Det. Alex Eames
played by Kathryn Erbe
  • Character bio
  • Actor bio

Alex Eames played by Kathryn Erbe

Hailing from a legacy of cops, Detective Alex Eames's deep tradition in police work has made her hard-nosed, analytical and respectful of police procedures. No wonder she's the perfect complement to the idiosyncratic Detective Goren. Sensible and steadying, Eames is a positive influence on others in her life, even serving as the surrogate mother to her sister's child. But her life has also been touched by darkness. Her husband, a veteran police officer, was killed on an undercover assignment.

Despite this brush with tragedy, Eames's commitment to her job never wavered. After a successful stint with NYPD Vice - where Eames excelled undercover - she earned a transfer to the Major Case Squad. There, she and Goren amassed an enviable record and built a solid bond as partners.

However, as Goren's behavior became increasingly erratic, Eames found it harder to stick up for her eccentric partner, and their bond began to fray. The turning point came when an investigation into the shooting of an undercover cop led Goren to delve into the death of Eames's husband. Although Goren's investigation brought a small measure of closure, it created a rift between them. Eames began to resent that many saw her as simply the sidekick to Goren, the troubled genius.

Yet even through the bad period, Eames remained loyal to her partner. Told she would be promoted to Captain on the condition that she fire Goren, she complied with the order, only to immediately resign in an act of solidarity.

But now Alex has returned, and with her old partner at her side, she's back to doing what she does best: hardnosed, honest police work in a city that can use a steady hand.

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Erbe is a veteran of both film and television and has been a working actress since she graduated from New York University in 1989. Most recently, she appeared in the feature film "Speaking of Sex" (2001) with Lara Flynn Boyle and Bill Murray.

Erbe also gained notice in the 1999 box office hit "Stir of Echoes" opposite Kevin Bacon, and "Dream with the Fishes" (1997) with David Arquette. Her additional film credits include "Entropy," "Kiss of Death," "Mighty Ducks 2," "Rich in Love" and "What About Bob?"

Her television credits include playing the infamous death row inmate Shirley Bellenger on the acclaimed HBO series "Oz." She also appeared on NBC’s "Homicide: Life on the Street," the miniseries "George Wallace," Showtime’s original production of "Naked City: Justice with a Bullet," NBC’s "Another World," and the television movie "Breathing Lessons."

Before appearing in feature films, Erbe began her career on the stage. She is a member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company and has starred in many of their productions. She earned a Tony Award nomination in 1991 for her portrayal of Mary in "Speed of Darkness."

Erbe currently resides in New York with her two children.