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Delia Ryan Coleridge is a fictional character from the original ABC daytime soap opera, Ryan's Hope, and later General Hospital.


Portrayed by Ilene Kristen, the character was created and introduced by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. Kristen originated the role in the series premiere on July 7, 1975.

Delia is the catalyst for most of Ryan's Hope's story lines and remains a central component of the series throughout its run. Delia is the kind of character that viewers "love to hate."

[2] Delia has a habit of dealing with situations in ways that cause even more trouble.


Delia is known for her early chaotic romances with brothers Patrick and Frank Ryan. She eventually finds true love with Dr. Roger Coleridge.

Delia is considered to be the breakout character of the series, and remains one of the most iconic characters in daytime history.

Kristen portrayed Roxy Balsom on the now canceled soap opera, One Life to Live from November 7, 2001, through the finale episode aired on January 13, 2012.

In the fall of 2013, Kristen reprised the role of Delia on the sole surviving ABC soap, General Hospital on October 28, 2013.[4] Us Magazine ranked the character as #1 villainess in soaps in 1977.

[5] She returned again on June 30, 2014. She returned again for a two day stint on May 29 and June 1, 2015.[6]



In July 1975, Frank Ryan confronts Delia on the stairs at Riverside Hospital and asks her for a divorce, and she angrily pushes him down the stairs. Though he nearly dies, Frank still covers for Delia and they try to repair their marriage. However, when Delia begins an affair with Roger Coleridge, Frank divorces her in February 1977. Delia then turns to her first love, Patrick Ryan, and seduces him. After Delia announces her pregnancy, Pat proposes marriage. Delia secretly miscarriages on April 1, 1977, but keeps quiet as she marries Pat several weeks later. During the marriage, Delia resorts to extremes to keep Patrick's attention including faking a miscarriage and mental breakdowns. When Pat turns to drugs and pushes her down the stairs during a confrontation, Delia is left temporarily blind; though she recovers, Delia continues to fake blindness. Pat eventually finds out about her schemes and has the marriage annulled in September 1978.

After being dumped by Patrick, Delia snaps and Roger Coleridge comforts her. Roger helps Delia establish her independence, and they marry in October 1978. Delia becomes heavily involved in the stock market and her investments begin to pay off. However, when Roger suspects her of cheating with her stock broker, he divorces her. Delia later opens her own restaurant, The Crystal Palace, and begins dating Ryan family cousin, Barry Ryan. When Delia finds out Barry has been cheating on her, she runs him over and frames her former sister-in-law, Faith Coleridge, for the crime.

Due to lack of finances, Delia loses her business to mob boss Joe Novak; however, she is forced to shut The Palace down in 1982. Delia leaves Riverside in November 1983 after getting a job offer. In actuality, Frank sets up the job so he can get custody of Little John. Delia resurfaces on June 15, 1984 when she marries wealthy oilman Matthew Crane. The marriage quickly falls apart due to Delia's affair with Steve Latham. After the divorce, Delia relocates to California.

Delia returns to Riverside in September 1986 for her grandson Owen's christening. Delia sets her sights on Roger once again, and does her best to win his affections from his wife, Maggie Shelby. Delia even kidnaps the pregnant Maggie and helps to deliver her daughter, Olivia. Maggie eventually leaves town, allowing Roger and Delia to reconnect. The couple remarries on January 9, 1989.

Delia's first appearance

On October 28, 2013, Sam and Silas go to NYC to investigate Ava's past to see if she is related to Sam. Delia initially denies any relationship to the Jerome family, but eventually admits that she is Ava's mother, but that she did not raise her. Sam and Silas tell Delia that she has a granddaughter, Kiki, and Delia tells them to tell Kiki where she can find her grandmother.

Delia comes to Port Charles in July of 2014 at the request of Ava. Ava tells her mother that she is being held prisoner in mobster Sonny Corinthos' mansion and asks her to move in. Ava drops another bomb on Delia by admitting that Sonny has her imprisoned because he's trying to kill her. Delia is shocked and appalled. Ava tells Delia that there is a tape with incriminating evidence on it and she needs her help to find the tape. Possession of the tape could be the key to saving her life. Although Delia and Ava have never been close, Delia agrees to move into Sonny's and help Ava find the tape to save her daughter's life.

When Ava is spending July 4 as a prisoner at Sonny's house, Delia tries to divert Sonny's attention away from Ava by asking him questions about his two sons. Sonny then diverts HER attention away from his personal life and his belongings by giving Ava (who sneakily walks into the living room) and Delia a moment in private. Mother and daughter take advantage of this time to formulate a plan for Delia to infiltrate Sonny's stuff. Ava suggests that the key to get in is upstairs in his room.

Delia is reluctant at first but -- since this could save her daughter's life -- eventually agrees to do it. Sonny barely misses walking in on their plan when Ava and Delia pretend to argue. During their "fight" Delia berates Ava that since she find her so annoying she's going back to NYC to a family that appreciates her more than Ava does. Ava begs for another chance but Delia doesn't wanna hear it. She goes upstairs, pretends to collect her things, steals the key as planned, thanks Sonny for letting her stay and exits. Instead of going home, she infiltrates the Metro Court that night to go to the Crimson office. She can infiltrate the place with the key she stole.

Delia got into Sonny's office and even got her hands on the flash drive, but just as she was about to leave, she was caught by Olivia Falconeri. Olivia confronts Delia about what she was doing and then called Sonny. Sonny came down to the office and was surprised to see Delia and hear that she lied about her name to Olivia. While Sonny is confronting Delia, Ava calls Delia and inadvertently gives away their whole plan to Sonny when he answers Delia's phone. Sonny makes Delia return the flash drive and then orders Shawn Butler to escort Delia back to her home in New York. Before Delia left, she warned Shawn that she knew all about what Sonny was planning to do to Ava once the baby was born, and threatened to make Sonny and Shawn pay if anything happened to Ava.

On May 29, 2015, Delia returns to shed some light on Denise DiMuccio, Ava's look-a-like, who ends up being Ava in the end.

Crimes Committed

  • Shoved Frank down a fight of stairs, nearly killing him
  • Adultery; had an affair with Roger Coleridge while still legally married to Frank Ryan
  • Kept her mouth shut to Patrick Ryan about miscarrying their baby
  • Faked extremities such as miscarriages and mental breakdowns just to keep Patrick Ryan's attention
  • Faked her blindness despite fully recovering from it
  • Ran Barry Ryan over with her car and attempted to frame Faith Coleridge for it
  • Kidnapped Maggie Shelby while she was pregnant

  • Threw a glass of water in Ava's face [Jul 7, 2014]
  • Theft; stole the key to Sonny's office under the suggestions/orders of her own daughter [Jul 7, 2014]
  • Breaking and entering; used the stolen key to sneak through the Metro Court Hotel and to infiltrate Sonny's office upstairs [Jul 7, 2014]
  • Attempted theft; tried to steal Sonny's USB (failed; Sonny and Olivia busted her) [Jul 8, 2014]
  • Withheld the information that Denise DeMuccio was actually Ava Jerome [May 25-Aug 24, 2015]
  • Helped her daughter, Ava Jerome, disguise herself as someone she wasn't so that she could return to Port Charles and visit her family without returning to prison [revealed Jun 5, 2015]

  • Health and Vitals

    On Ryan's Hope

    • Shoved down a flight of stairs by Pat during an argument
    • Had vision loss following the fall but fully recovered

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    Dan O'Connor (Head writer, 2019-present) · Frank Valentini (Executive producer, 2012-present) · Chris Van Etten (Head writer, 2017-present)
    Former Crew
    Shelly Altman (Head writer, 2011-2012, 2015-2019) · Ron Carlivati (Head writer, 2012-2015) · Jill Farren Phelps (Executive producer, 2001-2012) · Robert Guza, Jr. (Head writer, 1996, 1997-2000, 2002-2008, 2008-2011) · H. Wesley Kenney (Executive producer, 1987-1989; Head writer, 1988) · Gloria Monty (Executive producer, 1978-1987, 1991-1992; Head writer, 1981) · Jean Passanante (Head writer, 2015-2017) · Wendy Riche (Executive producer, 1992-2001) · Garin Wolf (Head writer, 2008, 2011-2012)
    Related Topics
    List of cast members · List of current actors · History of General Hospital