Ellen Dolan joined As the World Turns in November 1989, after having been asked to consider the part by the late Doug Marland, the head writer for the CBS daytime drama. (Marland had created Dolan's former role of Maureen Bauer on Guiding Light.)
Dolan debuted as Bauer on Guiding Light in 1982, portraying the popular character for the next four years. Her additional television credits include the made-for-television movies Motherís Day, Mothers, Daughters and Lovers with Helen Shaver and Claude Atkings, and Dancing with Danger, with Cheryl Ladd and Ed Marinaro. Her stage career began in 1980 at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater with roles such as Katrin in Mother Courage. Her subsequent roles in numerous regional productions have included Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Virginia Stage Company, May in How the Other Half Loves at the Pennsylvania Stage Company, and Clelia in The Nerd at the Capitol Repertory in Albany, NY. She also started a theater company in New York called The Studio Three Group.
Dolan earned her B.A. and M.F.A. degrees in theater from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. While working toward her bachelorís degree, she spent a summer studying dramatic arts at the Webber Douglas Academy in London. Dolan was born in Monticello, Iowa and was raised in Decorah, Iowa.
She and businessman Doug Jeffrey are the proud parents of daughter, Angela Emmett.