Valerie Mahaffey is an American character actress and producer. She began her career starring in the NBC daytime soap opera The Doctors (1979–81), for which in 1980 she was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 1992, Mahaffey won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in the CBS drama series Northern Exposure. She later won fame through her portrayal of extroverted and friendly but ultimately insane women on the television shows Wings, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids and Big Sky. Mahaffey also appeared in a number of movies, including Senior Trip (1995), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Jack and Jill (2011), Sully (2016), and most notably French Exit (2020), for which she received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination.