Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of "The King and I" recently garnered her a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. In 2014, her performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of "The Bridges of Madison County" earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Also that year, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year’s Eve, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of "The Merry Widow" with Renee Fleming.
A native of Oklahoma, Kelli received a degree in opera, and after winning the State Metropolitan Opera Competition, moved to New York and enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Institute. She made her Broadway debut in "Jekyll & Hyde" and followed it with Sondheim’s "Follies," "Sweet Smell of Success" opposite John Lithgow, and "Dracula." In 2003 Kelli committed to a production of "The Light in the Piazza" at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre. The show landed on Broadway in 2005 and earned Kelli her first Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. She moved from one critical and commercial success to another when she joined Harry Connick on Broadway in the 2006 Tony award-winning production of "The Pajama Game," for which Kelli received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. Kelli starred in the Tony Award-winning revival of "South Pacific" at Lincoln Center, enrapturing audiences and critics alike with her soulful and complex interpretation of Nellie Forbush, and garnering Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. She later teamed up with Matthew Broderick in Broadway's musical comedy "Nice Work if You Can Get it," earning Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations, as well as the Fred Astaire Nomination for dance.
Among her film and television credits are "Sex & The City 2," Martin Scorsese’s short "The Key to Reserva" opposite Simon Baker; "The Dying Gaul," "Blue Bloods" (NBC pilot), "All Rise" (NBC pilot), "Alexander Hamilton" (Maria Reynolds) starring Brian F. O’Byrne (PBS), "NUMB3RS" (CBS), "All My Children," the animated series "Car Talk," and numerous live performances on national television shows.
Kelli currently resides in New York City.
Little Known Fact: She was born and raised on a cattle ranch. How that helped prepare her for a life in the theater, we will find out in this episode. Welcome Kelli O'Hara!