Moira Kelly (born March 6, 1968) is an American actress. She is known for portraying Kate Moseley in the 1992 film The Cutting Edge as well as single mother Karen Roe on the teen drama One Tree Hill. She is also known for playing the role of Donna Hayward in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, replacing Lara Flynn Boyle in the prequel to the 1990 TV series Twin Peaks. Other roles include Dorothy Day in Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story, White House media consultant Mandy Hampton in the first season of The West Wing, and the voice of Simba's love interest Nala in The Lion King and its sequels The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½. She also played Hetty Kelly and Oona O'Neill in Chaplin.
Moira Anne Kelly
March 6, 1968
Queens, New York, U.S.
|Other names||Moira Hewitt|
|Alma mater||Marymount Manhattan College|
Kelly was born in Queens, New York, a 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 as a Catholic. 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 girl playing Miss Hannigan was replaced, causing a series of cast changes leading to her choice of career. A devout Catholic, Kelly had to decide between acting and her childhood ambition of becoming a nun.
Kelly made her professional acting debut in the fact-based made-for-TV movie Love, Lies and Murder, playing teenager Cinnamon Brown, who was coerced by her father into killing his wife and her stepmother, Linda Brown. She was originally going to have a starring role as Polly Pry in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Cannibal! The Musical, but Kelly was convinced not to do so by her agent out of concerns it could potentially ruin her career, and was ultimately replaced with Toddy Walters, though she was still credited in the end credits under her initials "M.K." as "the Dropout". She went on to have small roles in the films The Boy Who Cried Bitch, Hi-Life, 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. 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."
She has since appeared in the films 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. 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). 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. She has made guest appearances in television shows such as Heroes, Law & Order, and Numb3rs. Kelly has also appeared in the films Remember the Daze, A Smile as Big as the Moon, Taken Back: Finding Haley, and Girl in the Bunker.
On August 5, 2000, Kelly married Steve Hewitt, a Texas businessman. They have two children: daughter Ella (born 2001) and son Eamon (born 2003). Kelly previously maintained a residence in Wilmington, North Carolina for eleven years.
|1991||The Boy Who Cried Bitch||Jessica|
|1992||Thirty Below Zero||Lucy||Short|
|The Cutting Edge||Kate Moseley|
|Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me||Donna Hayward|
|Chaplin||Hetty Kelly / Oona O'Neill|
|1993||Cannibal! The Musical||"The Dropout"||Credited under "M.K.", dropped out early in production|
|1994||With Honors||Courtney Blumenthal|
|The Lion King||Adult Nala (voice)|
|Little Odessa||Alla Shustervich|
|1995||The Tie That Binds||Dana Clifton|
|1996||Unhook the Stars||Ann Mary Margaret "Annie" Hawks|
|Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story||Dorothy Day|
|1997||Love Walked In||Vera|
|Changing Habits||Soosh Teague|
|Drive, She Said||Nadine Ship|
|1998||Dangerous Beauty||Beatrice Venier|
|The Lion King II: Simba's Pride||Nala (voice)||Video|
|2001||The Safety of Objects||Susan Train|
|2004||A Woman Reported||Woman||Short|
|The Lion King 1½||Nala (voice)||Video|
|2006||Two Tickets to Paradise||Kate|
|2007||Remember the Daze||Mrs. Ford|
|2014||Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces||Donna Hayward||Deleted Scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)|
|1991||Love, Lies and Murder||Cinnamon Brown||TV miniseries|
|1998||Monday After the Miracle||Helen Keller||TV film|
|To Have & to Hold||Annie Cornell||Main role|
|1999-2000||The West Wing||Mandy Hampton||Regular role|
|2002||Hack||Vanessa Griffin||"My Brother's Keeper"|
|The Twilight Zone||Elizabeth Carter||"Found and Lost"|
|2003-2009||One Tree Hill||Karen Roe||Main role|
|2008||Law & Order||Katherine Donovan||"Betrayal"|
|2009||Heroes||Abby Collins||"Building 26"|
|2010||Numb3rs||Mary Paulson||"Growin' Up"|
|2012||A Smile as Big as the Moon||Darcy Kersjes||TV film|
|Taken Back: Finding Haley||Karen||TV film|
|2013||Drop Dead Diva||Cindy Kasper||"50 Shades of Grayson"|
|2017||Deadly Sorority||Prof. Amy Thomas||TV film|
|2018||Girl in the Bunker||Madeline Shoaf||TV film|
|2019||The Resident||Annie||3 episodes|
As a directorEdit
|2006-07||One Tree Hill||Television series; 2 episodes|
- 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...
- Buchanan, Jason. "Moira Kelly > Biography". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "Chapter 5 - Moira, Moira, Moira", The Making of Cannibal! The Musical, by Jason McHugh Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- "A Message from Marrs". Archived 2009-10-22 at the Wayback Machine This Rock. February 1993.
- "Moira Kelly".
- Ingram, Hunter (15 July 2019). "'The Lion King's' original voice of Nala bows down to Beyoncé". Jacksonville Daily News. Retrieved 9 August 2019.