Sela Ward

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Sela Ward
Sela Ward 2010.jpg
Ward in 2010
Born Sela Ann Ward
(1956-07-11) July 11, 1956 (age 58)
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
Occupation Actress, author, producer, spokesperson
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Howard Sherman (m. 1992)
Children 2
Website
www.selawardtv.com

Sela Ann Ward (born July 11, 1956) is an American actress, author, producer and spokesperson, perhaps best known for her television roles as Teddy Reed on the American TV series Sisters (1991–96) and as Lily Manning on Once and Again (1999–2002). She had a recurring role in the Fox medical drama House as Stacy Warner (2005-2006: 2012). She starred in the CBS police drama CSI: NY as Jo Danville (2010-2013).[1]

Early life[edit]

Ward was born in Meridian, Mississippi to Annie Kate (née Boswell), a housewife who died of ovarian cancer on February 12, 2002, and Granberry Holland "G.H." Ward, Jr., an electrical engineer who died on January 13, 2009.[2][3][4] Ward is the eldest of four children with a sister, Jenna, and two brothers, Brock and Granberry (Berry) III.

Ward attended the University of Alabama, where she performed as one of the Crimson Tide cheerleaders, was homecoming queen, joined Chi Omega sorority, and double-majored in art and advertising.[5]

Career[edit]

Sela Ward in 1994

While working in New York City as a storyboard artist for multimedia presentations, the 5'7" (170 cm) Ward began modeling to supplement her income. She was recruited by the Wilhelmina agency and was soon featured in television commercials promoting Maybelline cosmetics. Ward eventually moved to California to pursue acting and landed her first film role in the Burt Reynolds vehicle, The Man Who Loved Women, released in 1983. Her first regular role in a television drama series, as a beautiful socialite on Emerald Point N.A.S., followed in the same year. Ward subsequently played variations on the same character in films and television guest spots throughout the 1980s, most notably opposite Tom Hanks in 1986's Nothing in Common and as the lead in the failed series pilot Cameo By Night, whose script was written by Chris Carter. This pattern persisted until she aggressively pursued, and won, the role of the bohemian alcoholic Teddy Reed on Sisters, for which she received her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994.

Ward won a CableACE Award for her portrayal of the late television journalist Jessica Savitch in the 1995 TV movie Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story. But capitalizing on her accolades proved difficult as they coincided with a surge in films and programming marketed primarily at teenagers.

In 1995, Ward was passed over for a Bond girl role, learning that even though then-Bond Pierce Brosnan was 42, the casting director said "What we really want is Sela, but Sela ten years ago".[6] In response, she developed and produced a documentary, The Changing Face of Beauty, about American obsession with youth and its effect on women. Later on, Ward would voice the part of former model turned villain Page Monroe in an episode (Calendar Girl) of The New Batman/Superman Adventures, which focused primarily on the media's (sometimes callous) obsession with youth.[7]

Ward succeeded actress Candice Bergen as commercial spokesperson for Sprint's long distance telephone service from 1999 until 2002, when landline long distance promotions fell out of favor. She also appeared on Frasier as supermodel/zoologist Kelly Easterbrook in the fifth season opener ("Frasier's Imaginary Friend"). When she read for the role of Lily Brooks Manning on the series Once and Again, its creators (Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of thirtysomething fame) initially deemed Ward "too beautiful" for the average single mother to identify with. After landing the part, she received her second lead actress Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for her efforts.

In 2004, she played the role of a private investigator, Bobbi Bacha of Blue Moon Investigations, in the TV movie Suburban Madness, the story of a dentist who ran over her cheating orthodontist husband with her Mercedes. The same year, she also appeared in the hit movie The Day After Tomorrow. In 2005, she began a recurring role in the Fox dramatic series House as Stacy Warner, the hospital's former attorney, who also happens to be the ex-partner of the protagonist, Dr. Gregory House (played by British actor Hugh Laurie). In 2006, Ward's character was written off the show. She made her last guest appearance in the House series finale titled "Everybody Dies" which aired on Monday, May 21, 2012, as one of House's hallucinations and an attendant of his funeral.

Ward was originally offered both the role of Megan Donner on CSI: Miami and Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but turned both down. The parts later went to Kim Delaney and Teri Hatcher, respectively. Ward said she did not want another lead role in an hour-long series due to the time away from her family it would require.[8] She developed and produced a pilot for a half-hour situation comedy (in which she would also star) for CBS' 2006 season but it was not selected by the network for its roster.

In July 2010, Ward signed on to star in the police drama CSI: NY, at the start of the seventh season playing Jo Danville, "an experienced investigator from Washington, D.C., whose work is driven by her empathy for the victim".[1] Ward remained on the show until the end of the ninth and final season in February 2013.[9]

In May 2012, she reprised her role as Stacy Warner for the House finale "Everybody Dies".

Personal life[edit]

While attending the University of Alabama, Ward dated Bob Baumhower, an All-America defensive tackle for coach Bear Bryant's football team. Baumhower went on to an All-Pro career with the Miami Dolphins and played in two Super Bowls.

On May 23, 1992, Ward married actor Howard Sherman. They have a son, Austin Ward Sherman (born May 13, 1994) and a daughter Anabella Raye Sherman (born May 30, 1998).

After meeting two foster children during a holiday trip home to Mississippi in 1997,[10] Ward decided to meet a broader need for abused and neglected children by initiating and partially funding the creation of an emergency shelter for those awaiting placement in foster homes. Housed on a 30-acre (120,000 m2) property once used as a Masonic-owned and -operated orphanage, the Hope Village for Children opened in Ward's home town of Meridian in January 2002 and is intended to serve as a pilot for a nationwide network of similar shelters. Hope Village currently has a capacity for 44 residents and serves an average of 200 children per year.[11]

A business district portion of 22nd Avenue in Meridian (from 6th Street to the Interstate 20 highway interchange[12]) has been named the "Sela Ward Parkway" in Ward's honor.[13]

In 2002, Ward published her autobiography, Homesick: A Memoir, through HarperCollins' ReganBooks imprint.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Man Who Loved Women, TheThe Man Who Loved Women Janet Wainwright
1985 Rustlers' Rhapsody Colonel's Daughter
1986 Nothing in Common Cheryl Ann Wayne
1987 Hello Again Kim Lacey
1987 Cameo By Night Jennifer/Cameo Television film
1987 Steele Justice Tracy
1990 Rainbow Drive Laura Demming Television film
1993 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Helen Kimble
1995 Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story Jessica Savitch Television film
CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1996 My Fellow Americans Kaye Griffin
1997 Stories of Courage: Two Women Marie-Rose Gineste Television film
1998 54 Billie Auster
1999 Runaway Bride Pretty Woman in Bar
2000 Catch a Falling Star Sydney Clark Television movie
2004 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Jeannie Miller
2004 Day After Tomorrow, TheThe Day After Tomorrow Dr. Lucy Hall
2004 Suburban Madness Bobbi Bacha Television movie
2006 Guardian, TheThe Guardian Helen Randall
2009 Stepfather, TheThe Stepfather Susan Harding

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1983–1984 Emerald Point N.A.S. Hilary Adams 22 episodes
1985 I Had Three Wives Emily Episode: "Til Death Do us Part"
1986 Hotel Isabel Atwood Episode: "Hornet's Nest"
1986 L.A. Law Lynette Pierce 2 episodes
1987 Night Court Heather Episode: "Christine's Friend"
1991–1996 Sisters Teddy Reed 127 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
1997 Frasier Kelly Easterbrook Episode: "Frasier's Imaginary Friend"
1999–2002 Once and Again Lily Manning 63 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2000, 2002)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2001-2002)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
1999 New Batman Adventures, TheThe New Batman Adventures Page Monroe/Calendar Girl Episode: "Mean Seasons"
2005–2010 House Stacy Warner 10 episodes
2010–2013 CSI: NY Jo Danville 57 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1994 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sisters Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
1996 CableACE Awards Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Sisters Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Once and Again Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Won
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series Won
2001 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]