• Delta Burke is an actress, author, and producer with a net worth of over $3 million.
• She was born in Orlando, Florida, and won the state Miss Flame Award and Miss Florida title.
• She starred in the television sitcom "Designing Women" and later the mini-series "The Chisholms" and "Filthy Rich".
• She married actor Gerald McRaney and is an advocate of gay rights.
• She battled depression, an eating disorder, and compulsive hoarding syndrome.

Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJuly 30, 1956
SpouseGerald McRaney
FactStarring on Broadway in "Steel Magnolias" (Truvy - the Dolly Parton role in the movie). [March 2005]

Who is Delta Burke?

Delta Ramona Leah Burke was born on 30 July 1956, in Orlando, Florida, USA. She is an actress, author, and producer, perhaps best known for her highly acclaimed appearance in the television sitcom “Designing Women”, in which she portrayed Suzanne Sugarbaker. She’s also worked on other notable television programs, including “Boston Legal” and “Filthy Rich”.

The Net Worth of Delta Burke

As of early-2020, Delta Burke’s net worth is estimated to be over $3 million, earned through a successful career in acting since 1974. She’s also written a book, and has also done various behind-the-scenes roles in television production.

Happy Birthday to Delta Burke. The 'Designing Women' star and former Miss America contestant is 60 years old.(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Posted by FOX 5 / Fox5NY.com on Saturday, July 30, 2016

Early Life and Education

Delta grew up in Orlando, raised primarily by her mother as her father was not present in her life. However, the two didn’t stay by themselves for long as her mother remarried to realtor Frederick Burke, who adopted her. She then grew up alongside two younger siblings from her mother’s remarriage. At a young age, she showed a strong passion for performance and had a lot of confidence, leading many to believe that she would have a successful life.

She attended Colonial High School, and during her time there she won the State Miss Flame Award, after winning the local Miss Flame crown in Orlando.

The pageant is organized by the state’s various fire departments, to help attract more attention to them, as well as to help raise funds. During her senior year in high school, she continued in pageantry and won the Miss Florida title, making her the youngest to ever win the competition.

Continued Studies and Acting Beginnings

Thanks to Burke becoming Miss Florida, she was offered a scholarship by the Miss America Organization, and this led her to continue pursuing her dream as an actress. She enrolled in a two-year program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the oldest performing arts school in the UK.

Delta Burke

Afterwards, she returned to the US and made her first appearance in the mini-series “The Chisholms” aired on CBS. The show starred Robert Preston, and followed the titular family’s life as they encounter various troubles including with Native Americans.

Afterwards she became a cast member of the show “Filthy Rich”, which she was a part of for a year, portraying Kathleen Beck, a young widow. The show aired on CBS and starred Charlie Frank and Dixie Carter, and was noted for being a satire of popular soap operas of the time, including “Dynasty” and “Dallas”. She then appeared in the HBO program “1st & Ten”, which was one of the earliest efforts of HBO to lure viewers away from what was then considered the top-three in US television networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC.

The show follows the story of a fictional American Football team, and she portrayed a team owner in the show.

Designing Women

Delta’s next role would become her most notable, as she was cast in “Designing Women”. The show follows the story of a man and four women who are a part of an interior design firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, set in the 1980s, and also starring Dixie Carter, Jean Smart and Annie Potts. The show follows the lives of these co-workers and the problems in their professional and personal lives. During its early run, it had good ratings and was among the top 20 shows in the US.

However, things went downhill after the show started changing its cast members, with Burke and Carter leaving. The show was canceled after seven seasons due to decreasing interest.

During the peak of her career in the show, she was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy Award. Before she left the show, she had gone public about her dissatisfaction with the show due to long working hours that kept them tired and stressed. This eventually led to a rift between her and Carter, leading to them being released from their contracts.

Life After Designing Women

Following her work in “Designing Women”, Delta started a show named after her which was short-lived.

She then reprised her character in “Women of the House” after reconciling with several people from the show, but this second effort was also short-lived – she also eventually reconciled with Carter after five years. In the 1990s, her career had a significant downturn and the media pointed to her increasing weight. She battled with depression, and an eating disorder that had been present during her pageant days. Despite the issues surrounding her weight, she made it work to her advantage, delivering some of her best performances, stemming from programs that focused on her weight.

In 2000, she had a supporting role in the film “What Women Want”, before being cast in “DAG” in which she had returned to a healthy weight after a diabetes diagnosis. In 2003, she forayed into stage productions, working on “Thoroughly Modern Millie” then on the original production of “Steel Magnolias”, in which she played the character Truvy. A few of her latest projects include a recurring role in “Boston Legal” playing an old flame of William Shatner’s character. She’s also worked on several Hallmark films, and was cast in the pilot for “Counter Culture” but production was suspended due to an injury, and the show was never picked up.

In 1989, Delta married actor Gerald McRaney, and the couple have since resided in Los Angeles, but they also have homes in New Orleans and Telluride. Her husband is known for his work in shows such as “Jericho”, “House of Cards”, “Castle”, “Longmire” and “Promised Land”. The couple don’t have any children. She is a known advocate of gay rights, and has openly supported gay members of the entertainment industry, collaborating with them or promoting their work. She has admitted to having a compulsive hoarding syndrome, which she had to take therapy to overcome. During the peak of her hoarding obsession, she owned 27 storage units.

General Info

Full NameDelta Burke
Date Of BirthJuly 30, 1956
Height1.65 m
ProfessionTelevision producer, Comedian, Film producer, Author, Actor
EducationColonial High School


SpouseGerald McRaney
ParentsJean Burke, Frederick Burke
SiblingsJennifer Burke, Jonathan Burke


NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
MoviesWhat Women Want, Sordid Lives, Going for Broke, Bridal Fever, Dangerous Child, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Good Boy!, Where the Hell's That Gold?, A Bunny's Tale, Murder Me, Murder You, Day-O, Hansel and Gretel, Maternal Instincts, A Last Cry for Help, The Last Guy on Earth, Rooster
TV ShowsDAG, Women of the House, The Mighty Jungle, Designing Women, 1st & Ten, Filthy Rich, The Chisholms, Delta

Social profile links


1Just wrapped production of the Hallmark Channel original movie Bridal Fever (2008) as "Dahlia", a romance novelist, which will air next year. [November 2007]
2Starring on Broadway in "Steel Magnolias" (Truvy - the Dolly Parton role in the movie). [March 2005]
3In 1981, Delta Burke won the role of Katherine Wentworth on Dallas (1978) and was offered a recurring part on Private Benjamin (1981), but she had a holding option on her contract for the yet-to-be-picked-up series Filthy Rich (1982) and was forced to turn both parts down. The role of Katherine Wentworth ultimately went to Morgan Brittany.
4Checked herself into rehab to modify her medications for her depression and diabetes [February 12, 2008].
5Graduate of Colonial High School in Orlando, Florida.
6April 2003 - While on the set of a new tv pilot, "Sweet Potato Queens", that was not picked up any network for the Fall 2003 season, some of her jewelry including her wedding and engagemant rings were stolen. The stolen jewelry was valued at approximately $74,000. The rings were inscribed with the word "always" and the date of her wedding. No clue to the thief and the LAPD told her that the common thing is to steal the diamonds and throw away the bands, so little hope of recovery was offered.
7Following her firing from Designing Women (1986), she was parodied in a short-lived Fox comedy show, The Edge (1992), in one skit where she was portrayed as a giant who was getting revenge on her former castmates by ripping the roof off the house, pulling them out, and biting their heads off like chickens. Despite the unflattering nature of the skit, Ms. Burke was reportedly very amused by it.
8Is diabetic
9Has suffered from chronic depression since her teens
10Miss Florida 1974




The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo1980TV SeriesDiane Stone
The Chisholms1980TV Mini-SeriesBonnie Sue Chisholm
A Last Cry for Help1979TV MovieCarol
Charleston1979TV MovieStella Farrell
The Seekers1979TV Mini-SeriesElizabeth Fletcher Kent
Zuma Beach1978TV MovieTerri (uncredited)
Counter Culture2012TV MovieNonie
Drop Dead Diva2009TV SeriesTessa Wells
Bridal Fever2008TV MovieDahlia Marchand
The Wedding Bells2007TV SeriesSheila Pontell
Boston Legal2006-2007TV SeriesBella Horowitz
The Year Without a Santa Claus2006TV MovieMrs. Claus
Good Boy!2003Barbara Ann (voice)
Going for Broke2003TV MovieLaura Bancroft
Sweet Potato Queens2003TV Movie
St. Sass2002TV MovieBillie Lang
Hansel & Gretel2002Stepmother
Family Law2002TV SeriesMarcie Dell
Dangerous Child2001TV MovieSally Cambridge
Touched by an Angel1996-2001TV SeriesDiana Winslow Julia Fitzgerald
Popular1999-2001TV SeriesCherry Cherry
DAG2000-2001TV SeriesJudith Whitman
What Women Want2000Eve
Sordid Lives2000Noleta Nethercott
Any Day Now1998-1999TV SeriesTeresa O'Brien
Melanie Darrow1997TV MovieMelanie Darrow
Promised Land1996TV SeriesJulia Fitzgerald
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman1996TV SeriesMyrtle Beech
Maternal Instincts1996Tracy Horton
A Promise to Carolyn1996TV MovieDebra
Women of the House1995TV SeriesSuzanne Sugarbaker
Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again1995TV MovieMrs. Heiser
Diagnosis Murder1994TV SeriesSister Michael / Maggie Donovan
The Mighty Jungle1994TV SeriesViola, the Toucan (voice)
Delta1992-1993TV SeriesDelta Bishop
Day-O1992TV MovieGrace Connors
Love and Curses... And All That Jazz1991TV MovieDesiree
Designing Women1986-1991TV SeriesSuzanne Sugarbaker
Where the Hell's That Gold?!!?1988TV MovieGermany
Simon & Simon1987TV SeriesChristy Keating
1st & Ten: The Championship1984-1987TV SeriesDiane Barrow
Hotel1986TV SeriesSherry
Temporary Insanity1985TV MovieBig Woman
A Bunny's Tale1985TV MovieMargie
Who's the Boss?1985TV SeriesDiane Wilmington
T.J. Hooker1984TV SeriesDiana Polnoi
The Love Boat1983-1984TV SeriesGloria / Andrea Sheppard / Lydia Harris
The New Mike Hammer1984TV SeriesLinda Sloane
Lottery!1984TV Series
Automan1984TV SeriesRachel Innis
Johnny Blue1983TV MovieJoanne Kruger
Remington Steele1983TV SeriesNancy Stinson Dannon
Filthy Rich1982-1983TV SeriesKathleen Beck
Gun Shy1983TV SeriesClementine
Murder Me, Murder You1983TV MoviePaula Corey
Fantasy Island1983TV SeriesGloria Ransom
The Fall Guy1982TV SeriesBryna
Rooster1982TV MovieLaura DeVega
Nero Wolfe1981TV SeriesJean Wellmann


Melanie Darrow1997TV Movie producer
Maternal Instincts1996executive producer
Women of the House1995TV Series co-executive producer - 3 episodes
Delta1992TV Series co-executive producer


Women of the House1995TV Series performer - 1 episode
Delta1992-1993TV Series performer - 5 episodes


Entertainment Tonight2006-2009TV SeriesHerself
The View2003-2008TV SeriesHerself
In Search of Puppy Love2007DocumentaryHerself
The 2007 Miss America Pageant2007TV MovieHerself - Judge
TV Land's Top Ten2006TV Series documentaryHerself
Mississippi Rising2005TV Movie documentaryHerself
50th Annual Drama Desk Awards2005TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
TV Movie Superstars: Women You Love2004TV MovieHerself
The Designing Women Reunion2003TV Movie documentaryHerself
In Performance at the White House2001TV Special
The Rosie O'Donnell Show1996-2001TV SeriesHerself
Entertainment Tonight Presents: The Real Designing Women2000TV Movie documentaryHerself
Intimate Portrait1999-2000TV Series documentaryHerself
The Martin Short Show1999TV SeriesHerself
ABC Mark Curry & Delta Burke Back Lot Special1994TV MovieHerself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993TV SeriesHerself
Laughing Back: Comedy Takes a Stand1992TV MovieHerself
The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1991TV SpecialHerself - Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Saturday Night Live1991TV SeriesHerself - Host / Nancy / Amanda / ...
Yellow Ribbon Party1991TV SpecialHerself
The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1990TV SpecialHerself - Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
70th Annual Miss America Pageant1990TV SpecialHerself - Judge
The 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1989TV SpecialHerself
The 1988 Annual Women in Film Awards1988TV SpecialHerself
The 14th Annual People's Choice Awards1988TV Special documentaryHerself - Presenter
Circus of the Stars #121987TV Special documentaryHerself - Ringmaster
Dolly1987TV SeriesHerself
The Wil Shriner Show1987TV SeriesHerself
Super Password1987TV SeriesHerself
The New Hollywood Squares1986-1987TV SeriesHerself - Panelist / Guest Appearance / Herself
Battle of the Network Stars XIII1982TV SpecialHerself - CBS Team

Archive Footage

Entertainment Tonight2015TV SeriesHerself
50 Most Wicked Women of Primetime2004TV Movie documentarySuzanne Sugarbaker - Designing Women
50 Years of Funny Females1995TV Movie documentaryHerself
Miss America: Beyond the Crown1994TV Movie documentaryHerself - Miss Florida 1974
Best of Saturday Night Live: Special Edition1992VideoVarious Characters


Won Awards

1999OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Guest Actress in a Cable SeriesAny Day Now (1998)

Nominated Awards

2001TV Guide AwardTV Guide AwardsActress of the Year in a New SeriesDAG (2000)
1991Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesDesigning Women (1986)
1991Q AwardViewers for Quality Television AwardsBest Actress in a Quality Comedy SeriesDesigning Women (1986)
1990Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesDesigning Women (1986)
1990Q AwardViewers for Quality Television AwardsBest Actress in a Quality Comedy SeriesDesigning Women (1986)

2nd Place Awards

1989Q AwardViewers for Quality Television AwardsBest Actress in a Quality Comedy SeriesDesigning Women (1986)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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