"Drunk" Kim Delaney Delivers Awful Award Speech

By Will Godfrey 09/26/11

The Army Wives star made hundreds cringe and was pulled from the podium at an event to honor former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

An alcoholic actress, who currently stars in Lifetime Television show Army Wives, was hooked halfway through an excruciating speech at a Philadelphia event to honor Robert Gates, who retired as Defense Secretary earlier this year. Kim Delaney, 49—best known for playing Detective Diane Russell on NYPD Blue, a role for which she won an Emmy—reduced an audience of several hundred at Friday's Liberty Award event to stony silence and embarrassed coughs with her impromptu ramble, unfortunately unassisted by a broken teleprompter. Gates' expression was incredulous as Delaney, her hands twisted together, meandered through thoughts about military families and personnel with "painful life-altering injuries." One passage went: "Um...as I try to comfort wives, husbands, families, fathers, children...loved ones...made...good, what I've, what I've learned is the constitution center. Knowing no words, no talk can ever bring back their people..." This gave way to an apparent revelation that she was only talking about her on-screen role: "But it's all make-believe. I do that as a job. It's make-believe...hum..." Her delivery was filled with pauses that lingered long enough to leave listeners wishing the ground would open up and swallow them. Several minutes in, the producers took pity on everybody by starting to play a video on a large screen and making a loudspeaker announcement, while a woman ushered the actress into a chair by the side of the stage. Delaney received two years' probation in 2002 for a DUI in Malibu, California, and has twice been to rehab for alcoholism since. Her representatives have yet to comment on her latest performance.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.