Sherry Stringfield, the oldest of three children, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but raised mainly in Spring, Texas. While attending Klein High School, she participated in both athletics and acting, and later attended the Acting Conservatory of the State New York at Purchase, from which she graduated in 1989 with a B.F.A. One week later she secured a leading role on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light
, portraying Christina "Blake" Thorpe for three years. In 1993 she was cast as Laura Michaels, a Manhattan D.A. and the bitter ex-wife of lead character Detective John Kelly (portrayed by David Caruso
) in the ABC police drama NYPD Blue
. She left that show after one season.