(written from a Production point of view)
Donna Murphy (born 7 March 1959; age 61) is the Tony Award-winning American stage, film, and television actress who played Anij in Star Trek: Insurrection. She was born in Corona, New York, after which she grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and later Topsfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Boxford, Massachusetts' Masconomet Regional High School in 1977 and majored in drama at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Murphy made her Broadway acting debut in 1979 in the musical They're Playing Our Song as one of the voices of the lead character, Sonia Walsk. In 1985, she joined the cast of the off-Broadway production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and transferred with the play to Broadway, where it ran until 1987. Shortly thereafter, she made her first appearance on television in the 1987 movie Tales from the Hollywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's (or Power, Passion and Murder), which also featured Earl Boen.
In 1987 and 1988, Murphy co-starred with Lursa actress Barbara March off-Broadway in Birds of Paradise. She then performed alongside Dan Butler and Timothy Carhart in the one-act play Where She Went, What She Did at the Judith Anderson Theatre in New York City.
From 1989 through 1991, Murphy starred as District Attorney Morgan Graves on NBC's daytime television drama Another World, after which she returned to the stage (although she made a brief return to television for a 1993 episode of Law & Order with Richard Cox). In 1992, she co-starred with Robert Knepper in a Boston production of Pal Joey and with Kim Cattrall in a New Jersey production of Miss Julie. She then joined the cast of the original Broadway musical Passion, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Murphy broke into films with a supporting role in Paramount Pictures' 1995 thriller Jade, in which Kevin Tighe and Kenneth Tigar also appeared. The film was a critical and financial failure, and Murphy began focusing primarily on television as well as theater.
Murphy appeared with Harry Groener in a stage production of Twelve Dreams, which ran at the Lincoln Theatre in the summer of 1995. She then landed the recurring role of Francesca Cross on the drama series Murder One. During her time on this show, she worked with fellow Star Trek alumni Jeff Allin, Lisa Banes, Daniel Benzali, Michelle Bonilla, Barbara Bosson, Juliana Donald, John Fleck, Gregory Itzin, Stanley Kamel, Benjamin Lum, Deborah May, Conor O'Farrell, Adam Scott, Kevin Tighe, Ned Vaughn, Lorinne Vozoff, Bruce Wright, and Patti Yasutake.
In 1996, Murphy won a CableACE Award for her performance in the Lifestories: Families in Crisis episode "Someone Had to Be Benny." That same year, she won her second Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Anna Leonowens in the Broadway revival of The King and I.
Murphy portrayed two First Ladies in two different television projects. In the 1997 PBS documentary mini-series Liberty! The American Revolution, she played Abigail Adams, wife to President John Adams. J.D. Cullum and Mel Johnson, Jr., were also among those to appear in this series. Murphy then played Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, in the 1998 TV movie The Day Lincoln Was Shot. Star Trek: The Next Generation regular Wil Wheaton played her son, Robert Todd Lincoln, while Gregory Itzin and Titus Welliver co-starred.
In 1998, Murphy guest-starred in special cross-over episodes of David E. Kelley's drama series Ally McBeal and The Practice. Shortly thereafter, she landed her second feature film with a lead role in the drama October 22, in which she co-starred with TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine regular Colm Meaney. Murphy followed this with supporting roles in the films The Astronaut's Wife (with Samantha Eggar) and Center Stage (with Zoë Saldana).
In 2000, Murphy began starring as Ruth Sherwood in the play Wonderful Town. The play transferred to Broadway in 2003, and the following year, Murphy was again nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical. Before the play began on Broadway, however, Murphy became a regular on the short-lived comedy television series What About Joan, along with Wallace Langham. She then had a frequent recurring role on the CBS series Hack, as did Mark Margolis and Bebe Neuwirth.
Also prior to the Broadway run of Wonderful Town, Murphy portrayed Rosalie Octavius, the wife of Dr. Otto Octavius (aka Dr. Octopus), in the blockbuster film Spider-Man 2. Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Dae Kim also had roles in Spider-Man 2, which was released on 30 June 2004. Earlier that same month, Murphy and her Insurrection co-star, Patrick Stewart, were presenters at the 58th Annual Tony Awards. Murphy presented the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, while Stewart presented the award for Best Play. Murphy also performed a song from Broadway's Wonderful Town for the ceremony.
Since then, Murphy has appeared on such television series as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (with Joel Polis), Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (starring Steven Weber), and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Her recent film credits include World Trade Center (with Jude Ciccolella, Roger R. Cross, Brad William Henke, and Tom Wright), The Fountain (with Mark Margolis and Stephen McHattie), and The Nanny Diaries. In 2007, she received her fourth Tony Award nomination for her portrayal in Broadway's Lovemusik, and in 2010, she provided the voice of Mother Gothel in the latest Disney Animated Feature, Tangled. In 2011, she appeared in a supporting role in The Bourne Legacy.