on board as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2013. Aside from acting, Liu is known for also directing, working as a visual artist and her charity work.
Jennifer Carpenter – Then
It almost seems as though Debra Morgan was character especially handcrafted for Jennifer Carpenter, as it is hard to imagine anyone else fitting the role so well. Morgan, however, was actually created in the Dexter book series, which later on developed into a television one. Debra, commonly shortened to “Deb” on the show, was Dexter Morgan’s foster sister. Her character was foul-mouthed, and she took much pride in the fact she was a tomboy at heart, although to her dismay this didn’t help her relationship with her father.
Jennifer Carpenter – Now
Her role on Dexter is her most remembered one to this day – perhaps since the plot of the series made tremendous waves, but it could also be due to her incredible performance. After Dexter ended in 2013, Carpenter won a Saturn Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress on TV. Later, Carpenter acted in Limitless for a year, and films including Brawl in Cell Block 99. Carpenter married her co-star from Dexter, Michael C. Hall, in 2008, but called it quits in 2010.
Angela Lansbury – Then
It is hard to mention Lansbury’s name without quickly bringing up the phenomenon that was the TV series titled Murder, She Wrote. As Jessica Fletcher, Lansbury was able to prove her worth on television, as the character was meant to be a best-selling mystery novels author, English teacher, and congresswoman. Her incredible talent awarded her the prestigious title of the “most prolific amateur sleuth” in the Guinness World Records, and she was ranked among many other talented individuals on “100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters” by AOL.
Angela Lansbury – Now
The bombastic combo of being an American, British and Irish actress proved to be a successful one in theatre and film. Lansbury also made a name for herself as a voice actress, singer, and producer, too. For seven decades Lansbury span a successful career that seemed to be at a constant peak, which is heightened by her Honorary Oscar Award, five Tony Awards, one Grammy Award, and six Golden Globes. It was in February 2017 that Lansbury was said to have joined the cast of the film Mary Poppins Returns.
Pauley Perrette – Then
One look at those iconic bright red lips framed with the crow-black pigtails and bangs assures viewers they are on the right channel, watching NCIS. Abby Sciuto is the face of the police procedural TV show to this very day, despite announcing that she would be leaving the series at the end of season 15 – a fact that was approved by TV Guide. Abby also appeared on the show’s spin-offs, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. The role made Perrette one of the most well-known actresses on primetime TV.
Pauley Perrette – Now
NCIS might be the most prominent name on her resume, but Perrette also appeared in Fraiser as a waitress and guest starred on the show 24. She also acted in a bunch of films, including The Ring and Almost Famous. Putting the acting aside, Perrette also recorded her own song, “Fear,” under the name “Stop Making Friends.” The song was featured in an episode of NCIS titled “Aliyah.” Perrette’s first marriage to musician Coyote Shivers ended in a divorce and restraining order, as she claimed the man abused her physically and emotionally.
Melina Kanakaredes – Then
Kanakaredes landed the role of Detective Stella Bonasera on CSI: NY after her notable appearance in the daytime drama Guiding Light, where she played the role of Eleni Andros Cooper and consequently was nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy Award. Kanakaredes left CSI: NY after six seasons, in 2010. Her character was a Greek assistant day shift supervisor at the New York Crime Lab, which fit well with Kanakaredes’s real ethnic origin of being a second-generation Greek-American who also speaks Greek.
Melina Kanakaredes – Now
After CSI: NY, Kanakaredes went on to have a recurring role on NYPD Blue, as well as appearances on The Ben Stiller Show, The Practice, and Due South. Kanakaredes also gave acting in film a go, appearing in movies such as The Long Kiss Goodnight, 15 Minutes and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. In 1992, Kanakaredes said “I do” to Peter Constantinides, and the happily married couple has two daughters together – Zoe and Karina Eleni, who are 17 and 14 years old, respectively.
Cote de Pablo – Then
Ziva David is a well-known character on NCIS, but before Cote de Pablo made a name for herself on the show, she co-hosted the Latin-American talk show Control. She had a few minor TV roles that landed her the main character in the CBS series of NCIS in 2015, which turned out to be her life-changing role as she not only won an ALMA Award for it, but NCIS also became the most watched TV program in the US from 2012 to 2013.
Cote de Pablo – Now
De Pablo announced she had been cast in the film The 33, which was about the 2010 Copiapó mining accident. De Pablo was later cast in The Dovekeepers, which was a 2015 CBS miniseries based on the Alice Hoffman novel. In 2016, de Pablo announced she will return to TV as Laura Kale in Prototype. Romantically, de Pablo was involved with actor Diego Serrano, but they broke up in 2015. Currently, de Pablo is resting in her LA home on account of injuring herself several times on NCIS.
Marina Sirtis – Then
To many, Sirtis will always be Counselor Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but to us, we cannot forget her impeccable performance as Mossad Director Orli Elbaz on NCIS. The character of Elbaz was introduced in the episode “Berlin” in season-ten, which aired in April 2013. Subsequent to the great success and raving opinions stated by fans, Sirtis appeared in the second episode of season 11 and the season-13 finale, “Family First.” There was no denying Sirtis was a natural, and viewers wanted to see more of her.
Marina Sirtis – Now
Now 62-years-old, Sirtis was honored to have gotten the chance to be a part of the Star Trek team, saying: “I loved it because it opened the door to a different side of Troi we’d never seen before… which is great for me because I like to do things that are different.” As for her other work, 2014 brought Finders Keepers her way, and Sirtis aced the SyFy channel horror movie. To this day, Sirtis is married to rock guitarist Michael Lamper and is an animal-rights activist.
Kyra Sedgwick – Then
The talented actress and producer is most valued for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama The Closer, which landed her a Golden Globe in 2007 and an Emmy in 2010. Upon reaching and completing season seven, the series ended, but there is no denying Brenda Johnson left a void in the hearts of many. It was hard to let go of the strong, independent woman whose innate ability to read people and obtain confessions was not seen on TV before.
Kyra Sedgwick – Now
After The Closer called it quits, Sedwick turned to shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, where she played a close to home role of Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch and films like Big Sky, The Road Within and The Edge of Seventeen. Sedwick tied the knot with actor Kevin Bacon in 1988, and the two have been together ever since, seemingly defying the love law of the limelight. The Bacon-Sedwicks have two children together – Travis and Sosie-Ruth – and apparently, have lost a part of their savings in the Ponzi scheme by Bernard Madoff.
Pamela Sue Martin – Then
Nancy Drew will always be a part of the lovely, dazzling Pamela Sue Martin, just as Martin will always be a part of Drew. The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries‘s favorite It girl, Pamela, began modeling at 17 and did her fair share of films before landing this role, including Buster and Billie and Our Time. She became a teen idol, however, when she was given the opportunity to play Nancy Drew in the ABC-TV’s series. By the time season 2 came around, the shows were merged, which lead Nancy to quit.
Pamela Sue Martin – Now
Pamela felt like her role was reduced, which is why she felt frustrated and as though she did no longer belong as Nancy Drew. A few month after her departure from the show, Martin appeared in a cover pictorial of the 1978 issue of Playboy magazine. The headline read “TV’s Nancy Drew Undraped,” and since then her public image changed. Martin owns a theatre company in Idaho and still performs every now and again, her most recent one being in the film McTaggart’s Fortune as Sergeant Jeanine Bowman.
Kathryn Morris – Then
2003 was a good year in the life of Kathryn Morris, as that was the year she signed on with the CBS drama series Cold Case. Ever since then, Morris is easily associated with her alternate persona of Lilly Rush, despite the fact she also appeared in the Oscar-winning film As Good as it Gets. Rush was the only female homicide detective in Cold Case‘s Philadelphia, at least until Lennie Desalle arrived, which was followed by Josie Sutton and Kat Miller.
Kathryn Morris – Now
After Cold Case, Morris appeared in the 2004 films Paycheck (opposite Ben Affleck) and Mindhunters. Her more recent work includes acting as Josh Hartnett’s wife in the drama Resurrecting the Champ in 2007, and Desiree Harper in The Sweeter Side of Life, a romantic comedy that came out in 2012. Morris announced she and her partner, Johnny Messner, were expecting twins in Spring 2013, and she gave birth to their twin boys Jameson and Rocco that very Summer. Her latest film, You Get Me, was released on Netflix in 2017.
Emily Deschanel – Then
Arguing that Emily Deschanel has glam in her blood would be a strong case, especially when considering that the born and raised Los Angeles sweetheart’s father is the cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and mother is the talented actress Mary Jo Deschanel. Even Emily’s younger sister, Zooey, is an accomplished actress and singer-songwriter. However, to us, Emily Deschanel is the enviously witty and blindingly beautiful Dr. Temperance Brennan on the Fox crime show, Bones, who works alongside former Angel‘s David Boreanaz.
Emily Deschanel – Now
After 12 seasons, in March 2017, Bones stopped filming, insisting that a twelve-year run was more than enough. Deschanel also collaborated with Jamie King, Katharine McPhee, Alyson Hannigan, and Mika Kelly to make a video slumber party that was featured on FunnyorDie.com to promote the notion of regular breast cancer screenings for the non-profit organization Stand Up 2 Cancer. Deschanel is also a vegan, and a supporter of animal rights causes, which led her to provide narration for My Child Is a Monkey.
Regina King – Then
Regina King’s role of Detective Lydia Adams in Southland earned her two Critics’ Choice Award nominations in 2012 and 2013 for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and two wins in the 2011 and 2012 NAACP Image Awards. The character of a detective working in LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division fit King like a glove, and it seemed like she had no trouble fitting herself into the role of a single mom who has to work exceedingly hard to handle everything on her own as well as prove her worth at work.
Regina King – Now
Nowadays, there isn’t one performance that screams King’s name, as the woman of many talents has been on a roll ever since she first rose to recognition. It seems the 46-year-old is only at the start of her career, landing one huge role after another, some of which being Janine Davis on The Big Bang Theory, and films such as Friday, Legally Blonde 2, Ray, and Poetic Justice. King exchanged vows with Ian Alexander in ’97, but ten years later the two called it quits. They have one son together.
Sasha Alexander – Then
Suzana S. Drobnjaković Ponti – or rather, Sasha Alexander – is the actress behind Caitlin Todd of NCIS. Some might claim it was her role as Gretchen Witter on Dawson’s Creek that put her on the A-list map and red carpet event invited list, but one cannot simply ignore the 2003 appearance on the CBS show. The Secret Service/ NCIS Special Agent added a lot of twists to the plot until she decided to leave the show after a year and a half.
Sasha Alexander – Now
After NCIS, Alexander went on to have a couple of small roles, until she found home in the TNT series of Rizzoli & Isles as Dr. Maura Isles. Alexander stayed with the show for seven seasons, co-starring with Angie Harmon. 2015 provided Alexander with a recurring role on Shameless, where she played Helene Runyon. On a personal level, Alexander’s first marriage was annulled, and less than 10 years later she tied the knot with director Edoardo Ponti, who is the son of the timeless actress, Sophia Loren.
Stana Katic – Then
Castle, a crime-comedy-drama TV series which aired for a total of eight seasons until 2016, starred Stana Katic who had the role of Kate Beckett pinned down. Alongside was Nathan Fillion, who acted as Richard Castle, and together, the two made Castle into what it was, which landed them the prestigious title of being number two on BuddyTV’s “Lip Smacking Good: The Best Kisses of 2012”. Unfortunately and seemingly against all the odds, Castle was canceled on May 12th, 2016, after eight seasons.
Stana Katic – Now
In 2016, Katic played Carolina Baxter in the film Sister Cities. Katic was also cast in the horror film Cadaver that very same year, and in 2017, she appeared as Anna in the movie Lost in Florence. Except for acting, Katic is all about going green, which is why she founded The Alternative Travel Project in 2010 – an initiative meant to encourage people to skip using their cars for a day seek alternative methods of travel, like public transportation. A day before her 37th birthday, Katic married her longtime boyfriend, Kris Brkljac.
Jorja Fox – Then
ER might have claimed Jorja Fox as Dr. Maggie Doyle, but the truth is that past ’99, Fox’s most notable work included the procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where she took the role of Sara Sidle upon herself. She was a regular and recurring cast member, but all in all, could be spotted in the TV series from the year 2000 all the way through 2015. Sidle was a Las Vegas forensic scientist, which was overshadowed by her bright personality and beaming smile.
Jorja Fox – Now
After Fox left CSI in 2007, she went on to produce the musical Stay Forever: The Life and Music of Dusty Springfield, which starred Kirsten Holly Smith. She also guest-starred in the TV series Drop Dead Dive, where she played a soccer mom with a criminal record. Fox also did a few modeling gigs, including a shoot for Glamour. Fox is the co-founder of an independent avant-garde theatre company called Honeypot Productions, which is situated in LA and has produced five original plays.
Poppy Montgomery – Then
Montgomery played FBI agent Samantha Spade on Without a Trace, as well as detective Carrie Wells on Unforgettable, which is why her ginger locks and remind us almost instantly of police uniform – but this does not mean Spade had a smooth start. As a matter of fact, Montgomery once shared that when she just moved to LA, she would send a headshot to Julia Roberts’ former manager, Bob McGowan, every day until he signed her. As they say, persistence is key, and evidently, very much so in this industry.
Poppy Montgomery – Now
Unforgettable was canceled by CBS after the first season but then was later renewed for a second season. The third season ran until September 2014 but was scrapped entirely again the following month. A&E Network picked up the show for a fourth season which ran until 2016, and after that got canceled for the third and final time. Montgomery is also scheduled to appear in the TV movie A Surrogate’s Nightmare. The actress holds dual citizenship in both Australia and the USA.
Marg Helgenberger – Then
Helgenberger played the role of Catherine Willows on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Her impressive acting skills and general grasp of this role landed two Primetime Emmy and one Golden Globe nominations. She joined the show in March 2000, and her character was billed as an “exotic dancer-turned-investigator who is also a single mom.” The character, as it turns out, was based on real-life Yolanda McClary, who is a forensics officer in Las Vegas. Helgenberger was so dedicated to the role that she had several meetings with McClary to prepare fully.
Marg Helgenberger – Now
Helgenberger was one of the two highest paid actors in any of the CSI franchises, making a whopping $375,000 per episode, which was the same as co-worker David Caruso. In season 12, Helgenberger appeared in the first 12 episodes of the show, then decided she craved to return to the stage. Although the door to CSI remained open for her, she only returned to CSI as Catherine for one episode – the 300th one. Since 2015, Under the Dome was the show her heart set on joining.
Sonja Sohn – Then
Sonja Sohn, who is more commonly known by her prominent character’s name of Kima Greggs, portrays a detective on the HBO drama The Wire. Sohn also played a detective called Samantha Baker on the ABC series Body of Proof, showing the woman has a knack for acting in crime-drama TV shows as an agent reinforcing law and justice. The character Greggs was a dedicated detective and highly talented officer who had a problem with infidelity, as well as struggled with alcohol abuse.
Sonja Sohn – Now
Sohn’s experience on The Wire led her to become a leader of a Baltimore community initiative named ReWired for Change, which is where she works to this day. Before setting on an acting career, Sohn was a slam poet. In fact, it was her on stage performance that got her recognized by film producer and director Marc Levin, who told her she’d be perfect for his film Slam. Sohn’s 2017 Baltimore Rising was her directorial debut, which is a documentary protesting police violence.