Actress Dinah Lenney is best known by television viewers as the dryly sarcastic and dependable Nurse Shirley on the long-running NBC medical drama "ER. " Although she was only a secondary character on the show, Lenney nevertheless left an indelible impression on many as a small rock of sanity within the turmoil of the emergency room. Some of Lenney's other notable television work includes small parts on the newsroom sitcom "Murphy Brown," the short-lived comedy show "A Fine Romance," and the science fiction action drama "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." She is a veteran of stage dramas and musical theater, as well as the co-author of a book on acting, and has taught acting at various workshops and universities. In 1997, Lenney's father Nelson G. Gross--a former Republican politician from New Jersey, Nixon appointee for Secretary of State, and a convicted felon guilty of tax evasion and perjury-was murdered by three teenagers in a kidnapping/robbery gone wrong. The traumatic experience became the subject of her 2007 memoir, "Bigger Than Life: A Murder, a Memoir."