Kay Lenz

Kay Ann Lenz (born March 4, 1953)[1] is an American actress. A former child performer, Lenz has worked primarily in television and has won two Emmy Awards.[2]

Kay Lenz
Lenz in Breezy (1973)
Kay Ann Lenz

(1953-03-04) March 4, 1953
Other namesKay Ann Kemper
Years active1972–present
David Cassidy
(m. 1977; div. 1983)

Early years

Lenz was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Ted Lenz, a producer-commentator father and Kay Miller Lenz, a model-radio engineer mother. She appeared on television as a baby held by a guest on a program that her father produced.[3]


Lenz began working as a child actress, beginning with appearances in three episodes of This Is the Life when she was 14,[3] She went on to appear in such television shows as The Andy Griffith Show (in the episode Opie's Group (1967) under the stage name Kay Ann Kemper) as well as in stage productions. She made a brief appearance[4] billed as Kay Ann Kemper in American Graffiti (1973) as Jane, a girl at a dance.[1] She achieved recognition for her title-role performance as the free spirit who captivates William Holden in Breezy, directed by Clint Eastwood.[5][6]

Lenz made guest appearances in The Streets of San Francisco, Gunsmoke, MacGyver, McCloud, Cannon, and Petrocelli, and played a lead role in the film White Line Fever (1975) before being cast in 1976 in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award.[7] She reprised her role for the sequel, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II (1977). Since the 1980s, she has played guest roles in numerous television series.[7]

In 1984 she appeared in Rod Stewart's music video for the song "Infatuation". She won an Emmy in 1989 for Midnight Caller.[8][9] She was also nominated for an Emmy for her role as flinty lawyer Maggie Zombro in the police/legal drama Reasonable Doubts.[10][7]

Personal life

Lenz was the first wife of singer-actor David Cassidy. They married on April 3, 1977,[8][11] and divorced on December 28, 1983.[12] She has no children.



Year Title Role Notes[13]
1973 American Graffiti Jane as Kay Ann Kemper
1973 Breezy Edith Alice Breezerman Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female[3]
1973 Lisa, Bright and Dark Lisa Schilling
1975 White Line Fever Jerri Kane Hummer
1976 Moving Violation[14] Cam Johnson
1976 The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday Thursday
1978 Mean Dog Blues Linda Ramsey
1978 The Initiation of Sarah Sarah Goodwin
1979 The Passage Leah Bergson
1981 Swan Lake Odile Voice role
1982 Fast-Walking 'Little' Moke
1983 Prisoners of the Lost Universe Carrie Madison
1983 Trial by Terror Karen Armstrong
1986 House Sandy Sinclair Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1987 Death Wish 4: The Crackdown Karen Sheldon
1987 Stripped to Kill Detective Cody Sheenan
1988 Fear Sharon Haden
1989 Headhunter Katherine Hall
1989 Physical Evidence Deborah Quinn
1990 Streets Sargent
1991 Shakespeare's Plan 12 from Outer Space Sebastian
1992 Falling From Grace P.J. Parks
1992 Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa Cowlamity Kate Cudster Voice role
1994 Trapped in Space Gillings
1995 Gunfighter's Moon Linda Yarnell
1995 Shame II: The Secret Ginny Nominated — CableACE Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
1997 A Gun, a Car, a Blonde Peep/Madge
1998 The Adventures of Ragtime Detective Hill
2003 Southside Claire Coleman
2013 The Secret Lives of Dorks Mrs. Susie Gibson
2017 The Downside of Bliss Mary


Year Title Role Notes
1972 The Weekend Nun Audree ABC Movie of the Week
1974 Gunsmoke Lettie Aired Feb 11, 1974, S19 E 18, "The Foundling", played an unwed mother
1974 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Dorie Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Special
1974 Nakia Episode: "The Hostage"
1974 McCloud Eve Randall Episode: "Barefoot Girls of Bleeker Street"
1975 Petrocelli Janet / Mary Wade Episode: "Face of Evil"
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man Kate Jordache Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1976 Jigsaw John Miriam Buckley 1 episode
1977 Rich Man, Poor Man Book II Kate Jordache Miniseries
1978 How The West Was Won Doreen 3 episodes
1980 Escape Barbara Chilcoate TV movie
1980 The Hustler of Muscle Beach Jenny O’Rourke TV movie (ABC)
1984 Magnum P.I. Sally DeForest 1 episode
1984 The Fall Guy Kim Donnelly Episode: "Losers Weepers"
1985 Murder She Wrote Jenny Wells 1 episode
1985 MacGyver Kelly Neilson Episode: "Last Stand"
1986 Hunter Alicia Fiori Episode: "Scrap Metal"
1987 Mr. Belvedere Sharon Rogers Season 3 Episode #18: "Kevin's Older Woman"
1987 Charles in Charge Joan Robinson 1 episode
1987 Starman Episode: The Probe
1988 Midnight Caller Tina Cassidy 3 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (1989)
Nominated —Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (1990)
1991 Reasonable Doubts Maggie Zombro Recurring role (season 1); main role (season 2); 32 episodes
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series (1993)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1993)
1994 The Tick American Maid Voice role; 21 episodes
1995 Lois & Clark Constance Hunter Episode: "Whine Whine Whine"
1996 Touched by an Angel Rocky McCann 1 episode
1997 Journey of the Heart Marvelle Television film
2000 ER Karen Palmieri 1 episode
2000 The Magnificent Seven Ella Gaines 1 episode
2000–2001 Cover Me Lisa Ramone 2 episode
2001 Once and Again Stephanie Arlen 2 episodes
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Linda Cavanaugh 1 episode
2007 House Mrs Bradberry 1 episode
2008 NCIS Connie Quinn Wheeler 1 episode
2009 Cold Case Hillary Rhodes 1 episode
2010 The Closer Mrs Tatem 1 episode
2011 Southland Naomi Chester 1 episode
2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Laura Sidle 1 episode
2014 Bones Harriet White 1 episode
2015 Adventure Time Bird Woman/Gunther Voice role; 1 episode


  1. "Kay Lenz profile at". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  2. "Kay Lenz Biography". All Media Guide via The New York Times.
  3. Harris, Harry (February 27, 1974). "Kay Lenz Is Weeping Her Way To Stardom". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Ohio, Cincinnati. Knight Newspapers. p. 6. Retrieved February 24, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  4. IMDb American Graffiti, full cast and crew
  5. "BREEZY (1974)". TCM.com. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  6. "Kay Lenz". TCM.com. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  7. "Kay Lenz". TVGuide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  8. Park, Jeannie; Michael Alexander (November 20, 1989). "After Riding a Lifetime of Ups and Downs, Kay Lenz Hits Her Stride with a Role in Midnight Caller". People. 32 (21). Retrieved 2014-02-11. ...David Cassidy when they married in 1977, just 2½ months after meeting on a blind date.
  9. "41st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners : OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES - 1989". Emmys.com. Emmy Awards. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. Everett, Todd (November 16, 1992). "Reasonable Doubts Try to Be Nice– What Does It Get You?". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  11. Nevada, Marriage Index 1956-2005)
  12. California, Divorce Index 1966-1984
  13. "Kay Lenz Biography (1953–)". Film Reference. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  14. TCM "Moving Violation"
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