Kim Delaney: Meet the actress playing Kelly Severide’s mother

Kim Delaney is seen in this promotional shot for the Lifetime series Army Wives. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lifetime.
Kim Delaney is seen in this promotional shot for the Lifetime series Army Wives. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lifetime. /

Kim Delaney joins Chicago Fire tonight as Kelly Severide’s mom, so here’s what you need to know before she makes her Chicago Fire season 6 debut.

Tonight, Chicago Fire fans will meet Kelly Severide’s mother—played by Kim Delaney. So who is Kim Delaney?

If you’ve watched any TV over the last few decades, you’ve likely seen Kim Delaney. She’s been in several major TV series over her lengthy career.

Her most recent significant role was starring in Lifetime‘s military-themed family drama Army Wives. Delaney played the show’s main character, the tough as nails Claudia Joy Holden, for 102 episodes over the first six seasons, from 2007 until 2012.

She did not return to the show for its seventh and final season, with her character dying of heart failure between seasons.

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Five years before Army Wives, Delaney was briefly the original co-lead of CBS‘s first CSI spinoff, CSI: Miami.

She was cast as Megan Donner opposite David Caruso, but a decision was made to write her character out after just ten episodes with some suggesting she and Caruso just didn’t have the chemistry to make the show a hit. (It would go on to run ten seasons.)

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Kim Delaney’s best known role, however, remains her breakout work as Detective Diane Russell on NYPD Blue.

She appeared in more than 130 episodes of the venerable cop drama from 1995 to 2003, recurring in its second season before becoming a regular for the third through eighth seasons, and guest starring in two others. Along the way, Kim Delaney earned three Emmy Award nominations, winning once.

Her other credits include starring in the short-lived drama Philly, and guest appearances on Murder in the First and Dick Wolf‘s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. So what will she bring to playing Jennifer Sheridan, Severide’s (Taylor Kinney) mom?

Kim Delaney has a history of playing tough characters; all of her biggest roles have been women with confidence and often in some form of authority, whether it’s being a leader to her group or carrying a badge.

With her casting in the role, one should expect that Severide’s mom will be no pushover—which in turn will make it more interesting to learn (if we learn) about how she got together with Severide’s dad and what drove them apart.

Chicago Fire has already revealed that Jennifer is a very different character from her ex-husband, and she’s got a good relationship with her son. So hopefully we’ll get happier, more positive vibes from her than we get when Benny shows up.

But even if she’s more easygoing, she’ll still be a very strong, poised woman—and that’ll be fun when she meets Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). Because you know she will!

Next: Learn more about tonight's Chicago Fire episode

Are you excited about Chicago Fire having cast Kim Delaney to play Severide’s mother? What do you think will happen when Jennifer shows up at Firehouse 51 tonight? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Chicago Fire airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.