‘Blue Bloods’: What Role Launched Vanessa Ray’s Career?

by Madison Miller
Photo: Best Possible Screengrab ©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For several actors, “Blue Bloods” has been TV home for many years.

Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, and Tom Selleck all have appeared in the series since the very beginning. Although the show gravitates around a law enforcement family, “Blue Bloods” has welcomed several other characters since the premiere in 2010.

For example, Vanessa Ray plays Officer Edit “Eddie” Janko-Reagan on the show. She is married to Jamie Reagan on the show. Although she’s most recognizable for her role in “Blue Bloods” now, it isn’t Ray’s first acting role.

Vanessa Ray Past Acting Roles

Vanessa Ray actually started her acting career in the theater. According to a 2010 interview with Broadway Buzz, Ray didn’t actually get on the screen until she was 22. Following high school, the “Blue Bloods” star appeared in several different productions of shows like “Footloose” and “Finding Nemo: The Musical.” She would eventually land a Broadway role in “Hair” as Crissy in 2009.

However, more people know Ray from her different roles on TV over the past years. According to IMDb, she made a small appearance in the 2003 comedic video “The Sparky Chronicles: The Map.”

She played Chris Matthews, a woman who had her wiener dog stolen. It’s more than likely people also may not recognize her for this brief appearance.

Her first real TV appearance was in “The Battery’s Down.” This is a 2008 musical comedy series in which Vanessa Ray appeared for three episodes. She then appeared in an episode of “Bored to Death” the following year.

She slowly started to get more recognized, which is what landed her a role in one of the longest-running soap operas ever, “As the World Turns.” Following that role, Ray took her first recurring role as Jenny Griffith in the popular legal drama “Suits.” She is a major reason for a lot of the drama on the series that stays for the course of the eight seasons.

As for teen audiences, Ray played a massive role in the popular teen series “Pretty Little Liars” as CeCe Drake. This massive recurring role would open a lot of doors for Ray. Most notably, she was able to appear in over 160 episodes of “Blue Bloods” as of now. She started out as the rookie partner of Jamie. Eventually, their relationship advanced both professionally and romantically, leading to their marriage down the road.

Vanessa Ray on Importance of ‘Blue Bloods’ Role

During an interview with CBS Pittsburgh recently, Vanessa Ray and Will Estes spoke about what it’s like to portray cops on TV during current times.

For Ray, she said that she puts a lot of focus into the background of her character to better understand her service.

“We really take a hard look at what good they’re doing, why they got into police work in the first place, if they’re serving their community in a way that they hoped that they would. This is sort of like the second half of Cinderella. You go to the ball you think you’re gonna fall in love, you’re gonna go change the world, you’re gonna make the world a better place. Then after going to the ball, you’re like oh so this is the ball, this is a pretty intense place to navigate,” she said during the interview.