June 30, 1962
The strawberry locks, blue eyes, alabaster complexion, and winning smile of Deirdre Lovejoy might lead one to believe that characters of inner warmth and comforting natures would be the actress's forte. But hard-nosed prosecutors, angry mothers, and even a dirty United States attorney turned hardened kidnapper and child killer are the roles in which she is most comfortable. Lovejoy was a child actress in community theater in Elkhart, Indiana, later receiving her Master of Fine Arts from New York University. The refined yet hard-edged performer began her adult career appearing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in the late 1980s, appropriately garnering her first television role as the tragically impaired Rosemary Kennedy in the biographical miniseries "The Kennedys of Massachusetts." She bounced around various TV shows in the '90s with bit parts on the comedy juggernaut "Seinfeld" and the legal-series standard "Law & Order" until making a splash as a bungling policewoman in the ripped-from-the-headlines docudrama "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder." With a demonstrated capacity for grippingly realistic portrayals, Lovejoy landed her big break as the no-nonsense Baltimore prosecutor Rhonda Pearlman on HBO's masterful sociopolitical series "The Wire" (2002-2008). The crowing achievement of Lovejoy's style, Pearlman was a character of intrinsic ethics who was nevertheless behaviorally suspect, caught up in a world of corruption demanding both amoral nuance and procedural integrity. In 2009, Lovejoy brought a bit of grittiness to the mainstream with her depiction of a detective in the eerie home-invasion remake "The Stepfather."