Sheila Kelley Biography

Sheila Kelley is an American actress, known for her roles as Gwen Taylor on L.A. Law and as Dr. Charlotte “Charley” Bennett Hayes on Sisters.

Date of birth

She was born on 9 October 1961.


Kelley was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to Catherine Holway Thom Kelley, a registered nurse, and Dr. Jay Hilary Kelley, professor emeritus, College of Mineral and Energy Resources, West Virginia University.


Kelley studied ballet at a young age and then matriculated at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts after graduating from Hempfield Area High School. After doctors cautioned her about the effects of rigorous dance training on her hips, Kelley redirected her efforts to film directing and acting, and studied with Michael Howard. She was originally encouraged to pursue acting by her high school principal, Dr. George Vollrath, and ultimately moved to California in order to advance her career.

Love life

Kelley is married to actor Richard Schiff.

Net worth

Not yet established.


Kelley began her acting career in the 1980s in television, with her first credited TV role in 1987.

Her first film was Some Girls in 1988. She played the character Gwen Taylor in the legal drama L.A. Law from 1990 to 1993.

Most of her work has been in guest roles on American TV series, although she notably played a stripper and performed a seductive dance routine onscreen in the 2000 feature film Dancing at the Blue Iguana.

After her role in Dancing at the Blue Iguana, she went on to create a new feminine workout movement called S Factor. She is considered the founder of Pole Dancing Workout. Since its inception over a decade ago, eight studios have been opened in the United States. It is one of the most well known and successful studios of its kind. However, it is unique in that it features an ever evolving curriculum that is often imitated. She fuses pilates, yoga, and her knowledge of classical ballet into a workout that eventually involves the use of the pole. The movement, as she calls it, is growing, with studios in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Encino and Costa Mesa.


Kelley was cast in a recurring role in the final season of Lost in 2010, playing Zoe. From 2011 to 2012, she played Carol Rhodes on Gossip Girl.

In 2021, she starred in Strip Down, Rise Up, a new feature documentary directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Michèle Ohayon. The verité style film is about women who heal through sensual dance, specifically pole dance. The film follows women of all walks of life, all ages and ethnic backgrounds, as they shed trauma, body image shame, sexual abuse and other issues locked in their bodies, and embark on a journey to reclaim themselves.

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