|Residence(s):||Malibu, Los Angeles, California|
|Education:||B.A. Sociology, Georgetown University|
|Affiliation:||Peter Kingsley conspiracy|
|Profession:||President, Congressional Spouses Club|
Appointee, USO World Board
Fund-raising Chairwoman, Congressional Wives for Human Rights
Chairman of the Board, Maryland Hunger Fund
|Spouse(s):||David Palmer (ex-husband)|
|Children:||Keith Palmer (son)|
Nicole Palmer (daughter)
Elizabeth Nash (goddaughter)
|Other family:||Sandra Palmer (sister-in-law)|
Wayne Palmer (brother-in-law)
|Died:||Day 3: 11:58am|
Shot by Julia Milliken
|Played by:||Penny Johnson Jerald|
|Season(s):||1, 2, 3|
|First episode:||"Day 1: 12:00am-1:00am"|
|Last episode:||"Day 3: 11:00am-12:00pm"|
- "You're not a member of my staff. You're not a government employee. And you're not my wife."
- — President David Palmer, "Day 2: 6:00pm-7:00pm"
During the course of Day 1, Sherry transitioned from supportive to disagreeing to outright defiant of her husband; following this, Sherry was divorced. She was secretly a member of the Los Angeles nuclear attack conspiracy during Day 2 and aided Jack Bauer in taking down the mastermind of the plot. Sherry was recruited by her ex-husband to clean house during Alan Milliken's rebellion against him during Day 3; after pressuring Julia Milliken into aiding in Alan's death, she was shot and killed by Julia.
Before Day 1
- View Sherry Palmer's Fox.com profile at Character profiles.
Before they were married, Sherry and David Palmer had known each other all their lives, even going to the same schools which resulted in them being nicknamed "childhood sweethearts." They eventually married and had remained so for twenty-five years, until the events of Day 1. ("Day 1: 9:00am-10:00am")
Sherry graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. As the wife of a Senator, she was highly active in politics, working as the Chairman of the Board of the Maryland Hunger Fund and as Fund-raising Chairwoman of Congressional Wives for Human Rights. Sherry was also an appointee on the USO World Board and the president of the Congressional Spouses Club. (Fox.com profiles)
Seven years before Day 1, when Sherry's daughter Nicole was raped by Lyle Gibson, her son Keith accidentally killed Gibson. Knowing that the incident would effectively destroy her husband's political career, Sherry conspired with Carl Webb and her children to cover up Gibson's death, making it appear that he had simply committed suicide. The four of them managed to keep the truth secret from David until Day 1, when he learned about the cover-up from reporter Maureen Kingsley. ("Day 1: 5:00am-6:00am")
Two years prior to Day 1, Sherry attended a fund-raiser for her husband's potential presidential candidacy. Even then, she was very confident that David was going to be "the next President of the United States." A short time into the event, Mike Novick asked David to step outside for a moment for an update on the pending Operation Nightfall in Kosovo, which led to a small altercation between the two. Nevertheless, Sherry allowed David to leave the fund-raiser with Mike, if for a very brief moment. David, however, did not heed her advice, and she did not see him again until 7:15am the following morning. She reprimanded her husband for walking out of the fund-raiser, noting the seriousness of a Presidential run. David told her that while the fund-raiser was important, it would look worse if he began "shirking the duties" he already had as a Senator. Soon after, David received a call from Mike urging him to return to his office, and he left. (Nightfall #2)
While she and David were finishing up preparing for the morning's breakfast gathering from their hotel, David received a phone call from Maureen Kingsley. The call angered him, but when Sherry asked what it was about, he brushed it off as "media nonsense".
Sherry Palmer was determined to do anything to get her husband into the White House. Over the course of the day, it was revealed that she had participated in a cover-up to protect her son, Keith, an action which David opposed.
She disagreed with many decisions David made throughout the day, while being unpleasant to other people in the process, including Patty Brooks. When Keith managed to get a recording of Carl admitting that he set him up for the murder of Dr. George Ferragamo, Sherry believed that the tape should be destroyed, and after talking to Jerry she destroyed the fake tape Patty had hidden. During a party near the end of the day, Sherry scolded her husband for making phone calls, then hurried away to greet a patron, Steven.
Concerned that David no longer trusted her, Sherry encouraged campaign staffer Patty Brooks to get close to him, sleeping with him if need be, and report back to Sherry. Patty was hesitant, but proceeded, and was eventually fired by David. David called Sherry's plan "sick."
Later in the day, David agreed to let the press believe he had been assassinated in order to buy Jack Bauer time to rescue his daughter, Kim. Putting David's campaign first, Sherry went against her husband's wishes and leaked to the press that he was, in fact, alive. David was enraged by her betrayal and disgusted that she would put his political ambitions (and her own) ahead of an innocent girl's life.
At the end of the day, David had enough, and informed Sherry that he intended to file for divorce.
After Day 1
David Palmer filed for divorce from Sherry prior to being sworn in as President of the United States. The divorce was finalized sometime before David took office which ultimately made Sherry feel betrayed by him as she had supported his political career throughout the course of their marriage. Although she was no longer married to David, Sherry maintained a decent amount of wealth and political connections that kept her from going broke.
Sherry turned up unexpectedly at President David Palmer's retreat during Day 2 to tell him of a conspiracy in his administration. David initially did not trust her or want to hear anything she had to say, but she tipped him off that Roger Stanton was evacuating Los Angeles despite the fact he gave orders to the contrary. He agreed to let her stay, hoping her sources would help him root out the conspiracy and help find the nuclear weapon.
Lynne Kresge and Mike Novick were suspicious of her, and Lynne discovered evidence that Sherry had been conspiring with Roger Stanton for the past 6 months. Stanton had recruited her to find the weaknesses in Palmer's administration. Sherry told Stanton to keep quiet so she could stay in position as an adviser to David, but he gave up her name after being tortured. Using CIA operative Steve Hillenburg as a witness, she claimed that she was actually spying on Stanton in order to protect David. But the President decided he had had enough and kicked her out.
Later in the day, Sherry showed up at the apartment of Alex Hewitt to find Jack Bauer looking for him, too. Jack knocked out her security guard, and forced Sherry to help him prove the Cyprus recording was fabricated. After Hewitt was killed, Sherry set up a meeting with Peter Kingsley, where she would wear a wire and elicit a confession from him. Sherry expressed remorse about the events of the day, and asked Jack to tell David she had done it for him, if she didn't make it through alive.
When Kingsley became suspicious of Sherry during their meeting, Jack fought off several of Kingsley's men to allow Sherry time to escape. After the final altercation, Sherry was taken into custody by Agent Baker.
After Day 2
Despite her betrayal, David ultimately pardoned Sherry for her role in the Kingsley conspiracy, and helped her avoid a sentence of life in prison.
President David Palmer invited Sherry back into his inner circle when he was threatened by Alan Milliken. David wanted to counter Alan's extortion with blackmail, so he asked Sherry to find some information that could help him.
Sherry knew that Alan had paid off Kevin Kelly 12 years prior, after killing his daughter in a drunk driving accident. She went to see Kelly, and offered him a chance to tell his story and set the record straight. Kelly asked instead for a presidential pardon for his son, who was on death row. Sherry left Kelly for a moment, to arrange the pardon with David. When she returned to Kelly's trailer, she discovered he had vanished and noticed blood stains on the wall. Sherry ran back to her car as a car came up the hill. Sherry believed herself to be in danger until she noticed it was just an elderly couple driving by.
She went next to see Julia Milliken, hoping to get Julia's help in finding evidence linking Alan to Kelly's murder. While Sherry was snooping around the Milliken estate, Alan found her and Julia together and accused them of conspiring against him. Caught, Sherry turned Alan's anger against him, shouting at him until he had a heart attack. Julia tried to give him his nitroglycerin pills, but Sherry physically prevented her from doing so. Within moments, Alan was dead.
With Alan dead, Sherry had completed her task for Palmer. She told Julia to call the police and keep quiet about their roles in Alan's death, then returned to David's command center at District Headquarters to take a nap. However, Alan's dead body was discovered by their housekeeper. Julia soon broke under questioning from Detective Norris, and the police showed up to ask about Sherry's whereabouts. When Sherry explained to David the extent of her complicity in Alan's death, David was enraged. He reluctantly lied to Chief Hendricks, the Chief of Police of Los Angeles, stating that Sherry was with him at the time of Alan's death. He then told Sherry that he despised her and ordered her out of his sight.
Furious at David's casual dismissal, Sherry went to his election opponent, Senator John Keeler, and told him about Alan's death and President Palmer's part in covering it up. She had kept the bottle of nitroglycerin with her fingerprints on it as proof of her story. She knew she would have to go to jail, but said it was worth it if David went, too. In return for her information, Sherry wanted a place in Keeler's administration. Keeler contacted Palmer and demanded that he drop out of the presidential race, sending a photocopied image of the medicine bottle.
Wayne Palmer, blaming himself because the whole problem stemmed from his affair with Julia Milliken, asked David to allow him to recover the medicine bottle from Sherry. David agreed and arranged a meeting with Sherry to get her out of the house. While meeting with David, Sherry revealed that what she really wanted was a place in his administration - as the First Lady. When he agreed, she became suspicious and withdrew her offer, stating that Keeler would be the next President.
Wayne and his hired gun, Bruce Foxton, observed that Sherry "believes in better living through chemistry," but were unable to locate Alan Milliken's medicine bottle among hers. When she returned to find them in her home, Foxton knocked her out and found the medicine bottle taped to her back.
Unfortunately, Sherry's plan backfired horribly, for before just as Wayne was about to leave, Julia Milliken arrived to confront Sherry, who had just regained consciousness. Wayne followed her inside, where she pulled a gun on Sherry. Sherry promised her a presidential pardon, claiming that she was going to be the First Lady and David would do anything she said. Telling Sherry that she couldn't lie her way out of the situation, Julia shot and killed Sherry before turning the gun on herself. With Sherry dead and the incriminating evidence in his possession, David was now in the clear. However, affected by Sherry's death, he decided not to seek re-election.
Sherry seemed a supportive, loving wife to David Palmer on the outside, but on the inside, she was a total opposite: she was ambitious, manipulative and vengeful, as her only real goal in life was to get into position of power through David. Since she was not a career politician, her marriage to a well-known and liked U.S. Senator running for president was her big chance of getting the very thing she wanted; becoming the First Lady of United States. Sherry was a liar at heart, as she was willing to cover any possible scandals with lies to ensure that David's campaign won't be compromised, but David showed her many times over, how truth was a more powerful tool. Even so, this didn't stop Sherry for using even more lies. Sherry wasn't also a true loving mother, as she viewed her own children merely as tools to get what she wanted. As Sherry began to see her relationship with David falling apart, with all her schemes failing, she manipulated Patty Brooks to get close with David, but even this blew in her face. She grew even more desperate, and when David intended to pretend to have been killed, so that Jack Bauer could save his daughter, Sherry reported that he is alive. This was the last straw for David, and Sherry's big chance of getting into power failed.
During Day 2, Sherry tried again to get into the position of power, pretending to have changed. But in truth, Sherry attempted to manipulate David yet again, but she failed. During this day she was willing to sacrifice innocent lives as long as it would serve her purpose. She continued this way during Day 3, being responsible for Alan Milliken's death by preventing Julia Milliken from giving him his medicine. She tried to get back at David, when he refused to give her, what she wanted for her help, showing her vengeful side. She also seemed to have some delusions of grandeur, believing she would become the First Lady after manipulating David the way she intended. However, it was ultimately her ambition, which led to her downfall, as she didn't take into account that Julia would shoot her out of panic she had caused her.
Background information and notes
- In the episode "Day 3: 11:00am-12:00pm," Penny Johnson Jerald told the writers that she continued to breathe even after Sherry had been shot and apparently killed. This was deliberate, in case they ever decided to bring her character back in a future season.
- Sherry appeared in 45 episodes, more than any other antagonist: see her notable Recurring antagonist distinctions.
- Sherry is the fourth character portrayed by a main cast member to die in 24. For the others, see the whole list.
- Sherry holds the sixth place for most appearances (45 in total) for a deceased character. David Palmer is in first place at 80 episodes, Bill Buchanan and Audrey Boudreau in second with 64 episodes, Michelle Dessler is in fourth with 62 episodes and Wayne Palmer is in fifth with 48 episodes.
- In the first minutes of Day 5, the last thing David Palmer heard before being assassinated was "There's gonna be a lot of questions about your relationship with Sherry." — therefore, his ex-wife's name was the last word David heard before his death.