Jean Louisa Kelly

Jean Louisa Kelly

The Massachusetts native began studying voice and dance at an early age and made her professional debut in the title role of the famous orphan singing about "Tomorrow" in a summer stock production of "Annie" in 1983. Kelly went on to appear around New England in various theatrical productions and competed in "Talent America" in 1985, placing second with a medley from "Funny Girl" and landing an agent. Fulfilling a dream, she made her Broadway debut in the tiny role of Snow White in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical "Into the Woods" (1987-88) and understudied the larger roles of Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.After making an auspicious screen debut alongside scene-stealer Macauley Culkin in "Uncle Buck," Kelly took several years off to attend Columbia University. Resuming her career, she landed a small role in the CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "Breathing Lesson" (1994) and appeared in commercials for Ogilvie shampoo and MCI. While one might have thought her noticeable turn in "Mr. Holland's Opus" might have led to big screen stardom, Kelly instead found regular employment on the small screen, often in period dramas like "Tad" (The Family Channel, 1995) and "The Day Lincoln Was Shot" (TNT, 1998). In the contemporary, short-lived Americanized "Cold Feet" (NBC, 1999), she lent her charisma and screen presence to Shelley, a twentysomething struggle with romantic commitment. Kelly returned to sitcoms playing an overly concerned stay-at-home mom in the "Yes, Dear" (CBS, 2000-06).