Getting her first break as Stephanie 'Sam' Whitmore on the NBC short-lived, but critically acclaimed, soap drama “Generations” (1989), Kelly Rutherford gained even more recognition while playing Megan Lewis Mancini (1996-1999), a sultry ex-hooker with a heart of gold, on Fox's hit soap opera “Melrose Place.” She has appeared in the film “Scream 3” (2000) and played a recurring role on "The District" and "The Fugitive," as well as a regular role on "Threat Matrix" and "E-Ring." She will next be seen in the upcoming teen drama on The CW, "Gossip Girl."
More personally, the 5' 8" blond, beautiful actress has been married twice, once to Carlos Tarajano, and her present husband, David Giersch, with whom she has one son.
Childhood and Family:
In Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Kelly Rutherford Deane was born on November 6, 1968. Following her parents' divorce when she was 3 years old, Kelly, her mother (Ann Edwards), and her younger brother (Anthony Rutherford; born in 1974), had some nomadic years before eventually settling in Newport Beach, Southern California. Graduating from high school, young Kelly packed for the east to study acting at New York City's HB Studios.
On June 30, 2001, Kelly married Carlos Tarajano, who had an unexpected cardiac arrest, but later recovered shortly after the wedding. A week before an InStyle Special on celebrity weddings that included footage of her wedding to Carlos, Kelly left her husband and they were divorced on January 11, 2002. In August 2006, Kelly married her second husband, David Giersch, a businessman. Kelly gave birth to their first child, son Hermés Gustaf Daniel Giersch (born on October 18, 2006), at age 37.
The actress, who is friends with “The O.C.” star Kelly Rowan, practices yoga with Lisa Rinna and Marcia Cross.
While working on her acting skills at New York City's HB Studios, Kelly Rutherford worked as a model and did a number of commercials, including one opposite actor Matt LeBlanc, to support herself.
In 1987, she landed a recurring role on the ABC soap "Loving," opposite Luke Perry. She followed it up with a tiny part as a TV watcher in her film debut, “Shakedown,” an action drama by writer-director James Glickenhaus starring Peter Weller and Sam Elliott.
Kelly got her first big break in 1989 when she won a regular role on the NBC daytime soap "Generations," as Stephanie "Sam" Whitmore, the college aged daughter of Rebecca (played by Patricia Crowley/Dorothy Lyman). Although the show was short-lived, it has retained something of a "cult" following long after its cancellation. It also has earned Kelly a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Heroine: Daytime. Meanwhile, Kelly also appeared in Richard Friedman's romantic horror film “Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge” (1989) and in the music video for Rick James's "Loosey's Rap."
During the early 1990s, Kelly played the regular role of Judy Owen (1992-1993), a stunning blonde bartender who loves baseball, on ABC's critically acclaimed soap opera set in the 1940s, "Homefront." Meanwhile, she also guest starred in an episode of the crime drama "Bodies of Evidence" and the animated series "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures," based on the 1989 film “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.”
Kelly made her first TV movie appearance on CBS' psychological drama, “Breaking the Silence” (1992; with Gregory Harrison and Stephanie Zimbalist), and had a recurring role as Dixie Cousins (1993-1994) on Fox's short-lived western/sci-fi series starring Bruce Campbell, "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." She was also cast in Joe Holland's drama/thriller “Amberwaves” (1994), Charles Shyer's romantic comedy “I Love Trouble” (1994; starring Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts) and starred in James C.E. Burke's 30-minute film, “Tis a Gift to Be Simple” (1994). Additionally, she appeared as a regular in two short-lived series, the courtroom drama “Courthouse” (1995) and the law drama "The Great Defender" (1995).
Kelly received even more notice as Megan Lewis Mancini (1996-1999), a former hooker with a heart of gold, on Fox's hit soap opera "Melrose Place." During that time, she also had a regular role as Caitlin Byrne (1996) on Fox's short-lived vampire soap opera "Kindred: The Embraced," an Aaron Spelling-production that was loosely based on the role-playing game “Vampire: The Masquerade,” and appeared in the made-for-television movies “No Greater Love” (1996), “Buried Secrets” (1996) and “The Perfect Getaway” (1998).
On the big screen, she could be seen in D.J. Caruso's dark comedy “Cyclops, Baby” (1997; opposite Josh Charles) and the disappointing indie film “Dilemma” (1997). She was also in Seth Jarrett's 29-minute film “Six Months of Darkness, Six Months of Light” (1997) and in writers-directors Greg Akopyan and Lawrence Kane's independent romantic comedy “The Disturbance at Dinner” (1998).
From 1999 to 2000, Kelly played the regular role of Laura Martineau on Fox's short-lived comedy-drama "Get Real," which became the breakout series for Anne Hathaway. She was also spotted as a guest in a December 1999 episode of the CBS cop drama “Nash Bridges.”
Kelly joined an ensemble cast in Wes Craven's hit teen horror movie starring Neve Campbell, “Scream 3” (2000), the third installment in the successful Scream trilogy, and appeared in Terry Cunningham's war drama “The Chaos Factor” (2000). She also played roles in writer-director Paul Cade's independent thriller “Angels Don't Sleep Here” (2001), Peter Winther's 22-minute film “The Tag” (2001; opposite Djimon Hounsou), and co-starred in Robert J. Emery's film adaptation of Don Robertson's novel, the family drama “Swimming Upstream” (2002).
TV audiences could catch her in an episode of ABC's anthology series "The Outer Limits" and Fox's “Night Visions,” as well as in the made-for-television movies “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal” (2000), “Acceptable Risk” (2001) and “Eastwick” (2002). She played the recurring role of Helen Kimble (2000-2001) on the CBS remake of the classic dramatic series "The Fugitive," was seen as Deputy Mayor Melinda Lockhart (2002-2003) on CBS’ police drama "The District," and starred as Special Agent Frankie Ellroy-Kilmer (2003-2004) on ABC's serial drama "Threat Matrix," opposite James Denton.
2005-2006 saw Kelly playing the regular role of Samantha "Sonny" Liston on the NBC military drama "E-Ring," alongside Benjamin Bratt, Aunjanue Ellis and Dennis Hopper. She recently played a lead role in the crime/thriller television movie “Tell Me No Lies” (2007). She will soon be seen in the upcoming teen drama on The CW, "Gossip Girl," based on Alloy Entertainment's book series.