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This article is about the Irish-American actress. For the Australian humanitarian, see Moira Kelly (humanitarian).

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Moira Kelly (born March 6, 1968) is an Irish-American actress and director. She is best known for her roles as Kate Moseley in The Cutting Edge, Mandy Hampton in the television series The West Wing (1999–2000), Karen Roe on One Tree Hill (2003–2009) and providing the voice for Adult Nala in The Lion King.

Early life

Kelly was born in Queens, New York, the daughter of Irish immigrants. Her father, Peter, was trained as a concert violinist and her mother, Anne, is a nurse. Kelly is the third of six children and was raised in Ronkonkoma. She was brought up Roman Catholic.[1] Kelly attended Connetquot Senior High School in Bohemia, Long Island, graduating in the class of 1986. Later she attended Marymount Manhattan College.

In her youth, Kelly was cast in a small role in her high school's 1984 production of Annie. Due to illness, the young woman playing Miss Hannigan was replaced, causing a series of cast changes leading to her choice of career. A faithful Catholic, Kelly had to decide between acting and her childhood ambition of becoming a nun.[2]


Kelly made her professional acting debut in the made-for-TV movie Love, Lies and Murder, playing a teenage murderer. She went on to have small roles in the films The Boy Who Cried Bitch and Billy Bathgate before being cast as Donna Hayward in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. For that film, she went home and got permission from her priest because of an explicit sex scene.[2] In the same year she starred opposite D. B. Sweeney in the romantic comedy The Cutting Edge and played two roles opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in Chaplin. According to a TV Guide interview, before taking on her role in Daybreak, Kelly once again asked her priest for advice: "Being a Catholic, I wondered if it would be against my religion to play a girl who has premarital sex." The priest told her "it was okay, as long as my artistic intentions were true and I wasn't doing it for the notoriety or the money."[3]

She has since appeared in the movies With Honors, Little Odessa, The Tie That Binds and Dangerous Beauty amongst others, and provided the adult voice of Nala in Disney's The Lion King, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and The Lion King 1½. In her independent film career, Kelly had the starring role of activist Dorothy Day in Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story and starred alongside Glenn Close in The Safety of Objects. She played Helen Keller in the made-for-TV movie Monday After the Miracle, which broadcast on November 15, 1998 on CBS.

Kelly starred in the CBS drama To Have & to Hold opposite Jason Beghe before playing Mandy Hampton in the first season of The West Wing. In 2003 Kelly began playing single mother Karen Roe on the teen drama One Tree Hill. In the fifth season she ceased to be a regular cast member, but made guest appearances in the 100th episode and the sixth season finale.

In 2007, Kelly appeared in the independent teen drama film Remember The Daze. In 2009, she joined the cast of Heroes V4 Fugitives, and will star in the epic dark comedy/mystery, City of Shoulders and Noses.

She also directed two episodes of the series: Resolve (2007) and I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me (2006).

Personal life

In 2000, Moira Kelly married Steve Hewitt, a Texas businessman. They have two children, Ella and Eamon.


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Boy Who Cried Bitch Jessica
Love, Lies and Murder Cinnamon TV movie
Billy Bathgate Rebecca
1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Donna Hayward
The Cutting Edge Kate Moseley
Chaplin Hetty Kelly / Oona O'Neill
1993 Daybreak Blue TV movie
1994 The Lion King Adult Nala (voice)
With Honors Courtney Blumenthal
1995 The Tie That Binds Dana Clifton
Little Odessa Alla Shustervich
1996 Unhook the Stars Ann Mary Margaret
Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story Dorothy Day
Changing Habits Susan "Soosh" Teague
1998 To Have & to Hold Annie Cornell 13 episodes
Love Walked In Vera
Hi-Life Susan
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Adult Nala (voice)
Dangerous Beauty Beatrice
Monday After the Miracle Helen Keller TV movie
1999–2000 The West Wing Mandy Hampton 22 episodes
1999 Henry Hill Cynthia
Drive, She Said Nadine Ship
2002 The Twilight Zone Elizabeth Wicker Episode: "Found and Lost"
Hack Vanessa Griffin Episode: "My Brother's Keeper"
2003 The Safety of Objects Susan Train
2003–2009 One Tree Hill Karen Roe starring, 90 episodes
2004 The Lion King 1½ Adult Nala (voice)
2006 Two Tickets to Paradise Kate
2007 Remember The Daze Mrs. Ford alternate title: The Beautiful Ordinary
2008 Law & Order Catherine Donovan Episode: "Betrayal"
2009 Heroes Abby Collins Episode: "Chapter Three: Building 26"
2010 Numb3rs Mary Paulson Episode: "Growin' Up"
City of Shoulders and Noses Mary Oliveri


  1. Giles, Jeff (1993-01-03). "Moira Kelly; Playing Two Roles in 'Chaplin' While Dreaming of Joan of Arc". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-20. She is an ardent Roman Catholic... 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Buchanan, Jason. "Moira Kelly > Biography". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  3. "A Message from Marrs". This Rock. February 1993.

External links

da:Moira Kelly it:Moira Kelly nl:Moira Kelly no:Moira Kelly pl:Moira Kelly pt:Moira Kelly sr:Мојра Кели sv:Moira Kelly