How they got their start: Camryn Manheim

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: May 6, 2019, 1:29PM

On Ghost Whisperer, Camryn Manheim played Delia Banks, who quickly becomes one of Melinda Gordon's closest friends, but also her biggest doubter. Pulled into Melinda's world after her son Ned shoplifts from Melinda's store, Delia soon takes a job at the store, and its from this vantage point that she sees what she wants to see in Melinda's odd encounters – even when her own ghosts try to track her down through the ghost whisperer.

Before Ghost Whisperer, most TV fans know that Manheim made her mark winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe as Ellenor Frutt on The Practice. On that late 1990s show, she played a tough lawyer who wasn't afraid of defending the worst criminals, and in the end, she was rewarded with eventual senior partner status on the legal drama.

But six years before Manheim's career as an actor had taken her to television's top honors, we saw her first on TV in a 1991 episode of Law & Order called "Life Choice." She has a very small role as an assistant for a pro-life group being investigated after a bomb goes off in a women's clinic. Where we're used to seeing Manheim in suits on The Practice and flowy peasant shirts on Ghost Whisperer, on Law & Order, she appears in a frumpy floral housedress with her long hair pinned back modestly. She points a friendly smile at her boss and proudly shows a poster, perhaps in the least authoritative role we've ever seen the actor play.

Good thing Manheim impressed enough in that small scene to be pulled into two more episodes of Law & Order, because she's been a prominent character actor on TV ever since, from a rabbi on One Life to Life in 1995 to a magician who specializes in finding lost things on The Magicians.

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