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Moira Kelly
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General Information

Moira Kelly


March 6, 1968


Queens, New York City, U.S.



Moira Kelly (born March 6, 1968) is an American actress who voices Nala in The Lion King film series. She also starred as Karen Roe in One Tree Hill.


Kelly was born the third of six children in Queens, New York City, in March 6, 1968 with her father was a professional violinist and her mother, a nurse;[1] both of Irish descent. [2] Inspired by classical and big band music, Kelly followed in her father's musical footsteps by trying her hand at the violin, drums, and flute, and competed in opera while attending Connetquot High School in the mid-'80s.[1] In 1984, Kelly was cast in a small role in Connetquot Senior High School's production of Annie, and because of an illness, the actress who was set to play Miss Hannigan was replaced, and its director cast Moira as Grace Farrell in her place.[2]

While attending Marymount Manhattan College, Kelly worked a series of odd jobs while attending college in order to finance her education.[1] After her graduation, Kelly began to weigh her childhood dream of becoming a nun against being an actress in the limelight;[1] she ultimately chose to become an actress.[1] Her acting debut came in 1991 with the film, The Boy Who Cried Bitch, while that same year, Kelly portrayed the title character's girlfriend in Billy Bathgate and a 14-year-old murderess in the telefilm, Love, Lies and Murder. [3] Finally, she enjoyed her first major role in the 1992 romantic comedy, The Cutting Edge. Up until that time, she asked to audition for the role of Nala, despite not being the filmmakers's first choice, and was chosen for the part months later, according to her interview with UlimateDisney.[4] After the success of The Lion King, Kelly reprised her role as Nala in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½.

Towards the mid-1990s, Kelly appeared in the short-lived TV series, To Have & to Hold. [1] Though that series ultimately didn't connect with audiences, her appearance in the series, The West Wing, certainly did, and returned to television once more in the series, One Tree Hill, as Karen Roe.

Other Roles

  • One Tree Hill - Karen Roe
  • The Cutting Edge - Kate Moseley
  • The West Wing - Mandy Hampton


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Moira Kelly - Movie and Film Biography and Filmography. Rovi Corporation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moira Kelly - Biography. Internet Movie Database.
  3. The Lion King: Film Notes.
  4. Moira Kelly Interview: The Lion Queen - Ultimate Disney Talks With the Voice of Nala.


External Links

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