Daphne Ashbrook gained early acting experience on stage in the Los Angeles area. Productions in which she appeared included Burlesque … The Way You Like It (1982), Come Blow Your Horn (1983), and The Coming of Stork (1984).
Ashbrook played Liz McKay in the ABC crime drama Our Family Honor (1985-1986),: 797 Kathy Davenport on the ABC crime drama Fortune Dane (1986) and Alex in the ABC comedy-drama Hooperman (1987-1989). In 1990, she appeared as Phyllis Gates, Rock Hudson’s wife, in the television film Rock Hudson.
In 1984 she appeared in the highly successful TV series Knight Rider, in the episode “A Knight in Shining Armor”
Ashbrook played the titular character in “Melora”, a 1993 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
She played Grace Holloway in the 1996 television film Doctor Who—a portrayal that upset some fans because she was the first character to romantically kiss the Doctor.
A 2004 trip to the United Kingdom was filmed for the 2005 documentary Daphne Ashbrook in the UK. This DVD documentary followed her work with Doctor Who, including her role as Perfection in the Big Finish Productions audio play The Next Life.
In 2006, Ashbrook played Charlotte Howell in the audio drama Dark Shadows: The Book of Temptation. She was featured in extensive interviews on the Doctor Who podcasts Doctor Who: DWO Whocast, and Doctor Who: Podshock as well as in other podcasts including “The Happiness Patrol”.
Other television work includes Cold Case, CSI, Crossing Jordan, JAG, Murder, She Wrote, Judging Amy and Intruders. She had a recurring role on The O.C.. Other appearances include the film The Lodger (2009), and episodes of NCIS, Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace, and Fame. In 2012 she starred as Jackie in the Nickelodeon night time soap Hollywood Heights.
In 2010 she released her first music CD, Grace Notes on Dharmapala Records to very positive reviews. The songs range from Roots to Jazz and are mostly covers from some of her favorite singer/songwriters, such as Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin. The CD was produced by composer/multi-instrumentalist David Vito Gregoli. She has performed music from the CD at various conventions and other events.
In 2012, Ashbrook released a memoir Dead Woman Laughing (An actor’s take from both sides of the camera). It details her life as an actor and her experience growing up in an acting family.