Sharon Lawrence

Meet Maura's mom!

NYPD Blue alum Sharon Lawrence will guest-star on Rizzoli & Isles as Maura's biological mother, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.

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Lawrence will appear in two episodes in Season 3 as Hope, who gave up Maura (Sasha Alexander) for adoption when she was 18 following her relationship with crime boss Paddy Doyle (John Doman). She's now a prominent doctor and an activist for women's health with secrets of her own.

Little was known about Hope until the Season 2 finale when, after Maura's adoptive mother Constance (Jacqueline Bisset) was severely injured, Paddy told his estranged daughter about her biological mother. In the final moments of the episode, Paddy revealed her name when he mumbled "Hope" after he was shot.

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Executive producer Janet Tamaro previously told TVGuide.com that Maura will be compelled to look up Hope in the wake of her parents' scares. "Now [that we're going into Season 3] you can really get into background, and Maura's is so mysterious. She's going to learn a lot about herself," Tamaro said. "And let's just say if dad dies, dad is the only one who knew who her mother was. ... That's a pretty interesting character. Whoever was involved with Paddy Doyle and had a baby at 18 and is as intellectually gifted as Maura — who is she?"

Besides her Emmy-nominated work on NYPD Blue, Lawrence is known for her Emmy-nominated guest turn as Izzie's mother on Grey's Anatomy and for her recurring role as Julian's mother on One Tree Hill. She's also appeared on Desperate Housewives, Community and Drop Dead Diva.

Season 3 of Rizzoli & Isles will premiere in the summer on TNT.