Kelli Williams

Kelli Williams Headshot

Actress • Director

Birth Date: June 8, 1970

Age: 53 years old

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California

A steadily working television actress from the time she was a teenager, Kelli Williams has gone on to build a career in primetime procedural dramas thanks to a breakout role as junior partner Lindsay Dole in the award-winning legal drama "The Practice" (ABC, 1997- 2004). She went on to consistently deliver the goods as likable, highly educated career women in "Medical Investigation" (NBC, 2004-05) and Fox's slightly offbeat "Lie to Me" (Fox, 2009-11), endearing herself to fans with her realistic acting style, believable smarts, and natural beauty.

Williams was born on June 8, 1970, to television actress, Shannon Wilcox, and raised in Los Angeles. She first appeared onscreen in television commercials when she was a baby, and went on to do more commercial work throughout her childhood. So ingrained was showbiz from an early age that she was ready to embark on her acting career following her graduation from Beverly Hills High in 1988. She scored big right out of the gate with a recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Day By Day" in 1989, as well as another recurring role as the high school sweetheart of an as-yet-undiscovered Elvis in the ABC drama series, "Elvis" (1989-90). She went on to take the lead as a teenager coping with the end of an abusive relationship in "But He Loved Me" (CBS, 1991), and expanded her resume to include other TV movies including the fact-based "Snowbound: The Jon and Jennifer Stolpa Story" (CBS 1994). At long last, Williams landed her first regular series role playing an ambitious but untrained intern at a tabloid in the short-lived CBS drama, "New York News" (1995).

Williams landed occasional film roles, including a prototypical flower child named Sunshine in "There Goes My Baby" (1994), but television proved to be her best outlet. After nearly a decade of steady small screen appearances, she finally got the chance to settle into a regular primetime role on "The Practice." Playing a recent law school graduate negotiating the perils and pitfalls of defending clients while her best friend serves as the prosecutor, the actress brought a strong sense of naiveté tempered with the appropriate chutzpah. Effervescent co-star Camryn Manheim had the flashier role, but Williams proved just as capable, whether negotiating an inter-office romance or taking on her former mentor in court. In 1999, 2000 and 2001, Williams and the rest of the show's cast were honored with an Outstanding Ensemble nomination from the Screen Actor's Guild for delivering quality drama.

After five years on the show - which included her character enduring three stalkers, an overturned murder conviction, a marriage and a divorce - Williams was unceremoniously cut from the cast of the flagging series but her solid reputation with serious, professional women led to her immediate casting as a member of an elite medical research team on the NBC medical drama "Medical Investigation." When that series proved to be short-lived, Williams rebounded with a recurring role on the Anne Heche-centered quirky dramedy, "Men in Trees" (ABC, 2006-08) and was back in the spotlight as the co-star of "Lie to Me" (Fox, 2009-11). The moody Fox drama focused on the world's leading deception expert Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his partner Dr. Gillian Foster (Williams), a behavioral expert, and the pair's investigations into a variety of criminal cases. The show debuted in early 2009 with critical favor.

Credits

FoundStream

Actor
Margaret Reed
Series
2023
70%

All American: HomecomingStream

Director
Series
2022
100%

WalkerStream

Director
Series
2021

CharmedStream

Director
Series
2018

All AmericanStream

Director
Series
2018
96%

Early Release

Actor
Taylor Reynolds
Movie
2017

Christmas Solo

Actor
Jennifer
Movie
2017

Ties That Bind

Actor
Allison McLean
Show
2015

The FostersStream

Guest Star
Series
2013

Till Murder Do Us Part

Actor
Show
2013

Any Day Now

Actor
Miss Flemming
Movie
2012

The Kilborn File

Guest
Show
2010

Lie to MeStream

Actor
Dr. Gillian Foster
Series
2009

The MentalistStream

Guest Star
Series
2008

Gossip

Actor
Joanna
Movie
2008

Army WivesStream

Actor
Jackie Clark
Series
2007

Army WivesStream

Director
Series
2007

Army WivesStream

Guest Star
Jackie Clarke
Series
2007

Men in Trees

Guest Star
Series
2006
56%

Murder on Pleasant Drive

Actor
Deanna Whelen
Movie
2006

Criminal Minds: EvolutionStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Medical Investigation

Actor
Dr. Natalie Durant
Show
2004

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

A Boyfriend for ChristmasStream

Actor
Holly Grant
Movie
2004

NCISStream

Guest Star
NCIS Special Agent Maureen Cabot
Series
2003

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Hack

Guest Star
Show
2002

ScrubsStream

Guest Star
Kristen Murphy
Series
2001
83%

Law & Order: Criminal IntentStream

Guest Star
Holly Lauren/Kathleen Shaw
Series
2001

Flowers for Algernon

Actor
Alice Kinian
Movie
2000

Third WatchStream

Guest Star
Series
1999

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Melanie Harper
Series
1999
78%

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Kismet

Actor
Kelly
Movie
1999

Sweetwater: A True Rock Story

Actor
Cami Carlson
Movie
1999

Ally McBeal

Guest Star
Series
1997
61%

The PracticeStream

Actor
Lindsay Dole
Series
1997

The PracticeStream

Director
Series
1997

MoeshaStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

From the Files of Unsolved Mysteries: Voice From the Grave

Actor
Yvonne Shuster
Movie
1996

Mary & Tim

Actor
Justine Melville
Movie
1996

Wavelength

Actor
Claire Higgins
Movie
1996

New York News

Actor
Show
1995

Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story

Actor
Jennifer Stolpa
Movie
1994

There Goes My Baby

Actor
Sunshine
Movie
1994

For Their Own Good

Actor
Erma
Movie
1993

Una Mujer Despreciada

Actor
Movie
1992

A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story

Actor
Kate Broderick
Movie
1992

Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter

Actor
Kate Broderick
Movie
1992

Civil Wars

Guest Star
Mary Ann Montgomery
Show
1991

Cambiadas al Nacer

Actor
Irisa
Movie
1991

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

Zapped Again!

Actor
Lucy Kaminsky
Movie
1990

Quantum LeapStream

Guest Star
Shannon
Series
1989

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