American actress Kelli Williams, the daughter of actress Shannon Wilcox, is best known to television audiences as Lindsay Dole on the ABC legal drama “The Practice” (1997-2003) and Gillian Foster in the series “Lie to Me” (2009-2011). She has also portrayed roles in such shows as “Day by Day” (1989), “Elvis” (1990), “New York News” (1995), “Scrubs” (2002), “The Lyon's Den” (2003), “Medical Investigation” (2004-2005) and “Men in Trees” (2007-2008), as well as starred in a number of TV films, including “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” (1994), “Sweetwater” (1999), “Flowers for Algernon” (2000) and “A Boyfriend for Christmas” (2004). On the big screen, Williams appeared in “Mr. Jones” (1993), “There Goes My Baby” (1994) and “Wavelength/E=mc2” (1996). She currently portrays Dr. Gillian Foster in the television series “Lie to Me” (2009-2011).
The brunette beauty speaks Spanish, French and English and has volunteered with the Young Storytellers Program. Williams has been married to writer/director Ajay Sahgal since 1996. They have two sons and one daughter.
Childhood and Family:
Kelli Renee Williams was born on June 8, 1970, in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of actress Shannon Wilcox and her plastic surgeon husband. Kelli's parents divorced in 1983 when she was 13 years old. She has a brother and two half-brothers. Kelli graduated from the prestigious Beverly Hills High School in 1988, where she actively participated in the school's performing arts department and starred in a production of “Romeo and Juliet.”
Kelli married writer, producer, director and actor Ajay Sahgal in 1996. The couple welcomed their first child, son Kiran Sahgal, on April 26, 1998. Three years later, Kelli gave birth to a girl named Sarame Jane Sahgal on February 3, 2001. Their third child, son Ravi Lyndon Sahgal, was born on July 11, 2003.
Lie to Me
The daughter of an actress, Kelli Williams followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a professional performer at age 19 when she landed a role in three episodes of the NBC sitcom “Day by Day.” She made her TV film debut in the thriller “The Case of the Hillside Strangler,” which was based on a book by Darcy O'Brien. She was also featured in the dramatic television film “Out on the Edge” (1989).
In 1990, Williams landed a recurring role in the ABC series “Elvis.” Two months later, she moved on to feature films with a costarring role, opposite Todd Eric Andrews, in the teen sex comedy “Zapped Again,” but the project went straight to video release. She went on to star as a teenager dealing with her breakup with her boyfriend in the CBS movie “But He Loved Me” (1991).
From 1992 to 1993, Williams was spotted on the Los Angeles stage performing with George C Scott and Tony Danza in the comedy “Wrong Turn at Lungfis.” She also appeared on the small screen in “A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story” and the sequel “Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter” (both 1992). In 1993, she received a cameo role in Mike Figgis' “Mr. Jones,” a movie starring Richard Gere.
Williams next supported Dermot Mulroney and Rick Schroder in the film “There Goes My Baby” and starred with Neil Patrick Harris in the TV drama “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” (both 1994). She also appeared in episodes of “Party of Five” (1994) and “Earth 2” (1995) before debuting as a series regular on “New York News” (CBS, 1995). Williams returned to features the following year when she was cast as Jeremy Piven's wife in the independent film “Wavelength/E=mc2.” Still in 1996, she was also seen in the television films “Voice from the Grave” and “Mary & Tim” and appeared in an episode of “Picket Fences.”
Eventually, Williams experienced a big breakthrough when she won the role of Lindsay Dole on the David E. Kelley created legal drama “The Practice.” She received a 2000 Golden Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Drama and three consecutive SAG nominations in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series from 1999 to 2001. She left the award winning series in 2003.
Meanwhile, Williams remained active pursuing other projects. She recreated her role of Lindsay Dole in an episode of “Ally McBeal” (1998), acted with her husband, Ajay Sahgal, in the short “Kismet” (1999) and starred with Amy Jo Johnson on the VH1 film “Sweetwater” (1999). She also teamed up with Carlos Jacott and Robert Forster for the 2000 short “It's a Shame About Ray,” which was written and directed by her husband, costarred with Mathew Modine in the ABC film “Flowers for Algernon” (2000) and had a recurring role in two episodes of “Scrubs” (2002).
Williams next appeared in an episode of “Hack” and portrayed Attorney Monica Crane in three episodes of “The Lyon's Den” (both 2003). The next year, she starred as Holly Grant in the TV film “A Boyfriend for Christmas” (2004), which also featured her mother, and joined the cast of the NBC drama “Medical Investigation” in the regular role of Dr. Natalie Durant. Debuting on September 9, 2004, the series ran for 20 episodes before being axed. In 2005, her character was featured on an episode of the TV series “Third Witch.” Williams also acted in the pilot of the comedy series “Women in Law” in 2006, playing Pamela. She then appeared opposite Adam Arkin in the TV film “Murder on Pleasant Drive” (also 2006). In 2007, she played Holly Lauren on an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and Julia in two episodes of “Men in Trees.”
Currently, Williams costars in the successful series “Lie to Me” with Tim Roth (2009-2011).