Merrin Dungey
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General Information
Gender: Female
Birthday: August 6, 1971
Age: 46
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, U.S.
Other Information
Height: 5'9"
Occupation(s): Actress
Education: Rio Americano High School
Talents: Acting
Family & Friends
Family: Don Dungey (father)
Channing Dungey (sister)
Relationships: Matthew Drake (husband)
Series Information
Character: Ursula
First appearance: Heroes and Villains
Last appearance: Best Laid Plans

Merrin Dungey 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. Most recently, Dungey starred on the ABC legal drama Conviction.

View the Merrin Dungey Gallery.

Early life

Dungey was born and raised in Sacramento, California,[1] the younger daughter of Don Dungey, a general services manager. 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. Dungey has one sister, Channing Dungey, who was named president of ABC Entertainment in February 2016.


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, in which she starred from 2001 to 2003, as well as 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. 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, 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. 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. 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.

Dungey played investigator Maxine Bohen on the ABC legal drama Conviction from October 2016 to May 2017. In September 2017, she joined the cast of the medical drama The Resident as Claire Thorpe.

Personal life

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 Type Role
1995 Martin TV Series Monique
1996 Babylon 5 TV Series Security Guard #2
1996 Living Single TV Series Laura
1996 Party Girl TV Series Wanda
1997 Caroline in the City TV Series Female Prostitute
1997 ER TV Series Daphina
1997 Murphy Brown TV Series Woman
1998 Seinfeld TV Series Cashier
1998 Deep Impact Sheila Bradley
1999 Tracey Takes On... TV Series Nancy
1999 Edtv Ms. Seaver
1999 Saved by the Bell: The New Class TV Series Coach Williams
1999 The West Wing TV Series Daisy
1999 Good vs Evil TV Series Rebecca Clemens
1999 The Sky Is Falling Sheila
1999 - 2007 The King of Queens TV Series Kelly Palmer
2000 Jesse TV Series Rosemary
2000 City of Angels TV Series Mrs. Lombard
2000 Friends TV Series The Museum Official
2000 - 2001 Grosse Pointe TV Series Joan
2000 - 2004 Malcolm in the Middle TV Series Kitty Kenarban / Mrs. Kenarban / Malcolm's Teacher
2001 Odessa or Bust Short Disgruntled Diner
2001 Curb Your Enthusiasm TV Series Amy
2001 - 2006 Alias TV Series Francie Calfo / Allison Doren
2002 Scream at the Sound of the Beep Jill
2004 - 2005 Summerland TV Series Susannah Rexford
2006 Beyond TV Movie Debbie Sprague
2007 Boston Legal TV Series Sandy Zionts
2007 Grey's Anatomy TV Series Dr. Naomi Bennett
2009 Surviving Suburbia TV Series Mrs. Devore
2009 Masterwork TV Movie Rachel West
2009 - 2010 Better Off Ted TV Series Sheila
2010 Castle TV Series Monica Finch
2010 The Closer TV Series Ms. Reed
2010 Hung TV Series Liz
2010 Outlaw TV Series Alison Mills
2011 L!fe Happens Hester
2012 Revenge TV Series Barbara Snow
2012 Hollywood Heights TV Series Ellie Moss
2013 90210 TV Series Court Appointed Therapist
2013 How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) TV Series Morgan
2013 Betrayal TV Series Alissa Barnes
2014 Episodes TV Series Tonight Show Producer
2014 Trophy Wife TV Series Agent Dawn Johansen
2014 Shameless TV Series Nurse
2014 Rizzoli & Isles TV Series Gwen Miller
2014 Some Kind of Beautiful Angela
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV Series Twyla Owens
2014 - 2015 Once Upon a Time TV Series Ursula
2014 - 2015 Chasing Life TV Series Dr. Susan Hamburg
2014 - 2015 Brooklyn Nine-Nine TV Series Sharon Jeffords / Sharon
2015 Backstrom TV Series Eleanor Deering
2015 The Diabolical Mrs. Wallace
2015 48 Hours 'til Monday TV Movie
2016 Con Man TV Series Jess
2016 - 2017 Conviction TV Series Maxine Bohen
2017 CHIPS Joy Jackson
2017 You're the Worst TV Series Candace
2017 Brothered Up TV Movie Desiree Williams
2017 - 2019 Big Little Lies TV Series Detective Adrienne Quinlan
2018 The Resident TV Series Claire Thorpe
2019 Grace and Frankie TV Series Elena
2019 The Fix TV Series CJ Emerson
2020 Star Trek: Picard (filming) TV Series


  • Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, and was the youngest recipient of the UCLA Acting Award.
  • Has 2 daughters with her husband Matthew Drake which were born in June 2008 and 2011 respectively.
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