Debra Danielsen (born October 20, 1957) is an American reality television personality, actor, singer, rapper, and author. She was cast as a member of the franchise (2008 - 2018) and appeared as Farrah Abraham's mother in MTV's 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG.
The artist, Debra D, is focused on creating a world where there is no: ageism, racism, or sexism permitted. Her fans love her genuine midwest honesty and love for life and people. Now Debra D is ready to share another side of herself in music. She is rapping and performing about real, relevant life issues that focus on overcoming. Debra is all about positive body image, female, and LBGTQ+ empowerment.
Debra D was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and calls the Omaha metropolitan area home. She has also lived in Seattle, Washington and Western Europe over her career as an executive. Teen Mom OG followed Ms. Danielsen to Seattle to film her time there. In her 26-year career as a VP of Professional Services and Software Sales in the telecommunications industry for Alcatel Lucent (formerly AT&T Network Systems’ Bell Laboratories), Danielsen's contributions include two history making projects: the launch of the WWW (World Wide Web) and the first iPhone network. On January 10, 2002, Debra Danielsen was asked to be a Relay Runner for the Salt Lake Olympic Torch Relay in Omaha, Nebraska representing Lucent Technologies in for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Danielsen continues to work on acting techniques, vocal training, and voice over lessons under the direction of industry notables. She completed an undergraduate degree in business administration with a bachelors of science at the University of Nebraska Omaha, for which she graduated magna cum laude in May 2010. Danielsen next completed an Executive Masters of Business Administration in December 2011 and launched S'Imaginer, Foods Inc. in March 2012. While working on her thesis in Costa Rica, Danielsen was inspired to capture her Italian heritage through heirloom family recipes for condiments and wine. Danielsen has also completed executive leadership courses at Thunderbird International School of Management and The Wharton School of Business while at Alcatel Lucent.
Danielsen debuted on MTV June 11, 2009, in the reality television series which began under 16 & Pregnant which told the stories of the hardships faced by teenage girls, families, and "baby daddies" while in high school. The show was an unexpected hit and MTV picked up the series as Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG (Original Girls). Danielsen also can be seen on the VH-1 show Couples Therapy with her daughter and Dr. Jenn Mann in 2013. Dr. Phil interviewed Danielsen on his talk show April 19, 2013, “Teen Mom Farrah Exposed,” concerning her thoughts about her daughter's sex tape and DUI.
Danielsen also appears in the WEtv television series Marriage Boot Camp for the series' tenth season, titled Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition, alongside MTV’s Mike “The Situation,” football legend “Ocho Cino” and Kendra Wilkenson. Ratings for the season were among the highest for the series and other series on WEtv during May and June 2017.
You can watch Debra Danielsen’s acting career in two independent films, “Three Corners of Deception” (2021), Meleeka Clary Production, and the “Indy 500 Movie” produced and directed by Max Barnes Herrlander (2020).
Danielsen has been taking on new roles by appearing in the NBC/Universal Hulu Series, “The Act” and a Hallmark original movie, “Lost & Found” where she appeared in background/extra roles in 2019.
Danielsen launched her music career with an MTV special Being Debra, airing February 2017 and it chronicles the making of her first music video for the song "Debz OG". Danielsen continues releasing new music and her new album “RHEB3L” will be released in December 3, 2021 which will include 5 original songs on lost love. The songs build on finding strength and joy in self-love. She has released 14 new singles since her Being Debra special aired in 2017.
Danielsen is married to Dr. David Merz, infectious disease, and they enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening and spending time with friends. Merz is an avid home brewer and beer judge. Elsa is their 11-year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever who loves to go swimming and to eat McDonald’s cheeseburgers.
In December 2014, Danielsen released her book Vapor, which recounts her encounter with a catfish-scammer. The book was re-release in January 2018 by Post Hill Press, which includes new images and updates from 2013 through 2017. It is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bookstore online.