Delia Ryan Coleridge (née Reid; previously Crane) is a fictional character from the original ABC daytime soap opera, Ryan's Hope.
Most notably 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 the show'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". 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. Delia 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 character's in daytime history. In the fall of 2013, Kristen reprised the role of Delia on the sole surviving ABC soap, General Hospital. Us Magazine ranked the character as #1 villainess in soaps in 1977
In July 1975, Frank (Michael Hawkins) 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 (Ron Hale), Frank divorces her in February 1977. Delia then turns to her first love, Patrick (Malcolm Groome) 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 a 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 comforts her. Roger helps Delia establish her independence and they marry in October 1978. Delia (Edwards) 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, her divorces her. Delia later opens her own restaurant, The Crystal Palace and begins dating Ryan family cousin, Barry (Richard Backus). When Delia finds out Barry has been cheating on her, she runs him over and frames her former sister-in-law, Faith Coleridge (Karen Morris-Gowdy) for the crime. Due to lack of finances, Delia loses her business to mob boss, Joe Novak (Roscoe Born); 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 (Geoff Pierson) 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 (Harve Presnell). The marriage quickly falls apart due to Delia's affair with Steve Latham (Franc Luz). After the divorce, Delia relocates to California. Delia returns to 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 (Cali Timmins). Delia even kidnaps the pregnant Maggie and helps to deliver her daughter, Olivia. Maggie eventually leaves town allowing for Roger and Delia to reconnect. The couple remarries on January 9, 1989.
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 was Ava's mother but did not raise her when Sam and Silas say that she has a granddaughter Kiki Jerome. She tells Silas and Sam to tell Kiki where she can find her grandmother.