Sheila Kelley (American actress)

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Sheila Kelley
Born (1961-10-09) October 9, 1961 (age 57)
EducationHempfield Area High School
Alma materTisch School of the Arts
Years active1987–present
Richard Schiff (m. 1996)

Sheila Kelley (born October 9, 1961) is an American actress. She is known for her roles as Gwen Taylor on L.A. Law and as Dr. Charlotte "Charley" Bennett Hayes on Sisters.

Early life[edit]

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.


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.

Personal life[edit]

Kelley is married to actor Richard Schiff.

Following her role as a stripper in the film Dancing at the Blue Iguana, in which she performed a seductive strip routine, she became a fan of pole dancing. Kelley has since become noted for her "S Factor" national exercise studios (LA (3), San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Houston) and her book, S Factor: Strip Workouts for Every Woman, and DVDs.[1] Sheila's copyrighted feminine fitness program incorporates Pilates, yoga, stretching and uniquely designed pole dance routines which develop tone, muscle, fluidity of movement and confidence.[2] She also publishes a monthly editorial which addresses women's issues available at

Kelley formed The Elephant Company, a theatre group, in the 1980s.


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Breaking In Carrie aka Fontaine
1989 Staying Together Beth Harper
1989 Mortal Passions Adele
1989 Private Debts Jessie Burdette Short film
1990 Where the Heart Is Sheryl
1991 The Chase Roxanne Television film
1991 Soapdish Fran
1991 Pure Luck Valerie Highsmith
1991 Wild Blade Ginger
1992 Passion Fish Kim
1992 Singles Debbie Hunt
1993 So I Married an Axe Murderer Sherry (photos of ex-girlfriend) Uncredited
1993 Mona Must Die Rachel McSternberg
1994 A Passion to Kill Beth
1996 One Fine Day Kristen
1997 Santa Fe Leah Thomas
1999 Mind Prey Andi Manette Television film
2000 Nurse Betty Joyce
2000 Dancing at the Blue Iguana Stormy Also producer
2003 Matchstick Men Kathy
2005 Mozart and the Whale Janice
2010 Bloodworth Louise Halfacre
2013 Last Weekend Vivian
2014 The Guest Laura Peterson
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Tonight's the Night Tanya Television film
1987 The Betty Ford Story Charlotte Television film
1988 Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami Trish Television film
1988 Some Girls Irenka
1989 The Fulfillment of Mary Gray Kate Television film
1989 thirtysomething Cheryl Eastman Episode: "First Day/Last Day"
1990–1993 L.A. Law Gwen Taylor Recurring (seasons 4–5); main cast (seasons 6–7); 42 episodes
1993 Full Stretch Pam Pearson Episode: "Ivory Tower"
1993 The Hidden Room Susan Episode: "Best Intentions"
1994 Deconstructing Sarah Sarah Vincent/Ruth Television film
1995 Wings Sarah 2 episodes
1995 The Secretary Deidre Bosnell Television film
1995–1996 Sisters Dr. Charlotte "Charley" Bennett Main cast (season 6); 23 episodes
1998 Touched by an Angel Carrie Nichols Carver Episode: "What Are Friends For?"
1998–1999 ER Coco Robbins 3 episodes
2001 Family Law Jennifer Palmer Episode: "Intentions"
2001 The Jennie Project Leah Archibald Television film
2002 MDs Pam Kellerman 4 episodes
2003 The Division Tess Stanton Episode: "Strangers"
2006 The Sopranos Allison Crider Episode: "Join the Club"
2010 Lost Zoe 5 episodes
2010 Hawaii Five-0 Nancy Harris Episode: "Palekaiko"
2011–2012 Gossip Girl Carol Rhodes 8 episodes
2012 NCIS Victoria Dearing Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part"
2018 The Good Doctor Debbi Episode: "Smile"


  1. ^ "Pole-Dancing Books and Videos". Archived from the original on 2009-11-09.
  2. ^ "Pole Dancing 101". Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-05-02.

External links[edit]