Gail Strickland

Gail Strickland (born May 18, 1947) is an American actress who had prominent supporting roles in such films as The Drowning Pool (1975), Bound for Glory (1976), Who'll Stop the Rain (1978), Norma Rae (1979) and Protocol (1984), and appeared regularly on various network television shows.

Gail Strickland
Born (1947-05-18) May 18, 1947
Years active1966–2008

Life and career

Strickland was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the daughter of Theodosia and Lynn Strickland, who owned a tire shop.[1]

In 1973, Strickland appeared as Sister Ann, in the season four episode, "Almost a Nun's Story", on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She had a memorable appearance on the television series M*A*S*H as Captain Helen Whitfield, a nurse in an ongoing battle with alcoholism. She appeared as Courtney, Jerry's love interest, in the episode entitled "Jerry Robinson Crusoe" (3.13) of "The Bob Newhart Show." She appeared in the pilot episode of the television series Night Court as the public defender. She also guest starred in the Cagney & Lacey episode "Suffer the Children" season 1 episode 4. Strickland played a struggling rancher's daughter in the 1987 Highway to Heaven episode "A Dream of Wild Horses", alongside legendary actor Richard Farnsworth. She played nurse practitioner Marilyn McGrath in the 1988 TV series HeartBeat. This was one of the earliest portrayals of a lesbian character on American network television.

Strickland appeared in 11 episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman from 1993–94 as the character Olive Davis. She guest starred in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Paradise", as the character Alixus. In 1994-95, she appeared as Mrs. Landis of Doubleday in the Seinfeld season 6 episodes, "The Chaperone" and "The Switch". She appeared on the U.S. Navy series JAG first season episode "War Crimes". She played Ambassador Bartlett, the U.S. ambassador to Peru. Strickland also played Esther MacInerney, the wife of A.J. MacInerney (Martin Sheen), Chief of Staff for President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas), in the 1995 movie The American President. She played Dr. Rene Spielman on ER season 6, episode 6, "The Peace of Wild Things".

Strickland was a cast member in the brief run of the 2002 CBS television series First Monday, playing a Supreme Court justice.



Year Title Role Notes
1975 The Drowning Pool Mavis Kilbourne
1976 Bittersweet Love Roz
1976 Bound for Glory Pauline
1977 One on One B.J. Rudolph
1978 Who'll Stop the Rain Charmian
1979 Norma Rae Bonnie Mae
1983 Uncommon Valor Helen Rhodes
1984 Protocol Mrs. St. John
1985 Lies Jessica Brenner
1986 Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star Myrna King
1991 The Man in the Moon Marie Foster
1993 Three of Hearts Yvonne
1994 When a Man Loves a Woman Pam
1994 Last Time Out Becky Davis
1995 How to Make an American Quilt The Mrs.
1995 The American President Esther MacInerney
2008 My Apocalypse Victoria Eastman


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Dark Shadows Dorcas Trilling "1.751", "1.766"
1973 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Sister Ann Hutchins "Almost a Nun's Story"
1974 Barnaby Jones Susan Taylor "Friends Till Death"
1974 Police Story Julie Keegan "Country Boy"
1974 Hawaii Five-O Elena Lewis / Forbes "Killer at Sea", "How to Steal a Masterpiece"
1974–75 The Bob Newhart Show Courtney Simpson "Jerry Robinson Crusoe", "My Boy Guillermo"
1975 Harry O Laura Mayo "Silent Kill"
1975 Ellery Queen Gail Stevens "Too Many Suspects"
1975 My Father's House Paula TV film
1975 The Rookies Beverly Shore "The Voice of Thunder"
1976 Kojak Monica "Justice Deferred"
1976 The Dark Side of Innocence Heather TV film
1977 Westside Medical Aileen Baker "The Devil & the Deep Blue Sea"
1977 A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story Dorothy TV film
1977 The Gathering Peggy TV film
1978 The President's Mistress Gwen Bowers TV film
1978 Lou Grant Liz Harrison "Scandal"
1978 Ski Lift to Death Vicki Gordon TV film
1979 Letters from Frank Marlene TV film
1979 The Gathering, Part II Peggy TV film
1980 King Crab Vicky TV film
1980 Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case Jean Christensen TV film
1981 A Matter of Life and Death Mary Coggins TV film
1981 M*A*S*H Capt. Helen Whitfield "Bottoms Up"
1981 Walking Tall Lynn Hudson "Deadly Impact"
1981 Darkroom Helen "Siege of 31 August"
1982 Trapper John, M.D. Dr. Curtis "Doctors and Other Strangers"
1982 Alice Julia Roberts "Give My Regrets to Broadway"
1982 My Body, My Child Adele TV film
1982 Eleanor, First Lady of the World Anna Roosevelt TV film
1982 The Six of Us Sally Benjamin-Tree TV film
1982 ABC Afterschool Special Mrs. Watson "Amy & the Angel"
1982 Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice Abbie TV film
1982, 1984 Hill Street Blues Gail Kennedy "Invasion of the Third World Body Snatchers", "The Other Side of Oneness"
1982, 1984 Cagney & Lacey Ruth Dawes / Mrs. Tanton "Suffer the Children", "Fathers & Daughters"
1983 Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land Nancy Gilliam TV film
1983 Hardcastle and McCormick Agatha 'Aggy' Wainwright "Flying Down to Rio"
1984 Night Court Sheila Gardiner "All You Need Is Love"
1984 Family Ties Dorothy Canell "Ladies' Man"
1984 Emerald Point N.A.S. Dr. Robards Recurring role
1984 Fame Becky Guest "The Ballad of Ray Claxton"
1985 Dallas Veronica Robinson "Winds of War", "Shattered Dreams", "Terms of Estrangement"
1985 On Our Way Melinda TV film
1985–86 The Insiders Alice West Main role
1986 Spenser: For Hire Mildred Frances "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not"
1986–87 What a Country! Principal Joan Courtney Main role (season 1)
1987 CBS Schoolbreak Special Kay Webb "An Enemy Among Us"
1987 Highway to Heaven Billie Harwood "A Dream of Wild Horses"
1987 Murder, She Wrote Kate Hollander "Steal Me a Story"
1988–89 Heartbeat Marilyn McGrath, N.P. Main role
1991 Civil Wars Lisa Wharton "The Pound and the Fury"
1991 WIOU Beatrice Hudson "Three Women and a Baby", "One Flew Over the Anchor Desk"
1992 The Burden of Proof Fiona Cawley TV miniseries
1992 Spies Mrs. Mills TV film
1993 Silent Cries Roberta Hampton TV film
1993 Law & Order Ellen Gorham "Promises to Keep"
1993 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Olive Davis Recurring role (season 1)
1993 Remember Amanda TV film
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Alixus "Paradise"
1994 Murder, She Wrote Edith Peabody "To Kill a Legend"
1994–95 Seinfeld Landis "The Chaperone", "The Switch"
1994–1998 Melrose Place Katherine Andrews Recurring role (seasons 2–7)
1995 A Mother's Prayer Ruth TV film
1995 JAG Ambassador Bartlett "War Cries"
1997 Walker, Texas Ranger Dr. Janet Monroe "Forgotten People"
1997 The Pretender Grace Carter-Welman "Over the Edge"
1998 Profiler Melinda Moscone "Birthright"
1998 Michael Hayes Rose "Imagine: Parts 1 & 2"
1998 Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney TV film
1999 Chicago Hope Shirley Fleming "Playing Through"
1999 Providence Evelyn Lombard "You Can't Hurry Love"
1999 ER Dr. Renee Spielman "The Peace of Wild Things"
2002 First Monday Justice Deborah Szwark Main role


  1. Gail Strickland profile,; accessed November 7, 2016.
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