Jump to content

Sela Ward

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sela Ward
Ward in 2010
Sela Ann Ward

(1956-07-11) July 11, 1956 (age 67)
Alma materUniversity of Alabama
  • Actress
  • author
  • producer
Years active1983–present
Howard Sherman
(m. 1992)

Sela Ann Ward (born July 11, 1956)[1][2] is an American actress. Her breakthrough TV role was as Teddy Reed in the NBC drama series Sisters (1991–1996), for which she received her first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994. She received her second Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for the leading role of Lily Manning in the ABC drama series Once and Again (1999–2002). Ward later had the recurring role of Stacy Warner in the Fox medical drama House, also starred as Jo Danville in the CBS police procedural CSI: NY (2010–2013)[3] and starred as Dana Mosier in the CBS police procedural series FBI (2018–2019).[4]

She also played supporting roles in films, including The Man Who Loved Women (1983), Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), Nothing in Common (1986), Hello Again (1987), The Fugitive (1993), My Fellow Americans (1996), The Badge (2002), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Guardian (2006), The Stepfather (2009), Gone Girl (2014), and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

Early life[edit]

Annie Kate Boswell in 1942

Ward was born in Meridian, Mississippi, to Annie Kate (née Boswell), a housewife, and Granberry Holland "G.H." Ward, Jr., an electrical engineer. Her father is a native of Meridian while her mother was born in Choctaw County, Alabama, before moving to Meridian as a child.[5][6][7] Ward is the eldest of four children with a sister, Jenna, and two brothers, Joseph Brock and Granberry Holland Ward III. She graduated from Lamar School in Meridian.[8]

Ward attended the University of Alabama, where she was Homecoming Queen, a Crimson Tide cheerleader, and joined Chi Omega sorority.[9] She double-majored in fine art and advertising. She graduated in 1977.[10]


Ward in 1994

While working in New York City as a storyboard artist for multimedia presentations, Ward began modeling to supplement her income. She was recruited by the Wilhelmina agency and was soon featured in television commercials promoting Maybelline cosmetics.[citation needed]

Ward eventually moved to California to pursue acting and landed her first film role in the 1983 Burt Reynolds vehicle The Man Who Loved Women. Her first regular role in a television drama series, as a socialite on Dennis Weaver's short-lived CBS series, Emerald Point N.A.S., followed in the same year. Ward continued to land guest roles in both television and films throughout the 1980s, most notably opposite Tom Hanks in 1986's Nothing in Common. In 1991 she was cast as the bohemian alcoholic Teddy Reed on Sisters, for which she received her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994.[9] She portrayed Helen Kimble, the wife of Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), in The Fugitive, one of the top films of 1993.

Ward won a CableACE Award for her portrayal of the late television journalist Jessica Savitch in the 1995 TV film Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story.[9] Almost Golden remains Lifetime's most watched TV film to date.

In 1995, Ward was passed over for a Bond girl role for the 1995 movie GoldenEye, 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".[11] 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 ("Mean Seasons") of The New Batman/Superman Adventures, which focused primarily on the media's obsession with youth.[12]

Ward succeeded Candice Bergen as commercial spokesperson for Sprint's long distance telephone service from 1999 until 2002. 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. Ward received her second lead actress Emmy and a Golden Globe Award.[9]

In 2004, she played the role of a private investigator in the television film Suburban Madness. The same year, she also appeared in the film The Day After Tomorrow with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. In 2005, she began a recurring role in the Fox dramatic series House as Stacy Warner, the hospital's attorney and formidable ex-partner of the protagonist Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie). In 2006, Ward's character was written off the show. However, she made her last guest appearance in the series finale (which aired on May 21, 2012).

Ward was originally offered both the role of Megan Donner on CSI: Miami and Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but turned both down. Ward was reluctant to commit to another lead role in an hour-long series because of the time away from her family it would require.[13]

Although she was on a brief hiatus from television, she continued to appear in feature films. She starred opposite Kevin Costner in The Guardian in 2006 and starred in the thriller The Stepfather in 2009. In July 2010, Ward signed on to star in the police drama CSI: NY, at the seventh season's start.[3] Ward remained on the show until the ninth and final season's end in February 2013.[14]

Ward appeared as newswoman Sharon Schieber in Gone Girl (2014), and co-starred in Independence Day: Resurgence, released June 2016, in which she played the President of the United States, President Lanford.[15] She also played the leading role alongside Nick Nolte in the political comedy series Graves.[16] She was in a leading role alongside Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki and Jeremy Sisto in the crime series FBI.[4]

Personal life[edit]

On May 23, 1992, Ward married entrepreneur Howard Elliott Sherman. They have two children: Austin and Anabella.[17]

After meeting two foster children during a holiday trip home to Mississippi in 1997,[18] Ward decided to meet a broader need for abused and neglected children by initiating and partially funding the creation of a permanent group home and emergency shelter, as well as transition houses. Hope Village for Children opened in Ward's hometown of Meridian in January 2002, housed on a 30-acre (12 ha) property once used as a Masonic-owned and operated orphanage, and is intended to serve as a pilot for a nationwide network of similar shelters. Hope Village had a capacity of 44 residents and served an average of 300 children per year as of 2015.[19]

In 2002, Ward published her autobiography, Homesick: A Memoir, through HarperCollins' ReganBooks imprint.[20] In 2014, Ward was a part of her first group art exhibition at KM Fine Arts.



Year Title Role Notes
1983 The Man Who Loved Women Janet Wainwright
1985 Rustlers' Rhapsody Colonel's Daughter
1986 Nothing in Common Cheryl Ann Wayne
1987 Hello Again Kim Lacey
Steele Justice Tracy
1989 The Haunting of Sarah Hardy Sarah Hardy
1991 Child of Darkness, Child of Light Sister Anne
1992 Double Jeopardy Karen Hart
1993 The Fugitive Helen Kimble
1996 My Fellow Americans Kaye Griffin
1998 54 Billie Auster
1999 Runaway Bride Pretty Woman in Bar Cameo
2000 Catch a Falling Star Sydney Clarke
2002 The Badge Carla Hardwick
2004 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Jeannie Miller
The Day After Tomorrow Dr. Lucy Hall
2006 The Guardian Helen Randall
2009 The Stepfather Susan Harding
2014 Gone Girl Sharon Schieber
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence President Elizabeth Lanford


Year Title Role Notes
1983–84 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"
L.A. Law Lynette Pierce 2 episodes
1987 Night Court Heather Episode: "Christine's Friend"
1989 Bridesmaids Caryl Television film
1990 Rainbow Drive Laura Demming Television film
1991–96 Sisters Teddy Reed 127 episodes
1995 Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story Jessica Savitch Television film
1997 Frasier Kelly Easterbrook Episode: "Frasier's Imaginary Friend"
Stories of Courage: Two Women Marie-Rose Gineste Television film
1999 The New Batman Adventures Page Monroe/Calendar Girl Voice, episode: "Mean Seasons"
1999–2002 Once and Again Lily Manning 63 episodes
2000 Catch a Falling Star Sydney Clark Television film
2004 Suburban Madness Bobbi Bacha
2005–06 House Stacy Warner 10 episodes
2010–13 CSI: NY Jo Danville 57 episodes
2016–17 Graves Margaret Graves 20 episodes
2018 Westworld Juliet 1 Episode
2018–2019 FBI Special Agent in Charge Dana Mosier 21 Episodes


A roughly 0.9 miles (1.4 km) stretch of 22nd Avenue in Meridian (from 6th Street southeast to the Interstate 20 highway interchange)[21] has been named the "Sela Ward Parkway" in her honor.[22][23]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2007). Screen World 2007. Hal Leonard. p. 415. ISBN 9781557837295. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "Sela Ward". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "US: Sela Ward joins CSI: NY". The Spy Report. Media Spy. July 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (July 13, 2018). "'FBI': Sela Ward To Co-Star On New CBS Series From Dick Wolf". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (Granberry Holland Ward)". Ancestry.com. Generations Network. June 30, 1942. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "Fifteenth Census of the United States", United States census, 1930; Choctaw County, Alabama; page 6B, line 71, enumeration district 12-7.
  7. ^ "Reverie 1942 "Annie Kate Boswell" (Meridian High School, Meridian, Mississippi)". Ancestry.com. Generations Network. 1942. p. 32. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Rader, Dotson (January 24, 2011). "Sela Ward: 'My Journey Has Been a Journey Home'". Parade. Retrieved May 6, 2024. Her teenage years were spent at a private school, Lamar, and she joined a junior sorority.
  9. ^ a b c d "Sela Ward". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "American Profile – American Profile Celebrates The Intriguing People, Places And Things In Hometowns Across The Country Along With Features On Music, Film, TV, Seasonal Recipes, Health And Family Finance". Archived from the original on November 5, 2006. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  11. ^ "Lifetime TV Shows". myLifetime.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "Page Not Found". Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2015. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  13. ^ "Why Sela Ward won't return to television". Entertainment Weekly. October 8, 2004. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 10, 2013). "CBS Cancels CSI: NY, Vegas, Rules of Engagement, Golden Boy" Archived November 30, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Busch, Anita (May 4, 2015). "Sela Ward Set To Play POTUS In 'Independence Day 2'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  16. ^ Lesley Goldberg (October 14, 2015). "Sela Ward Replaces Susan Sarandon in Epix Comedy 'Graves'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  17. ^ Dotson Rader (January 24, 2011). "Sela Ward: 'My Journey Has Been a Journey Home'". Parade. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  18. ^ Guideposts Magazine Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Hope Village for Children". Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  20. ^ Ward, Sela (October 15, 2002). Homesick: A Memoir. Harper Entertainment. ISBN 0-06-098907-6.
  21. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  22. ^ "DFW.com "Five questions with Sela Ward, the newest cast member of CSI: NY"". dfw.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Kelly, Erin (May 7, 2020). "City council talks 22nd Avenue upgrades". Meridian Star. Meridian, Mississippi. p. A2. Archived from the original on June 7, 2020. Retrieved May 25, 2020. The Meridian City Council on Tuesday discussed a project to enhance a section of 22nd Avenue known as Sela Ward Parkway that runs from near the old Village Fair Mall to Front Street.

External links[edit]