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A Family That Takes 'No' For An Answer | With Darby Stanchfield20:38

(Christopher Silas Neal for the New York Times)MoreCloseclosemore
(Christopher Silas Neal for the New York Times)

When a loved one becomes very ill, it can shift your perspective on love and family in surprising ways. For Leigh Newman, her father's failing health turned a ordinary family hunting trip into an unexpected lesson about hope.

Actor Darby Stanchfield of ABC's Scandal reads Leigh Newman's essay "A Family That Takes 'No' For An Answer."

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ABC's "Scandal" stars Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
ABC's "Scandal" stars Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Darby Stanchfield is a talented actress whose sharp wit and striking beauty has garnered attention on some of television’s most compelling series.

Just recently, Darby has completed the film “Willie and Me,” written and directed by Eva Hassman. Some of Darby’s past films also include “The Rendezvous,” opposite Stana Katic and Raza Jaffrey; the indie feature “Loserville,” starring alongside Matt McGorry; “Carnage Park,” written and directed by Mickey Keating and also starring Alan Ruck and Ashely Bell. Other credits include Adrienne Shelley’s critically acclaimed “Waitress,” opposite Nathan Fillion and Keri Russell, and an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” co-starring opposite Josh Duhamel. Darby recently wrapped production on the period piece “Medicine Men,” opposite James Le Gros and Allan Corduner, which was written and directed by Guy Malim. The film explores what happens when an Old Western town is beset upon by a plague. Darby plays the town nurse, Clementine Bell.

Prior to this, Darby was featured in season two of AMC’s Emmy® Award-winning drama “Mad Men.” In the hit series, Darby played the role of ‘Helen Bishop,’ a liberal single mother who relishes in stirring up controversy with Betty Draper, the wife of an iconic advertising guru. Darby starred alongside a notable cast, including Jon Hamm, January Jones, Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss.

Other television credits include starring opposite Nathan Fillion in ABC’s crime thriller “Castle,” a recurring role as ‘Shannon Gibbs’ on CBS’s military drama “NCIS,” and a spot on CBS’s action-packed series “Jericho,” where she played April Green. In addition, Darby has appeared in roles across a host of successful television series, including “Burn Notice,” “CSI: Miami,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “CSI: New York,” “The Mentalist,” “Private Practice,” “Bones,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Without a Trace” and “Monk.” Darby can be heard in a recording of Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues,” with Josh Radnor and Justine Bateman, part of an ongoing series of radio plays LA Theatre Works produces for NPR.

Originally from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Darby is a graduate of The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco where she received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


(Courtesy of Leigh Newman)
(Courtesy of Leigh Newman)

Leigh Newman’s memoir about Alaska Still Points North (Dial Press) was a finalist for the National Book Critic's Circle John Leonard Prize. Her fiction, essays and book reviews have appeared in One Story, Tin House, The New York Times, Fiction, New York Tyrant, Vogue, Bookforum, and others. She currently serves as an editor-at-large at Catapult Publishing and as Books Editor of  She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

Jessica Alpert Twitter Managing Producer, Program Development
Jessica Alpert is the managing producer for program development at WBUR. In this position, she develops new podcasts and programs while also launching and nurturing WBUR’s newest projects.


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