Michael Kelly
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5' 11" (1.80 m)
Famous for:
His role in “Dawn of the Dead” (2004)
Show more

Dawn of the Dead


“In the beginning, I aspired just to make a comfortable living in acting. I still feel the same. It’s just that my standards have gone up so my comfort level is higher as well.” Michael Kelly

American actor Michael Kelly is known for his appearances in successful movies such as “Dawn of the Dead” (2004), “Invincible” (2006) and “Changeling” (2008). He also appeared in Milos Forman's “Man on the Moon” (1999), M. Night Shyamalan's “Unbreakable” (2000), Tim Kirkman's “Loggerheads” (2005), Mark Young's “Tooth & Nail” (2007), Zoe R. Cassavetes' “Broken English” (2007) and John Polson's “Tenderness” (2008). On the small screen, Kelly had regular roles on the short-lived series “Level 9” (2000-2001) and “Kojak” (2005, as Detective Bobby Crocker) and worked in a recurring role on “The Sopranos” (2006-2007, as Agent Ron Goddard). Kelly was next seen in the miniseries “Generation Kill” (2008) and has guest starred in popular television shows like “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Judging Amy,” “The Shield,” “CSI: Miami” and “Third Watch.” Kelly has also appeared in several theater productions.

Kelly's fans should look forward to his performances in the upcoming films “Defendor” (2009), “The Afterlight” (2009), “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” (2009), “Fair Game” (2010) and “Law Abiding Citizen” (2010).

Also musically gifted, Kelly once played in the band Leroy Justice, which was named after a college friend's father.


Childhood and Family:

The son of Michael and Maureen Kelly, Michael Joseph Kelly was born on May 22, 1969, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with his three siblings, Casey, Shannon and Andrew. Michael graduated from Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia. He then enrolled at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Originally, Michael planned on studying law, but changed his mind after taking an acting class.

Michael is very athletic and currently lives in New York.

The Sopranos


Michael Kelly made his television acting debut in an episode of the HBO drama series “Lifestories: Families in Crisis” called “A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story” in 1994. Four years later, he appeared on the big screen with the supporting role of Paul in “Origin of the Species” (1998), which was directed by Andres Heinz and written by Robert Ackerman. After an appearance in the independent film “River Red” (also 1998), with Tom Everett Scott and David Moscow, he gave a solid portrayal of Michael Kaufman in Milos Forman's “Man on the Moon” (1999), a biopic of the American entertainer Andy Kaufman (played by Jim Carrey).

The following year, Kelly was cast alongside Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robin Wright Penn in “Unbreakable” (2000), an acclaimed psychological thriller written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. He returned to television in October 2000 when he won the role of Wilbert 'Tibbs' Thibodeaux on the UPN science fiction series “Level 9.” The show was canceled after nine episodes in January 2001 because of poor ratings.

Kelly continued to make guest appearances in television shows like “Third Watch” (2001), “The Shield” (2002), “Law & Order” (2002), “Judging Amy” (2003) and “The Jury” (2004). He also played Vet Tech Barry and Mark in the “Law & Order: Special Victim Units” episodes “Slaves” (2000) and “Disappearing Acts” (2002), respectively. He would later return to the show to play Luke Dixon in the 2006 episode “Confrontation.” In the made-for-TV film “E.D.N.Y.” (2003), he supported William Baldwin and Anne Bedian.

Back to the big screen, Kelly scored more popularity with his noted supporting role as CJ in “Dawn of the Dead” (2004), a remake of George A. Romero's 1978 horror movie of the same name. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film grossed more than $102 million, making it one of the few zombie films to make over $100 million at the international box office. Costars of the film included Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Kevin Zegers, Mekhi Phifer and Inna Korobkina.

Following the success of “Dawn of the Dead,” Kelly costarred with Kip Pardue in the independent drama “Loggerheads” (2005), playing George. Premiering at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it earned a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic, the film played at many festivals throughout 2005 and 2006, including the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, and more.

Also in 2005, Kelly costarred as Detective Bobby Crocker on the USA Network drama series “Kojak,” a re-imagined version of the 1970s series starring Telly Savalas. The remake, starring Ving Rhames in the title role, ran for 10 episodes from March 25 to May 22, 2005. He also portrayed inmate Rocco in the direct-to-video “Carlito's Way: Rise to Power,” a prequel to Brian DePalma's 1993 film “Carlito's Way.” The film starred Jay Hernandez as Carlito Brigante and was directed by Michael Bregman, who produced the first film.

In 2006, Kelly appeared in “Champions,” which was written and directed by David Wike, who also acted in the film. However, it was his portrayal of Pete in the football themed “Invincible” (2006), which starred Mark Wahlberg as real life football player Vince Papale, who played three seasons with NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, and Greg Kinnear as Coach Dick Vermeil, that brought the actor back in the limelight. The 1976-set film grossed over $57 million domestically. Kelly then gained further notice on television as Agent Ron Goddard in several episodes of the sixth season of the popular HBO drama “The Sopranos” (2006-2007).

Kelly next portrayed Hector in the pilot episode of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and Lucas Wade in an episode of “CSI: Miami” titled “Born to Kill” (both 2007). He had a featured role in the Parker Posey acclaimed vehicle “Broken English,” for director/writer Zoe R. Cassavetes, worked with Lauran Janes and Ruby Jerins in the 10-minute short “Zoe's Day,” and costarred with Nicole DuPort and Rider Strong in Mark Young's thriller “Tooth & Nail” (also 2007).

In July 2008 Kelly portrayed Captain Bryan Patterson on the HBO seven part TV miniseries “Generation Kill,” adapted from Evan Wright's book of the same name. Later that same year, he was cast as Detective Lester Ybarra in the Clint Eastwood film “Changeling,” which starred Angelina Jolie and Gattlin Griffith. The film premiered in competition at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, where it was well received and later grossed over $113 million worldwide. He then appeared in the based-on-novel movies “The Narrows” and “Tenderness” (both 2008), which were directed by François Velle and John Polson, respectively, and in episodes of J.J. Abrams' “Fringe” and NBC's “Law & Order,” his second appearance on the show.

Recently, Kelly played Paul Movius on the pilot of the HBO comedy series “Washingtonienne” (2009), based on a scandalous novel by Jessica Cutler and executive produced by actress Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” fame. He will work with Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings in the dramatic film “Defendor” (2009), for writer/director Peter Stebbings, and with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Doug Liman's upcoming thriller “Fair Game” (2010), which is based on the true story on former CIA officer Valerie Plame. He also stars as Andrew in “The Afterlight” (2009), a drama written and directed by Alexei Kaleina and Craig Macneill, and supports Michael Gambon, Gerard Butler, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Foxx and Viola Davis in the F. Gary Gray directed thriller “Law Abiding Citizen,” which is slated for a March 2010 release.

Kelly is filming “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” (2009), a comedy film written and directed by Marc Laurence. Cast as Vincent, he will costar with Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliot and Mary Steenburgen. Also a stage performer, Kelly is a lifetime member of NYC's renowned The Actors Studio. His theater credits include “Major Crimes,” “Miss Julie” and “In Search of Strindberg.”


Show Less
© Retna
© Retna
© Universal Pictures
© Retna
© Walt Disney Pictures
© Retna
© Walt Disney Pictures
© Retna