DET. CONNIE MCDOWELL

Played by Charlotte Ross: After spending some time as a temp detective whom Borough Command would assign to different precincts as needed, McDowell has finally found a permanent home in the 15th squad. Connie has policework in her blood, since her late father was a cop in Saratoga Springs, NY. When she was 16, Connie got pregnant, and her parents forced her to give the baby, a girl, up for adoption. Recent attempts to contact her daughter Jennifer, now 15, turned out disastrously, but they did inspire her to get in on the Theo babysitting action, which in turn brought her closer emotionally to Andy. Despite the vast difference in their age and beauty, the two gave romance a go and recently married. Connie recently took in her sister Michelle's baby daughter after Michelle was beaten to death by her abusive husband Frank. Shortly after that, Connie was stunned to learn that she could still get pregnant, and she and Andy had a son, Matthew Nicholas Sipowicz. Connie left the job, at least temporarily, to look after her rapidly-growing family.


Charlotte Ross

Born on January 21, 1968 in Winetka, Illinois, Charlotte was always a theater kid, studying performing arts at New Trier High School and training on the side at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater and Second City.

After high school, she landed the role of hooker with a heart of gold Eve Donovan Deveraux on "Days of Our Lives." Like many soap actors, she aspired to make the move to primetime, and when she left "Days" in 1991, she was certainly in demand. The problem was that she was also always available, since every series she appeared in died a quick, horrible death. There was "The Heights," a "90210" clone about a small-town garage band; "The Five Mrs. Buchanans," a sitcom about wary in-laws; "Pauly," an awful vehicle for Pauly Shore; and "Trinity," a murky drama about an Irish-American family.

By the time she landed her breakthrough role as amoral network executive Laurie Volpone on the Showtime satire "Beggars and Choosers," Charlotte had transitioned from wide-eyed ingenue to wisecracking veteran. Maturity suited her, and "Beggars" earned her critical raves and new respect within the industry.

With Kim Delaney set to leave "NYPD Blue" for "Philly," producer Steven Bochco didn't have to look far for her replacement; Charlotte had guest-starred on "Blue" a few years before as a cop's battered wife, and Bochco was never afraid to reuse an actor in a new role if he or she was really great.

However, Charlotte could often be a handful on the set, to the point where even Dennis Franz, the nicest guy in show business, has to parse his words very carefully when discussing her work habits. So when she got pregnant, a perfect storm happened: Charlotte's desire to spend time with her new family, coupled with the producer's need to trim the budget for the final season, plus the problems with her on set, led to Charlotte's permanent exit from the show.


Back to the NYPD Blue Homepage