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Q&A with Kim Delaney of 'Army Wives'

Kim DelaneyShe might always be recognized as Jimmy Smits' wife, detective Diane Russell, on "NYPD Blue," a key player who won an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy Award, a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Screen Actors Guild nods. Once Smits' character died, it was difficult placing Delaney in the forefront, so her character soon departed the show as well.

Now the former daytime actress, who has moved on from "All My Children's" Pine Valley and the mean streets of The Big Apple to Charleston, S. C., where the Lifetime network's hit drama "Army Wives" is filmed, is in the midst of decorating a new home in Charleston, where her 19-year-old son, Jack, will be visiting soon with a few Los Angeles friends.

Unlike her former characters, Delaney was a quiet and shy student growing up at J.W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in Philadelphia. She began a modeling career during her senior year and became a member of Elite Model Management. After graduation, she studied acting and soon landed her first job as teen Jenny Gardner in 1984 on "All My Children."

Three years into her run, she quit to explore other acting options. She performed off-Broadway and appeared in a number of feature films and made-for-TV movies. Before her breakthrough role on "NYPD Blue," her TV credits included "Tour of Duty" and "The Fifth Corner."

Now Kim spruces up Lifetime's mega-hit "Army Wives" as Claudia Joy Holden. The show about military wives and their developing friendships has given new life to Delaney who loves the Carolina laid-back lifestyle and her new friends. 

Bankrate: How is life in Charleston different from Los Angeles?

Kim Delaney: The pace is definitely slower in Charleston. I can actually sit down now and have a cup of coffee with someone, which is really nice. You're not grabbing your Starbucks and taking off. For instance, today I've already done my yoga and come back home and I may get called into work because of the rain. We have to be prepared for changes of weather constantly. I live right on the Battery and just take walks by the water. It's beautiful and therapeutic. Having lived in New York City and growing up in Philadelphia, I like the city, but this is just charming.

Bankrate: I know you have a home in Los Angeles, so do you rent in Charleston?

Kim Delaney: I just bought a home in Charleston … that was my last big splurge that was just for me. Everyone else on the show is leasing, but I bought a house. It was built in 1895, one of those old Charlestonian houses with fabulous verandas, beautiful windows (and) gorgeous hardwood floors … it's really pretty. 

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Bankrate: Have you splurged on furnishings and decorating now that the show has been picked up for another year and you have a sense of financial stability?

Kim Delaney: Well, I have this amazing desk that was a big splurge. It's like a piece of art. I like furniture. It's stingray (hide) and mother of pearl -- simply gorgeous. I got it in Los Angeles. (I) was actually going to go to this antique and hardware store but parked in the wrong spot. I just went into this store where I found all these great pieces of furniture. I found a surfboard mirror that I sent to Charleston because it's perfect for the surfing here. 

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