Kelly Carlson is an American actress best known for playing a pivotal role in the popular medical drama television series titled ‘Nip/Tuck.’ Born in Minneapolis, and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota, Kelly was born to a hairdresser mother and a high school basketball coach father. She had become interested in performance arts ever since she was a kid and decided to become an actor eventually. She began her career appearing in theatrical productions and overtime, she ventured into screen acting in 2001 with a small role in the film titled ‘3000 Miles to Graceland.’ In 2003, she made her television debut, which also turned out to be her breakthrough acting role. She appeared playing Kimber Henry in the medical drama television series titled ‘Nip/Tuck.’ As the series became a critical and commercial success, Kelly attracted a lot of attention from audiences and producers. After playing a small role in the 2004 film titled ‘Paparazzi,’ she appeared playing supporting roles in films such as ‘The Marine’ and ‘Made of Honor.’ As for her television career, she appeared playing guest roles in series’ such as ‘Monk,’ ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘CSI: Miami.’ In 2010, she was also seen playing a supporting role in the web series titled ‘Ghostfacers.’
Childhood & Early Life
Kelly Carlson was born Kelly Lee Carlson, on February 17, 1976, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Lee Dixon Carlson and Mary Joan. Her father worked as a high school basketball coach while her mother worked as a hairdresser.
Having a father indulged in sports had Kelly becoming athletic at a very young age. The sport of her choice was equestrian riding, which she began playing at the age of 7 and she played it all through her childhood.
When she was still a child, the family moved to Bloomington and later to Richfield, from where Kelly completed her high school graduation. By then, she had gained a significant interest in performance arts, acting in particular, and had become serious about a career in the field.
She graduated from Academy of Holy Angels and began doing theatre. She had built a toned physique owing to her history in athletics and she thus began modelling as well at the age of 17. She did not carry on with her academics and began auditioning for screen roles while also doing theatre simultaneously.
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During the first few years of her career in the show business, Kelly worked as a model. She appeared in the campaigns for products such as Miller Lite, Rembrandt and Oliver Peoples Sunglasses. In addition, she also appeared on the covers of many magazines.
She made her acting debut in 2001, playing a small role as a motorcycle gang member in the action adventure crime film titled ‘3000 Miles to Graceland.’ The film starred established actors such as Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner, but turned out to be a critical and commercial disaster.
She was lucky enough to have her television breakthrough with the first role that she ever played on small screen. In 2003, she appeared playing a key supporting role as Kimberly Henry in the medical drama series titled ‘Nip/Tuck.’ In the series, she played a porn actress and gave many graphic nude scenes, which somehow also invited a few small controversies.
Her character was a recurring one during the first 2 seasons of the series but as it progressed further, she became a series regular and remained that way till the end of the series in its sixth season. Right from its premier, the series became a national and international hit, winning many nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe awards, also winning a few.
With that, Kelly had a dream beginning to her television career. While she remained busy with the series throughout the 2000s, she also appeared playing a small role in the 2002 series titled ‘Everwood.’She portrayed Ada in 3 episodes of the series, which was a critical and commercial hit.
In 2004, she turned to films and appeared playing a supporting role as Kristin in the action film titled ‘Paparazzi,’ starring Cole Hauser in the lead role. Although the film had a promising premise, it failed to deliver in terms of box office collections and critical ratings.
In 2006, she had a huge film break when she appeared playing one of the leading roles as Kate Triton in the action film titled ‘The Marine,’ starring John Cena in the lead role. The film received moderate success on the box office and was a critical failure.
Kelly also carried on with her television career during this time. In 2004, she appeared playing one of the key roles in the science fiction television film titled ‘Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation.’ The film received negative reviews.
In 2005, she appeared playing a guest role in the pilot of the series titled ‘Head Cases.’ But unfortunately the series could not run for more than a few episodes and was a huge critical and commercial dud.
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Kelly followed with a guest role as Sally in the episode titled ‘Bang-Bang’ of the police procedural crime drama series titled ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
In 2006, she appeared playing a supporting role in the television film titled ‘Break-In,’ followed by a guest role in the series titled ‘CSI: Miami.’
In 2007, she appeared playing one of the lead roles as Sandy in the short film titled ‘Shadowbox.’ She followed it with a supporting role as Christie Bailey in the romantic comedy film titled ‘Made of Honor.’ The film received highly negative reviews from the critics but even then, it managed to score a decent profit on the box office.
In the following years, she made a cameo appearance in the television film titled ‘Degrassi Goes Hollywood’ and guest roles in series’ such as ‘Monk’ and ‘Castle.’
In 2009, she appeared playing a small role as Wendi Mattison in the soap opera titled ‘Melrose Place.’ In the early 2010s, her acting career practically halted with her last appearance being in the 2013 television film titled ‘Jimmy.’
Family & Personal Life
Kelly Carlson has maintained privacy about her personal life. However, it turned out that she has been married to Dan Stanchfield.
Kelly Carlson is trained in the Filipino martial art ‘Kali.’
In addition to her film and television work, Kelly also works for several charitable organizations such as LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society and Wounded Warriors.
Kelly got a gun permit recently after facing several incidents of stalking. In one such incident, one of the stalkers hired people to break into her home and tried to tap her phones.