ADA VALERIE HAYWOOD

Played by Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon: After Leo Cohen left the District Attorney's office to go into private practice, Haywood became the 15th precinct's new riding DA. More by-the-book than either Cohen or Sylvia Costas, she has a low tolerance for detectives who think outside the box -- and the law -- like Sipowicz. Struggling to appear professional in a field where too many women are just viewed as sex objects, she was hesitant to respond to the romantic overtures of the very interested Det. Jones, but eventually she fell for the very handsome, very decent detective.


Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon

Garcelle was born in St. March, Haiti on Nov. 26, 1966. Garcelle, her mother and her six older siblings moved to Massachusetts when she was seven after her parents divorced. A native French and Creole speaker, Garcelle learned the intricacies of English from watching Big Bird and friends on "Sesame Street."

At sixteen, the family moved to Miami, and a year later the very tall, very striking Garcelle signed a modeling deal with the powerful Ford agency in New York. She appeared in magazine layouts for Avon, Clairol and Mary Kay and strutted down catwalks for Calvin Klein and Isaac Mizrahi. Modeling inevitably led to acting, but the transition was easier for her than most, since her first major acting job was on the short-lived Fox drama "Models, Inc."

In 1996, she got her big break as the female lead on the WB's "The Jamie Foxx Show," which ran for five seasons and still airs in repeat syndication. When the sitcom's production schedule wound down, she landed a job as the newest "NYPD" district attorney/sex symbol.

Garcelle recently married her agent, Mike Nilon and has a son, Oliver, from her first marriage to producer Daniel Saunders.


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